How to become a Wedding Photographer

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How to become a wedding photographer Hi, I’m Jan. I am a professional photographer in the UK, with 20 years experience in the photographic industry. The following PDF is short and to the point… read it all, and you will understand how to become a professional wedding photographer …and yes, this method will get you clients even if you are a Newbie, i.e. brand new to professional photography. The reason I created this PDF was to help those who compete in were either struggling to the very competitive professional photography niche, or those looking for a quick and easy way to get started. The Benefits I’m sure I don’t need to go into too much detail here; the benefits of working as a professional wedding photographer are huge. To start with financially, as a photographer, you should earn a minimum of £600 per wedding, increasing to several thousand pounds as you gain experience. We will cover pricing later in this pdf. As well as financial gain, working as a photographer has many other benefits. You can choose your working hours, the only dates you have to be available is

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when you are booked for weddings, all your other work (editing, putting together albums etc) can be organised as you wish. I personally work a lot in the evenings, and spend my days relaxing with friends, but that is just my thing. You also get to use your creativity, have fun at weddings and meet loads of great people. My favourite part of the job is being able to give the bride and groom some truly fantastic memories of their special day, and being appreciated for what I do. It’s true job satisfaction! OK, Let’s get started. Just to be clear, I am assuming you have an eye for photography and have good photographic skills? If not please develop these skills and come back to this pdf, as this is about putting those skills to good use and getting paid professionally to take photographs. Professional Presentation To start you are going to need a business name. Most people go with their name followed by the word ‘photography’. Alternatively, you can opt for something different than your name, such as a romantic concept or generic

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word (eg ‘perfect click’). It is best to have to word ‘photography’ or ‘studio’ so people know what you do. As a side note, if you are planning on starting a large company, maybe hiring several photographers, I would avoid using your personal name. I used to work for a company that was named after the founder, and clients were permanently asking if I were her, and on discovering I wasn’t, being disappointed. You want your clients to be happy with all your photographers, not just you. A decent website is a must, but I am not going to dwell too much here on that as there are plenty of resources online telling you how to build a website. I would recommend Wix and Godaddy for hosting etc for ease of use. More importantly, you are going to need a portfolio of images, which is where most inexperienced photographers come unstuck.

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Putting together your Professional portfolio It is the age old dilemma, you need to show images to get work, but you need to have photographed a wedding to produce a portfolio of images. There are a number of ways to overcome this problem. The easiest way is to photograph a friend’s wedding. Most people are delighted to have their wedding photographed for free and would be happy to help you build up your portfolio. Even if they already have a photographer, you can usually get the bride and groom for a few minutes, and grab of bridesmaids, ushers, alone loads shots etc whilst guests the official with other photographer is busy people. You can also offer your services for free at the local registrar office. If you speak to the registrar, they will usually be happy to pass on your details to potential brides and grooms. You will get plenty of couples willing to pose for you. With a little advance preparation, you could arrange to go with them to their reception venue and take photographs there as well. Most reception venues are nicer than registrar offices, unless you are blessed with a particularly pretty one. Make sure that you only offer these free services to couples who are getting married in the very near future. You need to get your portfolio ready asap, and certainly don’t want to be committing yourself to weddings months in advance for no pay. You should be aiming to get paid work by then, and you will not want to take up a Saturday with unnecessary freebies.

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Another option is to approach a bridal dress studio and offer to do a ‘mock wedding’ shoot featuring their designer dresses. You can then call on a venue, suit hire company, car hire etc. By offering these companies free professional promotional photographs, they will usually be happy to get together with you for the shoot. These are best arranged early in the week, when the venue etc is unlikely to be booked for an actual wedding. If you have no-one available to model as bride/groom yourself, ask the dress or suit company to provide somebody. Remember, there are loads of companies out there, if you get a no, just move on to the next one. Wedding Fayres are another opportunity to take portfolio photographs, with the added bonus of having loads of models in bridal gowns available.

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Remember to try and take loads of photographs of ALL the aspects of a wedding, (cake, flower bouquets, rings, table decoration etc) not just the bridal shots. Right, so now you have a load of great images, we need to move onto the next step.... Presentation and Pricing You will need to decide how you would like to present your portfolio, and what you will offer to your potential wedding couples. The easiest way is to research what other photographers are offering. Here’s a good example of a wedding photographer package rate found online: Here you may need to be a bit sneaky, as not many photographers advertise their rates online. It is best to send an email, or phone the photographer (posing as a potential customer) and ask them to send you their details. You will need to say that your wedding plans are not finalised yet, otherwise the photographer may be booked on your potential wedding date and not send

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you any information. When it came to the research stage, I found it easier to ask a friend to phone around my local photographers for me and get all the leaflets sent to their address. This prevents any future bad vibes when you set up in competition to these other photographers. Even when you are established, it is a good idea to ask a friend to research your competition every year or so in order for you to stay competitive. Another thing that was very useful to me was to actually set up an appointment posing as a bride to be (you could be mum/dad of the bride/groom if you prefer). This way you can actually see the selling process and what photographers offer. I went to another town which was out of my area so that I was not setting up in direct competition to the photographer I met. The insight that you will gain will be invaluable. Remember, you will be asked a lot of questions about your ‘wedding’ so either have something in mind or keep it vague. Also, try and ask the photographer plenty of questions too, this will give you an idea of what will be expected of you in the future. From the information gathered, you should be able to establish a price point that is in line with your competition. The one thing I would warn about is pricing low, thinking that you will get more bookings. There are LOADS of photographers out there and you want to stand out for your quality and professionalism. If you price yourself too low people will assume you are one of the many, many amateur wedding photographers out there and you will be competing with them. By setting a fair price point, you are competing with the

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few proper professionals, which drastically reduces your competition, and provides you with a better, more appreciative client. Win-win all round! Display Albums By doing your research, you should have some idea of what albums and packages you would like to offer. There are loads of great professional album companys, and I’m sure a quick google search will show you some in your country. Most albums are digitally created and can be ordered/uploaded online. Visiting some photography trade shows will help, again just type in ‘photography trade show’ to google and find some near you. Once you contact the companies you are interested in, they will send out a rep or arrange an appointment to view their albums. Remember to ask for a

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discount on the albums that you are going to use for your portfolio, or ‘display’ albums – you should get about 50% off. These should be the same as the ones you will be offering as a final product for your bride and groom. I would suggest offering 3 or 4 wedding photography packages, starting with digital files only up to a large deluxe album. Your portfolio/display should include one sample album from each package. You may also be able to get some colour swatches from your album supplier so that you can show your prospective couple different options available. So, to recap, we now have our portfolio ready, professional looking website and pricing for our wedding packages. You should also have done a few weddings for friends or free so you have an idea of the structure of the day. We can now more on to getting enquiries and paid work.

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Finding your Customers The most successful, and free method I use to advertise my business is to get my business cards into as many ‘wedding’ related places as possible. This includes local wedding venues, bridal shops, flower shops, cake shops, suit hire etc. I will take my portfolio to venues and try and meet with the wedding co- ordinator and show them my work. Networking is key here. The wedding co- ordinator will likely be asked for recommendations and if they like you, they will certainly pass on your card. You can also offer to take some promotional photos in exchange for recommendations. When you are visiting bridal shops, it may be a good idea to go on a Saturday morning, when you may have the added bonus of meeting a few brides and be able to show your work to them too. Church notice boards and Registrar Offices are a great source of free advertising too. As for paid advertising, I find that facebook offers the best value for money when it comes to a targeted audience. You can promote your business facebook page to all the engaged couples in your local area very easily. I would recommend starting with a small budget (of say £5) and seeing the response you get. It’s amazing. I don’t have time to go into detail about facebook advertising here, but I can highly recommend ‘The Facebook Advertising Guide’ as a brilliant in-depth guide which I used to easily finding customers on facebook. I know many people who just use facebook for finding clients and are inundated with work. >>Click Here to see the Facebook Advertising Guide<<

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There are other online methods that you may want to consider, such as subscribing to a consumer database for leads ( eg www.selectabase.co.uk ) google ads, advertising on large wedding sites etc. As I’ve said, I have found that in 20 years experience, visiting local venues and more recently Facebook advertising, are the best methods for me. You should now be getting plenty of leads, so if you are not getting bookings (I’d say about 1 in 3 enquiries should lead to a booking) you need to ask for some honest feedback on your promotional material, portfolio and website. Sometimes we don’t get it right first time, but try again and you will eventually succeed. This guide was written with the intension of helping people get started in the wedding photography industry, but as with any other venture things may be slow at first. If you would like to earn more money quickly as a photographer, I can highly recommend ‘Photography Jobs Online’. This is a service that partners thousands of large companies online (like shutterstock and gettyimages) with photographers like us. Many photographers prefer the freedom of working when they please rather than being tied down to wedding dates and client appointments. I personally like both, but photography jobs online is a fantastic resource for some easy money whilst waiting for the wedding bookings to come in. >>Click Here to visit Photography Jobs Online<< I wish you every success in your new photography business! © Copyright Jan Robertson. All rights reserved. No part of this eBook may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author.

Summary: How to become a wedding photographer - Free PDF Report! Do you dream of becoming a wedding photographer? Benefit from over 20 yrs experience in the wedding photography industry and learn how you can become a professional wedding photographer, even if you have a tiny budget and no portfolio yet. Learn the secrets to getting bookings and charging top dollar for your work. Be appreciated for your unique wedding photography talent and begin a rewarding career today.

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