A career as a Wedding Photographer

NicoleMaui Photography

Wedding Photography Careers And What

You Need To Know

Part One

I receive e-mails or phone calls from aspiring or beginning wedding photographers asking me for advice on how to become successful in the wedding photo field. My first question to them is always, “what is your motivation to become a wedding photographer?” Some reply that they heard it can be easy money, or they have a great camera that takes incredible photos or simply that they want to make some money on the side, as well as many other reasons.

While it is true that shooting wedding photography can turn into a profitable business, achieving a successful one is more than a matter of getting a camera and start shooting. Over a series of four parts, I have summarized some points that I believe will guide the beginning wedding photographer.

1. Learn photography before anything else. A wedding photographer is expected to be a master of their craft. You will be responsible for capturing one of the most moments in a couple’s life. At the ceremony is not the best place to learn wedding photography.

2. Just because you have a fancy new camera, does not qualify you as an effective or reliable photographer. Photography is much more than gadgets and toys. You also have to know composition and develop into artist with a unique vision. Some of the greatest photos ever taken were with manual cameras.

3. Learn and become an expert with the digital workflow that includes color management, file management, digital image processing and image correction/enhancement.

4. More than anything else, learn to have a passion and love for photography. Dont come into wedding photography with the high expectations of making large sums of money. It’s true that many successful wedding photographers have been financially successful, but according to the Professional Photographers of America, the average wedding photographer in America makes approximately $24,000 a year.

5. Your focus should be on creating quality photos more than getting quantity. Study others work so that you sense what would be unique and what isn’t. This could be what sets you off from other photographers.

6. Develop your own form of style that is can allow others to recognize your uniqueness. Do not try to copy somebody else. Clients look for photographers that have that unique vision.

7. Be sure to give 100% effort into your wedding photography. You want your photography work to last forever and this is a great way to accomplish that.

8. Be open minded and flexible to the situation and great photos will follow. Focus on the human aspects of the weddings, the emotions, details, and then capture them. Allow for the camera to become an extension of you.

9. Meet and connect with other wedding photographers and share your knowledge and experience with them. You will gain a lot of knowledge by sharing ideas with these other professional photographers.

10. Sign up and get involved in competitions for wedding photography images. You get a chance to have your work evaluated and critiqued, which should allow you the motivation and inspiration to improve your quality of work.

11. Try to learn something new everyday. Take advantage of such professional photography organizations as Professional Photographers of America (PPA), WPPI, etc. Attend their workshops and seminars. Get involved with internet wedding photography forums. Use this tool to learn and share techniques, tips and tools.

12. It’s easy to get caught up in shooting photography, so be careful not to neglect the business aspects of your wedding photography business. Learn how to manage your business effectively by taking business courses and attending seminars.

13. Take your camera everywhere you go. You will begin to see the world with a different perspective when you have your camera. You will be aware of and find more opportunities, to take some great photographs. Of course, you will be taking more photos than you ever have before, but the more you take, the better you will become. In addition, if you are taking photos of your friends and family, they will be used to you carrying your camera with you at all times. That way, they won’t feel so odd or intimidated when you bring out your camera. This will lead to a more natural-looking, less “posed” photos. In addition, remember to bring extra batteries or be sure you have charged them in the event you are using a digital camera.

So as you can see, wedding photography can be complex as it involves not only artistic talent and human sense, but also the mastery of photographic techniques, the business knowledge and a strong desire to succeed and make the session as perfect as can be for the wedding couple. Understand, this is just the beginning of your journey. For the rest of the necessary steps to being a successful wedding photographer, see the next article of Wedding Photography Careers And What You Need To Know, Part Two.