A wedding is seen as the most important and happiest day of one’s life. The first priority is to ensure the wedding goes smoothly and perfectly. The second priority: make sure you get a picture!
This is especially relevant in today’s society, where we document every moment in our lives to be shared and posted online. Hence, couples expect reliable photographers who are ready to not just provide the best quality photos, but also their full time and attention.
Established photographers and businesses may charge extreme prices due to their popularity. So there will be a customer segment looking for cheaper alternatives. With the advancement of social media, anyone can be a photographer; but it takes much more to be a professional wedding photography business.
The first, most critical steps, of course (and assuming you already have this) is getting proper camera equipment and obtaining a business license. The latter is something people deem unnecessary if you’re just starting out, but registration will help you to deal with any legal liabilities.
Here are the next steps to really grow your business:
- Establish A Good Website
This means building a robust portfolio. In order to have a successful photography business, you need to have a bulletproof product/service.
Ensure that your website layout is clean, concise, and minimalist. The latter is suggested because weddings are, after all, white. You want your viewers to be able to focus solely on your photographs. Also make sure that the organization of your website is easy to follow, dividing it into categories. Finally, try to limit the text, keeping it short yet informational.
IF you don’t have sufficient wedding photography experience, the best thing to do is to connect with local photographers through Facebook and inquire if they need a second photographer assistant and work for free. Contact as many photographers as possible and clearly express that you want this to gain a better experience and learn from the best!
- Connect and Network!
These days, it’s not what you know but who you know. Get out there and meet the right people. You need to get in contact with wedding planning agencies, venues, hotels, and bridal shops. Talk to their people in person, on LinkedIn, or via email. Send them your work or tag them on social media. For example, for venues and hotels, take the best pictures you can take of their area and exhibit it to them. This could mean more exposure if they decide to feature it on their marketing materials and website.
- Social Media
Probably the most influential marketing tool today is social media. For a wedding business, Pinterest maybe your strongest tool, but Facebook and Instagram are classic choices as well.
In the beginning, it’s best to follow accounts associated with your business (photographers, wedding planners, venues, flower shops, wedding-accounts, wedding magazines). The key to success on social media is consistency. Users want constant, creative content. So, yes, this means at least one post a day. Other important advice is to use the proper hashtags (popular/trending ones and relevant to weddings), to post at the peak hours and to tag popular accounts.
Also, write on your bio that you are a business and are open to inquiries through direct messaging.
- Platforms to Promote Your Business
One place you can promote your business is to search for platforms that cater to people searching for photographers. SnapKnot and The Knot Marketplace are specifically wedding photographer search engines/databases. Other options are Wedding Wire and Flickr.
- Do A Little PR Work
There are hundreds of wedding-related content available. This could be websites, blogs, apps or magazines. It’s crucial to do a little PR work to get the best reach. First, research their editorial calendar (here you’ll find what sort of articles these places are looking to write about next). Then it’s time pitch, pitch, pitch! In fact, even if they’re not searching for a specific topic, you can always provide them with a blog, your photos and your contact information. Here are the most popular ones: The Knot, Wedding Wire, Brides Magazine, WeddingWire, Wedding Happy, Zola, and Minted.
So yes, it’s going to take a lot of work to get your wedding photography business running, just like any other company. The good thing about this niche, however, is that there will always be a desire for weddings and hence, a demand for good photographers—and that person could be you.