Are you a new wedding photographer ready to make your mark in an exciting industry? As you take your first steps into this ever-evolving and highly creative field, it’s natural to have questions and seek guidance from experienced photographers who have been in your shoes. If I’ve learned one thing after the last decade of guiding wedding photographers throughout their careers here at Photography Farm, it’s that most of us come across the same problems or obstacles at one point or another. So I thought it would be beneficial for photographers who are a little ahead of you to pass down their wisdom.
It’s always interesting to be posed the question ‘What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new photographer?’ So today we gathered ten priceless tips from our community of established wedding photographers to help you navigate your way to success. Let’s dive into tips for new wedding photographers!
1. Block Out Time for Yourself
“Block time out in your diary in advance and stick to it. You have to give yourself time and space to breathe and enjoy life.” Jules Barron. Seasoned photographers understand the importance of work-life balance. Wedding photography can be all-consuming, so it’s crucial to block out time in your calendar in advance and stick to it. Give yourself the space to breathe, enjoy life, and recharge your creative batteries.
2. Embrace a Supportive Community
“Don’t feel intimidated by other photographers you admire, you can be friends, learn from each other AND there IS enough business to go round!!” – Victoria Sponge Photography Don’t be intimidated by other photographers you admire; they can be your friends and mentors. There’s enough business to go around, and the photography community is often more collaborative than competitive. Learn from each other, share experiences, and build a network that supports your growth.
3. Curate Your Portfolio
“Only show what you want to shoot more of. Knowing your ideal client and curating your portfolio for them will fast-track you to a diary of couples you love and who love what you do.” – Nicola Dawson Photography In your portfolio, your website and your social media, only show only what you want to shoot more of. If you want relaxed, laidback couples – don’t show the latest trends and vice versa. Understanding your ideal client and curating your portfolio to match their preferences will fast-track your journey to booking couples who love your style. Quality over quantity is the key to attracting your dream weddings. Attend workshops and set up your own styled shoots to capture the types of images you want to attract.
4. Be Authentic
“”Don’t try and be like anyone else. Be yourself and the right couples will find you. I spent a lot of time (2016-2019) trying to be “professional” and be a certain way. My biz only took off in 2020 when I stopped all that and was just me.” – Shell O’Toole Photography Don’t try to mimic someone else’s style or personality. Be yourself, and the right couples will find you. Authenticity resonates with clients, and it’s a powerful magnet for attracting couples who connect with your unique approach.
5. Understand Your Costs
“Work out your cost of doing business! There is no point worrying about what others charge as everyone has different costs and profit goals.” – Moments by Alexandra. Every photographer’s business has different costs and profit goals, based on your own circumstances and aspirations. Instead of worrying about what others charge, focus on understanding your own cost of doing business, and your own personal goals. Some might want to use their photography business to travel the world. Others might want the flexibility of being able to do the school run. This knowledge will help you set prices that ensure your long-term success.
Tips for New Wedding Photographers Continued…
6. Prioritise Contracts
“Contracts. Immediately.” – Morris Jones Photography Protect yourself and your clients by having clear, well-drafted contracts in place. Contracts are essential for setting expectations, outlining responsibilities, and ensuring a smooth working relationship. We have professionally crafted contract templates available as part of our membership to The Barn to get you started.
7. Hire Trusted Professionals
“Get an accountant!” – Chris Armstrong Photography You have to wear many hats as a wannabe wedding photographer, but for most of us, the first thing to outsource would be managing your financials. An accountant can be a wedding photographer’s best friend. Proper financial management is crucial for a successful photography business. An accountant can help you with tax planning, budgeting, and overall financial well-being. Outsourcing the parts of your business you’re not strongest at frees you up for the parts that you are.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
“Shoot shoot shoot and SHOOT some more!” – The Chamberlins. Photography is a skill that gets better with practice. Keep your camera in your hands and shoot, shoot, shoot. Experiment with different lighting, angles, and styles to refine your craft. Take photos for fun, look outside wedding photography for inspiration and challenge yourself creatively to set yourself apart.
9. Collaborate and Share Knowledge
“Make friends with other photographers and share your knowledge with each other.” – Kate Dervin. Building relationships with other photographers can be incredibly valuable. Share your knowledge and experiences, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from others. Our community is filled with helpful and supportive individuals. Embrace it, and pay it forward on your way up.
10. Invest in Comfortable Shoes
“Buy the most comfortable shoes you can find.” – Jason Leaman. Lastly, a practical tip you’ll thank us for as the years go on. As a wedding photographer, you’ll spend long hours on your feet, moving around to capture the perfect shots. Invest in the most comfortable and supportive shoes you can find to ensure you’re physically prepared for the demands of the job.
Our community of wedding photographers started in 2011 when Lisa hosted our very first workshops. Since then, Photography Farm has grown and now offers an annual conference, online workshops and a lot of ongoing support for photographers at all levels. If you are new to the industry and wish to set off on the right foot and not learn by mistake, then we highly recommend joining our online membership, The Barn. Here you will find classes on photography, workflow, marketing and business management as well as valuable templates for contracts and emails.
Image by Katie Rogers Photography