January 7, 2019
So, you’re wanting to be a wedding photographer? I don’t blame you, it’s a pretty awesome gig. Be prepared for a lot more work than just a pretty picture here and there, though. I think being a wedding photographer is extremely underrated…. but I could also be biased, ha! There’s so much more that goes into it than any other kind of photography. Not to mention, it’s like THE most important day of someones life we’re documenting…. kind of a big deal. You have the interest and are comfortable with your camera / settings, but how do you even begin with weddings?
First things first…. if you’re a photographer who’s just starting in photography in general (no regular paying clients, very minimal shoots, still learning camera settings) then weddings is NOT the place to start. Instead: Learn, Learn, Learn. This isn’t something you have to rush into. The best people don’t become the best overnight. Give yourself time to really learn the basics and do lots of research on how to work your camera to make sure you’re 100% comfortable in any sort of situation. Practice shoots with friends / family, take workshops + do mentoring with established photographers and research online!
This part could truly be an entire blog on its own, so I’ll make a blog about marketing for your ideal client another time. Just some quick tips here –
We all know that marketing can make or break any business. Using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, your website, Snapchat and others is SO important. When you’re just starting in business, getting your name out in the world is one of the most important things. Create all the business pages + hire a professional to design a great website to highlight your portfolio. Potential clients will want to see your skill and you need to be readily available to show them on multiple platforms + use the platforms to draw new potential clients in consistently. Keeping your social media accounts updated daily with your work and keeping your website up to date is a great way to stay fresh and help your business get a good start!
Network with other photographers in your area and offer to second shoot for them. If they’re willing to allow you to tag along, you will definitely learn a thing or two about how shooting wedding a goes. If you’re anything like me, I learn hands on. Working with other photographers when I first started out (even just as an assistant) was extremely helpful and a way to break into the wedding world. If someone chooses to allow you to come along, soak in all the information you can! You’ll have the ability to use your awesome skills at a wedding without being fully in charge which will eventually build confidence in you before venturing out on your own. Practice makes perfect!
Lighting Training |
This is one of the most important parts of being a wedding photographer. Can you take beautiful naturally lit photos outdoor? Great. What about those really dark wedding receptions? Or shooting in any other “not ideal” lighting? It’s important to not only be prepared gear wise, but be confident enough in your lighting skills to properly photograph all parts of a wedding from start to finish. Just like you’d learn anything else, if this is something you struggle with, take a workshop or do some online training. Knowledge is key!
I talk about the importance of contracts A LOT because they’re totally necessary. Get a good contract and even have a lawyer look it over to confirm you’ve covered your basics. This isn’t something to skip out on or just use a random agreement on, it needs to be something that will totally and completely cover you + your clients. Do not preform any services without a contract in place.
Backup + Storage |
As I’ve mentioned and as you already know, we’re talking about photographing the biggest day of someones life. This means it’s incredibly important to use the proper care with the images after you’ve photographed the wedding. My usual process for this is uploading all RAW files into a folder and saving them two different places (I’m extra careful)! Use an external hard drive to back up the images and NEVER remove images from a memory card until it’s been delivered. Hold on to those original files on the back up drive for safe keeping. Do not trust technology enough to keep them safe in one spot. Things happen all the time beyond our control so it’s best to be prepared!
Always make sure to bring more than you think you’ll need. Extra batteries, chargers, memory cards, flashes and any gear.
Client Expectations |
Stay in contact with your clients. Allow them to get to know your style + ask any questions they need to. I usually meet with clients multiple times before a wedding or chat via phone to go over their specific wants and needs. Every couple is different and it’s important to know what each one of yours will expect from you + what’s most important for them. Create a list of their “must need” shots + a timeline and keep both with you the day of the wedding.
Weddings can be intimidating for a new photographer, but take it easy! There’s absolutely no rush. Remember to learn all that you can and be your authentic self. I hope these tips helped! Xo