Shoot Landscape At The Venue Before The Event
The man and woman choose a particular venue because it appeals to them. So, youd better take some great shots of it before the ceremony starts. These photos will become a nice addition to a wedding album.
Even little things will help you convey the general mood and atmosphere of the event. Besides, you can share some pictures with the venue owner and get some referrals!
Directory Listings For Wedding Photography
Advertise your photography business using vendor directory listings. These are a great resource where you can reach lots of people who are looking for vendors and dont know where to start. You can also get very niche with your directories as opposed to just using some of the bigger resources. Look into which directories will make the best possible investment for your photography business before you spend money on advertising.
Register As A Legal Wedding Photography Business And Get Insured
Registering your wedding photography business helps you deal with certain legal liabilities. For example, registering as a legal entity protects you from personal liabilityif your business is sued.
The most popular business structure types to choose from include:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company
Hire an attorney- if you can- to ensure the registration is done properly. Before starting to operate you will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes. To register for taxes, apply for an EIN.
Be sure to get liability insurance protection for your business. Shop around for insurance carriers who offer small business coverage.
An option is to seek insurance from the PPA if you are a member.
This step may seem unnecessary at the beginning, but it empowers you to keep operating regardless of unexpected incidents, such as:
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Discuss The Wedding Photography Contract
Make sure that you share the details of your contract during your first client meeting. And most importantly, share the cancellation and refund policies with your couples. Besides that, help them get a clear idea about the deliverables, the turnaround time, what happens in case of emergencies, etc. They might not understand the legal jargon, so if they have any questions, try to answer them as clearly as possible. Also, make sure that your contract is updated and protects you if your client decides to sue you. You could consult a legal professional and have your contract vetted for any discrepancies. Not having a concrete contract could potentially land you in a legal trap, so try to keep your documents updated.
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Further Read: Tips To Maintain Wedding Photography Client Relationships
At ShootDotEdit, we understand your needs and love sharing tips that can help you hone your wedding photography skills. We also offer professional photo editing services to help lessen your post-production workload and aid your business growth. To learn more about our services, you can take a look at our pricing plans.
Endorse Search Engine Optimization
When you open a portfolio, you do not write anything. You keep the photos there. If you create your blog, you will showcase your talent with pictures and make some background stories to write for those photos.
With effective SEO, you will be able to get more interested visitors to your blog. Open Patreon page and create packages and services you offer and post your portfolio photos there.
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Make Friends In The Wedding Business Lots Of Them
Look for Facebook groups for local wedding pros, start following local pros on Instagram or identify the local wedding associations in your area and join them.
Make it your goal to meet three new people at each networking meeting, or to reach out to three new people through direct message on Facebook or Instagram each week. Find a way you can help them, and youll become fast friends. Its a quick way to get your first referrals.
Follow up with everyone you meet.
When you meet someone, especially if they work in the wedding industry, start following them online or take their card. Jot down a note about your conversation or reference it in your first direct message to them.
After that first message, consider sending them a video or voice message and ask about their most recent wedding what they loved about the couple they worked with, what they didnt and if that couple was one of their more typical clients. And make sure to respond when they do! Dont leave them hanging reply with your thoughts on their response to keep the conversation going.
If you stay consistent, people will remember you and the referrals will start coming. Its the best cheap marketing you can do!
Know How To Handle Uncle Bob
Ask your wedding party to be mindful of looking at the photographer and only the photographer during group shots. They also need to respect their space so that they can get the best possible shots. If you have a family member who is also a photographer, discuss boundaries with them. With smartphones now ubiquitous, it is more important than ever to reserve resources for the people you actually are paying to document the big day.
Make sure your package includes the send-off and pace the reception so that youre not keeping the crew way over the agreed-upon time.
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Deliver Photos On Time
If your contract states how long it will take for clients to receive their pictures, make sure to fulfill that contractual obligation. For some wedding photographers, this can range from a few weeks to even as long as three months. This depends on your workflow, although ensure that the client understands how long you work on post-processing and delivery.
Expenses Related To Starting A Wedding Photography Business
The expenses associated with being a wedding photographer vary based on whether youre starting out or trying to grow your business.
The minimal expenses for starting a new wedding photography business range from the cost of your gear to your spaghetti number. Here is a list of expenses to consider:
- Registering your business
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Use Paid Professional Services To Get Your Work Out There
âUse paid services like Wedding Wire or The Knot to get your work in front of potential clients. Yes, they cost a bit of money, but if your work is good they will easily return the amount paid and a lot more. We pay for the highest tier on Wedding Wire , and in return it probably sends us $50-60k per year in revenue.â â Squid_Viciously
Reddit posts edited for clarity.
Make A Basic Marketing Plan & Advertise
When just starting to look for photography clients, having a prepared marketing plan can help make this process a little bit easier. Even just writing down how you are going to approach posting content on social media is going to be a good starting point. Research the best times to post content, good hashtags on , and leverage Later to schedule your posts in advanced.
While many people dont care to spend money upfront, if you are serious about growing your photography service, you should also consider running ads on Facebook and/or Instagram to help promote your service.
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Use Clone Tool To Get Rid Of Flaws
No bride wants her photos of the wedding to be imperfect. A problem, in this case, can be redness, pimples, small wrinkles, black circles and much more.
On the other side, be very careful when using it, you can easily overdo the face, thereby making the image unnatural. Using this tool in Photoshop is one of the most common wedding photography tips for beginners.
Create Vendor Relationships In Your Wedding Photography Business
Having these connections will lead to some wedding photography jobs that you may never have had in the first place. Many couples work directly with their venues or planners to find vendors that will suit their special day. These are called preferred vendor lists. They are a lucrative source of leads for wedding photographers, and it takes a lot of relationship-building work to get onto these lists.
Fine Art Production
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Setting Up Your Wedding Photography Business Website
A website is an important part of any business. For a wedding photographer, a website is a space where potential clients:
- Discover you
- View your previous works
- Book sessions, etc.
If youre doing content marketing, SEO, and social media correctly the first point of contact for potential clients will be your website.
Be sure to build a quality website as potential clients will judge your photography services based on what they see on your website.
Here are the main reasons why you should set up your website early in your wedding photography career:
Legitimate Businesses Have Websites
Regardless of the size of your business, owning a website will tell clients that your service is legitimate and professional.
Social Media Does Not Replace An Online Presence
Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are not replacements for a business website. A website increases a professional photographers influx of new business.
Interested Clients Can Find Your Contact Details
Your website serves as a link between you and potential clients. Keep the contact info on your wedding portfolio website updated. Make it easy for customers to reach you. No one likes to deal with complicated websites.
Websites Act As Online Galleries
As you gain experience shooting weddings, create a gallery for your photos on the website. Upload a collection of your best images and videos.
Use Your Inexperience As An Asset
One of the trickiest questions to answer when youre just starting is, How many weddings have you done?
Eeek. You dont want to lie, but who wants to be your very first wedding?
First, dont tell them you havent done any weddings unless they ask. If they do ask, use your inexperience as an asset.
Explain any related experience and work references you have and then say, We can offer you an extreme discount because were still building our portfolio. Were just starting, so we work even harder to make sure youre happy!
Practice your answer to this question until its smooth and natural. That way you can relax during your meetings.
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Shooting Your First Wedding
So, you did it. You just booked your first solo wedding. Woot woot, cheers, and congratulations! After the excitement dies down, and you are left with pounding heart palpitations, thinking what did I just do? Stop and take a moment to just breathe. Preparation is the key to a smooth wedding day.
Contact your client. Send out a questionnaire asking for all the pertinent details, their likes, and dislikes. Their list of must-have shots, and timeline.
Most photographers assist with setting the wedding timeline, as you will know more than your clients, how much time is truly needed to achieve what they want. Keep the communication open and light. Make sure you follow up regularly and the week prior to the wedding.
Be available to answer questions. Wedding Photography is all about your name, and how you treat your clients. So go above and beyond to wow them every time!
Make sure your clients are aware of your experience level and protect yourself and your business by having a contract. Go over the terms with your client, and clarify anything which they may question.
If you are nervous about being the lead photographer, maybe you can get a second shooter or mentor another photographer yourself. Working with a second shooter will allow you to set up certain shots and assign others so, you are not running and trying to do it all while you are still learning!
The larger the wedding, the more overwhelming it can be.
Book Your First Wedding Photography Job
So you want to start a wedding photography business but you just dont know how to book your first wedding client? It can be a catch 22. You need to have wedding images to show a potential client but you cant get wedding images because you havent shot any weddings? Sound familiar? Here are few tips on how to book that first wedding client and build your portfolio.
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Pack Snacks And Water
It is not a big surprise that wedding days can be quite long and tiring. You may eat only at dinner time. So a lunch box with water is a must.
Give preference to food rich in protein to have enough energy for demonstrating numerous to take any photography for wedding. Among the best options are chocolate, peanuts, oranges and pretzels.
Word Of Mouth Marketing
Referrals are powerful new business-creating tools. Ask family and friends to pass your photography business cards along. Attract clients using photo editing services or by creating a referral program.
For example, refer a friend and get one free photo edit, free print, or a discounted rate for an anniversary shoot.
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Questions Wedding Photographers Should Be Ready To Answer
that I always suggest couples ask their potential wedding photographersI1. How would you describe your photography style?2. Can I see the proofs for a full wedding you have shot? 3. What kinds of photo edits/post-production work do you include as part of your service?4. How long after the wedding can I expect to see my proofs?5. Could you explain exactly what is included in your package, and can we customize one to fit our needs?6. How many hours of coverage are included?7. How much would it be for additional hours of coverage if things run late or if our plans change?8. Do your packages include a second photographer?9. Can I see a contract?10. What is your policy if you become injured or ill and can’t photograph the wedding?11. What kind of insurance do you have?12. Can you assure us that you have backup equipment?You can click here to see a summary of the gear that I bring with me to every wedding.I offer my contract for sale as a resource for other photographers to customize and use for themselves.
Get Referrals From Friends And Family
âMy very first paid clients came through referrals from friends and family. These included photographing some events and promotional material for a large street market.â â Squid_Viciously
“My first clients were people I knew. Friends, workmates, neighbors and so on. Unless you start by working in a company, or by opening a photography shop, this is how every one starts, by making contacts.â â PinholePhotographer
âMy first clients were players I photographed during their sports season as a hobby. They liked my stuff and asked me if I did other things like parties, events etc. I said I hadnât done them before, but I could do it. I was upfront and honest about having little or no experience doing those things, and charged a low price to reflect that.â â PipeSmokingGoat
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