How to Be a Wedding Photographer

11/17/10 by Ella Crimson

Have you always had a knack for photography?  Are you a sucker for love stories?  If you’re sick of slaving away in a cubicle for a living and you know that you’d make a killer photographer, don’t let your photography skills go to waste.  People are willing to pay beaucoup bucks for professional wedding photos, so don’t underestimate the potential of a career in photography.  Sure, it’s a lot of work to get a wedding photography business going, but once you make a name for yourself in the industry, you’ll be set!

My Journey into Professional Wedding Photography

I used to be a 9 to 5er myself, and when I finally got laid off, I actually felt relieved because I was so sick of my job.  I knew I had a natural talent for photography, so with the support of my friends and family, I decided to pursue photography as a career.  I had no choice but to make it work because my livelihood depended on it.

I figured that the easiest place to start would be in the wedding photography business since there’s a constant demand for wedding photography services.  I quickly realized that the competition in my local area was fierce, so I decided to get a photography degree while I built up my portfolio.  While a degree is certainly not a requirement for becoming a wedding photography, I felt that the technical knowledge the education would afford me was the perfect complement to my natural knack for the art.

In photography, a degree is more than just a few fancy letters after your name.  When you study photography, you learn all about what goes into creating a remarkable picture.  So, if you want to learn how to be a wedding photographer, consider getting a degree.  With a degree, you’ll be strides ahead of your competitors and it’ll be easier for you to gain potential clients’ trust.  After all, if a bride trusts you to shoot her wedding, she trusts you to capture scenes from one of the most important events of her life.  And believe me; you don’t want to get on a Bridezilla’s bad side!

Why Getting a Degree in Photography Is Essential to Becoming a Top Wedding Photographer

One of the advantages of studying photography at an arts school, college, or university is that you’ll learn the technical aspects of the trade, such as composition, lighting, and post-processing.  Once you hone your skills and learn how to take beautiful pictures, wedding or otherwise, you’ll really sharpen your edge and give your competition something to worry about.

Becoming a wedding photographer is not something that will happen overnight.  You’ll start out with just a few clients a year, but as you build your reputation and develop a distinct style, you’ll get referrals from past clients and attract new clients who want to hire you because your style resonates with them.  It will almost feel like your business is running itself once you become known in the industry and build an extensive portfolio.  Of course, you should always spend some time marketing your wedding photography business, too, because if you don’t, your competitors will get ahead of you.

If you want to learn how to be wedding photographer while pursuing a degree in photography, don’t just study photography; also study marketing and sales.  Having business acumen is a must if you want to make a living from your photography.  No matter how wonderful your work is, no one will know to hire you if you aren’t competent in self-promotion.  That was another major perk of studying before launching my full-time wedding photography business.  I took several courses in marketing and business throughout my degree program, so I learned not only how to take awesome pictures, but also how to sell them successfully.

Ultimately, the point is this: never underestimate the importance of a degree in photography if becoming a professional wedding photographer is your goal.  Sure, anybody can pick up a camera, make a simple website, and start selling their photography services, but if you are serious about making a good living from your photography and achieving renown in the industry, getting a degree is an absolute must.  A degree is what separates the mediocre photographers from the most successful ones, so get out there and get an education if you’d like to set yourself apart from your competitors and make big bucks as a wedding photographer!

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