So, my friend you want to know how to become a wedding photographer? Well, get ready for an incredible journey! Right now I am on my laptop, tapping away on my keyboard, thinking where to start. I feel like I have so much to share with you, so many tips, tricks, and experiences that I want to pass on.
Let’s just say that being a wedding photographer is not only about taking pretty pictures, it’s also about being organized, creative, and having great people skills. I will talk more about this aspect later on, but for now, let’s talk about what makes a wedding photographer successful.
This is a question I get asked a lot, and honestly, it’s not an easy answer. There isn’t just one path to becoming a successful wedding photographer. Some may start as hobbyists, others might go to photography school or take online courses, while some may have no formal training at all.
Ah, the good stuff! Here are 7 key steps that will help you on your journey to becoming a wedding photographer:
Please know, I will not talk about having good equipment or being technically proficient with a camera. That’s a given, and you should have that covered before even considering becoming a wedding photographer.
So, I leave that to you to practice and master. Now, let’s dive into the key steps:
As a wedding photographer, you are an artist with a unique eye. Your clients will choose you for your style and vision, not just because you have a fancy camera or know how to use it. I really really really cannot emphasize this enough.
Finding your style takes time and experimentation. Play with different lighting, angles, compositions, and editing techniques until you find what speaks to you. This will not only make your work stand out but also help attract the kind of clients that resonate with your style.
You know what they say, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” Let’s say that in this context, “Your style attracts your ideal clients.”
Networking! Hear it loud and clear. “Networking.”
It might sound like a cliché, but it’s true. Building relationships and connections with other professionals in the wedding industry is crucial for success as a wedding photographer. Attend conferences, workshops, and events to meet fellow photographers, planners, venues, and vendors. These could lead to referrals or collaboration opportunities that can benefit your business.
I have been in wedding business for decades and believ you me, people prefer hiring professionals recommended by colleagues or friends.
It’s obvious, who would want to have a new photographer on their most precious day of life? So, make sure people know you! Make sure your name is out there! Make sure you have a fabulous network of wedding industry professionals who know and trust your work.
I strongly believe this is one of the best ways to gain experience and learn the ins and outs of wedding photography. Assisting doesn’t mean carrying equipment or fetching coffee, it means shadowing a professional photographer during an actual wedding shoot. You will get hands-on experience, learn about client interactions, lighting techniques, and more.
Did I say it helps with connections? Yes, it does! You might even get hired by the photographer you are assisting if they need a second shooter for future weddings. lf I am working with you, you are bound to learn few things.
No experience? No worries! You can still create a portfolio by doing styled shoots, offering free photo sessions to friends and family, or attending photography workshops where models are provided for practice shoots. Your portfolio showcases your work and gives potential clients an idea of your style and capabilities as a wedding photographer.
“Your portfolio is your visual resume.”
Make sure you have a strong and diverse portfolio that represents your brand and attracts the type of clients you want to work with. Update it regularly, and be selective in what you showcase. Quality over quantity always!
I even recommend creating a separate portfolio specifically for weddings. This way, potential clients can easily see your experience and skills in wedding photography.
Are you on Instagram? Facebook? Pinterest? TikTok? Having a strong online presence is crucial for wedding photographers. This is where potential clients will search for you and get a feel of your work and personality.
“Your online presence should reflect your brand.”
Create an eye-catching website with a gallery, about page, pricing information, and contact form. Be active on social media platforms and engage with your audience. Share behind-the-scenes photos and stories, and post consistently. Also, don’t forget to ask for reviews or testimonials from happy clients to showcase on your website and social media.
Right now, the blog you are reading is on my site. How do you see it? What does the site convey? What message do you get from it?
Thats how important it is to maintain an online presence that accurately reflects your brand and attracts potential clients.
As I mentioned earlier, some wedding photographers have no formal training while others might attend photography school or take online courses. Whatever path you choose, remember to always invest in education. There is always something new to learn in the constantly evolving world of photography.
Education is the key to staying updated with the latest techniques, equipment, and trends. This will not only improve your skills as a photographer but also help you stand out in a competitive market. Even the senior-most professionals in the industry continue to seek education and mentorship.
being a good photographer and being a good business owner are two different things. As a wedding photographer, you not only have to worry about taking beautiful photos but also managing contracts, finances, marketing, and client relationships.
It’s important to have basic knowledge of marketing strategies, and client management in order to run a successful wedding photography business.
People don’t realize this but running a business requires a whole different skill set. So, make sure you educate yourself on the basics of managing a photography business or consider hiring an accountant, marketing professional or virtual assistant.
But I still suggest learning the basics of business management yourself so that you have a better understanding of your own business and can make informed decisions.
The hardest part! Being passionate and committed to your craft is what will keep you going through the challenges of being a wedding photographer. It’s not an easy job, but if you truly love it and are dedicated to constantly improving, then it will all be worth it in the end. Your passion will also reflect in your work, attracting clients who value and appreciate your dedication.
“Passion is what drives us to excel.”
Sometimes, you will have to work long hours, deal with difficult clients, and face unexpected challenges. But if you have a deep love for wedding photography, these obstacles will only make you stronger and more determined to succeed.
So continue to fuel your passion and never stop learning and growing as a wedding photographer. The journey may not be easy, but the end result of capturing beautiful memories for couples on their special day will make it all worthwhile. You have the potential, now go out there and make it happen!