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Wedding photographers - how did you get into the business?

jusophine 14 104 1 England
20 Mar 2010 4:31PM
Sophis, here is my experience. For the last 10 years I've taken photographs at friends and families wedding and given them some prints. I rather selfishly used those days to gain experience for myself. Three years ago having photographed my kids for 7 years and having been asked several times by friends to photograph their kids I started my own little photography business doing lifestyle type shoots in clients homes and family parties. I built up my pf and gained lots of skill, my early shots and plenty in my Epz pf leave a lot to be desired(I thought I was ace at the time).

Anyhow, I was then approached to do a wedding which went really well, through that another came along and I started to realise I could actually do it! However I strongly believe that if you expect couples to fork out for your services you really had better know what you are doing and believe me I am my greatest critic and am plagued by self doubt. I now have 3 weddings booked for this year and only then will I feel my portfolio will be enough to start doing wedding fairs etc. All these weddings have come through word of mouth. I have started to advertise in several places now and my business plan is to spend this year working at my craft, gaining experience and then hopefully next year go for the big push.

So in summary(and after a rather long rant), if you are really serious about wedding photography, then you need to get as much experience in as many different situations as possible, and when it comes to running your own photography business believe me, being able to take good photographs is just the start!

Good luck and keep posting, you will see that I've been posting here for 3 years, it's a great resource.

Jay44 15 1.4k Wales
24 Mar 2010 2:51PM

Quote:I applied for a grant

Hi Jay,

Who did you apply to? I am desperate to buy some kit, but cant due to funds and my current full time salary wont pay? I have looked at personal loans and different credit cards but not too keen on the current interest rates and deals available.

Any help would be great.



I'm afraid this was the Business Enterprise Grant in 1991
samfurlong 15 2.5k United Kingdom
24 Mar 2010 3:10PM
I tend to find that as a press photographer by day I am the first port of call for friends and family wanting wedding photos. Thanks to us press togs having to be masters of all trades my wedding pics are just as good / better than some charging a awful lot of money (although people like Geoff Ainscough are out there to continually inspire me), so I thought I might as well do a few here and there and make a bit extra.

Last year I did quite a few weddings as we had a lot of friends tie the knot and one was very local to me. I got chatting to the owners of the reception venue and now they give cards out for me / show couples my work and I look after them for photos for their new website / brochures etc..
I only do a couple here or there and am by no means a fulltime wedding tog, just going to do a few a year for a nice bit of pocket money (Before I get jumped on, no I'm not undercutting anyone or anything like that - I get so few weekends off that for me to work it has to be worth my while).

I have to agree with the above advice though, practice lots , phone up some established togs (emails and letters get pushed to the bottom of the pile - not intentionally but just through pressures of time and work) and ask to come and assist. Once you're technically very competent you could go on a course to try and develop a bit further. Practice is what you need, and at weddings you will make contacts be it with friends of the couple who see your great pictures , guests you get chatting to on the day or owners of venues and that's where most of your business will come from.

A nice smile, personable , professional attitude together with a nicely done, classy looking business card promoting your equally good website with some first class work on it will do the rest (make sure all of these things are in place before you 'launch' yourself, it doesn't look good when a potential client says 'okay lets see what you've got' for your website to be half built, cards and samples still at the printers / binders and so on..

Looking at your work I can see you have some way to go (as you have admitted) so I would forget about everything else at the moment, practice lots , do a college course etc.. As your knowledge grows you will be able to choose the appropriate kit to suit your way of shooting and to use it properly and get the best out of it. Don't try to run before you can walk.

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