5 tips on becoming a wedding photographer
If you have a camera and the desire to earn money using it, you might be considering becoming a wedding photographer!
Of course, there are many different avenues into professional photography, but weddings have great appeal because there’s always a market and wedding photographers seem to make a great living.
While this is true, it’s also one of the most pressurised jobs a photographer can do, so you need to make sure you’re prepared. Our top five tips will help you ease your way into the industry.
1) A wedding photographer knows their gear
There’s no time to mess around fiddling with your camera settings during a wedding, so before you even consider becoming a wedding photographer you need to know your gear inside-out. You need to be able to change your camera settings without lifting your eye from the viewfinder under pressure, so practice as much as possible!
2) Have enough gear!
Modern camera equipment is generally excellent quality, but anything with moving parts can break down, so have back-ups for everything. You need two to four camera bodies, lenses that cover focal lengths from 10mm to 200mm (including at least one fast prime lens), several flashguns, and lots and lots of batteries and memory cards. It’s better to be over-prepared than miss important shots because of an equipment failure
3) Offer to shoot a friend’s wedding for a cut price
It’s not nice to undercut established professionals, but everyone has to start somewhere, so offer to shoot for friends who can’t afford a photographer. Treat it as if they’re paying your full price and work really hard… as long as they’re willing to let you use the images for your portfolio.
4) Be a people person
It’s possible to be a wedding photographer if you don’t have great social skills, but a winning smile and charismatic personality make it so much easier. You’re going to have to deal with stressed out brides and grooms, drunk uncles and wannabe photographers trying to steal your shots. You’ll have to be ready to herd crowds of tipsy guests into order for group shots, and make sure everyone gets out of your way… all while being as friendly and anonymous as possible!
5) Be prepared to work hard
There’s so much more to being a wedding photographer than shooting the wedding and editing images. You need to generate business, meet with clients to discuss packages, visit venues on different occasions to check where you can shoot from and what the light is like, visit churches to see if you’re allowed to shoot, practice a lot, etc. All in all, a single wedding is at least a week’s work.
Becoming a wedding photographer is a wonderful way to make a living because you’re sharing a life-changing experience with every client, so remember to enjoy every single moment and do your best work every time!