How to Become a Wedding Photographer (9-Steps to Follow)

Do you want to become a wedding photographer? To start, a wedding photographer is someone who takes photos during the wedding.

Your job entails capturing emotional moments. Like when the groom first lays his eyes on the bride as she walks down the aisle. 

You will document the whole event from beginning to end. This will involve taking photos during pre-ceremony preparations, during the wedding, and at the reception. 

You’ll also take portraits of the couple and guests as needed. It also involves editing those photos and creating your online website so that you’re easy to find.

And doing outreach campaigns to get new clients and more. 

In this guide, you will learn how to become a wedding photographer and what it takes to be one.

How to Become a Wedding Photographer

By following these 9-steps below you can become a successful wedding photographer.

01. Self-assessment and Passion

Assess yourself first to figure out if this is something you want to do. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself;

Do you have time to commit to learning photography right now? Are you passionate about it? 

Is it something you see yourself doing long-term? And so on.

This will help you to think it through to see if photography is a good fit for you. One quick tell you’ll be a great photographer is a natural sensitivity to lighting.

As it will help you to know how lighting affects the subjects in your photos 

02. Educate Yourself and Get Photography Training

The next step is to educate yourself on photography. Do research on techniques, different styles, and skills you need to develop.

Then go into formal training, online or master classes with professional photographers (wedding photographers) 

This will help you grow faster and learn the ropes quickly. It will also save you time especially if you can find a mentor to help you along the process.

03. Build a Portfolio

This will become your online resume where you’ll showcase your work and where your contact information will reside. 

It will include;

A website: this is where you showcase your works(your best photos) and also one of the places where your services are listed.

This will be helpful later when you add a shop feature to your website. Potential customers will be able to order straight from your website.

The most important thing is you need to use all your legal documents for authenticity (Address, contact details etc).

You must need to link up  your website with your social media accounts (Instagram, facebook and twitter) for authenticity.

Social media: create a social media account where you showcase your photography skills. Post photos you’ve taken and build an audience with your work.

This will be fundamental in building your brand and in marketing yourself as a relevant authority. 

Also, prepare albums and prints featuring your best works to enhance your image as a professional wedding photographer. 

04. Invest in Equipment and Quality Gear

In this phase, you need to get equipment for your work. Like a good camera, a computer, lenses for your camera, a backpack to carry your equipment, etc.

Having good equipment will make your work easier and more seamless. 

Bad equipment on the other hand will frustrate your efforts of being a good photographer.

You will also need good software to edit your photos like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. This will help you fix errors or lighting in the photos in post-processing. 

It’s also good to have backup systems for your data and photos in case of an emergency. 

05. Getting Hands-on Experience

This is where you go out and start putting all the skills you’ve learned into action. This will help you refine your photography skills and get better with time. 

It’s a good idea to find a professional wedding photographer and become an assistant photographer. Mirroring them and learning the ins and outs of being a wedding photographer.

Helping you hone your skills into becoming a professional wedding photographer. Use this time to scout for venues, and get real-world experience.

06. Network with other Wedding Photographers

You can do this by joining online forums and communities where professional photographers hang out (Like photographycourse.com).

Attend seminars and webinars, as this will help you network with other professional photographers where you can learn a lot more. 

Go to in-person meetups and establish yourself on social media, especially Instagram.

Most professional photographers have seen great success on Instagram like @BKstreetart who has over 120k followers as of now.

This will help you gain a solid reputation as a professional wedding photographer. You can check out this list on pixpa.com for more examples on communities worth joining or following.

07. Submit the Best Wedding Photos to Magazines and Blogs

Wedding Photography Images

Aim to get featured on popular wedding blogs by sending your best works to wedding magazines like Green Wedding Shoes, Junebug Weddings, The Anti-bride,etc.

This will help you to set yourself apart as a professional photographer in your niche. 

It also acts as a marketing avenue where you can easily direct people to reputable magazines where your work is featured.

You’ll build trust with potential customers more easily with this in place. As it makes it easy for people to trust your ability when you’re featured on these platforms. 

08. Create a Client Base

Do this by building a client outreach program that’ll help you to target and convert new clients.

You can start by checking out your friends or people you know who are about to get married and offer them your services.

From there you can market yourself on your social media channels by posting your best works.

Also, add links to your posts that will direct your potential customers to your services page. 

09. Setting Your Prices

As you’re learning the ropes, you’ll need to know how to set your prices. Depending on your region and the going rate in the city you’re in.

One thing to remember is to always factor in your profit margins. Don’t charge too low and give yourself a headache when you want to raise your prices. 

And not too high that you have to explain yourself. Do research and fall right in the middle and work from there.

Pricing ranges from an average of $45,000 – $100,000 per year depending on the region. So be sure to check the average median in your region. 

As you build your brand, you can readjust as needed

FAQ

How profitable is wedding photography?

Depending on location and the niche you’re in it’s possible to make up to 6-figures a year.

The Alaska state of North America ,where you can earn more than $2000 weekly and make it up to 6-figures in a year.

Is wedding photography difficult?

Although wedding photography is demanding and requires a lot of patience. Just like any other venture, it will require dedication and time to make work.

How much money does it require to start a photography business?

On average, you’ll need $10,000 – $15,000 to start a photography business.

Here’s a cost breakdown for what you’ll need;

  • Up to $2,000 for 2 professional cameras.
  • Multiple lenses and flashes can go for over $1,000 each.
  • A good laptop goes up to $2,000.
  • And other expenses like memory cards, external SSDs, a business license, etc

It’s advisable to keep things simple in the beginning and hustle to buy the appropriate equipment as you get more gigs. 

Where do wedding photographers make most of their money?

In terms of region Alaska, Oregon, North Dakota, Massachusetts and Washington are the top 5 states in the US where a wedding photographer earns the most money.

Here is the list of some factors that affect for high wedding photography prices in ALASKA state.

  • Lifestyle in Alaska
  • Limited competition due to remote region
  • Natural beauty of the industry during wedding season

How many hours is enough for wedding photography?

Here are the timelines depending on your type of wedding.

  • For elopement wedding 1-2 hrs
  • For micro weddings 4-5 hrs
  • For a full wedding of 51-150 guests 8-10 hrs 
  • For a full wedding with 151-300 guests 10-13 hrs

In conclusion

A wedding photographer’s job is to capture the story of the couple through your lenses. 

To document their best moments from the time the couple first saw each other, to the exchanging of the vows, to putting the rings on their fingers, etc.

This is how you become a wedding photographer, you take the raw materials(the photos) and transform them into perfection. You have seen how a photographer’s work goes beyond just taking photos. 

As you learn the scope of the job you’ll also be one of the best wedding photographers out there.