If you’re a wedding photographer and you have a million different things on your mind, it’s best to make your job as easy and as organized as possible.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible during the mayhem that accompanies most weddings.
To be successful in this business, you need to come up with a plan and a system that works. Experienced wedding photographers will tell you that being successful in this industry isn’t just about taking amazing photos. You also need to master the business side of things, and this can take some effort.
Here are our top ten tips that wedding photographers need to hear if they want their business to run more smoothly. Whether you’re new to this business or you’ve been a wedding photographer for a few years, it’s still possible to learn something new from this list.
- Scout the Location
Any veteran wedding photographer will tell you that it’s always a good idea to scout the location beforehand. In fact, this is pretty standard practice for photographing just about anything. Getting a sense of the location beforehand allows you to check out various angles, lighting, and anything else you might need to consider before the big day.
- Create Professional Invoices
If you want people to take you seriously as a wedding photographer, it’s vital that you present yourself as a professional. You can look the part and have all of the best photography equipment, but an amateur invoicing system can ruin your reputation.
When you send an invoice, it’s almost like sending your business card. The only difference is that your invoice is the last opportunity to have to make an impression on your clients, whereas your business card represents your first chance to grab their attention.
When you choose a professional invoicing system like Invoice Home, you can ensure that you’re leaving your clients with a positive experience. You can also speed up the payment process for you and your clients with a system that helps you transfer funds in seconds.
- Plan for The Unexpected
Even the most well-planned wedding can go wrong. As a wedding photographer, you need to plan for the unexpected. Always have a plan B, and don’t just assume that everything will go smoothly.
Weddings can be filled with drama, accidents, adverse weather – you name it. You need to be able to adjust and take photos effectively regardless of the changes that happen. Sometimes, it’s as simple as planning for rain – even when there’s only a 5% chance.
- Create a Shot List
The Hollywood pros do it – so why shouldn’t you? Creating a shot list helps you keep track of what you need to shoot and what you’ve already finished. Working through that list step-by-step can streamline your workday and ensure that you’re providing your clients exactly what they need to remember their special day.
- Enjoy Yourself
Technically, you’re still a guest at the wedding. Sure, this might be your job, but that doesn’t mean you have to be dead serious the entire time. Being overly professional can damage your relationship with your clients. After all, you have to remember that the mood of a wedding should be light and joyous. Don’t be that person who ruins the mood!
- Never Throw Away Your “Bad Shots”
Even though you might think that certain shots should be tossed in the trash, resist the urge to throw them away. Ideally, you should share all of your shots with your clients by means of an online file sharing service. Sometimes, your clients might like the “raw” shots more than you expect. By throwing away these “mistakes,” you’re depriving your clients of shots that they may love.
- Get the Insurance You Need
Small businesses need to invest in an Insurance policy, even if you’re not legally required to have it in your state or area. The right insurance can save you tons of trouble in the long run. Consider insurance geared towards small businesses and freelancers. Then, take a look at your options for insuring your camera gear. When you start to become more professional, you might have untold thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment at each wedding. Protecting your equipment can be a lifesaver if there’s an accident or you’re a victim of theft.
- Create a Rock-Solid Contract
Your contract is another essential legal requirement. This is an area that a lot of wedding photographers skimp on. Your contract is there so you can layout exactly what is expected of you and the services you’ll provide. Without a clear set of expectations set out, it’s easy to struggle with disputes and disagreements after the job is complete. If you want a rock-solid contract, find a lawyer that specializes in this area so you can get the protection you need.
- Create an Amazing Website
Every business needs a website in this current day and age, and photography is no exception. If you don’t have a website, many potential customers will never find your services. The vast majority of people today search for wedding photographers via the internet, a lack of a website will mean far less business.
Today, platforms like Wix and WordPress make it easy for just about anyone to set up a professional-looking website. Also, you should list yourself on Google Maps so that nearby clients can easily find you and improve your SEO (search engine optimization).
- Do Weddings for Free to Build Your Portfolio
Here’s a marketing tip for all those wedding photographer newbies out there: Do your first couple weddings for free. It might sound crazy, but you need the experience. You can also take this opportunity to build up your portfolio and show future clients your photos. Besides, working for free allows you to build positive relationships within the industry, and networking is essential in this industry. Do a few weddings for free, and you’ll most likely get some excellent recommendations that’ll help kickstart your career.