To earn a good living as a wedding photographer, you not only need to be a talented photographer, but you have to find a way to prove that to strangers. This is challenging, but it can be done.
The first thing you will need to do is to build up a portfolio to show potential clients. Unlike some other areas of professional photography, the bride and groom are not going to be the slightest bit impressed by images of anything other than weddings. Lighting techniques and artistic flair will mean very little to them of there is not a smiling couple featured in the shot.
There are two possible solutions to this dilemma. The first is to find associates, friends and relatives who are getting married and ask if you can shoot their weddings for them. Offering to do it at cost may convince them to give you a try. Be sure to get their permission to use some of the images in your portfolio or all the work will have been for nothing.
If that doesn’t work or just to get some additional shots to show off your style, you can hold a mock wedding. If you want to go this route, be prepared that it will take quite a bit of work to make it appear as if it is a real wedding. Most brides and grooms will want to see not only the posed shots in your portfolio but also the candid shots of before and after the ceremony, including the reception. If possible, try to get together with other new wedding photographers on this project. That way all of you can improve your portfolios while sharing the cost of the mock wedding.
Now that you have a portfolio, you need to find a way to get your name out. These days the most effective way to do this is the internet. These days when someone begins to research anything, they start with the internet, so that is where you want to be.
Before setting up your site, spend some time studying other sites. Take the aspects you find most appealing from those sites and combine them to create a site that is likely to hold a brides attention for more than a few seconds. Be sure to include great shots on the first page, if you don’t hook them there, they will not look any further.
To be truly successful, you will also want to have a basic understanding of how the internet’s search engines work. There are many tricks to getting your site placed high in a list of search results. If you are too far down the list, it is unlikely that you will get any attention. This search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of any successful online business and you will want to understand and use it.
Through all of this, never forget that it is the images that people see that will ultimately determine the success or failure of your wedding photography business. Make sure that every shot you take is high quality and do whatever it takes to make your clients happy. If the new couple is not pleased with your efforts, they are not going to suggest that their friends use you. Word of mouth is still a very important form of advertising and if what is being said about your business is not complementary than all of your other efforts will mean nothing.