If you’ve read part 1 of our becoming a wedding photographer blog and continued to read part 2, you are clearly not put off by the fact that it isn’t an easy road. As promised, we will aim to give you some advice in the second part of our blog in the form of 5 key tips to becoming a wedding photographer.
Tip 1 – Online Tutorials
Use YouTube and other online training resources. These resources are generally free and plentiful. However the secret is to find a series of training sessions that suit your style or to search for specific skills that you are looking to develop. There are so many resources available that sometimes you can spend hours just jumping from one video to another. You should ideally be using Lightroom or something similar to edit your photos.
Here are a couple of resources to consider;
Phlearn - https://www.youtube.com/user/PhlearnLLC - Phlearn is a great resource for so many areas but their Photoshop tutorials are by far one of the best resources.
Anthony Morganti - https://www.youtube.com/user/AnthonyMorganti - Anthony Morganti offers one of the best sets of Lightroom tutorials available
Tip 2 – Mentor and Second Shooting
Many photographers will have varying levels of success in this area, but they are two vital ingredients to building yourself up as a wedding photographer. Finding a mentor is not easy, at the end of the day other photographers are trying to run their own business too. You can try to find someone that will help you out and train you, you could pay other photographers to be part of their one year training courses or potentially get paid to be somebodies apprentice/assistant. Second shooting for other wedding photographers tends to be a bit of an easier option especially if you are willing to travel and offer your services for free. The main thing you can aim to do is be a pleasure to work with so other people enjoy having you alongside at their weddings.
Tip 3 – Facebook Groups
Joining lots of Facebook groups can help you in many ways. Firstly, they are a great way to learn new photography skills. Secondly, they can give you plenty of inspiration and ideas for your own wedding photography. But the most important reason for joining Facebook groups is networking. Don’t just join photography groups join lots of wedding related groups. You will meet so many people in the wedding industry not only photographers, but professionals involved in all areas of the wedding industry.
Tip 4 – Networking
Networking is basically a technical term for making friends. This is a key part of making any business successful. Although other photographers may be your competition, they can also be your greatest ally. Building good relationships with fellow photographers will help you in many ways. You can share potential clients with each other, assist each other and cover each other’s weddings if needed. You never know when you might need the help of another photographer or they might need yours. It is also worth trying to build up a network of reputable suppliers and wedding co-ordinators so that you can look to recommend each other. This last one can be tricky as a lot of relationships are already established in the industry. Again the key point is to be likeable, networking is a two way street you need to be giving back to your network for it to work successfully.
Tip 5 – Never Stop
You can never stop working on your wedding photography business and your own development, you need to keep up to date with what’s going on in the industry and make sure you are producing photos as good as your competitors. You constantly need to maintain your website and social media following, continually work on your relationships with others. You ‘ll have no doubt started at a cheap price so you’ll need to continually evaluate your prices and packages you offer. You’ll never know where your next wedding photography booking is going to come from – although word of mouth and a good reputation are key tools to getting them, thinking they will just fall on your lap without continually working for them is a mistake.
Sarah & Joe