Wedding Photography of Texas
When I started wedding photography, I was left with so many questions and nobody seemed to have the answers. Where do I get a contract? Do I need insurance? How much do I charge? The goal behind this guide is to share everything that I learned along the way in the form of actionable steps to make it as easy as possible to get started in the business.
Wedding photography was the greatest stepping stone of my career. Because of it, I have been able to experience incredible things from contracting for the international toy companies, Fisher-Price and Mattel, to having my photos displayed on the cover of magazines, and much more to come.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of officially creating your business and sending final images to your couples. It will also cover every other small element of the procedure. I will offer the best advice and strategies that I have picked up over the years to make my company as profitable as it can possibly be, including one that has the potential to more than double the amount of money you make from each wedding.
These are the precise procedures that I used to start a business on the side while I was working a full-time job that brought me more than five thousand dollars every weekend. Enjoy!
Before you start wedding photography
Having your camera mastered is the most important first step.
It goes without saying that you need to first hone your skills with that camera to the point where you are proficient with it before you make the decision to launch a company that is predicated on your expertise with a camera. The success of your business will depend on your ability to use that camera. You have a responsibility to the brides and grooms whose weddings you photograph to document what is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime event for them and to guarantee that the memories are saved for as long as they live.
It feels like a lot of pressure for the simple reason that it is a lot of pressure, and this is for good reason. A huge portion of the justification for requesting such a large amount of money for a wedding is comprised of the stress and duties that come along with the job. Things move very quickly on the day of the wedding, so you need to be able to handle varying lighting situations, be able to modify the settings on your camera on the go, and be able to adapt when something isn't functioning properly. Learning how to use your camera effectively is the first and most important step you need to take in order to complete this whole procedure.
It is not a problem if you have not yet arrived at your destination; in fact, it is okay. Start by looking at some tutorials on YouTube, then put your camera to the manual mode and start shooting images of anything and everything that comes to mind. Any object that moves or is moving, any object that is either inside or outside, and any object that is still should be shot.
I take it you're fairly handy behind the lens then? Right now is the moment to make sure that all of your close friends and members of your family are aware of it. When you are just getting started in your endeavor, having a strong network of individuals who can personally testify for you and function as live ads will be a very helpful resource for you to have. You won't believe the quantity of referrals you can acquire from simply your personal relationships alone. Just wait until you see it. Sharing your images on the social media platforms you already use is the simplest approach to get the ball rolling on raising awareness. You want to be the first person that people think of whenever they hear of someone who needs photos taken.
You want to be known as the one who takes the best pictures. Maintain both the high quality and the constant standard. Bring your camera outside so it can get some fresh air and some workout. I used to bring my camera with me everywhere I went so that I would always have a cool photo to share on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I challenged myself to take at least one photograph that was shareable every single day for a whole year. It truly forced me to think outside the box and approach every scenario with an eye for good light and composition. From now on, consider your Instagram account to be your personal portfolio.
Your grid needs to be completed with your finest images in order to be considered complete. Do not share images on the internet if they are terrible. This is something that has to be said. If out of two hundred images you take, only two are any good, then post the two that are good and use the other 198 photos to teach yourself how to take better photos the next time. The following step that you need to do is to begin bringing up your new business endeavor in everyday conversation. Mention the fact that you are beginning a wedding photography business whenever you go to events, see your relatives for Thanksgiving dinner, or have casual conversations with your employees.
The purpose of this is to make sure that everyone you know is aware that you are going to be doing this and that you will most likely require some assistance. When people hear that their friends have recently gotten engaged, I've discovered that their friends and family actually get excited about the prospect of being able to provide a personal endorsement. Develop a following of ardent supporters who will sing your praises whenever the occasion calls for it. This is the first step in developing a strategy for long-term marketing.
Getting your Feet wet
When you first start out as a wedding photographer, there are a few steps that you need to take. First, there will be a little amount of studying, then there will be a very critical move involving networking, and finally, there will be something that is called second shooting. These stages will get you started with weddings and allow you to establish a portfolio, both of which will help you land your first gig as a wedding photographer or videographer.
Let's get into it. The Part Where You Study You need to get yourself comfortable with the ins and outs of what happens during a normal wedding day. Attending a wedding as a guest allows you to miss the majority of the action that takes place. There are significant occurrences to record over the entire course of the day. You'll want to have an idea of what a normal wedding looks like so that you can anticipate when particular events will take place, such as when you'll be putting on the dress, when you'll share your first kiss, and when your sweaty uncles will start dancing.
As you continue to photograph weddings and attend more of them, this is another skill that will come to you naturally. The more weddings you photograph, the easier it will be for you to transition smoothly from one function to the next during the day. You will be better prepared if you know which pieces of equipment you'll need to have available, when it is a good time to recharge batteries, when it is a good time to use the restroom, and so on. On the day of their wedding, a couple that has spent months organizing the ceremony and reception details need to have every detail committed to memory.
This is not the case. Throughout the course of the day, you will be asked by the couple, "What's next?" more times than you could possibly shake a lens cap at. Your knowledge will be essential in ensuring that the day goes according to plan and runs well. Networking Sign up for a Facebook account, search the site for local photography groups related to your region, and join as many of them as you can. Join a club that specializes in wedding photography in particular and be sure to introduce yourself to the members there. Start one if you can't find one that's specific to your region if you can't find one.
Conduct some research to identify area photographers that specialize in weddings, and then invite them to join your club. If you are a part of a strong group such as this one, it is possible that your company will start to pick up steam in as little as a year, however if you are not, you may have to struggle to create momentum for several years. Make it known to your new contemporaries in this group that you are just starting out and are seeking for any experience they can provide you. To gain your very first experience, you might have to ask to shadow with your camera for free; however, the end goal is to get employed as a second shooter for a paid position.
As your professional life grows, you will eventually be able to reap the benefits of referrals from these groups as well. The photography community has a strong emphasis on working together. When photographers are contacted about wedding days that they are already booked for, they will post in these groups in order to obtain referrals that they can then send along to the couple who contacted them. Commenting with a link to your website or portfolio is a simple approach to generate new traffic and obtain gigs without having to engage in any form of promotion.
Last but not least, the members of these groups represent a treasure trove of information that may be mined for wisdom from seasoned photographers operating in the market you serve. When you are faced with an unusual problem, you have the ability to seek guidance from a large network of people who may have experienced the same thing before. Are you interested in feedback regarding the design of your website? Are you having issues with your camera? Are you uncertain about how to price your services? The purpose of the group is to lend a helping hand.
A Second Shot Was Fired When photographing weddings, many photographers may bring in a second photographer to help shoulder the load of capturing all of the activities that take place throughout the day. It is common practice for the primary photographer to accompany the bride, bridesmaids, and other ladies getting dressed in the morning, while a second photographer travels immediately to the groom, his groomsmen, and other guys getting ready for the day. As the pre-shoot preparations are over, the photographers get back together to continue capturing pictures as a tag team for the rest of the day. The primary photographer will take the lead and provide guidance for the second photographer.
When you're just getting started, what advantages does it have to have a second shooter? The list is, to tell you the truth, so very long.
First, you get the opportunity to work at real weddings, where you may observe and learn from more experienced photographers. You will get the self-assurance necessary to take on weddings by yourself once you have gained the expertise that you may get from second shooting. You will learn how to pose, how to work efficiently through group photographs, how to manage your time effectively, where to station yourself during the ceremony, and everything else.
In addition, working with a variety of photographers will give you the opportunity to see how their tactics differ from those of one another, allowing you to select the approaches that you like the best and use them in your own enterprise. Second, you'll have the opportunity to earn money by acting as a second photographer. For my own needs, I upgraded some of my photography gear and utilized the rest of the funds to pay the costs associated with beginning my own business. There are a variety of tax advantages associated with reinvesting your profits back into your company, of course. I was wondering how much you charge for a day of second shooting. Second photographers have been paid anything from $200 to $500 for an entire day of photography by me, with an average of $350 for their services.
Stopping here is something that I could even suggest to some folks who are merely interested in beginning a side business. Just give it some thought. For the course of the summer, you could photograph two weddings on each weekend and bring in approximately $700 without having to deal with any of the headache associated with scheduling clients, shouldering the majority of the work load at the wedding, or even editing images.
You will have the opportunity to develop a wedding portfolio if you work as a second photographer, which is the third and last significant perk you will receive. This portfolio is going to be incredibly essential in the process of booking your first couple and all subsequent couples after that for the next several years. The primary factor that determines whether or not a couple chooses to work with a certain photographer for their wedding is the quality of the photographer's wedding portfolio.
I have heard of couples who blew their original budget by thousands of dollars in order to secure the services of a certain photographer because they were enamored with the work that the photographer had previously produced. If you have the kind of portfolio that partners can't help but fall in love with, the rest of the steps in this procedure will be a breeze.