Getting into weddings is an excellent way to start a photography business. Not only is it one of the most accessible routes, but also one that could be potentially lucrative if you know how to play your cards right. Here are a few ways you can start a wedding photography business from the ground up.
If you’re going to be taking photos in the wedding industry, then one of the first things you need to be mindful of is your budget. As this is an industry that primarily deals a lot with having to travel and building a network, having a safety net to feel comfortable with those practices will be crucial. And if you haven’t really considered this a need, then you should put it as a top priority.
According to the SBA, the average cost to start a small business is between $1,000 to $5,000, which is a good point to begin. Depending on if you’re trying to do this full-time or as a side hustle, map out the total cost you estimate in equipment, registering your LLC, travel budget, as well as if you’re going to need any overhead to live. Furthermore, it’s better to be a little more conservative with your efforts than it is to be paying for things on the fly, especially if a big opportunity comes up that you can’t miss. While I know you most likely want to hop into things, it’s also important to be patient with your approach to ensure you have a reliable foundation.
Create A Solid Brand
Once you’ve established your budget, it’s time to assess your brand. As the wedding industry can be a crowded field, having a solid brand to stick out from the rest will be crucial to your success. Deciphering this as a photographer isn’t always easy, as it’s something that requires quite a bit of knowing how you want to portray yourself to the rest of the industry, which can be much more difficult than you might imagine.
The name of the game with branding is to come up with something that will visually showcase the type of photography you do without actually looking at a picture. This is mainly accomplished by displaying a certain ethos to your company, for example, as noted by LucidPress, 64 percent of consumers cite shared values as a reason they do business with a brand. And if you’re looking to tackle something like that, then honing in on what your photography business stands for and why it’s different than the rest will be clutch.
Know Your Rate
If you asked anyone who’s been freelancing for a while how they’ve been able to sustain themselves, they’d most likely tell you to know your rate and not back down from it. As noted by PetaPixel, the average photographer charges anywhere from $25 to $75 per hour, which is quite the range depending on skill. The biggest portion most miss the mark on here is being shy about knowing your worth, which needs to be a top priority if you’re going to get paid a living wage.
Take a look at what type of experience you have with photography and ask yourself objectively how much you’d pay for your photos. It’s also helpful in this process to be able to have quantifiable terms that you can use, for example, if you have extensive experience with lighting or own equipment that helps justify a higher price. The more you can defend your price point, the better, as that’s what will be what holds you sustainable in developing your business.
Build Your Portfolio Beyond Ceremonies
Finally, although most of us consider that wedding photography is strictly for the day of a wedding, there’s a way more to it than that. As noted by Market Research, this is a $72 billion industry, which goes to show how much opportunity is out there in weddings alone. Plus, this can be an excellent opportunity to form new partnerships, and in turn, gain more business.
Take a look around your field and ask yourself what type of clients you’d be interested in shooting. Try to develop a diverse range; for example, the wedding dress company Azazie does a great job of showcasing a variety of people wearing their dresses in real life weddings. Brainstorm places both locally and nationally that you think would be amazing partners, as these will be the ones that can help develop your business in no time.
What are you most excited about in starting a wedding photography business? Comment with your answers below.