A wedding photography career is highly rewarding. Why shouldn’t it be; you are fulfilling your dream of earning money doing something you are passionate about and it can’t get better than that.
However, starting up in business is not for the faint hearted; there is a steep learning curve and you may fall and pick yourself up several times. The key is not to give up at any hurdle. Perseverance is the key to success. Most people make mistakes within the first year whether this is under pricing, taking on undesirable clients or choosing the wrong suppliers. In fact you never stop learning in this business and that is what keeps it interesting. You may well fall into nearly every trap there is but in the long run it is a good exercise to go through, as you never make the same mistakes again. So, do not be disappointed and give up when things seem an uphill struggle. It is a necessary and invaluable learning experience.
I always say that a successful wedding photography business is wedding photography and wedding sales, marketing and smooth administration. You may know some fantastic photographers set up in business only to fall flat on their faces as they lack the other essential sales and marketing skills that are so needed; good business acumen together with clever and effective sales and marketing is the key to great success in this industry. At the same time, you will see average but consistent photographers succeed in business as they have the 50/50 balance almost perfect and are brilliant at marketing themselves.
Wedding photography is not an easy career path to coast along. Although extremely enjoyable and rewarding, (especially when you see the delighted faces of the couple viewing their precious keepsake photos full of fond memories), it can also be very stressful without the right training and experience. There are no second chances to re-shoot if all goes wrong and you must remember you are capturing one of the most, if not the most momentous day in a man and a womans’ life together. This day will have been planned months if not years beforehand, hence the expectations of you are naturally high. Experience will give you the confidence to perform but you can still get butterflies before every wedding shoot!
The digital age has revolutionised wedding photography. It has made the business more creative, easier to manage in comparison to film, flexible with no more expensive processing of numerous rolls of film as well as allowing the flexibility in Photoshop to manipulate and be creative.
It feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders when you can shoot 600 photos without panicking about processing costs and having to change rolls of film. However, along with digital comes extra processing time at the computer and a lot of skills to master to reduce this time spent. It is essential to understand what you are doing in the digital world and it can be a steep learning curve but one well worth venturing along as the rewards are great.
This career demands you have to be technically competent, great with people, have good business sense, a creative eye and you have to get it right first time as there are no second chances. Quite a tall order!
There is a lot of competition out there and your job is to ensure that you stand out from that crowd in some way. The more experience you gain, the more relaxed, professional and creative you become and only then can you see your hard efforts really paying off. This booklet is aimed at passing on essential knowledge on all aspects of digital wedding photography to give you the confidence you need to proceed.
But remember, at the start, you may have a limited budget and this needs to be spent wisely. It is unnecessary to invest in top of the range digital SLR cameras, tripods, computers etc. You can pick up a good digital SLR for anywhere between 700 to 1000 – leave the higher spec cameras until the money is flowing in.
It is essential that you invest in good training as well. Learn from photographers who have already achieved great success in the industry. Follow what they do and learn how they made it to the top. It is no good investing in training with someone who has done just a few weddings and is now trying to teach it to others. Check the trainers out to make sure they have substantial experience in shooting weddings and have shown great success in it.