Tip #: Set Your Prices So You Can Live
One of the BIGGEST MISTAKES of any small business owner is setting prices just based on what you feel people will pay you OR when comparing your service with someone else.
Lets face it if youre wondering what to charge, youre probably starting off by looking through Pricing pages of other already established wedding photographers. The thought process probably goes like thisIf they can charge that much money, so can I!
Reality is very different and your prices should reflect your personal reality.
This starts with setting prices that allow you to have enough money to live the life you want to live. You should be able to earn enough so you can pay your rent, bills, grocery shopping, and so on. It might be the case that you dont need to charge the sky high prices of your competition and can move towards those numbers over time as you become more in demand.
Note: when you just start off in wedding photography, your prices will be low. This is expected, and convincing people to pay large sums of money for your service requires a quality portfolio and established reputation. The goal should be to get to a point where you can price to live.
Submit Your Wedding Photos To Magazines And Blogs
One of the best ways to get your name out there is to submit your work! Do your research and find magazines and blogs that you think you would be a good fit. You can find them for every niche.
Obviously you wont get accepted every time, but when you do it will feel incredible! Plus, you can use that publication to sell yourself to future clients.
It All Starts With The Right Set Of Equipment
Its pointless becoming a wedding photographer if you dont know anything about your gear. Photographers rely on their equipment as birds rely on their wings its an absolute necessity!
As a result, you cant get away with just buying any old cameras and pointing them at the bride and groom. You must understand what equipment works best in wedding formats, and which settings you should alter to get the best shots.
Here is are some of the pieces of gear to research:
- Medium zoom lens like the 24-70 f/2.8 lens
- A telephoto lens like the 70-200mm
- A wide-angle lens and pime lens
- External flash
- Flash diffuser
- Camera bag
Those are just the basic set that I go for when shooting weddings. Dont forget about lighting from preparation to receptions. Lighting can make or break a photo shoot and when it comes to weddings, light is part of the art and its as important as your gears.
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Scouting The Best Locations For Wedding Pictures
ISO 400, 70mm, f/5, 1/2000s. Ambient light.
Never start a portrait session without doing a little location scouting first. I prefer scouting the locations at the same time as the event the day before the event, when that is not possible, I arrive a few hours earlier than I am expected to get some location scouting in. Knowing where to photograph and having an efficient path to follow will help you to get better images, more images, and it will help you keep your clients on time. If you get a reputation for being the photographer who keeps things on time and still gets a lot of beautiful portraits, you will be at the top of every vendors list.
Question 4 Of : How Do You Build A Portfolio As A Wedding Photographer
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Start A Website And Social Media
After you have a set of portfolio-worthy images, determine a business and domain name and decide on your website builder, aka content management system. We recommend WordPress or Squarespace, but here is more in-depth information about your options. The WordPress route will require a little more work because youll have to find your own hosting and choose/install your own theme. To get started, review this list of the best web hosting.
We recommend starting all of your social media accounts at this time as well to make sure you claim your name on all of the major networks. Start accounts on the following:
- Facebook Business
Wedding Photography: How To Become A Successful Wedding Photographer
Once in while I receive e-mails or phone calls from aspiring or beginner wedding photographers asking me for advise on how to become successful in the wedding field. My first question is always what their motivation is to become a wedding photographer. Some will reply that they heard from somebody that it is easy money, or that they got a cool camera that takes great photos or that they would like to make some money on the side etc.While it is true that wedding photography can be a very profitable business achieving success in the wedding industry is not just a matter of getting a camera and start shooting. Wedding photography involves artistic talent, human sense, complete mastery of photographic techniques, business knowledge, and a strong desire to learn and deliver the best to the wedding couple.
Here I have summarized some points that I believe will guide beginner wedding photographers:
1.Learn photography before anything else. A wedding photographer is expected to be a master of the craft. You will be in charge of capturing people’s most precious life moments. The wedding day is not the place to learn photography.
2.Just because you got a brand new camera it does not automatically make you an effective and reliable photographer. Photography goes beyond cool toys and gadgets. Learn composition and develop a unique artistic vision. Some of the great photographs of all time were taken with manual cameras.
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The Good News Issuccess Goes To The Most Hard Headed Person
From time to time, I like listening to the philosophical talks of the late Alan Watts. He once spoke about success, and saidsuccess goes to the most hard headed person
For the majority of people like us, success requires a lot of effort, blood, sweat and tears.
Butwhen youve started to become successful, first in small little victories and later in much bigger ones, the feeling is incredible. It is difficult to translate into words, but the closest we can come is to say that starting a photography business feels like this constant build up of pressure, and as you achieve successes that pressure is released.
You’re At The Wedding Now What
There are some other seemingly small but important things to consider for your own comfort on the day itself. You’ll want to dress comfortably but appropriately.
You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb but also need to be able to move around easily. Also, always wear comfortable and quiet shoes since you’re the only one who’ll be moving around during the ceremony.
Sometimes gear fails, but you can take steps to mitigate that horrifying scenario. You’ll want to find something that won’t add to the bulk of what you’re already carrying.
If you have access to reliable Wi-Fi, you could consider shooting with Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards. This lets you instantly back up the photos to a second Wi-Fi-enabled SD card. Better yet, a portable backup system, while not cheap, will be worth it for the peace of mind it brings.
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Youve Got To Work To Refine Your Style
Part of setting clearly defined expectations for your clients and collaborating effectively, is for you to have a clearly defined stylea clearly defined artistic voice. Heaven knows that this is an organic process and that you will constantly refine and re-refine yourself artistically, however your clients need to have clear expectations as to what they will receive from you. If you want to achieve consistent bookings from enthusiastic clients, who are willing to pay you fairly, youve got to present yourself to them consistently and effectively.
If you dont do the work necessary to refine your style, this industry will soon become filled with a million minis. Minis are watered down versions of other photographers. This industry does not need a zillion photographers simply regurgitating each others work. This industry needs YOUR creative voice, YOUR unique vision. Refining your style lends itself to better clientsclients who you really resonate with, because they have hired YOU because youre YOU! They love your unique style and want to work with you. You become a scarce commodity, rather than just another photographer, and while this isnt the motivating end in mind, the truth of the matter is that it does make you worth more money. Yay!
Dont Judge Your Worst Against Anothers Best
Dont compare your images to those better than you at all, would by my advice. Take inspiration, but dont copy and dont try to emulate anyone. Forge your own path. It can be inspirational to look at others work, but also depressing. There will always be someone better than you.
The important thing, is for you to be better today than you were yesterday.
And remember, what makes it to a photographers website is their best work. Dont judge whats on your cutting room floor to whats on anyones website.
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Starting Your Wedding Photography Business Mentoring
If you are super serious about starting your wedding photography business or youre in the very early stages then one of the best things you can do is invest in good quality mentoring. Ive been providing workshops and mentoring for new and experienced wedding photographers for the past 3 years and love watching my mentees make huge leaps and bounds in their businesses.
Starting in 2020 Im offering a new mentoring package designed especially for new and aspiring wedding photographers. Its an intensive crash course in designed to get your business started on the right foot.
During a full days intensive mentoring session well cover
- The basics of starting a business making sure youre legal, paperwork and equipment needed.
- Website and branding guidance well work on building you an effective website to draw in clients and show off your work.
- Generating business marketing, networking and finding your clients.
- Workflow, basic editing and product delivery.
Youll also have the opportunity to join me on one of my weddings to shadow me for the day, see how I work on a wedding day and take some images for your portfolio.
After your session youll be added to my private Facebook group for mentoring and workshop attendees where Im always on hand to answer questions.
The cost of this mentoring package is £600.
Mentoring Sessions will take place at my home in Accrington, Lancashire and most of my weddings take place within the North West.
How To Become A Professional Wedding Photographer
How To Become a Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer
* Full money back guarantee is valid up to 30 days after your invoice purchase date
Why Wedding Photography?
As we explain in the promo video above, wedding photography pretty much fell into both of our laps. I believe many photographers have the same wrongfully biased opinion about wedding photography as I did when I first picked up a camera. The idea of dealing with dramatic bridezillas, going hours without food or drink, and having to take cheesy photographs all day was not my idea of a good day at work. But after shooting a few weddings, I found that wedding photography was incredibly fun, creative, and way more stress free than I ever imagined. In fact, what I realized was I was taking the best photographs the bride and groom had ever had taken of themselves and their friends during the happiest day of their lives. And the reason I was there in the first place was because they loved me as a person and valued my creativity behind a camera. What originally started as a dreaded favor I did for Lee Morris quickly became my passion, obsession, full time job, and eventually my career.
The most interesting thing about wedding photography is that there is a market in every single city. I believe wedding photography offers an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in photography as a hobby or career through wedding photography, you can become 100% self employed as a full time photographer!
What We Hope To Share:
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Actionable Tips For Success As A Wedding Photographer
We consider ourselves experts on wedding photography and starting a business. Jes & my experience in these areas has been hands on and deeply personal. As Ive shared already, weve experienced the ups-and-downs.
With all of this experience, I want to share with some actionable tips for becoming a successful wedding photographer.
There are probably a million ways to go about trying to be successful in this industry, but most will lead to failure.
Graph Your Friends / Family
You need to start building your portfolio. Therefore, you need models! Find friends and family who will model for you. Get on Instagram and find couples who are willing to model for you. Use your creativity! This is a time when you get to play, explore, and do anything you want! You need to shoot for free for a bit, in order to get your talent / skills improving. I charged $300 for my first wedding. I would plan on shooting a ton of free portfolio work during the first 1-2 years of your business, and start charging as soon as you have people reaching out to you to photograph them.
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