We’re bringing you our next artist feature from the September winners of SLR Lounge Awards! These articles are meant to give the photography community insight on how our award winners created their business, grew their portfolio, and achieved excellence in the industry.
Irvin Sidhu, an award-winning wedding photographer based in Toronto, Canada, entered an award-winning image into our Awards submissions, earning an Apex Award in the Wedding Photojournalism category; he also earned a Summit Award for Wedding Portraiture in August. Let’s take a glimpse into his creative process and learn what tools and ideas have inspired him along the way.
1. What made you decide to focus on Wedding Photography?
Weddings are a busy time. Couples are busy with family, focused on the ceremony itself, and there are a lot of emotions going on. I love being behind the scenes and capturing all of those details and intimate moments that sometimes go unnoticed. These moments pass by so fast that photography allows the couple to not only relive those moments but also see shots of moments that they didn’t realize were happening. Photography allows couples to look back at their wedding from a different angle, and the reactions I get when I give couples their images makes the whole process worth it.
2. Who are some of the people that you looked up when you entered the industry and why?
When I first started I used to look at everyone’s work and take certain aspects from photographers and apply it to my own. I would say the person that I looked up to the most is Kamal from The Guerrilla Clan. His work was very clean and his colours were very vibrant. What I mean by clean is that his images are always sharp, the colors in his pictures are beautiful, and the lighting in his photos, you always question how he gets it. The work that he was producing at the time no one could compare. So, I would sit down and study his shots along with other photographers and learn to create them myself.
3. How did you get your first paying client?
I started four years ago when I was 18 years old. That was when I worked for free for the first two years with a company. When I had built up my portfolio, I started posting Facebook ads of my website that showcased a few different weddings. A bride was looking for a good photographer at a budget price and a friend referred her to me, so she decided to go for it. The biggest thing you need is five different weddings in your portfolio. From there on, your customers need to find your work, so advertise everyday! No matter how good your work is, if no one can find you, you’re not getting hired.
4. Now that you are established, what is the key to your ongoing success?
I continue to improve every single day. After every image I take, I always critique it and work on getting better. I’m not satisfied with just taking pictures for the sake of it. It’s important to me to continue to grow and learn and improve. I found posting your work on Instagram is key! It is the most effective way for photographers to showcase their work to new clients.
5. Do you have a favorite accessory that you use to get the shot?
I don’t have a favorite accessory; I just always keep an eye out for the perfect moment to capture.
6. Describe your editing workflow.
All the images I take are backed up onto two different hard drives, culled in Photo Mechanic, and then later edited in Lightroom. Certain photos are edited in Photoshop. I usually use pixieset.com for online proofs while high resolution files are saved on a USB set.
See more of Irvin’s work on his Website & Facebook page and view our latest SLR Lounge Award Winners here! Don’t forget to submit your images before October 31st to be considered for our October 2017 Award Winners!