How hard could it be to become a wedding photographer? If all I did was get a 5DMII, a couple of prime “L” lenses paired with Boutwell actions, I’m set, right? Being a wedding photographer is not very hard, but being a successful wedding photographer is difficult.
Over the past two years, I moved up from shooting weddings at $300 each to $5,000 each. My inquiries are still strong (2-3 a day) despite current economic conditions.
Understand that I am not the best photographer out there and I still have a lot to improve on. However, I do know a thing or two when it comes to making a wedding photography business work.
There are 3 things you should know:
- Why are you doing this business?
- What makes a good photographer?
- How do you market yourself effectively?
Why did you start a wedding photography business? Or any form of photography for that matter? If you don’t know why, then that’s a big problem.
Dane Sanders focuses on the core of one’s business vision through Fast Track Photographer. The first step is to understand why you are doing it. If it is passion, then fantastic! If it is because the industry is lucrative, then fantastic! Whatever the reason is, you need to know why and exactly what you are cooking up for your clients.
Here is an excerpt from a recent article Dane Sanders wrote for Scott Bourne:
Technique can be taught but your core focus needs to be discovered first. And the best news is once you have a working sense of what you were made to create for the world, the sky’s the limit on where you will go with your craft.
When I started my business, I had my heroes and I think you should pick yours too.
I have heroes to give me inspiration – a goal to aim for. “One day, I want to shoot like them!”
If you are interested in learning the skills from one of my heroes, then a photography workshop that is coming up worth considering is the “DAVIS LOVE STORY” workshop. It is a 3 day experience with celebrity photographer – Bob Davis – as he photographs the wedding of Sarah and Brent at the exquisite Ocean Lodge hotel in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
DAY ONE begins with a meet and greet and flash lecture at the exquisite Ocean Lodge hotel in St. Simons Island, then on to a night shoot with Sarah and Brent.
DAY TWO is a meeting at the Ocean Lodge hotel and photographing of Sarah and Brent getting ready — making sure to cover all of the details. This leads to the first look where Brent will see Sarah for the first time in her dress followed by a beautiful photo walk…dinner, sunset ceremony and dessert reception.
DAY THREE will begin at the Ocean Lodge hotel in a conference room where Dawn Davis (Bob’s wife) will show you how she creates her beautiful book designs. She will share with you her Photoshop knowledge and all her secrets to designing for the stars (literally – like for Oprah)! After Dawn’s album design workshop, there is a “Trash The Dress” session at the ever-so-amazing Driftwood Beach on Jeckyll Island with Sarah and Brent, along with a few of their friends who will model.
I understand that there are only 5 seats left…actually, it might be 4 if I can squeeze it in.
Donald Trump once said:
I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking about anything, you might as well think big.
It’s nice to think big, but you must know how to get there. It’s nice to aim for 30 weddings a year at $5,000 each, but the steps to achieve that and to sustain that is quite a pickle.
I use two forms of marketing for my business:
In Person – yes, that simple. One suggestion is to organize a coffee meet with other photographers every Friday afternoon just to hang out, network, trade ideas or refer clients!
We create friction and connection by meeting people in person…these connections outweigh any online ones.
Online – There is a great deal of talk about SEO, but sadly that isn’t everything. It’s really two parts:
- Getting the traffic through SEO
- Converting the traffic into clients
Now these are my observations for becoming a successful wedding photographer and/or business owner. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!