- Six Ways You've Set Up Your Photography Business All Wrong
- 5 Things Successful Photographers DON'T Do
- What Is (and Isn't) Important for Growing Your Photography Business
- Critical Mistakes You're Making With Your Photography Website
Being a wedding photographer is quite an honor.
Not only do you get to be at one of the most important events in a couple’s life, but you also get to capture the wonderful emotions of the day for them and their families to cherish for a lifetime.
Some folks look at a wedding photographer and think, “I can do that!” But contrary to this belief, wedding photography isn't the easiest gig out there.
Like any profession, there are challenges that photographers have to face, and frankly, not everyone is cut out to handle those challenges effectively.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common roadblocks that wedding photographers have to overcome in order to be successful.
It's Hard Just to Get Started
The growing pains of a new wedding photography business can be intense. You can't simply "hang a shingle above the door" - you need to build a reputation.
The problem is that building a solid reputation requires experience, but given the importance of their wedding day, many couples aren’t too excited to hire someone that’s never done it before. You can see how this can be a challenging situation.
Many prospective wedding photographers will work as a second shooter for established photographers to gain experience, network with other photographers, and build their reputation. Other photographers offer free services to family or friends who are getting married. Though perhaps not as helpful as working under the tutelage of an experienced photographer, cutting your teeth by providing free services to friends and family will get you valuable experience.
Either way, getting that experience will allow you to create a solid portfolio that you can then use to make your pitch to clients. But one thing you can be sure of is that building a successful career in this industry takes determination and hard work.
Editor’s Tip: You can’t just build a website and think customers will flock to it. Instead, you need a website that tells people who you are and what you do, and that starts with the right domain. Get a photography domain today.
You're Responsible for Everything
Before you were a wedding photographer, photography was probably just a passion; something you enjoyed doing in your free time and something you’re great at.
You imagine doing this for a living and you think, “That’d be the dream.”
When the dream becomes a reality, though, you’re usually the owner, the financier, the marketer, the customer service representative, the administrative assistant, the bookkeeper, the graphic designer, and so on.
The point is that if you think you’ll spend the majority of your time taking photos on location, processing photos, and meeting with clients, you’re wrong.
The bulk of your time will be spent handling the mundane day-to-day tasks of keeping the books, tracking down unpaid bills, promoting yourself on social media, returning phone calls, and the like.
However, these challenges have to be met, and at least initially, hiring a staff to handle the functional aspects of the business will likely not be an option.
Your Website Can't Be Second-Rate
In today’s day and age, you need a smashing website that allows people to learn more about you and your business and check out some of your best work.]
To do that, you can’t rely on some cut-rate pre-made website, nor can you rely on a plain, long, or confusing domain name.
That’s because these domains are new, so you have a much greater likelihood of getting the domain name you want than if you go with a .com or .net domain.
What’s more, .pics and .photo domains tell prospective clients exactly what you do right there in the domain - and without having to have “photography” in the URL.
Just imagine how much easier it will be for people to remember tammyjones.pics instead of tammyjonesphotography.com.
Since most people look for photographers online, it’s essential that your online presence be on point.
You're Accountable for Covering a Most Important Event
Wedding photographers can’t have do-overs. Unlike fashion shoots or portraits, the wedding event can be quite unpredictable regardless of the hundreds of other weddings you’ve already covered.
Each wedding is unique, and you need to have the ability to adapt - and quick. You get only one chance to capture the bride walking down the aisle, to capture that first kiss or that first dance. You only have one chance to capture the father of the bride tear up.
Missing these moments because of a miscue on your part could be catastrophic to your business, and will certainly have a lasting negative impact on your clients.
It’s not just thinking on your feet to adapt to changing conditions that is important.
You also need to be able to manage inevitable eventualities, like a camera or a lens malfunctioning, a second shooter that doesn’t show up on time, and a wedding guest that thinks he can do a better job than you can.
You also need strong problem-solving skills so that when you’re faced with an obstacle, you can deal with it quickly and get back to shooting.
If ever there is a high-pressure situation for a photographer, a wedding is it!
There are many challenges for wedding photographers, to be sure. Some of these challenges are easily overcome with planning and preparation. Others will test your grit and mettle as they pop up out of nowhere. How you handle adversity, will, in large part, determine how successful your business will be.
Your success will also be predicated on your ability to stand out from the crowd.
In amongst trying to meet head on the challenges discussed above, it’s also necessary for you to find your unique style and voice. You’ll have tons of competition for gigs, and your ability to get jobs in the first place will depend in large part on your ability to make a name for yourself.