How To Start a Wedding Photography Business? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Wedding photographers play an important role in immortalizing the happiest day of people’s lives, aka the wedding day. In the USA, more than 2.4 million weddings occur each year. This means you will have multiple career opportunities as a wedding photographer.

After becoming a wedding photographer, you can make up to the $54,000 per year. You can either work for a company or start your own photography business.

Before you start the journey of establishing your business, make sure to check this guide and learn how to start a wedding photography business. It will help you explore your opportunities, set up your wedding photography business, and expand it on a higher level.

Types of Wedding Photography

Photography vastly depends on your vision. If you don’t know which photography style your idea matches, you will never be able to become a great photographer.

Therefore, it is important to understand your photography style to truly excel in your career. There are three significant types of wedding photography. Check out which one calls to your passion.

Traditional Wedding Photography

Traditional, conventional, or classic wedding photography style is the most popular among newlywed couples. It involves taking pictures of the bride and groom, their families, bridesmaids, and the wedding guests during the ceremony.

You will mostly instruct the wedding party to make different poses in particular places or in front of specific backdrops. These photographs are staged and end up as beautiful and timeless shots.

Contemporary Photography

Contemporary photography is a specific type of wedding photoshoot that only focuses on taking aesthetic pictures of the bride and groom away from the wedding party. To successfully stage these photos, you have to take inspiration from fashion and editorial magazines.

Compared to traditional photography, these shots are more relaxed, as you focus more on lighting and angles. Moreover, your main goal is to capture the vision and artistic vibe of the event.

Candid Photography

Candid photography is the new and refreshing retake of contemporary photography. In this type of photo shoots, your shots should capture emotions and artistic composition to unfold the storyline of the big day.

Another factor that separates candid and contemporary photography is that candid pictures are taken naturally without the knowledge of the subject. You will have to keep a sharp eye to make sure you don’t miss any moments that can turn into perfect candid shots.

Reportage Photography

Reportage, also known as documentary photography, is a new addition to the world of wedding pictures. It was primarily used in journalism to document events, but now newlyweds couples also use this to preserve their memories.

In this photoshoot approach, you have to document the entire event unobtrusively. Meanwhile, the images should also have a strong narrative. You can take candid as well as formal shots that show the genuine emotions of the wedding party.

However, it is better to refrain from taking formal shots because you have to blend in the background and capture the interactions and moments that make the wedding day more unique.

How To Start/Grow a Wedding Photography Business?

You need to take certain steps to ensure your wedding business starts strong and stays successful in the future. So, use this guide to understand how to start your wedding photography business.

01. Learn the Ropes

The first thing to do before launching your wedding photography business is to learn the ins and outs of the industry. This will help you find your market and understand how you can make your photography business unique. In addition, you will be spared from making major mistakes that can harm your business and stop it from growing.

02. Take Photography Courses

Everybody can take pictures with a camera. However, to bring the skill to the professional level, you must be capable of noticing the smallest details and beautifying even the simplest things through the camera lens. These skills can only be attained and polished through photography classes.

Learning from a professional photographer will improve your technical skills such as:

  • Photogenic vision development
  • Lenses types and their usability
  • Filter application
  • Depth perception
  • Practice light capture
  • Picture organization according to the narrative
  • Picture editing

03. Buy a Wedding Photography Gear

Wedding gear is the essential thing to buy when becoming a professional photographer. You need personal gear, whether doing a job, working as a second photographer, or running your own gig.

Moreover, photography equipment is a long-term investment, so buy reliable and good-quality equipment instead of looking at low-grade options. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive gear. You can invest in an affordable crop sensor camera, macro lens, zoom lens, flash diffuser, and a computer with good editing software.

You should also buy a micro SD card that is connected to the cloud server to ensure everything is backed up on the drive. This way, if you accidentally lose the SD card, you can still access the pictures through the cloud.

04. Gain Experience

To become a professional photographer, you need to gain proper experience. You can do this by working independently or apprenticing for a skilled wedding photographer. This will give you an idea of what to expect on a wedding shoot and how to manage it properly.

These are some of the effective ways you can step up into the professional world of wedding photography:

Work as A Second Shooter:

Your job as a second shooter will be to cover the parts of events that the primary photographer cannot capture. For example, when the primary shooter is taking pictures of the bride and groom sharing the vows, you can capture shots of the rest of the wedding party and their reactions to the beautiful moment.

Conduct Engagement Photoshoots:

Engagement photography sessions are a nice opportunity to get a glimpse into how wedding photoshoots are conducted. You can learn how to stage different poses and manage everything on time in the excitement of the event.

Cover A Relative’s Wedding:

If there is a wedding happening in your family or friend circle, you can ask them to let your cover the photography of the event. This will help you polish your skills and gain experience.

Part-Time Job or Freelancing:

You can take a part-time job or freelancing gig to start covering wedding events. You can slowly transition into a full-time photographer and open your photography business from this exposure.

05. Make a Portfolio

A photography portfolio consists of your best work, as you need to showcase it to potential clients. Based on your portfolio, your future clients will decide whether or not you have the skills to cover their wedding shoots.

In short, your wedding photography skills and artistry is judged and proven on the basis of your portfolio. Therefore, only include the highest quality images that can instantly impress the client.

06. Register Your Business

Now that you have all the tools to start your business, it is time to legalize your photography setup. First, think of a unique name to represent your business. Second, decide how much you will charge per session or per hour. Third, create an LLC or declare yourself as a sole proprietor.

Fourth, get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and set up your business finances. Don’t forget to make a tax strategy. At last, insure your photo business to cover the cost of accidents and damages.

Once these steps are done, contact your previous clients to inform them of your wedding photography business. You can also use social media to promote your setup and reach new clients.

Wrapping Up

Starting a business in the wedding photography industry is a great career choice. While establishing your business, you can choose from different photography styles and make them a distinctive part of your company. Once you know the direction you want to take, use this guide to start your journey of starting your photography enterprise.