Wedding Photography: The Comprehensive Guide For Making Money
Last Updated on October 21, 2021
What is the Business of Wedding Photography All About?
In the Wedding Photography industry, wedding photographers are interesting creatures. They get to capture the most important day in a couple’s life, watch them tie the knot, and then drown their sorrows in free bar beer when it’s all done with!
(The above was sarcasm, but I expect some wedding photographers are actually reading this).
Within any industry or profession are many different types of people that make up the workforce, each with unique personalities and motivations for doing what they do. Wedding photography is no different – some love it because it offers flexibility in their time management while others loathe the hours spent at work per day, still, others will focus on delivering wonderful art images whilst others aim for quantity over quality. shoot film, some digital; there are hundreds of different approaches to taking weddings.
But what is important about all wedding photographers is that they are entrepreneurs – meaning, they are self-employed individuals who run businesses (rather than work for someone else). The aim of this article will be to give you an overview of the basics of running a business like a wedding photographer – it isn’t complicated, but there are lots of things you need to think about!
The most common way to enter the wedding photography industry is through referrals. This can be either directly from a friend or family member, or indirectly from word of mouth. The more couples you photograph and the better you get at it, the more word will spread amongst people.
It is also possible for wedding photographers to gain new clients through advertising in local magazines and newspapers (depending on where they live), but most work comes via referrals.
If you’ve decided that wedding photography sounds like something that might interest you, keep reading and we’ll go through some of the things that are necessary for running this kind of business successfully! What type of gear should I buy? Probably one of your first major decisions within becoming a photographer is what do you want to photograph? Do you want to take portraits of people? weddings, events, landscapes? I’m not saying there is anything wrong with trying out different things but it’s important for you to stay focused on your decision and determine exactly what type of photography you want to become a specialist with.
What type of gear you should use?
Lens system vs single focal length lenses In general We recommend beginners try out both types – DSLR cameras tend to deal better with lens systems where you have a variety of different focal lengths available. The more expensive Canon and Nikon system lenses are also generally built to a higher standard. However, a good quality single focal length lens will be sharper at the center of the image than even an excellent quality zoom lens – so they can be worth it if you want top-notch sharpness from your camera body alone.
When you have decided on the type of gear that will work for you, don’t get caught up in what other people prefer! There is no right or wrong here, there are thousands of threads on forums debating DSLR vs Mirrorless cameras which system is better, but there is no universal answer – some cameras perform better in certain conditions while others excel in different areas, don’t get caught up in the hype surrounding marketing.
Lens compatibility. One of the nice things about being a photographer these days is how lens systems have become more universal than ever before. Lenses from my Canon cameras work perfectly fine on my Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, and vice versa – this makes sharing lenses between systems simple if you want to. This can be expensive for photographers who have invested a lot into their DSLR system but if you’re buying new gear then it shouldn’t put too much stress on your bank balance!
Aperture and Shutter Speed. Another ‘technical’ related decision is how much manual control do you need over your camera? The more you’re willing to configure on your own, the cheaper your equipment can potentially be. For example, if you go for a camera with aperture priority mode (where you set the aperture yourself) then this may save you money compared to one that allows full manual configuration of all settings since it’s essentially doing half the job for you already.
The absolute cheapest way to enter wedding photography is by choosing an automatic point-and-shoot digital camera – however, these won’t give you the highest quality images so I only recommend them if the cost is really tight! Most cameras will have some degree of automatic functionality but once again, don’t get caught up in what other people are saying – you’ll learn the most by experimenting for yourself!
How to Make More Money in your Wedding Photography Business with 4 Tips
There are many ways that you could make money as a wedding photographer. Some photographers offer a package to include a range of photographs on a CD, while others sell the images online through their own private websites or on services such as SmugMug or Zenfolio. You could also offer additional services such as album design and printing, delivery of photos on USB sticks or prints so that couples can decorate their homes with memories of their special day. Find out what works best for you!
You could also try selling your wedding images as stock photos, but how can you ensure that these images will sell?
Here are 4 tips from the Wedding Photo Business archives to help you make more money in your business:
1. Focus on Quality & Consistency
You might find that some couples only want low resolution watermarked previews of their photographs; while others might prefer you to supply all of their high-resolution images for immediate download or delivery on USB sticks. Get clear with what you offer and communicate this well with potential clients. Be consistent too; it is frustrating for customers when they can’t get hold of you or they don’t receive the service they paid for – especially when you are dealing with an important event like someone’s wedding day!
2. Understand your Costs & Charge accordingly
When you are pricing your services, it’s important that you don’t forget about the costs that go into running your business – for example, equipment costs and marketing expenses. It is all very well getting married couples to pay more for their photographs but you need to make sure that this amount adds up to an adequate salary too. Don’t be afraid to ask other professionals in the wedding industry what they charge so that you can get a good idea of how much an average bride should spend on photography for her special day.
3. Have a Plan B
It may seem obvious but weddings can be unpredictable even on the day itself. You will obviously do everything in your power to avoid problems while you are working, but it’s a good idea to think of an alternative solution if things do go wrong. For example; what will you do if there is poor lighting and this affects the quality of your images, or the bride and groom decide that they no longer want their romantic photographs taken outdoors? It’s also worth checking your equipment before you leave home just in case you require new batteries or someone accidentally spills orange juice over your camera!
4. Get Paid Before You Leave!
When you are dealing with cash transactions on somebody else’s wedding day it can be hard to keep track of how much money has come in. However, it is very important that you get paid for all services before you leave so both parties have clear expectations about what to expect. This way, you won’t end up chasing people for their payments months down the line which can be very stressful if they are difficult to get hold of or don’t appear to want to pay what you think your images are worth.
Remember that it takes time and effort to make sure that your business is financially secure, but the rewards should make it all worthwhile in the end!
Become A Successful Wedding Photographer By Following These Steps.
As a wedding photographer, you should use the following steps to become successful.
1) Researching your competitors
The first step is researching your competitors and understanding what separates you from them. If your photography style is similar to that of other photographers in the same area, it will be harder for you to stand out because people can just go with whoever has a better price. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, try using different locations and poses for each photoshoot because these are things people can’t easily imitate. You could even hire professional body painters or makeup artists if needed.
The second step involves creating a website for yourself where potential clients can view your work before booking you as their wedding photographer. Saving time is important when a wedding so it’s best not to waste time on setting up a website. Just set one up for yourself through https://www.squarespace.com/ because it only takes 5 minutes to have your own website online.
Once you’ve created your website, market your work by providing free samples of your talent in the form of photos that are already taken. You can share these on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to get more people sharing them which eventually leads to great exposure for yourself as a photographer.
Another way to make sure people view your photography is by having a photo contest where they enter their details when uploading an image with them wearing wedding outfits or using things related to weddings in some way or another. This will help bring traffic to your site while also increasing your following. You can even offer discounts to those who shared your work with their friends so this will motivate people to do so.
3) Create an online shop
The Third step involves having an online shop where you display everything you have for sale which includes prints, photo books, or wedding albums. This is how you make money as a photographer but most people are discouraged from selling these things because it’s time-consuming and complex. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites that help streamline the process of selling photos online like https://picturelane.com/ which allows anyone to sell photos without worrying about anything else besides uploading them on their site’s server.
Lastly, learn about social media marketing because it’s one of the best ways to market any business online for free nowadays. People spend a lot of time on social media so you should use this to your advantage by having an online presence through accounts like Instagram and Twitter. You can share pictures from your photoshoots, have contests for followers, giveaways, and even connect with potential clients who are looking for a wedding photographer so they can contact you if they’re interested in hiring you.
Basically, all you need to do is research into how other photographers market themselves plus find out what separates you from them then put the tips mentioned above into practice. Doing this will definitely help your business grow successfully as long as you don’t give up.