In the network of photography professionals, many emails and phone calls are received from aspiring and novice wedding photographers. These beginners are typically seeking advice as to how to go about breaking into the business and how to succeed once business is established. Many of them embrace questionable motivation (i.e. it’s easy money, they want a good side business, et cetera) but, once in the great while a novice will embrace a true passion for the craft.
Wedding photography can in fact be a profitable venture once success is achieved in the wedding industry. The wedding industry in itself earns 40 billion dollars annually, so it stands to reason that photography gets a big chunk of that. However, being a successful wedding photographer is not as simple as buying a new camera and printing some business cards. Wedding photography requires artistic viewpoints and talent, a sense of human emotion, mastery of photographic techniques, a business sense, and a desire to learn as much as possible about he industry while delivering top-quality work.
Some great tips for breaking into the wedding photography business are as follows:
o Educate yourself on photography first. To be successful in wedding photography, you must be a master craftsman. It will be your job to capture some of the most important events life has to offer. There should be no on the job training when it comes to wedding photography technique.
o A fancy camera doesn’t automatically make you a good photographer. While the tools of the trade are important, good photography goes far beyond gadgetry. Take time to learn about composition, lighting, color, and artistry. Learning to use your new camera is only part of the equation.
o Learn to master digital editing and processing. Color management and file processing will be key to maintaining organization in your growing business.
o Make photography your passion. If you love what you do, your products will be that much better. If you’re in wedding photography only for the money, you won’t get very far. Couples can sense whether or not you’re as happy to be photographing their dream wedding as they are to be marrying. Don’t be dilusioned by the idea of making lots of money. According to the Professional Photographers of America “the average photographer in America makes about $24,000 a year”.
o Remember that quality is more important than quantity.
o Don’t be a copycat photography. Concentrate on developing a style that’s all your own. Creating a unique style will ensure specialization in your field.
o Remember that a record of your work and effort will live on forever, so put your all into it.
o Don’t force photographs. Try to capture natural human tendencies. Your photos will always be great if you do.
o Establish a network with other professionals. It’s always good to have connections.
o Enter your photos into contests. This will ensure you’re continually raising the performance bar.
o Always try to learn something new. Attend workshops, go to classes, never become complacent in business or in your craft. Making an effort to constantly improve will help you gain more business, thus making you more money!
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