For Photographers: Tips to Breaking into the Wedding Industry
A few weeks ago I posted reaching out to photographers asking what they wished they knew and things they wanted to learn to help with their business. The responses I got back were AMAZING! So many people struggled with the same things and they are all topics that every photographer faces at one point or another! I am going to share my experiences and ideas but I would love to utilize the comment box to keep this an open dialog and hear all of your thoughts!:) LETS HELP EACHOTHER!! Alrighty lets get started!
Do you have dreams of being a wedding photographer but aren’t quite sure where to start? Maybe you are a wedding photographer but you feel your work getting stale and need inspiration and your work rejuvenated! I have been a photographer for one year now, which makes me super new too! Last year I was able to serve 15 brides and this year I am on my way to beating those numbers all while having raised my prices in 2018. This is not meant to boost me in any way it’s simply to show that YOU CAN DO IT!!! I will be the first to admit that I am no expert! But I do think there are key things I did to boost my business and skill!
1. Build Your Portfolio: Clients want to see proof! I would never book someone for my wedding if they didn’t have a portfolio to show me their work and what they are capable of and lets be real… would you? I hope not! There are MANY ways to build your portfolio (which happen to be steps to breaking into the wedding industry as well) like: second shooting, attending styled shoots, and doing free sessions just to name a few. Your portfolio is your foundation! With it you have something to show on your Instagram that will draw people in and something to show potential clients as well.
2. Attend Styled Shoots: There are a few reasons why I believe this is key! You build your portfolio, network with wedding creative, gain more confidence shooting, and its amazing practice. All of that for $50ish dollars which will definitely pay for itself eventually! I booked 3 weddings off of my first styled shoot and it really did prove to be so valuable! I also met some amazing people in the wedding industry because of it! Pick styled shoots that fit the style you want whether it’s elegant, boho, simple, high fashion, etc.
3. Second Shoot: While I was doing styled shoots I was also second shooting (assisting) some of my favorite photographers. I shot a lot of temple weddings as well as civil weddings throughout the summer. If I didn’t have a wedding I was using my free time to gain experience. I didn’t get paid and I didn’t care! I was learning things that I couldn’t in a classroom and building confidence for my own clients! Find a photographer whose style you love and whose work you admire and get on their schedule to second shoot with them this summer! You can use your pictures for your portfolio and usually since you are doing it for free they are super open to answering your questions!
4. Network: Ok so this is where some serious bravery comes in and also fear of rejection is overcome haha! I am going to be super honest! Once you have done the things above and you have experience and a portfolio it is time to throw yourself out there! Look for local florists, bakers, designers etc. Contact them and start your own collaboration! Give them all of the photos to use to promote you! They probably have people that follow them that never would see your work! It’s a great way to reach a broader audience. Find people that fit your ideal clientele and take their dang pictures! Have them model for you! Also be friends with photographers around you #communityovercompetition! Photog FB groups are a great way to do this and I know quite a few if you want the list let me know! I am always looking for referrals if I receive inquiries and I am already booked.
I hope you guys enjoy these tips! When I look back at the past year I feel like these 4 things are what definitely helped me the most! Being a wedding photographer is one of the most rewarding jobs! I am so glad I am able to continue to reach my goals and I know that you can too! Comment below your favorite tip! I would love to know what you think!