How to become a wedding photographer


The couple are the picture of happiness, the mother-in-law is wiping tears away and the wedding party are eagerly looking for the open bar. No one can capture these moments better than a professional wedding photographer. They’re the person that everyone always turns to when they want to crystalize a special moment, preserving it forever in photo albums and memories.

These days, weddings are big business. And with everyone wanting their special day to be, well, special, the demand for wedding photographers has never been greater. If you’ve got an artistic eye, a love of special occasions and editing skills, becoming a wedding photographer could be the career for you. Let’s see how you can make it happen!

What sort of salary can I expect?

Your potential earnings from wedding photography depend on a number of factors. Firstly, if you’re a freelancer, your income will be determined by how many bookings you have, how long you’re working on one wedding and how much experience you have. On the other hand, if you work for a wedding photography agency, you’ll likely earn an annual salary that will be adjusted according to your experience and skill. An entry-level role, such as a trainee, will likely net you £16,000 to £20,000 before you move up the ranks. In a more advanced role, you could be looking closer to £25,000 to £30,000 a year. Finally, your income will mostly depend on your ability. If you take fantastic shots, you’ll get more attention and you’re more likely to get work.

How do I become a wedding photographer?

We’re not going to sugar-coat it, making a full-time living out of being a wedding photographer can be a long and arduous journey. That being said, it certainly isn’t impossible, and there are plenty of steps you can take to give yourself a leg-up compared to the competition.

  • Having an in-depth knowledge of all types of photography is essential. Not every wedding is the same, and you’ll have to adapt to meet the needs of your client. To do this, you need to be able to work on the fly and provide an all-round great service.
  • To make it as a freelance wedding photographer, it’s important that you develop a solid business acumen. In a highly competitive market, you need to know how to make your work visible, get noticed, and maintain strong relationships with potential clients, clients and ex-clients.
  • The single biggest advantage you can have when trying to break into the wedding photography industry is having a killer portfolio. Whether you take pictures in your spare time, for a friend or simply free of charge, building a portfolio is the best way to show potential clients and employers your eye, your style and your skills.

What qualifications do I need?

Strictly speaking, you don’t need to have any formal qualifications to become a wedding photographer. All you really need is a quality camera, some lighting equipment, as well as your own eye for the perfect shot and editing software. If you’re pursuing a career as a freelance wedding photographer, it’s not imperative to have any qualifications, it’s far more important to have an excellent portfolio.

However, if you’re after a role in a wedding photography firm, at the very least you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in photography or another related subject. This is important as a formal education will provide you with all the necessary skills for you to excel in your career, and prepare you for shooting in different locations, weathers and scenarios.

Who are the best known wedding photographers?

If you’re serious about becoming a wedding photographer, then you’ll want to study some of the greats. Once you understand how they make their clients’ special days that much more special, you can implement those ideas into your own style. Here are some of the best wedding photographers out there:

  • Ben Chrisman – the only name in imaginative and creative wedding photography, Ben looks to take the standard model and turn it into a complete work of art.
  • Jonas Peterson – with an emphasis on colour and filters, Jonas is an expert at capturing beautiful wedding photos in large, open spaces.
  • Kitty and Craig Fritz – if you want to find stunning wedding photos, look no further.

Are you trying to make it in the world of wedding photography? Or are you a photographer with sage advice for those coming through? Let us know in the comments below!

Last modified: 39months ago


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