I get asked this almost every week by beginners. If you are truly serious about making money by taking pictures, this is my best advice:
Do it for free…
Ask anyone and everyone you know if they would like to have their picture taken. Get shots of them, their family, their friends, their dogs, cats, monkeys. Become a photographer fool….hey its digital….if the shot doesnt work out, delete it. Chances are, unless its a special event your friends wont care. If the shots work out, they will be thrilled and recommend you to their friends.
Your skill will develop with practice, with practice comes experience, with experience comes intuition that is irreplaceable on a big shoot. This intuition is why some wedding photographers make it and some dont. You will not have time to think about camera settings during the wedding. It must become second nature.
I promise you, that as you do these free shoots, eventually your “clients” will start offering you money.
I still shoot for free a few times a month, just because I feel good to offer it as service. Its a wonderful thing, but, yes, that is the best way to start:
Shoot for free…