Wedding photography is probably one of the most profitable photo niches today. Why? Consider the glam of such events and how much couples spend on having those unforgettable moments captured by a pro. Is being a good professional enough? I don’t think so. That is why I have put together a few things that will change your perspective on how to make money with photography in 2015. Learn how to value yourself as a wedding photographer.
How to Make Money as a Wedding Photographer
Learn to Value Yourself
Being a wedding photographer is no easy business. One of the hardest things about this job is the attention clients pay to etiquette and business image. Being professional in your studio is not enough. Looking professional is key. As a tip, make sure you dress smart for the occasion.
So, being great at photography and being good at business is equally important. How to make money with photography? You first need the look of a trusted, enthusiastic and professional photographer.
Regardless if you are an experienced photographer or a professional at the beginning of his/ her career, planning is essential for a successful wedding shooting. There are so many unexpected things that can overturn your expectations anyway, so why not be as prepared as possible? Here is a short list of things to consider:
- Contact the bride and groom (or their wedding planner) prior to the photo shooting, not only to discuss business aspects, but mostly to create a connection. It is essential to get to know who you are shooting for in order to meet their needs and preferences. Remember that the happy bride will sign you the check eventually.
- Rent photo equipment in case your current gear is not sufficient to perform a great job.
- Prepare yourself for a few harsh hours of work. A wedding shooting can jump up to 15-20 hours of continual focus and mental effort. Hydrate yourself and make sure you take a snack with you. There will be plenty of drinks and foods at the reception, but it is better to have something to boost your energy as time will be precious.
- Think of the wedding as to a story in images. Even if this is a tip I would recommend to beginners, try to envision how the photo album will look like. What are the key-moments you need to shoot? What can you add to it so that it would make it fabulous? Create a list with the shots that you must include, and be creative
- Consider the post-processing phase too. How long it will take until you deliver the final results? Be careful with your commitments and realistic about pricing.
- Pay attention to the couple’s loved ones as well. Pleasing a wide range of people participating in the wedding makes for more referrals to help you enhance your presence on the market.
Get a Second Shooter
What is a second shooter? Well, any big wedding requires more than a single photographer. As I have already provided tips for second shooters, I believe it is the right time to put together a few pieces of advice for the ‘protagonist’.
Weddings are exhausting. That is why it is important to maintain a positive attitude, especially when you need to team up with another professional. The better the connection, the better the photographs.
Even if you are the main shooter, it doesn’t mean that the other photographer cannot express his or her own vision. No matter if you know each other well or not, try to establish an effective communication from the start. Show him how your portfolios look like, how you organize gear, and how photos will be taken without affecting the general style. Ask for his opinion and value his or her contribution.
Upgrade Your Pricing Packages
Do you have the charm, the skill, the energy, and also the best pricing packages? Then making money as a photographer shooting weddings is as easy as pie. However, the truth is that it needs time. Your skills and knowledge will developed with every experience. That is why I want to share with you a few things that have done the trick for me.
First, remember that as a wedding photographer you sell experiences, not just quality images. The final results matter, but what matters most is the memories you offer to the happy couple. A natural attitude and a more personal approach to your job will help you build a loyal clientele that will return to your services for the person you are.
Also, build a style rather than going with trends. Listen to your creative voice. Clients will hire you for your uniqueness.
Second, try to customize your wedding packages. Bring to the table as many options as you can:
- Include a free engagement session (it will help you build the connection with the couple).
- Think of an online gallery they can share with friends afterwards (free advertising).
- Consider an incredible Trash the Dress session as well.
Third, don’t keep your prices low if you know you can deliver best photo services and customer experiences. How to make money with photography? Don’t sell cheap. Your work is valued and valuable.
Add Something Special
There’s always something unique you can do for your clients. Whether you add something new and memorable to the photo album or you surprise the bride and groom with an impromptu video, don’t be afraid to stand out of the ordinary. The beauty of digital photography and other tech advancement is that it offers so many possibilities to boost with creativity and deliver quality pics in a matter of minutes.
If you want to add brightness and other glowing effects to your wedding photography, you might find my editing tips useful. However, I would definitely go for the second option. Create an impromptu wedding video or simply an amazing slideshow, comprised of memorable moments you have captured that day. Show it to the happy couple and their loved ones by the end of the wedding reception. What to include:
- Shots taken prior, during, and after the ceremony.
- Images of key-moments: pics with the happy couple at the altar, pics with the bride and her mom, the groom and his best men etc.
- Group photos.
- Candid photos of funny moments.
- Emotional reactions of wedding participants.
You can include other innovative elements in your wedding photography packages, such as the possibility to shoot their honeymoon, or transform their favorite photos in fancy canvas gallery wraps.
Smile. Enjoy Every Moment.
Finally, wedding photography is hard business, but it’s also a joyful experience. Don’t forget to smile and enjoy every single moment.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post on how to make money with photography in 2015. For any questions, ideas, suggestions, or experiences you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment. Until next time, wish you all good luck and happy shooting!