Wedding Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid  

Weddings are serious events. So, if you are not actually a professional photographer yet but still want to venture in the vast world of wedding photography you need to keep your eyes open for some pieces of advice.

Here you will find some of the most common photography mistakes you need to avoid if you want to master the art of photography.

This list will include mistakes from both the photographer and the soon to be married couple’s points of view.

Wedding Photography Mistakes

Wedding Photography Mistakes From the Photographer’s Point of View

1. Not Knowing your Gear

It is very important to think ahead when it comes to any sort of serious event you are the designated photographer at. Always make sure you have a plan B when it comes to your equipment. At a wedding, you are usually set with having two cameras, a tripod and a couple of different lenses. This way, even if one of your cameras malfunctions or runs out of battery, you will not lose precious time and moments charging your camera or not being able to replace it.

Another problem is having expensive equipment and not knowing how to use it. Take your time to find out every little function your camera is capable of. A wedding is not exactly the right place to see what a new setting on your camera does.

2. Poor Exposure

Poor exposure is always a problem when it comes to big objects in a light color. You big, white object at a wedding is the bride’s wedding dress. You certainly do not want all of your shots with the bride to appear like someone sank in a large white mass, this is why you need to play around with the exposure.

An exposure set too high will make the bride’s dress look like its glowing while a too underexposed picture will make shadows look noisy and the white looking grey. Given the fact that you have a light dress to shoot, you can use a slight under exposure to capture all the shadows casted on the bride’s dress and a little underexposure can be edited fairly easy after the photoshoot.

3. Lack of Experience

Do not let anyone talk you into becoming the main photographer at an event if you are not sure that is what you want. Let’s say your best friends in high school are about to get married and they are almost forcing you into becoming their photographer even though you haven’t shot any weddings prior to theirs.

A wedding needs one of the happiest events in the married couple’s lives so do not consider the task of being a wedding photographer as easy. If you are not 100% certain you will be able to end the task successfully, offer your services as a secondary photographer, experiencing with different angles and details and let a professional photographer take the blame if the photos are not good enough.

4. Focusing too Much on the “Best Shot”

If you want your wedding photographs to really stand out, do not spend way too much time on taking the best shot of the married couple. Usually, a couple who wants beautiful wedding pictures with only the two of them will arrange a private photoshoot where they can focus on being with each other.

At the wedding, you need to capture moments rather than people. Group photos where half of the people are looking at your camera while the other half is looking on other cameras are starting to get really annoying. Focus you attention on how the wedding goes on and mark the most special moments with photographs of the soon-to-be married couple, their guests and also some their designs.

5. Choosing JPEG Format

You need as much detail as possible, especially when it comes to wedding photos. Most of your photos will most likely need some touch ups after the wedding so why not take advantage of you gear properly? Instead of choosing to shoot your pictures in a JPEG format, choose the RAW setting.

Wedding Photography Mistakes

From the Bride and Groom’s Point of View

1. Lack of Communication Between You & Your Photographer

Do not expect to find someone who will know exactly what, when and how to shoot right from the start. In order to get the best out of your wedding pictures you have to have good communication with your photographer.

Try pointing out what you actually want to see in your wedding pictures and what you expect out of all this wedding photography experience.

2. Not Finding a Focus Point

Do you want two dozen pictures with the two of you in different moments or do you want a collage made with pictures of your family and friends? Sort out what your photographer’s focus point should be, this way if he or she messes up, it will not be because you weren’t sure about what you wanted.

If you have ideas regarding what colors should be predominant or how you want the pictures to be taken, do not be afraid to share them with your photographer.

3. Details are not that Important

Thirty years from now, when you will be looking through your old wedding pictures you would have probably already forgotten what colors the napkins where or how uncle John spilled an entire bottle of champagne on aunt Mary. Photographs are special moment frozen in time, take advantage of them as much as you can.

Details and small moments are what you will remember from your special day so do not consider them less important.

4. Not Making Eye Contact

If you will constantly pose whenever you see the camera in your vicinity, you will automatically have dozens of dull pictures. Through posing you eliminate any trace of real emotion and you will constantly be distracted by the camera.

For your pictures to look as natural and as great as possible, always maintain a natural look and be spontaneous even when you see someone taking a picture of you.

5. Not hiring a Professional {Photographer

You may think you know enough about photography to trust your wedding photos in the hands of a beginner or a friend’s but without having some special training or experience in photography, you will most likely be disappointed of your photographer.

Although a professional photographer may be expensive and you might not consider him necessary, you will definitely love him after you see the actual pictures.

7 Wedding Photography Tips for Spring Weddings

Ah, spring! The season when nature comes back to life, everything is green and love floats in the air. Many couples choose to tie the knot during spring when the weather is warm enough for a great party yet cold enough to not force men to wear short sleeved shirts. We have comprised a list with the most useful tips for wedding photography for spring weddings and we are now sharing it with you!

Wedding Photography Tips for Spring Weddings

1. Take Advantage of the Natural Light During Spring Weddings

Spring is usually the season when you have the sun on your side so why make the best out of all that natural light? Invite the married couple in a place filled with the natural light coming from the sun and take some amazing shots without having to use any props.

Celebrate nature and the newly wedded couple and emphasize the scenery in the same amount as the couple to create contrast. Keep in mind that both the bride and the groom will eventually grow tired of seeing just plain pictures of them and they will expect something else even if they might not kno that yet.

2. Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast

Although you might have the sun on your side, during spring, showers are also common. If you want to be sure you are prepared for all scenarios, you need to check the weather forecast prior to the wedding and be sure your gear is waterproof if any rain is predicted. Even though you will not have as much natural light as you would during a sunny day, a photo shoot in the rain can be quite astonishing.

If the married couple can also adapt their wardrobe to the weather conditions (for example, they can choose to wear waterproof boots instead of fancy shoes), you will be able to create funny and touching stories through your photographs.

3. Play Around with Colors

You will most likely have a lot of flowers and green patches at your hand if you are the designated photographer at a spring wedding so make sure you include all of them in your photos. Any bride will look gorgeous with a flower crown on her head while the groom can have flowers instead of a napkin in his suit jacket. Use flowers to portray a picture where the groom surprises his wife.

To make the most out of all the freshness spring provides, make your couple put their imagination at work and see how they let their inner child loose in the middle of a green field. This way you will not only capture a wedding photo session, but a story of two people who were lost but found each other.

Wedding Photography

4. Choose a Lively Background

There is nothing duller than a plain background that does not put anything in context, especially when it comes to wedding photography tips. Given the fact that you will probably have an entire sea of green available to use, seize the opportunity and create contrasts.

A great idea is to make the couple interfere with the wildlife. Let them explore the fascinating world of insects such as bees in search for flowers or see how birds begin building their nests. Be careful though! Do not consider dangerous wild animals as pets and do not put anyone’s life in danger.

5. Communicate

Before starting to plan your photo shoot, communicate with the bride and groom. What are they expecting from this photo shoot? Where would they like to go? What do they want to do? These are all questions to which they will most likely not have an answer but that gives you the opportunity to start getting creative.

If the couple is not entirely sure what to expect from their wedding photography session, you have the possibility to juggle around with different ideas and then ask the couple what would they like to go with.

6. Be careful with the Details During your Wedding Photography

Try to find one or more focus points in all of your pictures and do not ignore the simple or small things. Be careful to not overexpose details by using your built-in flash or simply by using too much sunlight. On the same manner, be careful to not underexpose your pictures if you are shooting on a rainy day. In order to make sure that everything is in the right place take a couple of test shots before proceeding with an idea.

The test shots will help you see what settings you need to work with to achieve perfection on your wedding photography tips.

Wedding Photography Tips for Spring Weddings

7. Capture feelings

One of the most important things you can do through photography is to capture the essence of a feeling or a moment. Always advise your subjects to avoid posing and be as natural as possible. Try presenting them a photo shoot idea and capture the moments when they start preparing for your photo.

Another idea is to catch them gazing into each other’s eyes, as eye contact is a true love statement and not only in photography. When two people are staring into each other’s eyes you can almost feel the passion and the love floating in the air. Imagine that if you capture the most perfect moment in the most perfect angle you can make that feeling last for eternity (or at least for a couple of decades until the photo will start decomposing).

As a photographer, it is your job to make sure you surprise every important and special moment, even though you might not consider it special. This is why it is very important to communicate and try to know the people you are about to work with and see what they like and what they are expecting.

Even though your mind might be filled with amazing photography ideas, you must always be aware of the fact that people have different tastes and different expectations and the only way to make sure that your ideas will be appreciated by others as much as they are appreciated by you, is through communication.

Image Sources: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

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?

Making the Most of Your Wedding Portrait Photos: 3 Trends in 2014

As many artists will tell you, wedding portrait photos are an art in and of themselves. They are very important to the clients, of course, and can also greatly enrich your portfolio and enhance its overall value. That’s why, for today’s post, we’re taking a look at three trends that have been dictating the rules for this segment over the past months. They’ve been confirmed enough for us to assume that they’ll also be around until the end of the year; so, pay heed and make sure you’re doing everything right, in order to make the most of your wedding portrait photos.

1. Posed shots are the past


It’s not just wedding portrait photos that have become more dynamic and focused on storytelling. In fact, as seasoned family or pet photographers will confirm, the entire niche of photographic portraiture has become far more focused on natural settings and dynamism. Most photographers nowadays choose to photograph their clients in natural outdoor environments, thus lending an air of freshness and vivacity to their shots. It also helps place the subjects in a setting they love, since this will help them feel far more relaxed in front of the camera.

Another trend, which only comes to complete the above, is that of wedding portrait photos that could easily pass for photojournalism. What does this mean, in terms of actual images? It means that both the photographer and the clients take on a more candid approach. The end images are more natural and raw, less processed, more creative, and with a more ‘in the moment’ feel to them than ever before. Since photojournalism is all about spontaneity and capturing a good story within an instant, it goes without saying that the photos created like this are far more unique, fun for everyone involved and creative.

2. Pricing goes up with experience


Given today’s rather harsh economic climate, many wedding photographers are reluctant to increase the pricing of their services overall – and of their portrait sessions in particular. However, as seasoned pros will tell you, this is not necessarily a good approach. After all, if you’re investing in your business, it’s only natural to expect the prices to match your level of experience. What’s more, portrait photography can even be regarded as a separate niche within the wedding photography segment. It requires specialized equipment and technical skills. If you’re committed to creating ever better wedding portrait photos, you’re probably also investing in this. Classes, lenses, accessories and other investments should be reflected in your pricing options. What’s more, as you continue to grow your wedding photography business, it’s probably also a good idea to book more clients – in the long run, this increasing roster of customers will also act as an argument in your favor, when it comes to asking for higher fees.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of the print


Sure, everyone is online these days: wedding portrait photos garner impressive amounts of likes on Facebook, they’re shared by your clients over Instagram, and maybe even featured on Pinterest. But the problem is that they all too often end up forgotten on a CD or DVD somewhere. To help your wedding portrait photos enjoy a longer lifespan, but also to help increase your business, you should perhaps try offering a special print as a bonus to your clients, thus encouraging them to print more photos.

Also, one clear 2014 trend is experimenting with print materials. Canvas is very popular at the moment, but there are so many options the list is virtually endless. Some photographers over shadow boxes, others print on glass or wood, while others are experimenting with artwork products like metal and acrylic.

5 Tips on Building the Best Photo Portfolio Website

Say what you will, but building the best photo portfolio website is still important, even in 2014 – the day and age of social media, mobile apps and all other great digital trends. Why does a good website still matter? The answer is simple enough and has a lot to do with one of the most basic principles in marketing: a website for your photo brand is the most comprehensive way for a potential client to sample your work and decide whether or not they want to hire you. They’ll be basing their decision on what they see there to a great extent, so it pays off to know how to best represent your brand and showcase your work. That being said, here are five efficient tips on how to build the best photo portfolio website for yourself.

#1 Getting praise for website design? Think again


There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a website design that gets a lot of compliments… if you’re a website designer. But you’re not; you’re a wedding photographer and that’s what your site should convey. Forget complex Flash animations and other artifices. Keep it simple and clean, let the photos speak for themselves, keep the number of buttons at a bare minimum, and, if possible, even add an option that conceals them when they’re not being used. K-I-S-S, as they say, and you’ll be on your way to building the best photo portfolio website possible.

#2 Reconsider your views on image theft

This point might turn out controversial, but it bears mentioning. As you may or may not have noticed, more and more photographers with a strong online presence choose to put their images up at full-screen size on their website. They’re also keeping the area of the picture that’s taken up by the watermark at a bare minimum (as do major image repositories such as Getty Images). Of course, you want to protect your images from being stolen, but you also want to see them featured, shared, and admired. It’s easy to protect your full-size images from being downloaded with a right-click blocker, for instance; similarly, too big a watermark might deter your visitors from actually looking at the pictures.

#3 It’s a website, not a brain puzzle


Another sure-fire way to create the best photo portfolio website you can is to make sure it’s efficient, in terms of user-friendliness. Keep your number of featured categories at a bare minimum, too. Don’t get too creative with naming them, or the labels, tags, categories, and menu buttons you’re using. It might seem fun at first, but you also risk alienating visitors. It should be simple to get to see the pictures – and this involves a choice of wording that your viewers will understand and that is also typical of your niche.

#4 Go mobile

This is 2014 – everyone and their grandmother is browsing the web off a smartphone, tablet, or another type of mobile device. These devices have smaller screens and they also react differently to usage patterns. As such, make sure you’re investing into the development of a mobile, responsive design version for your website. The best photo portfolio website you can build is definitely not one that looks the same on a computer screen as it does on an iPhone.


#5 You are your own worst editor

It may sound harsh and it could even be too much to stomach for some photographers, but the truth is that you’re better off hiring an editor, when trying to build a website. They will do a far better job than you at selecting the pictures in the first place, since they’re not as emotionally attached to them as you are. And, as they say, a photographer’s portfolio is only as good as the worst picture in it.

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!

5 Ways to Deal with Bad Wedding Photos

It’s another one of those photographers’ nightmares that everyone has to deal with, sooner or later in their career. It usually tends to happen to beginner wedding photographers: you shoot the wedding, spend tons of time editing the pictures, then, one day, you get the dreaded call. The client hates your work. They are disappointed with it. They may even ask for their money back. What do you do? How do you deal with bad wedding photos? Here are 5 tips from actual wedding photographers, with enough experience in their portfolios to be speaking with the best of intentions.


1. Don’t dwell

This is the most important step in learning how to deal with bad wedding photos, unless you want to end up too scared to ever pick up a camera again. The past is in the past and you can’t reshoot a wedding. You can analyze what went wrong, enlist the aid of a very skilled photo editor and try to do as much damage control as possible. However, at the end of the day, all you can do is learn from your mistakes (as everyone does) and move forward.

2. Analyze & acknowledge

Perhaps the conditions in which you shot the wedding were harsh. Perhaps you lack the experience to handle the weather, the light, the temper tantrums thrown by the wedding party, or anything else. Maybe your compositions are bad. Try to pinpoint the causes, in order to deal with bad wedding photos. Understand what went wrong, but make sure to be as objective and detached as possible. It’s actually a good idea to sit down with said ruined set and a trusted fellow photographer and ask for their opinion. A second call could be what you need, in order to prevent you from doubting your professional abilities altogether.

3. Pay up… or not

Sometimes, when you are forced to deal with bad wedding photos, you must simply understand that some clients are out to get their money back. Nothing you say or do will feel like compensation enough for them, before you pay up. You can comply to any other request they make, edit and re-edit the photos until you turn blue in the face – they want their money back and that’s final. At this point, your options are those listed in the contract you signed with them. If the client has just cause to ask for their money back, both legally and ethically, there is little you can do but pay up. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself be bullied away from your money.


4. Get a second shooter, be a second shooter

The best way to learn wedding photography is by being a second shooter. Wedding photography pros recommend second shooting weddings for at least a year, before you attempt to go it on your own, as the main wedding photographer. Similarly, if you’re starting out as a main wedding photographer, it’s almost mandatory to enlist the aid of a second shooter you can trust. At the end of the day, they can make a world of difference, in terms of client satisfaction.

5. Trust your instinct

Lastly, the main takeaway, when you have to deal with bad wedding photos, is that you should always trust your gut when it comes to taking on a gig. If you feel you lack the experience and/or are worried the responsibility is too much for you to handle, find a gracious way to say no. You should never let a client pressure you into a booking, because chances are at the end of the day no one’s going to walk away happy – not you, nor the client.

How to Help Couples Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day Once a couple’s wedding day is here, their simply accepting to get married becomes a piece of cake comparing to the ordeal of getting photographed by a stranger. Well, this term is a bit harsh, but you get the picture. Never mind of you’ve known them your whole life or if you’ve just met them, you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario. You are just an outsider meant to mingle with their energy and show it all on camera. But it’s your job to help these couples relax in photographs  of their big day, photographs you are taking. People are different indeed, and so are the couples they form, and it goes without saying that life is better if you have a special someone to share it with, but what can you do, as a photographer witnessing their big day, to make things seem even more perfect than they could ever imagine? Here are some tips and tricks that are meant to keep the most self-aware bride focused on what you really need in order to take the perfect picture. For a more professional tutorial, find out more here.

Give Them Something To Do

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day2 As a general rule, you should never leave your models without a focus point. Professional models are perfectly capable of finding their own concentration points, but as a wedding photographer, chances to work for professional models are quite seldom. So don’t get your hopes up high, but instead develop this simple trick that’s sure to work in every situation. No matter whom you are dealing with, just put your subjects to work. Ask them to tell jokes, to sing, to jump, to surprise each other, to tickle one another, basically any amusing action that crosses your mind. Take advantage of the fact that they can rely on each other. You can also apply this rule when you have to shoot separate frames, with just one member of the couple. Be creative. The explanation is quite simple: once your couple forgets about your being there, instead of struggling to capture natural and genuine beauty, it will just pop out! No one can act natural, they can either be natural or pretend. And we all know how the latter looks like. Not cool.

Make Them Think of Something Nice

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day3 Well, some couples may be too agitated to think of games, or too excited, or too stressed, or too shy… But don’t panic, there’s always a plan B! Here is a softer version of the solution presented above. For introverts, try to delicately guide them into certain states of mind. Instead of bluntly asking them to stare into your lens, with an uptight smile on their faces, try to make them fall into pleasant states of mind.  Get them to tell you the story of how they met, or the day they decided to get married, or the best holiday they’d had so far, or about their honeymoon plans, etc. A nice mental image can always be seen in their eyes as well, and there you go! That’s your Kodak moment! When asked to think happy thoughts, people de-focus from the actual purpose of their being there. Therefore they will stop being uptight, because they will completely forget about you and focus on what made them happy at one time.

Don’t Forget That You Are Also in the Pictures

You’ll just need to click a button, and your work of art is complete. True, but not quite. It goes without saying that genuine human interaction can help you get the best of any situation. And that includes you as well. As a photographer, you are not only an invisible witness, but also an important part of the context. Even though no one seems to care about this, your not appearing in your photos does not mean that you are not there. So in order to help couples relax in photographs, be present, be warm and offer more of your presence in order to get the best from your models.

How to Relocate Your Wedding Photography Business in 3 Steps

No one’s saying they’re easy steps, but we’re saying it’s definitely feasible to relocate your wedding photography business. Now, if you’re interested in wedding photography and the business aspects of this field, you already know that the issue of location is very important. It’s relevant for a wedding photographer’s digital marketing efforts (think location searches), for acquiring new business leads, for building a brand identity and for raising brand awareness. As such, with location being so inextricably connected with the very nature of the wedding photography business, how does one successfully transition from one location to another – without killing the business in the process? Check out our three helpful tips below, with input from real-life photographers.


1. Future-proof your business for location changes

This is one step to start working on as much ahead of the time when you actually relocate your wedding photography business as possible. Your plan should be to target global audiences, even before your physical move. If you do this successfully, you will have already built a bit of a reputation for yourself, by the time the move comes around. Easier said than done? Perhaps. But in the digital age of social networking, it’s not that difficult either. Update your website and/or blog regularly, announce your upcoming move via social media profiles and keep your online presence pleasant and likeable. The Internet basically works as a global market place, so drumming up a bit of hype before you relocate will allow you to step forward with that much more confidence.

2. Get to know your new market

This second step in your plan to relocate your wedding photography business is all about pricing. The thing about different markets is that… well, they are different, in terms of pricing, client expectations, and requirements. Get a feel of the market by gauging the experiences of local photographers. They’ll give you a fairly accurate and comprehensive idea on what to expect. Should you stay at the wedding until the very last guest has left? Are your current prices too high for a different market? Yes, bear in mind that you might have to lower your prices in order to penetrate a whole new market; however, it’s important to know what the local expectations are, as you don’t want to go too low. Once you get there, your mission will be to get as many weddings booked in as short a timeframe as possible. Since most weddings are booked for about a year in advance, you will probably have to sacrifice making a profit in the beginning, in order to build a locally relevant portfolio. If you play your cards right, though, this will only be temporary – so grin and bear it. It’s definitely worth it!

3. Network, network, network

The third and final step in your efforts to relocate your wedding photography business is also probably the most difficult one to complete. That’s because the effort of networking needs to be sustained and ongoing, in order for them to be efficient. Not to mention that having like-minded peers as friends in a new market is good for your mental health. It will make you focused, accountable for your work, and will also provide a regular dose of inspiration. A word of advice, though: you might be tempted to follow the big names, the big shots, the big leaguers in your new market. Don’t. Keep an eye on them, to stay in the loop, but spend most of your energy building genuine connections with people you respect and look up to. In the long-run, that’s where your support system and life-long friendships will come from. Also, chances are that’s where your referrals and gig leads will come from, too.

The Lowdown: What Are the Setup Costs of a Photography Startup?

Are you really a professional photographer, or are you a passionate amateur – but one who’s ultimately pretending to be a pro? Often enough, the one differentiator between pros and amateurs is working up the courage to start a legal photography business. It’s not enough to have a camera, website, Facebook page, and a couple of gigs here and there (either for money, or for ‘exposure’). The one essential ingredient you need is to take your photography business seriously – because, until you do, no one else is going to take it seriously either. Now, of course, before you decide on the matter, it’s only normal to want to figure out the setup costs of a photography startup. That’s where we come in, with today’s blog post: a rundown of all the major costs you are likely to face, in your quest to open a new photo biz.

The gear setup costs of a photography startupsetup-costs-for-a-photography-startup01

·         Cameras

Make no mistake, you’re going to need at least two of them, in order to be prepared to deal with camera malfunctions. The pros’ best recommendation for wedding photographers is the Nikon D610 ($2,000 a piece) – you’re going to need two bodies, sans the lens included in the full kit.

·         Lenses

One of the most important investments, in terms of setup costs of a photography startup, is that into lenses. Here’s the kit that the pros recommend: Nikon 35mm f/2.0 ($350), Nikon 50mm f/1.8 ($299), Nikon 85mm f/1.8 ($499) and the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ($2,400). About that last lens: yes, it is expensive, but it’s absolutely essential for wedding photogs who often shoot in low light conditions, such as churches.

·         Other gear

A couple of flashes are mandatory and, if you go for the Nikon D610, you might want to opt for two Nikon SB-700 flashes ($329 a pop). Additionally, the rest of the accoutrements: camera bags, memory cards, stands for lights, flash triggers, reflectors, etc. Be prepared to spend at least $500 on them (though $1,000 sounds like a more realistic amount).

Business setup costs

setup-costs-for-a-photography-startup02Let’s get down to the pure business setup costs of a photography startup now. First off, you’re going to have to pay $125 for incorporating your business. Then, you’re going to want to have that business insured, for roughly $600. The services of an accountant will cost you about $300 per year, and a money and client manager to keep track of your finances will add an extra $130, let’s say, to the total tally. A showcase of product samples can cost anywhere between $200 and $1,000.

Then comes the issue of legal fees – you’re going to want your contracts to be completely in order. Ideally, you should seek out a lawyer with previous experience in the field of photography, or one who’s a photographer themselves. Hourly fees are about $400 to $2,000, but you can also purchase ready-made contracts online ($55 to $450) and have your lawyer review them.

Computer & online costs

As far as IT and tech setup costs for photography startups go, you know that there’s no way you can survive without an iMac, and that’s at least $1,299 right there. Then, you will want to invest in a color calibration tool for your screen, a couple of backup hard drives, and licenses to use Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop suites. All in all, these items are going to cost you an extra $450, with the amendment that software licenses need to be renewed each year. And since we’re on the topic of yearly costs, also add yearly hosting and domain name costs for your website (about $70/year), plus a website theme (a good one shouldn’t cost more than $50).

Of course, you might want to invest in some training and business streamlining tools, such as a pricing guide workbook ($150 to $250), a marketing course (about $800), a sales guide ($250). These are optional, but, chances are, they will help you make a lot more money faster, once you invest. So, once you draw the line, expect to put in about $15,000 in your wedding photography business right from the get-go. How does this amount sound for you?