You do not become a successful wedding photographer overnight. Here’s the thing, you will most likely fail during your first few tries or even lose money during your first few wedding bookings and that’s alright. You need a few grazed knees somewhere along the way before you can figure out how to run. Failure is not a destination and there is no so-called tone of finality to it when you are a struggling and aspiring wedding photographer. Failure is just a phase that you will have to go through with before you actually head on to the throes of success in your career. People will not be to enthralled when it comes to hiring you as their main wedding photographer especially when the entries on your portfolio are few or sparse in between. This is something that you will need to suffer through. Be patient with the process. Be patient with the fact that not everything that you are going to put your hands on will turn to gold, at least not right away. You will need to learn to wait it out until it really is your time to shine and finally get to the point wherein you will be able to enjoy commercial success in what you are doing for a living.
Don’t be tunnel focused on being just like everyone else.
Bring your own brand up. Be unique and try to be your own original self as a wedding photographer. The reason why so many new startups fail is because of the fact that they are so adamant on copying the next big thing and the thing is, that really should not be the case. You will never be a trailblazer and you will never be able to go ahead and make your mark in the industry if you do not carve out a path of your own. Things will be rough and there is bound to be a lot of tough times up ahead but for as long as you keep doing your own thing and for as long as you keep on focusing on your own brand, things should look up somewhere along the way. Your own unique style and technique will be just the thing that will pull you through. You will be able to develop your own brand and people will get to know you for it. Standing out from the rest of the herd is not such a bad thing at the end of the day.
Get a job on the side.
Although the wedding photographer bookings may not start coming yet, the bills will always come in on time and that is something that you need to take care of as a fully functioning adult. You need to establish your own income source. You will not start earning a decent income out of being a professional wedding photographer during your first few years in the industry and you need something else to keep you afloat until such time comes wherein you will be able to start earning decently off of it.
When you are shooting a wedding as a wedding photographer, it already goes without saying that you need to have at least two cameras in tow and nothing less. This is because of the possibility of equipment failure somewhere along the way. The second camera will serve as your insurance in case something happens to your first one. You can’t afford to simply leave things up to chance all throughout the times. Covering or shooting weddings is a really huge deal and it is something that you simply cannot go ahead and take for granted at the end of the day. You need to make sure that this is something that you take care of well enough or you might come across some serious issues further down the road. Just because something happened to your equipment, it does not mean that you can just stop and drop the shooting of the wedding altogether. The show must go on and you need to have all of the right tools for it in order for you to successfully go through it. A second camera can turn out to be really great for that at the end of the day.
Reach out to photographer friends
If you have a budget issue and you don’t think that you can afford another camera in the meantime, this does not mean that you have to abandon any hopes or dreams of making deals with potential clients as a wedding photographer. Sometimes, you just need to be resourceful for it so that you will still be able to more or less cater to them without shelling out too much money in the process. Try to see if you can reach out to any of your wedding photographer friends. This is where the value of networking kicks in. There will always be someone out there with a spare camera that they can lend out to you whenever you have a wedding to shoot as a wedding photographer. It is all a matter of finding that person and of checking if they would be willing enough to lend it out to you at the end of the day. Try to give out favors to the rest of your wedding photographer friends and try to help them out in any way that you can when you have the means to do it because they will most likely do the same and help you out whenever you have a need that they can do something about as well.
If push comes to shove and you cannot find anyone to lend out a camera that you can use as a spare, try to see if you can Google any local businesses that will allow you to lease your equipment for a reasonable fee. There are a lot of places out there that rent out cameras as well as other professional photography equipment. This can come in handy whenever you have a need for a spare camera or anything else related to your job as a wedding photographer. Although you will have to pay for it, it will not cost as much as buying a new camera.
The aspect of breaking out into the wedding photography niche as a new and inexperienced wedding photographer may faze you but for as long as you get things done right and for as long as you have all of the right foundations, there should be nothing to fear at the end of the day. One of the most important things that you need to prioritize as a wedding photographer would have to be getting a contract in with all of your transactions or dealings. You need to make sure that you are always protected at all costs and that you will be able to more or less put in preemptive measures needed as much as possible because you will never really get to know if something ends up happening during the wedding. You have to understand that millions and millions of things can possibly go wrong and might end up not working out or working well for what you are trying to do for the wedding photo shoot and the contract is that one piece of document that will ensure that you get to get out unscathed and still able to book other clients after all has been said and done.
Must contain right basic info
A strong contract always comes off with all of the right basic info both from the clients and from the wedding photographer so make sure that you get all of that covered from the phone numbers to the email addresses and even right down to the physical addresses. You need to establish yourself as someone legitimate and you are basically trying to assure your clients that you are not a fly-by-night so always get that done the right way no matter what happens. All of the relevant and important contact info from both parties should be clearly stated in the contract.
Be particular about detailing your start time and your end time during the actual wedding day.
This part of the contract will basically ensure that you will not be abused as a wedding photographer. You might think that this isn’t exactly something important or necessary and that it’s really quite alright to extend a few favors to the clients every now and then but you will eventually find yourself being abused and being taken advantage of again and again. As a professional, you cannot allow yourself to become a pushover. Clearly state and define your start and end times in the contract and remind your clients about it the moment that you are about to start and about to end. Should they require or request an extension, make sure that you get to detail that in the contract as well and make sure that they get billed per hour. You are still running a business, after all, and time is precious.
Be specific and inclusive
Be extremely specific and inclusive when it comes to stating the price of your services as a wedding photographer in the contract. Any gray areas might be a cause for dispute and you certainly wouldn’t want to be left on the shorter end of the stick in the end of it all.
Relevant content is crucial to the growth of social media profiles of wedding photographers.
This is something that you should know right off the bat if this is an industry that you would like to get into. You have to understand that wedding photography is a cutthroat industry. There are so many other wedding photographers who have gone before you and the competition can be quite tough if you don’t know how to handle it. You might end up quitting before you will ever get a chance to see any visible progress and you need to make sure that you are able to come in equipped knowing what to do and how to handle things as you go along. Social media is one of the ways wherein you will be able to fast track your career as a wedding photographer without the burdening added costs. This is mainly because of the fortunate circumstance that the most popular social media platforms or sites out there can be accessed for free. What this means is that it is entirely up to you if you would like to have some sort of extension for your brand as a wedding photographer and if you are willing to go ahead and put in the necessary amount of time and work in order to improve it.
If you haven’t started up a wedding photography blog just yet, take note of how the other wedding photographers out there have managed to succeed in their online presence cultivation and start working on starting up a blog of your own stat. Most of the host domains charge a very minimal fee for the maintenance of the blog so it won’t really hurt your pockets all that much. It is the best way for you to be able to come up with an online portfolio of the weddings that you have managed to cover in the past. This will give potential clients something that they can look at so that they will be able to make a decision on whether they would like to hire you or not as their official wedding photographer. You can use your blog entry links as content that you can put up on your social media profiles. This will give your followers something to look at while you also get additional traffic to your blog site. This is something that will get to give your search engine ranking a boost so that people will be able to find you easier when they go to Google to look up wedding photographers in your specific area.
Put in videos or photos
Do your best to put in videos or photos with your posts because it engages people more when they see something interesting and eye catching. If you are running out of original posts, you can always share interesting articles about wedding photographers and about what they do. More than keeping your followers entertained, this is also a pretty good way to get to educate people about wedding photography and about what wedding photographers do.