Having been a wedding photographer for a little while now I can say that the level of difficulty involved in being a wedding photographer depends on a whole host of factors, not least your ability to take a good picture. In this blog I will go over some of the main factors that would contribute to the difficulty in getting started and actually performing the service of wedding photography.
For those of you who are considering getting into the business this blog will hopefully give you an opportunity for you to assess whether this is a career for you.
I think the main concern for most people when they want to try something new is that they won’t have the time. Time is one of the most important assets that we have and it is often so easily squandered. However when you really want to invest yourself in a project you can always find time, even if that means not watching another hour of Netflix in the evenings.
Having said this you shouldn’t underestimate the time commitment that is need in order to make a success of wedding photography. I have detailed in previous blogs what you will need to know to be a wedding photographer, however in brief the time needed to build a website, rank website, learn the trade, get your first wedding booked all takes a considerable amount of time. All these things mean that if you are starting whilst you have a full time job and only can spare weekends and evening it could take you a year before you are where you want to be, assuming you are progressing on a weekly basis. Given this time commitment you really have to see the long term goal, its achievable, however it will take work.
As mentioned in the last section the third difficulty you will have to overcome is learning all the new material to ensure you can attract clients.
There are plenty of photography courses that you can join if you want to get better use from your camera. However the best way to improve is to really practice effectively and become accustomed to the software and editing software.
Developing a website has become pretty straight forward with the invention of sites like wix.com, although in order to make your site look professional this will take some considerable hours. Moreover, there is one thing having a professional looking site and another thing to make it look established. With this takes constant work and advancement.
Understanding SEO, Facebook advertising and google adwords can also be a timely and costly activity that if you haven’t owned an online business before.
The cost of buying all the equipment does not have to be huge in order to be a wedding photographer however you will need the bare minimum. I have detailed the high-level details of what you will need below and the general costs. Obviously, this can vary greatly given that the body of a camera can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £10,000. However from a starting point:
2 Camera bodies: £5,000
Flash guns, SD, battery supplies etc: £1,000
Website and advertisement spend: £500
Courses and building a portfolio: £500
Now this can be done cheaper however you would really want to go with good quality because if you start to buy equipment of poor quality you would subsequently need to buy further balances.
Your first solo wedding
In order to secure your first booking takes a huge amount of work. The culmination of all the previous points leads to this first booking. The key here is to see every set back as an opportunity to improve.
Obviously, every bride and groom will want a photographer with experience, however every photographer has had to start somewhere. There is no reason why you cannot achieve this either by securing your first shoot.
This may be a volumes game; you need to draw people to your website because the more clicks you get the more opportunities you have to show what you are capable of. You have to think about what your value is – for instance when you start out you will be able to offer a price far lower than the more established photographers. You will need to ensure that you are able to sell this and all the qualities that you have going for you.
On the day
Assuming that you have got to this point, the next concern is actually controlling the day. This is something thqt will definetly be developed with experience. However a good tip would be to take your camera out wherever you go and direct whoever you have available. Get comfortable controlling a situation. Play with light sources and work with your family and friends if needed. Given that any opportunity to direct people will help you on the big day.
Moreover, take a lot of pictures on RAW on your first shoot so that any mishaps can be cleaned up in post. Another tip is when taking a lot of photos don’t just point and shoot at anything, wait for moment where people are smiling and take 4 of each moment – this will ensure in post you don’t notice images where people’s eyes are shut or not looking where you want.
Hopefully from the few areas I have covered in this blog you get a fair idea of the difficulties that lie ahead for you. These challenges should not be underestimated. I have only really gone over these points at a high level and I aim with future blogs to go into more depths of the specifics. with wedding photography, with this in mind please stay tuned for more blogs.
With these difficulties comes significant rewards and satisfaction that I have covered in the linked blog.
If you liked this blog and want to find out more about wedding photography and being a photographer in general than please check out my blog for further details.