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How to Start a Wedding Photography Business

Are you passionate about photography? If you love taking photos and meeting new people, starting a wedding photography business can be a great way to make some extra income and even become a long-term career option. The UK photographic activities industry grew by 1.2% between 2015 and 2020 to hit £1.7 billion, and where there are weddings, there will always be demand for a photographer to capture those big day moments.

Wondering how to start a wedding photography business? Find out what skills you need, essential areas to consider and how to legally establish your business.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Wedding Photographer?

There are no requirements or licensing needed to get started as a wedding photographer. However, if you are serious about making photography a long-term career, you’ll need to have good photographic skills, which may require taking training and development courses, of which there are a lot available to research online. You will need to have a portfolio of example photographs that you have taken to show prospective clients.

Being a wedding photographer isn’t just about taking photos of happy couples. You will also be required to edit those photos to a professional level as part of the service you offer. Therefore, you may also need to acquire photo-editing skills if you don’t have this knowledge already. Getting on-the-job training will also provide you with invaluable experience. We recommend reaching out to local wedding photographers and seeing if you can shadow them to learn the ins-and-outs of running a wedding photography business and learn how to network with potential customers.

Equipment Needed to Start a Wedding Photography Business

How much equipment do you really need to get started? Some start by buying too little, while others buy too much and find some of it doesn’t even get pulled out of the bag on the wedding day. See below our list of vital equipment you will need to invest in:

  1. Camera Body — To become a wedding photographer, you will need a professional camera. There are many excellent choices available, from full frames to crop sensors. While you do not need the most expensive model available, do your research and purchase the highest quality you can afford. It is your biggest investment.
  2. Camera Lens — Most professional camera bodies are purchased without a lens. Some do come with standard or kit lenses, but they are not the sharpest or fastest focusing lenses to use for weddings. Opt for a lens with a high aperture. They focus faster and operate well in low light situations.
  3. A Flash — Good lighting is the most crucial aspect of photography. Unfortunately, weddings are often held in dark churches or halls, without access to natural light. In these instances, you will need a flash to obtain good photos, but you’ll need to do your research. Some have built-in transmitters that will sync with your camera and multiple flashes, where others you will have to purchase transmitters and receivers additionally. Depending on your camera, there are many excellent and inexpensive flash options.
  4. Batteries - For a typical wedding, you can expect to be shooting for several hours. It is best to have backup batteries for your camera and other equipment. Make sure you have several batteries charged and ready to go.
  5. Memory Cards - Pack extra memory cards with you. You will be shooting hundreds or thousands of images at a wedding, and cards fill up fast. Remember, not all memory cards are created equal. Purchase the highest quality memory cards you can. A faster card will support larger files and be quicker in processing them.
  6. Computer and Editing Software - To start any business, you will need a computer and software to run it. You must have ample storage and memory to run programs and store your client pictures. We recommend having a backup or storage system. An external hard drive works wonderfully for storing all those client galleries. Editing software such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop is a must.

How to Create a Successful Business Plan

If you want to create a wedding photography business, you’ll need to create a solid business plan before you start. Research your competition and wedding photo trends, see what is already out there and find what is lacking in the industry. Is there a new photographic style not used by most wedding photographers? If you can fill a need, you will be more successful.

Here are several other things to consider when creating your business plan:

  • What Are Your Start-up Costs and Expenses? You will need to identify your start-up costs and expenses and how you will fund them, such as the cost of buying your equipment, setting up a website, and marketing your services.
  • How Will You Price Your Services? — You don’t want to overestimate the value of your services and price yourself out of the market but, equally, you don’t want to undersell yourself and lose out on revenue. Typically, photographers working on commission charge a day rate. That rate has to cover your expenses, including the initial investment in equipment, and the ongoing costs of running your business. That’s before you factor in holidays, unplanned absences, and even your pension.
  • How Will You Market Your Services? — Most professional photographers opt to have their own online portfolio website, showcasing their previous work and displaying their booking information. We’d also advise you to use social media, such as Instagram and Pinterest, to market your services to potential clients.

Ready to Form Your Wedding Photography Company?

If you are ready to start a wedding photography business, it’s time to form your company. You can create a limited company or go the sole-trader route. Deciding and completing your company formation can be the most challenging part of starting a business, but it’s crucial to your success.

Are you ready to start a wedding photography business? At Mint Formations , we help you form your limited company or self-employed business and take away all the stress that comes with starting a business. We’ll secure your brand name and get your company registered fast so you can start doing what you love.

Want to register your UK limited company today?

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