William has been a RAW reader for sometime now, and finally sent me an email with his website and flickr details one think lead to another adn here we go.
Tell us a little about yourself?
William Chik, wedding and portrait photographer here in Norman, OK. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and I came to this awesome country almost 8years ago. I am currently a full time wedding and portrait photographer.
What made you get into photography?
“Photography seems interesting and that camera looks AWESOME” – No joke. That’s what was really on my mind when I first saw my good friend Lenin Glass showed up with his Canon 20D. Before that, I didn’t even own a point-shoot camera. I remember being yelled at by a photographer at a wedding when I was still young because I saw dust on his lens and I tried to wipe it off with my finger – LOL. Many years later, I played with Lenin’s camera, I fell in love with photography right away. November 2008, I bought my first DSLR – a Canon 450D.
How did you get started?
I worked at a restaurant for five years and every day, I dealt with food, people, money, payrolls, and health department. I have no artistic background and I even failed my art class in high school. So when I first started it was a little hard. I kept taking pictures and learned step by step. On the other hand, Lenin helped me a lot. He taught me everything he knew, and he let me tagged along when he had photoshoots. The rest was history.
What really got me into the wedding photography would be these bridal pictures. I shot these 6 months after I bought my 450D when I helped Lenin at a bridal session. I knew wedding photography would be a career for me since then.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Weddings and glamour portraits. I have a Model Mayhem account so I shoot with models quite often. I make money from that but not as much as weddings. I shoot models mostly because I can practice my lighting and do some fun stuff.
What gear are you using?
I’m a Canon shooter.
2 Canon 5D’s
70-200mm 2.8 IS
580EX II Speedlites
PocketWizard PlusII, Mini TT1, Flew TT5
BlackRapid DR-1 (if you are a dual body photographer like me then you should really get this)
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I love all my lenses because they cost money =D
I use my 70-200mm 2.8 IS a lot. It’s like a 50mm 1.4 with zoom. I would love to have an 85mm 1.2 II in future.
How are you marketing yourself?
To be honest, I’m still experimenting how to market my self. One thing for sure is social networks like Facebook work great. Word of mouth is also very effective.
What’s your favorite photo you have taken?
It’s a hard decision. I love all my wedding couples and I just don’t know which is my favorite. How about a couple of my favorite local models that I worked with?
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
I am proof that having no background in arts is not needed to create beautiful images. You just have to have passion for the art and have fun while doing it. For those who want to get into wedding photography business, I suggest you to talk to local wedding photogs for 2nd shooting opportunities. Posting ads on Craigslist and charging $500 to shoot a wedding is not really what you want to do. You won’t be able to learn much from the stress of the wedding day. You have to spend money to make money so invest in good equipment. Attending good workshops to keep you in trend and educated. Last but not least, be confident and humble. There are many new talents out there so keep learning and stay ahead of the game.