As entry-level DSLR cameras have become more affordable, many people have turned into hobbyist photographers. The popularity of social media apps has also played a key role in fueling people interests in photography. The need for professional wedding photographer is on the rise today, which makes wedding photography a lucrative career opportunity for many.
However, there’s a difference between amateur photography and professional wedding photography. If you want to start a career in a wedding photography, here are a couple of skills you should start developing right now.
Know Your Tools
Professional wedding photography is a responsible job because people trust you with their special events and memorable occasions. You should be someone with an eye for detail and a creative bent of mind. You should know your camera inside out and how it works in a variety of lighting settings. In short, here are a couple of questions you should answer before entering professional wedding photography business.
- Do you know how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work together?
- Do you know how to handle your camera settings in low-light conditions?
- Can you adjust your photography under bright sun?
- Can you take great pictures when the subject is moving fast?
- While learning photography is a life-long process, you should acquire advanced photography skills before getting into this business full-time.
Get a License
It’s one thing to pursue photography for fun and quite another to make a living out of it. Indeed, you need to spend quite bit on building your business before people start taking you seriously. Starting from high quality cameras and lenses, to license registration to insurance, you need to get ready to spend on building your business for a full-time operation.
If you want to be a professional photographer, you should do the following things:
- Apply for a business license.
- Get into contracts with clients (Hire a lawyer.).
- Open a business account.
- Purchase gear insurance.
- Register your business (Sole Proprietorship or LLC).
- File for EIN.
Are you ready for such an investment into your business? Think about it.
Build a Website
In today’s competitive and crowded wedding photography business, getting noticed is the key to more business opportunities. As technology has become mainstream, your prospective clients are searching for you online. By having a business website, you can reach your potential clients, show off your work and share your portfolios with them.
Being self-employed can be lonely at times. In professional wedding photography, you need to be good at networking with people in order to get recommendations from others. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to join one of the popular photographers’ groups online. Apart from learning more from other photographers, you can stay on the top of their mind during peak wedding seasons.
Professional wedding photography can be financially rewarding once you become popular in your region. However, when you start off your career, you will need to develop great negotiation skills to convince your clients why they should buy a certain package and why it’s worth the investment.
Sometimes, people hesitate hiring a rather inexperienced photographer for their weeding. By working on your negotiation skills, you can ask for the right remuneration for your work and scale your business without hurting your bottom line.
Indeed, professional wedding photography is a lucrative career option for many. However, it requires in-depth knowledge of photography, camera, lenses, lighting conditions and, above all, a lot of practice. If you want to be a full-time wedding photographer, keep the above tips in mind and stat working on your skills today.
About the Author
Eric Chiu is a well-known professional wedding photographer in Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley and Orange County. He specializes in pre-wedding, real estate, and aerial videography.
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