Starting a wedding photography business can be a great way to earn some extra money, or even create a new career for yourself. Here are a few tips to help you get started
Create a name for yourself:
A business name is the first step in making your wedding photography business a reality. Think of something clever that reflects something about you, and also conveys to people what your company is all about. For example, this NYC based videography company uses “2Bridges” as their brand. They are based in Two Bridges, Manhattan and it’s clever use of their home address.
Keep in mind this is the name you’ll use on company documents, as well as to advertise yourself. So make it something professional. Check in your local phonebook, and the Internet as well to make sure what you decide on isn’t already being used.
Get a Portfolio:
Sure you know you’re a great photographer, but other people don’t necessarily know that. I order to generate business for yourself you are going to need to have some sort of portfolio of the type of work you can do.
You will want to bind your portfolio in some sort of nice presentation binder, and truly make it a representation of the best work that you can do. Try to have picture of different group poses, as well as different candid shots you have taken at weddings. People looking to hire you for their wedding are going to want to see what you can do, so you want to put your best foot forward. You also want to show them the full range of wedding photography you can take, so they can start to get an idea for what kind of photos they would like for you to take at their wedding.
If you haven’t ever done wedding photography before, then you run into a problem when trying to acquire work. In order to get wedding photography business, you will need to photograph a wedding. If you have a friend or relative that’s getting married soon, or even a friend of a friend see if you can get them to let you photograph their wedding. This can be a good way to start to build a portfolio for yourself, while doing someone you knows a favor as well. Since this will be a practice run, don’t change them like you would plan to charge a regular client. A good rule of thumb would be to charge for the needed supplies for the event: film, developing, prints, framing. But don’t charge them for your time. They are after all kind of doing you a favor. They will more than likely appreciate getting their photography done.
Make a Price List:
You do great photography, but what should you charge for it? One of the best ways to decide what to charge you’re your photography is to take a look at your competition. Look around in the area and see if you can find some other wedding photographers with websites that you can look through. You’ll want to charge something similar if you work is similar, but also take into account the portfolio of whom you’re competing against. If you were getting married and could choose between the guy who has photographer 100 weddings, or the guy who has only photographer two…for the same price. Who would you pick? You need to make your price list reflect to some extent your experience. Once you get better and have a more extensive portfolio you can start upping your prices to the same as your competitors, if not more. But, until that point you need to stay competitive, and give people a reason to pick you over your competition.
Get a website:
You can purchase a domain name for around ten dollars now, and many web hosts will also offer some sort of web template to help you build website easily, even if you have no web development experience. A website can help you start to seem like a legitimate business. It is always a great place to send potential clients to look at samples of your work, your prices list, and booking information.
Get business cards:
There are several places online that allow you to design your own business cards for extremely nominal prices. Local copy shops will also usually be able to print up basic business cards for your business. A business card can make you look professional, and can be great to have on hand when you unexpectedly meet potential clients. Your business cards your have your email, phone number and website information on them. Making it easy for clients to find you.
You may have the best wedding photography business in the world, but no ones going to hire you if they don’t know about you. To get known, you’ll have to do some advertising. For wedding photographers the quickest and easiest way to do that is to go to local wedding and bridal shows. For a fee you can set up a table, and play host to hundreds of potential customers. Come prepared with samples of your work, and your calendar to let people know when you are and are not available. Depending on how serious you are about your business you may want to also place an ad in local bridal magazines, or in your local phone book. The more you advertise, the more people who will know about your business, and the more business you will have!
A wedding photography business can be a great way to earn extra money, and bring your photography hobby to the next level. Follow these steps and your bound to be successful!