Starting a wedding photography business wasn’t something that I had always set out to do. I wasn’t that little girl who always had a camera in hand, and I wasn’t on my schools yearbook team. The most experience I had with a camera was taking duck-face selfies with my friends on our small digital cameras before our phones had cameras built in. I feel like I’m telling my age, but I digress 😉
I first became interested in wedding photography, while wedding planning. Long after I had booked photographer, I still found myself looking at wedding photography work on Facebook, because I just found the images to be beautiful and awe inspiring. I wanted to create something like that, and so that’s where it all started.
Building a business did not come naturally to me, I made several mistakes along the way that caused me to grow slowly. In hindsight though, when I implemented the tips I’m about to share with you, that’s when I really started to see the shift I need in my business to take it full time! Let me share some of these tips with you!
1. I shot for free….it’s not as bad as it sounds!
I shot for free-alot! However, I was very strategic in how I went about it! I would bring the idea up to the couple, I would guide them on their outfits so that they would match up with the brand I was striving to create, and I created scarcity so that they would value my time and the session even though it was something they were getting for free.
I treated them just like I would a paying client with quick sneak peeks and turn around times. Doing this really helped to create a buzz around my business, and those who were already in my network started to book me more because I looked like I was in demand!
2. I invested in education
If there is one thing I could go back and change about my business when starting out it is that I wish I would have invested in education sooner. The first course I invested in was a business course. As a creatively minded person, I was so clueless on the business side of things! From there, I invested in courses to help me to understand posing and lighting. Each course I purchased and implemented, the more weddings I started to book. I always say a return on my investment, and it truly made me a better photographer and business owner.
3. I loved on the couples I did have really hard!
I created an experience that my couples couldn’t help but share about! I was prompt in my email responses and communications with them, I guided them on all aspects of the wedding planning experience, and I got to know them on a personal basis. This really helped to move the needle forward in my business!
4. I was very specific in my marketing efforts
I only showed what I wanted to shoot at the time, which was weddings and engagements. Even more specifically, I only showcased the types of weddings I wanted to be shooting. This meant when I was shooting church weddings with a reception in the gymnasium, that I was shooting very strategically so that it looked like I was at a nice venue. Once I figured out how to do that, I started to book weddings at the nice venues 🙂
I also wanted to add that you do NOT have to be on all the marketing platforms- I felt like I had to be everywhere when I first started out, and it made me like a hamster on a wheel that was going nowhere. I focused really hard on Instagram, Facebook, and blogging and just let the rest be. I suggest just picking one or two platforms to market on, get good at them, then add something else
I know that growing your own wedding photography business can seem nearly at possible at times. It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison trap, but you will be much better off if you stay in your lane and focus on YOUR business!
I hope seeing how I grew my wedding photography business is helpful to you! I’d love to hear what you plan to implement in your own business!
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We are Tierney and Christopher. We're Raleigh wedding photographers who serve timeless couples that want an effortless wedding day filled with sentimental moments!
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