Starting a Wedding Photography Business: What You Need to Know
Have you thought about becoming a wedding photographer? If you’ve been thinking about starting a wedding photography business, this article will help you determine if this is the right path for you. Read on to learn some steps to get you started in the right direction.
I have been a wedding photographer for over a decade. Few people can say that they are working with clients on the best day of their life. And few people can tell important stories of love, family and ritual.
On the other hand, wedding photography can be stressful and filled with expectations. There’s also giving up your weekends and twisting your body into unnatural positions to get the shot. But talk about an endless well for creativity and inspiration to keep growing as a creator and a person.
Should you start a wedding photography business?
You should start a wedding photography business if you want to be a professional photographer, run your own business, and enjoy serving couples by creating both great images and a great experience. If you don’t want to run your own business, you might consider working for someone else. If you don’t want to serve couples, you can consider another type of photography.
Here is the good news. I don’t think you have to like every aspect of a wedding. You just need to love the same aspects of marriage as your client.
You will find as you dive into the world of wedding photography that there are a variety of styles and many genres. There are as many types of wedding photographers as there are types of bride and groom.
Here are what I think are useful things to consider when deciding if you want to start a wedding photography business. Despite its appearance online, it’s not always glamorous. It’s hard work both technically and creatively.
Reasons to Say Yes to Starting a Wedding Photography Business
If you are excited about the following, consider starting a wedding photography business.
- You will be a better photographer and businessperson if you care about your clients. I think we should all take that into consideration, regardless of our career path, but maybe that’s just me.
- It can be stressful and overwhelming at first, but any new challenge is. You will improve by gaining experience and learning the most important tasks.
- Don’t think about it too much. Keep it simple. I suggest you start slow and relax so you don’t get into debt or overwhelm yourself with expectations.
- You will need to improve your skills in photography and learn more about light. Wedding photography will force you into many situations, so it’s best that you come prepared to handle them all.
- Choose a goal. Wedding photography is complex and becoming more and more competitive. Don’t expect to be an expert right away.
What are the most important steps?
So, have you decided to start a wedding photography business? Where are you going from here? Let’s break it down and start with a few simple steps.
- Make it official and you’ll start seeing opportunities everywhere. Start by filing a DBA, creating a website, and opening a bank account.
- Find customers. Next comes marketing and growing your business.
- Take photos. Experience is the best way to improve, so go ahead and shoot.
- Learn photography. Beyond experience, you will need to learn techniques and how to understand light.
- Learn the business. You don’t know what you don’t know. But you will learn it one way or another!
Here’s a video that dives into these five simple steps to jump start your wedding photography business.
How do you market and develop?
As you have seen, one of the most important steps in starting your business is finding customers. There is no business without someone paying you for your services. As you learn more about marketing, you’ll discover countless proven methods that guarantee quick success.
Don’t fall into the trap. Know yourself, your values and your budget, and develop a marketing plan that works for you. Marketing is both a short game and a long game.
My marketing plan recommendation is as follows,
- Serve customers well. References are often the best leads.
- Build your brand. Know who you are and who you want to serve.
- Drive traffic to your business. Use various methods to generate traffic. Maybe it’s social media, SEO, or pounding the pavement and going to bridal shows.
- Convert that traffic. Once you’ve marketed your business, have a plan for how you’re going to turn leads into jobs.
To learn more about these wedding photography marketing steps, watch this video.
Once you get started, you need to keep growing, growing your business, and building your photography skills.
Have the right mindset. As a wedding photographer capturing this important day in people’s lives, how do you see your work and your purpose? How will you stay calm on stressful days?
From there, you continue to grow your business. You can and should continually refine things about your marketing plan and where you’re headed, what’s working and what’s not.
The best part of this business is that you can continuously develop your photography skills. Once you master family photos, you can learn how to photograph the sunset. Once you’ve mastered capturing moments, you can focus on creative portraits.
The more you know and become familiar with weddings and your equipment, the less you worry about these details and the less you focus on creativity.
Ready to start?
On your marks, get set, click! Being independent has its challenges, but it also has freedoms. Developing a wedding photography business can be fun and rewarding.
I hope you listen to your heart because marriages are about love. You don’t have to worry about cakes and centerpieces, but loving love is a great place to start. I look forward to watching you and your business grow!