Are you passionate about wedding photography? Then why not turn your passion into a profitable business? Becoming a professional wedding photographer (in spanish: fotógrafo de bodas profesional) may not seem difficult at first. The basics of becoming a photographer have become incredibly easy to learn. You can compare and buy a camera and lenses with one click, learn photography from a multitude of online photography courses, improve your photography skills by entering photo contests, and get clients by sharing your work on your website and social media. All you have to do is find a market you want to focus on.
ASK A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER YOUR QUESTIONS
However, while it sounds easy, the truth is not that simple. Wedding photography is an extremely competitive field that requires you to have talent, skill, marketing and discipline to stand out as a professional wedding photographer. To be successful, professional photographers must not only be talented, but also tenacious. You have to run your business as a self-starter, most of the time, and face stiff competition, due to the imbalance between supply and demand.
You can certainly make a living as a wedding photographer, depending on your talent, skills, portfolio and business acumen. However, it would be wise to make sure that it is your passion and love for photography that motivates you to make the decision to become a professional wedding photographer. Once you've figured out what motivates you and have decided to make wedding photography a career, it's time to think about the big question: how do you become a professional photographer?
START BY ASKING YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Professional wedding photography can be a great career choice if you are able to strike the right balance between your creative passion and your entrepreneurial instincts. Just like starting a business, make a list of questions you need to answer on your own before you begin your career as a wedding photographer.
- What motivates me?
- Am I ready to start small and persevere on my own?
- Can I work alone as a professional photographer?
- What opportunities can I find in my region?
- How can I improve my skills?
- What value can I offer my clients?
You will find the answers to most of your questions through research, online and elsewhere. Attend conferences, attend exhibitions, photography and wedding fairs. You will meet many photographers and wedding professionals at these events, and you can get many answers directly from them. There are several online photography communities that you can become a member of. Some of the answers you seek will come with learning, and some just with experience and time.
STUDY THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY MARKET AND THE COMPETITION IN YOUR AREA.
Conduct market research to assess the competition and see how professional photographers work in your area. Knowing the market around you, as well as global trends in the wedding photography industry is a must.
Try to find opportunities that you can fill. If, for example, no wedding photographer offers wedding videography in your area, include it in your packages. Partner with a videographer, or even better, a drone controller, you can target a wider range of services.
Promote yourself in a way that emphasizes your advantages over your competition.
You'll also want to know what the most common genres and styles of wedding photography are in your area. For example, there may already be a "photojournalist" wedding photographer in Valencia (fotógrafo de bodas Valencia). It doesn't mean you can't do the same, just work on the quality of your work and develop your own style, maybe you prefer to do artistic photography.
Specialization will make your brand image clearer to the public, so the right clients will have a much better chance of finding you!
Be sure to study the rates charged by wedding photographers in your area for various packages. Use this information to determine average market prices. You will need it when defining your own price list.
DEVELOP A PROFESSIONAL IMAGE FROM THE BEGINNING OF YOUR ACTIVITY.
You need to develop a professional image to be perceived by your potential clients as a serious and experienced company. As an image professional, it is absolutely necessary to be present on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest) and to have a website to present your work.
A wedding photographer must be professional in all aspects of his work. The photographer-client relationship is a fundamental aspect. Managing relationships with your clients is the key to success. Make sure you know what people expect from you and know how to explain the scope of services you provide.
One aspect that novice wedding photographers often overlook is having a concrete contract. This shows an unprofessional and amateurish image in the eyes of clients. Take the time to create a quote and contract for all of your services.
BUILD YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO
Your photography portfolio is the most crucial tool in your arsenal for becoming a successful wedding photographer. Having an impressive portfolio of photos will pave the way to success, as all potential clients will judge your skills and talent based on these images. Select the best photos that showcase your style and all the benefits of your wedding photographer. A good portfolio should win new clients at first sight.
Don't hesitate to have a free or low-cost wedding for a client when you first start out. If you think this can help you build or improve your portfolio, do it! But beware: don't devalue your work! You have to start somewhere, without breaking the market.