Make Money With A Wedding Photography Business
Weddings and digital photography go together like Champagne and caviar, so why not market your digital photography service to the happy couple, or as many happy couples as you can?
Wedding photography can be a very lucrative business, but how do you get started?
Through Wedding Planners
One route is to contact wedding planners and negotiate a deal. Wedding planners are in a position to recommend a great many services to brides and wedding parties. A good relationship with one of these professionals can be your key to great success.
However, professional wedding planners will in general only work with experienced, well-established, photographers. They won't risk their reputation by recommending a service that is less than stellar.
You will need a wedding photo portfolio and possibly testimonials from satisfied wedding parties before you can make inroads with a wedding planner.
If you're not at that point yet, there are other ways to establish your digital photography service for weddings.
Through Your Own Circle Of Friends
To build your wedding portfolio, you might be able to locate a receptive bride within your circle of friends and family or through other networking activities. If you do, offer your services to her in return for a testimonial and be sure you keep the copyright on your pictures so you can use them to create your portfolio.
Now with at least one wedding under your belt and a nice testimonial and portfolio, start looking for other weddings to photograph. Word of mouth is always good, but you should also check the engagement and wedding announcements in your local newspaper and contact the brides-to-be and offer your wedding photography services to them. When you have a positive response either send, or better still, hand-deliver your promotional package detailing your services.
Once again when you get a commission, make sure you keep the copyright to the photos so that you can add them to your portfolio.
Offer A Unique Service
The more unique you can make your service the better. Offer to take photographs at the bride's home prior to the wedding. You can get lovely candid shots of attendants helping the bride with her veil, flower girls primping in front of the mirror, etc.
You could also offer your services to photograph related wedding events, such as bridal showers, the bachelor party, the rehearsal dinner or the gift opening event the morning after.
These are not services that a studio photographer offers. Be sure to incorporate this as one of your unique selling points.
Other Business Sources
Other marketing suggestions include contacting florists, limousine rental services, wedding chapels, tuxedo rental services, boutiques selling wedding wear, bakeries specializing in wedding cakes, and so on. Ask about leaving your pamphlets or brochures where customers can see them, or make an arrangement to pay a referral fee for every paying customer the business points your direction.
Make Yourself Really Unique
Here's one more suggestion for offering a really unique digital photography service for weddings.
Pair up with a Scrapbook Artist and offer a unique product - a wedding scrapbook or memory album. Scrapbook Artists use photographs, mementos, decorative paper, journaling and various embellishments to create gorgeous, one-of-a-kind albums that are truly works of art that will be cherished for years to come by the happy couple.
Run a Google search for "Scrapbook Artist" or contact a local scrapbook store to locate a suitable Scrapbook Artist. You might even find the store manager is interested in pairing with you for these projects.
Last but not least, if you want to establish yourself as a wedding digital photographer, always remember that it's all about the bride. Make her happy and everything else will go well.
Suggested Equipment and Supplies
In addition to your DSLR Camera, suitable Lens(es) for your shoot, a plentiful supply of Duplicate Order Forms (One copy for you and one for your customer) and Business Cards to hand out, you should also consider having:
- Spare, fully charged Camera Batteries so you don't run out of power whilst shooting.
- Extra Memory Cards so you don't run out of storage for your photographs.
- A Laptop Computer to display your photos for your potential customers to choose from.
- A suitable Photo Printer to produce good quality prints.
- If you intend to supply your photos on CD/DVD then you should consider a CD Printer so that you can print up your disks with the event name and your business details. It will print your photos as well.
- Good quality Photographic Printing Paper in two or three different sizes to supply prints at the venue (also consider photo mounts, branded with your details, to give your work a professional look)
- Blank CDs* and or DVDs* to burn your photos onto if you are going to be supplying them on this media at the venue
- * Ideally these should be pre-printed with your business and copyright details and the title of the event. But be aware that printing off CDs/DVDs at the event can be a time consuming chore, it is probably a better idea to take orders for the disks and send them to your customer later.
- Spare Ink Cartridges for your printer if you are printing at the venue
- A Web Site, The easiest way to get a web site set up is to use Wordpress. For this you will need:
- A Hosting Account (get one that offers cPanel which makes it very easy to set Wordpress up)
- A Domain Name (Try NameCheap or GoDaddy)
- A Payment Provider - PayPal offers an excellent service and it's free to set up (you will need to set up either a business or premium account with them)
- A suitable Wordpress Plugin to password protect your download area before you receive payment. (There are number of plugins available - some free, some you have to pay for)
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