Are you trying to find ways of making money with your camera? Compared to most photographic fields, wedding photography is probably one of the easiest to get started professionally on a part time or even full time basis. Potential clients will be in your local area and initially you can probably start with a basic DSLR kit including standard zoom lens and powerful flashgun. Most freelance photographers have started out making money by covering weddings. Some have gone on to establish very lucrative businesses in wedding photography. Others have used it as a starting point or stepping stone toward venturing into other fields.
There are two skills the photographer must master in order to succeed in wedding photography.
- Photographic Skills: You must have the ability to take high quality photographs both indoors and out.
Quality photography requires technically perfect images; they have to be sharp, perfectly exposed and have a balanced composition of all the elements within the frame. The subject(s) should fill the frame with few distracting details such as messy backgrounds and poor posing/positioning of people. So check all the elements within the image before firing the shutter
- Communications Skills: The photographer must have good skills in managing people and crowd control.This area of photography means dealing with large groups of people on a regular basis. Therefore your “people skills” is as much a factor in the success of your wedding photography abilities as the finished photographs. If you are normally shy and reserved, this may not be the best use of your photographic talent.
A common start is by photographing family and friends weddings. This way of starting out is not necessarily the ideal scenario as too much familiarity with your subjects may not give you the authority needed to get the poses right.
If your family or friends are fully aware of your lack of experience and you are properly prepared for the task, there shouldn’t be any problems. It would be advisable not to charge when dealing with your first wedding when using your nearest and dearest as “guinea pigs”. A good idea would be to give the photographs as a wedding present.
Weddings are expensive propositions and the photography side is also a major expense for many young couples. Professional photographers may well be out of the budget, which is where the amateur photographer comes in.
A successful wedding photography business will not happen overnight. It is common for couples to book weddings up to one year in advance, and you need to get your name around. However, with patience and perseverance you can turn it into a good way of earning an extra income and possibly a full time career in the future.
Marketing Your Skills
The best advertising for the wedding photographer can’t be paid for in cash at any price – word of mouth. The success of one wedding will undoubtedly lead to others. Your market will be in your local area. With each wedding you are commissioned to do, you will find a snowball effect begin to appear, as more will approach you if your work is good or unique in some way.
Advertising your services in the local press and/or opening a local studio is another approach. It is best however to do just a few weddings before you go full time. Wedding photography is an acquired taste and doesn’t suit everybody. If you have rushed ahead and accepted a large number of weddings then discover after the first few that it isn’t for you, you may end up leaving a lot of people down.
If you want to know more about how to take top quality wedding photographs, and start a successful wedding photography business, enroll today in our Wedding Photography Course.