Updated: Jan 30, 2019
When entrepreneurs think of the words “photography” and “wedding” at the same time, the first idea that crystallizes is a “wedding photography” business where your role is to be at the venue from dawn to dusk, snapping photographs of the happy couple, their families, and the goings-on at the reception, capturing both candid and posed smiles on your digital camera. While this may be part of the appeal for many wedding photographers, there are other ways to build a wedding photography business.
In American, weddings are a 72 billion dollar a year industry. If being an on-site wedding photographer is not how you want to use your talent, there are many alternatives to photographing the actual wedding day.
Help Sell Wedding Products. Weddings are becoming big business for ecommerce retailers right now. Econsultancy stated that there has been a “33 percent surge” in online wedding present shopping and an increase in online searches for “everything wedding related, from lingerie and bridesmaid dresses to engagement rings and usher attire…[indicating] that more and more shoppers are shunning traditional in-store or bespoke wedding services for an online experience.”
For the enterprising photography entrepreneur, this means an opportunity. Companies will need still photos of their products to add to their websites. If you have the creativity to photograph still images that utilize the right lighting, angle, and composition, and you are skilled at the use of backdrops, you can market yourself as a photographer of anything wedding related. From bridesmaid dresses to floral arrangements, there is a growing market for photographers who are able and willing to use their skills to help advertise and market ecommerce products through product photography.
Sell Your Skill Through Teaching. If you have the talent and the expertise in still photography, why not teach others what you know through the development of online workshops? Online businesses offer photography and video workshops that teach others the fundamentals of lighting, composition, camera and shutter use, wedding photography, videography, family photo shoots, and much more. They charge their consumers for the use of their online tutorials and workshops. Some, like CreativeLive, even offer instruction on how to take videos and photographs using iPhones. Cashing in on your talent has never been easier or more convenient!
If you prefer the face-to-face feel of in-person instruction, you can start your own photography classes or join a well-established business as a guest instructor. Burgeoning entrepreneurs who want to learn new tricks in wedding photography can join you and pay you for your knowledge and expertise. You might even want to market yourself on Groupon to get yourself established and start generating a following of satisfied customers through one-on-one instruction or small group excursions.
Generate Wedding Stock Photos. Many online companies like istockphoto.com generate stock images that they allow users to download. Take photos of anything related to weddings, and turn them into money by selling them on microstock websites. All you have to do is get yourself approved as a contributor and start taking pictures. From ring sets to bouquets to wedding dresses to venue images, you can upload your photos to your portfolio for free. When you sell them, the site will take a percentage of what they charged the consumer who downloaded and used them, and you will retain the balance.
YouTube Your Talent. Videotape yourself creating still art and photographs, and use Creator Academy to turn it into cash. Developing a YouTube channel and marketing your talent is one way to start a lucrative business in wedding photography. The more subscribers you attract, the more income you will generate. Creating competitive content means giving your viewers what they want: step-by-step instruction that is easy to follow and duplicate at home.
But remember that to grow in the YouTube domain, sponsorship and affiliate marketing may be a consideration. The Cut states that “affiliates function pretty seamlessly through YouTube; anyone can include links to featured products in their video’s caption, and when audience members click through and buy them, that YouTube channel gets a small kickback.” As a wedding photographer, your affiliate businesses will be easy to find, as wedding companies that sell wedding supplies are not in short supply.
In Studio Portraits. Formal portraits have long been a staple in photography, but many brides do not opt for them because of the element of “surprise” in the first glance photo and the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding. But there are many reasons to encourage studio photography for brides:
● The studio is clean, air-conditioned, and set up for lighting and effects.
● There is a place to change and check your make up and hair.
● Studio images are fresh, classy, and timeless.
● It is different than what everyone else is doing.
What suggestions do you have for a successful wedding photography business? Feel free to share your ideas.