The Quick & Dirty Guide to Wedding Photography Business Branding

We’ve written about branding at length before, with talk on finding your own niche and sticking to it, as well as several other techniques to help you stand out on today’s complex photography market. Today, however, we’re going to make everything simple and clear for your convenience, with a quick and dirty guide to wedding photography business branding. We’ll be covering all the basics, from getting your reputation off the ground, to putting it to work for you – all outlined in some simple, easy-to-follow steps. Oh, and good luck!

The definitive guide to wedding photography business branding: Newbie edition

1. Making a name and a living at the same time


Back in the day, when print photography was much more important than it is today, in the digital era, photographers would make a name for themselves by getting gallery exposure, followed up with editorial work. Far be it from us, in our guide to wedding photography business branding, to dissuade you from garnering exposure via exhibitions. But, since they’re less likely to draw lucrative clients today than two or three decades ago, you’d be better advised to get some exposure online first, via curated websites. Promote any exposure you can get on your own social media channels and watch as the work rolls in.

2. Don’t underestimate stock photography


As many a seasoned photog will tell you, stock photography doesn’t sell nearly as well as it used to, nowadays. However, if you manage to get a bit of reputation off the ground, you might be surprised to learn that stock will provide a welcome stream of steady income. The trick to making this work often entails taking up several assignments at once – the pay isn’t big, but it’s dependable, when you do strike a lucrative stock photography contract.

3. Have the best possible online presence


In between running and maintaining a blog, several social media accounts (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are nearly compulsory) and setting up a professional website, you might even want to look into hiring an assistant to handle the workload for you. At the same time, even if you do choose to go down this route, it’s important to maintain a personal approach to your online presence. In other words, don’t make your fans and followers feel like they’re been talked at by a company, but by a genuine human being.

4. Consider hiring an editor


What’s all this talk about hiring someone else do the work for you?, you may ask. After all, the best way to take care of business is to do it yourself, right? Most of the time, yes – but not all the time. If, for instance, editing your work is not your strong suit (which, incidentally, is something that a lot of photographers struggle with), you should definitely think about hiring someone to edit the photos for you. After all, your end goal is to put your best foot forward, as it were, and make sure that the images that get out there with your name on them are the best possible ones.

5. Work on as many projects as possible


We’ve mentioned this before, in connection with stock photography, but it’s a good rule of thumb to go by, no matter the type of assignment. From shooting weddings pure and simple, to taking on editorial assignments, it’s a good idea to put out as much work as you can. You will thus expand your scope, grow your business, showcase your skill, and make sure you get your name out there, on as many people’s radars as possible. And that can’t be a bad idea, right?

How to Photograph Food at Weddings – The Bare Essentials

We live in a society that seems to be more obsessed with food than ever before. Not only has the cultural trope of the foodie risen to mainstream media prominence, but the endless streams of Instagram hashtags that revolve around food confirms this obsession. In such a food-centric day and age, the question of how to photograph food at weddings may seem simpler to answer than ever before. After all, if your smartphone touting 15 year-old cousin can do it, so can you – a seasoned professional of this visual art we call photography. Right?

Things are obviously not that simple, of course. In order to truly photograph food at events like a professional, you still need to bear a few essential tips and tricks in mind. So, here they are, for your convenience, dispensed in numbered list form.

1. Bounce those whites


There are few things likely to make meals look more unappealing than harsh shadows, the kind caused by natural light in mid-day, for instance. As such, one way to fill in those shadows is to bounce the whites and silver highlights in a picture with the aid of some easy-to-carry bounce cards. Not only will these simple aides make your images look better, they will also restore the level of detail you’re looking for, which you’d otherwise lose to deep shadows.

Such shadows are often unavoidable, especially at indoor events such as wedding parties. If you were shooting in direct sunlight, the situation would probably be different, in terms of contrast, colors and texturing. However, since you’re often stuck photographing courses in light mediated by windows, it’s important to keep things looking soft and delicate. So, if you’re wondering how to photograph food at weddings, one simple answer is to try and soften that harsh window lighting.

2. How to photograph food at weddings? Just focus on the food!


Sounds commonsensical enough, right? When photographing food, you should be focusing on the dish itself, not the props, or other decorative elements in the shot. As such, one good tip is to focus as close to the front edge of the food as possible. You’re aiming for shallow depth of field, which means your aperture needs to be as open as possible. One strategy is to find that one detail of the food shot that stands out most prominently. It can be a sprig of rosemary, a drip of whipped cream, a beautiful slice of fruit – or whatever looks most appetizing to you. Chances are it’s also going to look scrumptious to the onlooker as well. Not to mention you’ll be achieving great bokeh.

3. A bird’s eye view always helps


When the above tip on how to photograph food at weddings doesn’t seem to be working, as there’s no wonderful detail to focus on, you can always shoot straight from above. This way, you can add props and other interesting details – while also avoiding that common pitfall, shooting food that looks like it’s about to fall off the plate. This trick is especially useful for flat dishes, such as pizza, platters, or soup. If you’re working with a taller dish, like, say, a beverage, a layered cake, or a sandwich, you are probably better off shooting from an angle. This will help you reveal all the multiple interesting layers. But overhead photos also allow you to include the cutlery, the way the table is set, and the dishes, too. for weddings and other special events, this is a particularly good strategy, since it allows you to create visually interesting images with no more than a single click.

Got other tips on how to photograph food at weddings? Let us know in the comment section below!

20 Instagram Accounts That Will Help You Build Your Own

Looking for a social site that can help you promote your photography? Maybe its Instagram.

Instagram has been rapidly growing over the past couple of years. And in a recent press release, their newly announced statistics are definitely something to make you sit up and take notice.

  • 90 million monthly active users
  • 40 million photos per day
  • 8500 likes per second
  • 1000 comments per second

That’s a lot of traction And if you’ve been using social in any way over the past year, you know that the potential lies in the action – and 90 million active users means there is a lot of action.

  • Facebook has 1 billion monthly active users
  • Twitter has 200 million monthly active users
  • LinkedIn has 160 million monthly active users
  • Google+ has 135 million monthly active users

When compared to other active social platforms, Instagram is definitely handling its own space very well.

While you may have opened an account and posted a few images, are you using Instagram in the right way? After looking through a wide variety of accounts, there are a few rules that will help you dominate the Instagram field.

Dig Deeper: Following Trends and Using Instagram

Rule #1 Post Interesting Images

That sound simple enough, but this is where so many people get it wrong. They take the “cheesy” and “smile at the camera” shots when they’re out and about. Or they put the focus entirely on their brand rather than showcasing their talents and what they can do. Instagram is simply another portfolio of who you are and what you can do. Yes, you could share some of your clients’ work. Yes, you could share interesting photos taken while you’re “in the field”. It is up to you, but the overall goal is to be interesting and get people to enjoy what you have to offer.

Rule #2 Post Like Clockwork

What makes social work? Consistency. If you post once in January, again in March, the following September, and maybe something in December, how many followers are going to follow you? Or maybe you haven’t posted in months, then share 25 images in 3 minutes? Unfollow. If your followers expect it, they accept it. And are far more interested in developing a relationship with you.

Rule #3 Post Often

Slightly different than rule #2, this rule makes sure you use Instagram in a way that gains attention. What would happen if you posted 1 image every day at 6am EST? While you may gain traction that way, you’re probably not gaining instant viewership – how many people around the world are looking at 6am EST? Consistency means posting 5 days of the week. Often means posting 10 times throughout each day. Together it means understanding your audience and giving them exactly what you promise them. Again and again.

Rule #4 Build Relationships

Like every other social site out there, it isn’t all about you. Yes, as a photographer you can post your images and move onto your other daily tasks. But if you want to create an active brand through Instagram, you have to engage your followers. Instagram uses hashtags as well – use them to connect with people and respond to their @replies. You can even create themed hashtags and have people submit things to match your ideas or contests. Instant engagement … and the more you do it, the bigger you’ll grow.

Rule #5 Create themes

Even though you post regularly, you can separate out your photographs into themes by using hashtags. And again, it doesn’t all have to be about your professional services. Yes, you can #babyportraits or something else related to your business. But what about #perfectsunrises if you are a morning person and spend 7 days of the week running as the sun rises? Or #Ilovebeaches if you travel a lot and always end up staking out your space on some of the best beaches in the world? Get creative. That’s what draws the attention to you.

I believe you can learn something from everyone. So if you want to make it big on Instagram, you shouldn’t just look at “professional photographers”. You should also look to some of the top accounts on Instagram and find things they are doing right. And when you do, use that to build up your own account. Take a look at these top 10.


Instagram For Photographers Victoria Secrets


1. Victorias Secret


Instagram For Photographers Starbucks




Instagram For Photographers E Online


3. E Online


Instagram For Photographers Nike


4. Nike


Instagram For Photographers Burberry


5. Burberry



Instagram For Photographers Redbull



6. Redbull


Instagram For Photographers H&M


7. H&M

Instagram For Photographers Adidas

8. Adidas

Instagram For Photographers Billboard

9. Billboard

Instagram For Photographers Celtics

10. Celtics


Next lets look at some photographers on Instagram. They may not have the numbers of Victoria’s Secret or Starbucks, but their images speak for them.

Instagram For Photographers Scott Rankin

1. Othellonine

Instagram For Photographers Adam Senatori

2. Adam Senatori

Instagram For Photographers 13th Witness

3. 13th Witness

Instagram For Photographers Hirozzzz

4. Hirozzzz

Instagram For Photographers Sam Horine

5. Sam Horine

Instagram For Photographers Mike Kus

6. Mike Kus

Instagram For Photographers Alice Gao

7. Alice Gao

Instagram For Photographers Jimmy Chin

8. Jimmy Chin

Instagram For Photographers Keith Ladzinski

9. Ladzinski

Instagram For Photographers Scott Rinckenberger

10. Scott Rinck



Following Trends and Using Instagram

Certain apps gain more power than others. And that is the case with the less than one year old Instagram.

Instagram is a popular iPhone app that is taking mobile photo sharing to new heights. Instagram now has more than 5 million users, which have posted collectively around 100 million photos.

What makes Instagram successful is the features this one tool has. With your iPhone, you can snap a photo, or take an existing photo from your phone’s gallery, enhance it with eleven different possible effects, and then share it on the various social networks. Instagram itself has its own social networking aspects, and has turned somewhat into a phenomenon in the photography world.

While other apps tout integration with other social networking tools, none have been able to make the seamless transition the way that Instagram has. And that is what is attracting the attention of consumers, businesses, and even non-profits ready to find new ways to tell people about what they do. And whole new niches are starting up.

Mashable recently posted a story on the booming trend of fashion, or street photographers using Instagram to create a whole new interest in what they do. Some have never worked with street photography before, and now have followers into the tens of thousands. Not bad for a few months work.

And while Instagram is a simple app that keeps things clean and simple, because of its success other apps are being developed to give more power to the Instagram app.


Carousel gives you the ability to view your images, double click photos to enlarge and save to iPhoto, and has a variety of keyboard shortcuts to give you even more options.


Allows you to see the most popular photos of people you follow in gallery format, and allows you to share your photos in a number of ways.


Extragram gives you an easy way to view your favorite Instagram photos on the web. View them in three different styles: grid, filmstrip or map view.


Statigram provides you with metrics – find out who the most engaged followers are, filter and tag usage, like and post comments, and more.

And like many other apps out there today, its only available in iPhone or iPod running  iOS 3.1.2 and above. Androids will have to sit this one out for now.

Are you using Instagram?