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holly selden photography



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How I became a wedding photographer

March 30, 2023

Hi, I'm Holly.
Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Here I share about myself, photography tips and recommendations and so on.. Stay a while and say hello!
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Being an Iron Mountain wedding photographer since 2008, I have the experience to give you wedding photos you will love.

Iron Mountain Wedding Photographer.
Photo credit: Kira Adele Photography, edit by myself.

Hi, it’s me. Your Iron Mountain wedding photographer with 15 years experience.

Where it started

My love for photography started at a young age. Ever since I was a toddler I was always looking through my family’s wedding and family albums to the point my family hid them from me. Boo. But, my love for photos has carried with me until adulthood and became my career. See mom and dad? It was meant to be! In middle school I took my mom’s digital camera to school and took pictures of friends and then edited them on my computer later. I didn’t know what I was doing exactly, I was just having fun. Little did I know back then that I was in the beginning stages of something that would take off.

On Christmas in 2007 my mom and step dad gifted me my first DSLR camera and some accessories. It was a Sony DSLR-A100. I was a junior in high school at the time and I would practice on friends who would model for me and did some of my friend’s senior pictures. In 2008 a local photography studio was hiring a photo editor and I had some experience already and so I applied and got the job right away. In 09′ I graduated from Iron Mountain High School and was accepted to go to college at the Art Institute of Minneapolis but decided to stay at my current job for the hands on experience and I met the man who became my husband that summer.

Getting a taste of the industry

My job working at a studio didn’t even feel like work to me. I would edit galleries upon galleries of wedding photos and on the weekends would be an assistant photographer and got to see how weddings happened in real time. I was 18 at the time and it was all new to me, but I loved it. The beautiful dresses I got to see and how happy everyone was.. I knew it was something I wanted to do.

Starting on my own

In 2010 I started to get asked to do weddings and senior photos myself and stepped away from the studio I worked at to start on my own. I shot multiple weddings a year for only $500 each and it was such a big deal to me then. I eventually started my own Facebook page (my original page is now gone) which had over 1,000 followers at 20 years old which was very exciting. Though I was doing weddings and senior photography and doing relatively well, I was still working a full time job. I loved hair and makeup as well and wanted to see what I could do with that, so in 2015 I started cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell in Escanaba. I took a step back from photographing weddings temporarily but photographed princess events at the school and did some beauty work.

How cosmetology school helped me as a photographer

In ways I would have never suspected, my knowledge in cosmetology has made me a better wedding photographer. I have learned about the color wheel, what colors cancel each other out and what colors compliment each other. Knowing this has brought new life into how I see photos while editing. I also learned in depth about styling hair, what makeup is best for certain skin types and skin tones, etc. I have also helped brides with their hair and makeup on wedding days. It’s a career combination that I absolutely love and my clients I have helped have been thankful for me being able to help them.

Taking my career to the next step

After working in a salon for a couple years, I was asked to photograph my friend Victoria’s wedding. I have photographed a family member’s wedding while in cosmetology school, but I had mostly taken a step back since I had full time school as well as a full time job. But I was excited. I did her wedding and remembered how much I loved it and wanted to take things further.

Since I started photography in the early 2000s and technology changes so much I decided to take a leap and upgrade equipment and further education. When I started photography there was no online courses like there are now days. I registered and LLC under my married name, got business insurance, a client management program, a gallery delivery program and signed up for multiple courses in different categories of photography such as camera basics, lighting, locations, off camera flash, learning about consistency, posing, business and advanced portrait photography. I also opened a studio and hired two separate business coaches, one specifically for SEO and help with a successful website and then another coach about running a successful wedding business as well as invested in style guides, contracts and virtual second shooting with a highly sought after wedding professional.

My takeaway

In one year my expenses for equipment and education was over $45,000. Crazy! But every move I have made has been towards improving my work and value I can provide clients. I would not say my way of starting a professional business is easy or feasible for everyone. It has been a lot of work and an enormous investment but over time my craft will continue to improve.

One thing I would like to share with any photographer, whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, you never stop learning. Over 10 years in to my photography journey I never once thought I was where I could be. I invested and invested and will continue to do so to benefit all of my future clients.

Here are some photos of my work within my first year as Holly Selden Photography.

Follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hollyseldenphotography

Want to hire me? Go to my website at https://hollyseldenphotography.com/contact

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I'm Holly and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about my life, photography tips, beauty and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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