7 Steps To Start Shooting Weddings

 The number one question we get from new Photographers or new to Wedding Photography is…….

What are your TOP tips to getting started?

How can I book Weddings if I haven’t actually shot a Wedding before?

How do I gain experience with Shooting Weddings if no one will hire me as a second shooter?

I remember us just getting started in this business and even though there wasn’t a MAGIC BUTTON or as I say A SECRET SAUCE for success, there were a lot of things we did to help grow our business and to focus mainly on Weddings!! And I’m sharing them with you today!!

Here are 7 STEPS to help you grow your Wedding Photography business. Just remember…… You can’t do them all at once but you definitely need to make these 7 things a reality in your life within the first year of starting with Wedding Photography or any Photography business for that matter!7 STEPS TO START SHOOTING WEDDINGS:

1. Show up & Get out of your comfort zone!
Social settings can paralyze so many… but you HAVE to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone. You have to get out into your community and place yourself in social settings to develop NEW relationships. To meet NEW people. The KEY is to get involved with things you enjoy! When you surround yourself with others that have the same interests ( church, sports, crafting, reading, dog lovers, etc.) it allows you to grow new relationships on a firm common interest. It has to be authentic & genuine THOUGH!  On the other hand, you have to step out and get involved with your local Photography community! YES…. Join forces with others around you.

The BIGGEST thing that really upsets Darryl and I is when Photographers aren’t willing to help other Photographers grow and instead they criticize those upcoming photographers. DON’T be that photographer! One of our favorite quotes is, “Alone we can do so little, but TOGETHER we can do SO MUCH”. Now just imagine how much you can grow when you have other photographers on your side just as much as you’re on theirs?

You can’t have a pity party and sit and wait for the universe to bring new people into your life… you have to just DO IT! Put yourself out there and start forming a presence in the industry and your community!

 

2. Trust Yourself!

Not only do you need to show up in your community, you need to push yourself artistically! You have to TRUST your abilities and KNOW you can shot Weddings! This may mean organizing your own styled shoot and reaching out to vendors… or asking to do a styled shoot for one of your friends or a couple you may know that just got married. It may mean submitting to a magazine for publication or signing up for a Wedding Education Class! This business is going to mean taking BIG RISKS, Believing in yourself, trusting yourself and showing up artistically! You will eventually need to take risks and It might as well be now. Hit the ground running and don’t look back!

 

3. Second Shooting ….. THIS IS HUGE!
Remember that question above that we ALWAYS get…….How can I book Weddings if I haven’t actually shot one before? This is your answer!! We are SO GRATEFUL for friends like Tina Sanchez who allowed us to second shoot with her when we first got started back in 2012. It was such a blessing that we can NEVER repay her!

You’ll get experience and you will shoot a wedding. The biggest thing to realize in this business (like all) is that it takes sacrifice and ALOT of it! Sacrifice to build a portfolio that will be invaluable when you start booking your own weddings as a Professional Wedding Photographer. Don’t let “not getting paid” or being paid little stop you. You have to start somewhere!

 

4. Be Professional & Brand your Business! 
When I say “Brand Yourself”, I don’t mean to go out and spend thousands of dollars! Money doesn’t mean professional! Start studying other simple, clean, yet professional brands out there. Start a brain dump list of the color schemes you like and styles. Do you want your company brand to be modern, rustic, chic or more elegant? Then start small…. or as I say.. “Fake it till you make it”. We were all about that saying for many years before we really started booking Weddings!

Some other crucial tips many people overlook is dressing professionally at weddings and showing up early! I can’t tell you how important this is to your business and it’s ethically the right thing to do for your clients! We always get to our Weddings at least an hour before, thats just how Darryl and I run our business because we want to give our clients the BEST Wedding Photography experience possible. Us giving them an extra hour of our time is worth every second the moment we deliver them their Wedding Thank You Package!

 

5. Personal Development is KEY!
Online webinars, blogs, videos and ALL resources are your GO-TO Forever! We all have room to grow, it seriously NEVER stops! Darryl get’s asked all the time, “how did you learn to take photos?”. His response… You-Tube University! I know it’s kinda hilarious, BUT it’s SO TRUE!

We are constantly taking online workshops, signing up for webinars, reading books and researching. You NEVER EVER stop learning… and when you do, that’s the day your business stops growing.

Personal Development comes in all forms and when we talk about it we also mean development as a person and business owner, not just photography itself! We all know things can get to us emotionally and mentally…. it’s important to also grow as a person while you’re growing your business! Keep yourself in positive and uplifting spirits because business isn’t always Lilly’s and Butterflies….you will have your moments! However…. you’re strong and resilient!

 

6. Photograph Friends & Family For FREE!
YUP…. I just said FREE. That “F” word NO ONE wants to hear!

Darryl started our business before I ever picked up a camera myself…. (boy did I regret not picking up a camera sooner) and he shot for FREE and started shooting whatever he could to get practice. I promise that FREE won’t last for long, but you need to start building your portfolio & practicing! Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member to get back in her wedding dress for a bridal shoot…don’t be scared to offer free family portraits or engagement portraits to someone you know who just got engaged! Your family and friends will want to help you, they want you to succeed!

 

7.  You have to deal with the legal stuff!
I know this is NOT the FUN part of the business, but you need to be legally legit and on top of it! The last thing you need is an audit or a lawsuit on your hands!You’re going to need the following, if you don’t already!Legal Business Name
Record Your Income & Pay Sales Tax (varies by state)
Business Insurance (Liability Insurance)
Property Insurance On ALL of your Gear
Contracts That Cover You Completely! – PLEASE make sure you’re having clients sign a contract (YES…. even if its a free session).

 

These are JUST our top 7 Tips, but if you EVER have any questions or need help ….. WE ARE ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP! We are only an email away and you can contact us through our contact form below or follow us on our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more Photography Education Blog Posts!

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