Well first, let me introduce myself! I’m Eden – a destination wedding photographer now turned business coach, helping hundreds of creative entrepreneurs build the businesses + lives of their dreams. I’ve photographed weddings and love from Hawaii to Switzerland, all while building a life I’m in love with, and I love helping other photographers do the same. Whether it’s helping you manifest your next big dream, or learn how to shoot artificial light, I’ve got you covered in my lil corner of the internet!
Starting your wedding photography business may seem daunting, but with the right mindset and tools, you can turn your passion into a profitable career. Pink promise. Let me walk you through the essential steps to start your journey as a wedding photographer!
You may not have all the answers right now, but that’s okay. The beauty of starting from scratch is that you get to build your business from the ground up, learning and growing as you go. You’re only capable of what you think you’re capable of – so don’t let your mindset keeping you from building the photography business you’ve been dreaming of!
Before venturing into the wedding photography industry, it’s crucial to master the art of capturing those magical moments. Hone your photography skills through practice, online tutorials, workshops, and by studying the work of renowned wedding photographers. Experiment with different lighting techniques, poses, and compositions to develop your unique style that resonates with couples seeking timeless wedding memories.
While it may be tempting to cut corners and buy the cheapest camera and lenses, investing in high-quality equipment will set you apart from the competition and help you create stunning images that your clients will love. Ensure you have a reliable full-frame camera (and a backup camera even if you need to rent one!), a range of lenses suitable for various settings, external flashes for low-light situations, backdrops, editing software, and any backup equipment to handle any unforeseen circumstances. Your gear should be both reliable and versatile to capture all the special moments throughout the day. And if you can’t invest yet? Don’t be afraid to rent! You can find our gear list below, find out what lighting equipment to invest in here, or just hop on over to our Amazon Shop to scroll what we suggest. However, remember that the gear doesn’t define a photographer, but it does offer more options for your clients and your own versatility!
Bodies: Nikon D750s (amazing low-light capability and dynamic range)
Lenses: Nikon 24mm 1.4, Nikon 58mm 1.4, Nikon 70-200mm 2.8, Nikon 45mm Tilt Shift 2.8
A strong portfolio is your ticket to attracting potential wedding clients. You can build your portfolio and gain experience by photographing friends’, family, putting out model calls for couples, or offering your services for free or at a reduced rate. Don’t be afraid to showcase your work on social media and create a website to showcase your portfolio and services. It’s better to put together shoots that truly reflect what kind of work you want to shoot, instead of shooting a mass of un-aligned shoots for $50. Rather than shooting for cheap, invest your time into a few INCREDIBLE shoots to build your portfolio. Make sure your editing is always consistent so your clients know what to expect – you can snag our fan favorite #edenstraderpresets here if you’re wanting a clean and consistent look!
We’ve all heard the reasons why branding is important: it helps you get recognized, helps you build trust, helps support advertising, helps build value and generates new customers. But what we hear less about is where that starts. So often, the YOU of it all gets overlooked. But that’s the FIRST STEP!
Your brand is YOU, and you have to stay in alignment with your brand for it to be effectively communicated. That’s why it’s SO important to identify who you really are, what you like and dislike, and what your strengths are. Think of questions such as: What is my brand? Who am I? What are my mindset blocks? Who do I want to work with? How do I communicate the brand?
Branding is more than colors and a logo. Your branding needs to express your voice, your message, how you’re changing your clients’ lives. Branding is what separates you from your competition. It’s what brings in your dream clients. It’s what brings in more personal alignment and fulfillment!
Don’t know where to start? Come take our free brand archetype quiz! By identifying your archetype, you can tap into your authentic self and infuse it into every aspect of your brand.
And if you’re ready to step into alignment and call in the clients of your dreams? Calling All Brands is back – the online course for big hearted entrepreneurs and your new Branding BFF ready to walk you through every single touch point, prompt, and level to a brand that sells for you!
Determining your pricing strategy can be challenging, but it’s crucial to ensure your services are both competitive and profitable. Research industry rates in your region, consider your experience level, the cost of equipment, and the time invested in post-production work. Tailor your packages to meet the unique needs of wedding couples, offering options that range from basic coverage to comprehensive wedding day packages. Be transparent with your pricing and communicate the value you bring to capturing their special day!
However, don’t undersell yourself – your time and skills are valuable, so make sure you charge what you’re worth. And don’t forget to have contracts in place to protect yourself and your clients. If you don’t think you need a contract.. I promise you do. The day will come where you or your clients need that protection, so make this one of your top priorities when taking on clients! If you can’t invest in a lawyer, we highly recommend the The Artist Lawyer wedding photographer contract templates. You can use my code “EDENSTRADER” to get 15% off!
Effectively marketing your wedding photography business is vital for attracting engaged couples. Leverage social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to showcase your work, engage with potential clients, and share valuable wedding tips and inspiration. Collaborate with wedding planners, venues, and vendors to expand your network and increase your visibility in the wedding industry! Watch our 5 tips on how to build a marketing plan for social media below!
Overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? You can take our Intuitive Marketing Quiz to find out which platform matches your strengths + personality the best! A reminder that every marketing platform works – so do what makes you feel good. If you don’t want to do Tiktok? Don’t! Focus on what you like and hone in on that.
Before the wedding day, there’s an essential element that often gets overlooked — communication. Being a successful wedding photographer isn’t just about technical skills; it’s about connecting with people and creating an experience they’ll treasure forever. Having an amazing wedding questionnaire is a game-changer. Weddings are filled with details, timelines, and important moments, and the last thing you want is to be unprepared or cause delays. Send your clients a detailed questionnaire well in advance, ideally around six weeks before the wedding. Include questions about their timeline, vendors, special requests, family dynamics, and emergency contacts. This information will help you navigate the day smoothly, allowing you to focus on capturing those precious moments.
Not sure where to get started with a questionnaire? You can grab our free 9-page wedding questionnaire to send to your couples! This questionnaire will help you gather essential information about the couple’s preferences, important moments, and cultural nuances, allowing you to tailor your photography approach to their unique vision.
A great wedding photographer knows how to enhance their images through post-processing techniques. Develop your skills in editing software and find a style that aligns with your creative vision. Remember, post-processing should enhance the images, not overpower them. Strive for a balance that preserves the authenticity of the moment.
P.S. If you want to master your editing and perfect your workflow, come join the Creative’s Crash Course to Lightroom and Photoshop here! We’ll walk through my editing process with step-by-step instructions to master Lightroom and Photoshop so you can define your unique style and perfect your workflow from start to finish! Or you can just snag the presets, duh.
A key when starting a photography business! Attend local events, join photography groups, and connect with other professionals in the industry (like wedding planners, florists, makeup artists). You never know where your next client or referral may come from! Remember, everyone is a potential client. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share the word that you’re accepting clients!
Be patient with yourself and your progress. Remember that starting a photography business is a journey, not a destination! Celebrate your successes, learn from your failures, and keep pushing forward. With hard work, determination, and a little bit of creativity, you can start a successful photography business. Try not to compare yourself to others in the industry, I promise you everyone has been where you are now! You got this.
I’M EDEN - A DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TURNED BUSINESS COACH, NOW LEADING CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS IN BUILDING A LIFE OF ARTISTIC GROWTH, WEALTH, AND FREEDOM.
WE ARE A QUEER AFFIRMING, BIPOC INCLUSIVE, SAFE AND LOVING SPACE. NOTHING LESS THAN CELEBRATION FOR EVERYONE WILL BE TOLERATED IN OUR ONLINE SPHERE. HATRED AND BIGOTRY ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.