How to build a career as a wedding photographer

Wedding photography can be a rewarding career or a good part time job. There’s huge demand and you don’t really need a specific degree or qualification to take this job. However, it’s not a walk in the part. It will take a lot more than buying a good quality digital camera and setting up a FaceBook page.  

Just like any other profession, there are various intricacies you need to learn before you pursue this line of work. You need to be good at photography, lighting, as well as editing. Plus, you will also need to learn the art of marketing and communication skills.

Here’s how to start and build a career as wedding photographer.

Building a career as a wedding photographer:

Wedding photography is a hard market to break into as it is saturated with some of the best and the most talented photographers. Therefore, you have to be the best to make it. Here what you need to do:

Acquire knowledge and new skills:

Wedding photography is one of the most challenging careers to pursue. There’s no margin of error. And there is a lot you need to learn to excel in this line of work. You need to learn how different types of cameras work and which accessories can improve the results. You need to be familiar with a variety of editing software. You should know how and when to use flash lights to capture the best shots.

You don’t need to enroll in a degree program to learn all these skills. You can take online courses or participate in workshops to polish your skills. With the acquired skills and knowledge, you can perform your best in any situation.

Define your individual style:

To thrive in any creative field, it is very important to put your style apart from the others. Even within the photography industry, there are thousands of photographers with the most advanced gadgets but they still struggle for work. The major reason behind their failure is the inconsistence in their style. If you want to make your mark in the photography industry, you need to offer your clients something more than the usual. Build your photography style around that one thing you are passionate about. Developing your individual style will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, add an element of minimalism in your wedding photographs by keeping the background subtle. The earlier you define your style the more profitable it is going to be for your career.

Keep up your commitment and passion:

Contrary to popular belief, photography is a full-time job. You can only build a successful career in photography if you are committed to your craft. If photography is simply your hobby, you can grab a fancy camera and take some cool shots. However, if you have taken it up as a profession, then you need to realize that taking photographs is only one aspect of wedding photography. If you want to make a living out of your skill, you need to be an expert in a lot more than just taking great shots. To be successful in this line of work, you need to master editing, marketing, communication, networking, accounting and everything that comes with it. Also make sure that you are not limiting yourself to wedding photography. There are many other photography gigs that you can take like fashion photography for wedding dress designers or wedding jewelry photography.

Wedding photography might look easy from afar but it is as time consuming as any other 9-5 job. You need to continuously improve your skills, stay focused, passionate and motivated.

Look for a mentor:

Just like doctors or lawyers, who start their practice with a more established professional in their field, you can also work with a senior photographer for some time to learn the fundamentals. It will not only teach you the photography but other aspects of your business like marketing or how to deal with the clients.

If you follow an inspiration or work with a mentor, it saves you years of mistakes and bad experiences. Whatever, your mentor has learned the hard way, you will learn through his words of wisdom. Do your research, by looking up the portfolios of the best wedding photographers in town. Contact the one whose photography style resonates with yours. Ask them to make you their assistant. But make sure to be very careful in who you choose to follow. Otherwise, it will be hard for you to grow as a wedding photographer.

Bio: Emily Brook writes on fashion and lifestyle topics at Fergus James, a Dubai based business that specializes in custom diamond rings for wedding and engagements. She loves to go hiking and surfing when she is not writing.

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