Here are 12 tips for starting a wedding photography business. There are plenty of photography lessons on Bright Hub, so I’ll skip the technical info and focus on the business end.
1. Have at least two cameras: For convenience, security and professionalism, buy and familiarize yourself with at least two cameras. You may want one with a soft-focus filter or zoom lens, or just an extra backup. Also take extra batteries. Err on the side of caution. You’ll have a very unhappy bride if your camera suddenly jams in the middle of the ceremony.
2. Test your skills and interest: A wedding photography business may sound like a fun way to make money on the weekends and be around a bunch of happy people. But without doing it, you may not know if you are really capable and interested in starting a wedding photography business. Try asking a friend or family member if you can shoot their wedding for free (assuming you aren’t already the maid of honor). Especially for your first couple of jobs, you may even encourage them to hire an established professional who lets you observe while practicing your own photography.
3. Make a budget: The most important aspect of starting any small business is creating a realistic budget, and making an effort to stick to it. You’ll likely save money and headaches by spending some time to make this budget upfront.
4. Keep track of expenses: Likewise, keep careful track of all your expenses and revenue for tax purposes. Taxes can be hefty on small businesses, but there are plenty of opportunity to write off expenses, including mileage and a portion of your mortgage for your home office. But be careful. You’re also raising your chances of an audit, when you’ll need to prove that you have a dedicated computer and room just for the home business.
5. Learn to shoot quickly and take candid photos: If you’re used to staging perfect family portraits, you’re ready for about one quarter of the wedding shoot. You’ll also need to shoot candid images during every part of the wedding ceremony and reception. And it’s plenty of rapid shooting with the goal of using a fraction of your images. It’s also important to perfect the art of being everywhere but not intruding on the event.
6. Start small: If you’re ready to move on from your cousin’s free shoot, you’re still not ready to charge big bucks and take out full page ads in wedding magazines. Save some marketing money by offering your services on local online forums or in community event halls or relevant shops with bulletin boards.