“How do you get to the point of booking a wedding?” This is a question I hear so many times in my mentor sessions. How can one go from a hobby or starting out photographer to a wedding photography, and when do you know when you are ready? If you are a photographer struggling to enter into wedding photography, keep reading. I will take you through my biggest advice and hacks to book your first wedding.
Hi! I’m Ruthie. I’m a full time wedding photographer based in Omaha, NE. I went from booking $15 senior photoshoots to making a steady income from my business. Once I realized how to advertise my business, I went from booking 10 weddings in a year, to booking 40 the next year, and am passionate about mentoring photographers who want to turn their hobby into a full-time job. Send me an inquiry to receive more info on my digital mentoring.
Here’s why it feels impossible to get into the wedding business: clients want to book someone who has a portfolio of wedding photos. How the heck do you get that if nobody will book you? I know! I was feeling this frustration when I started out. I was so ready to be booked, but nobody would trust me.
Luckily, there are multiple ways to get this portfolio without booking a wedding.
1: Styled Shoots/ Content Days
I recommend this to all my mentees right away. A styled shoot is a curated photo shoot by a photographer, for photographers. They range from $50 to thousands of dollars, but when you are starting out, one on the cheaper end is completely fine. At these styled shoots, there are models in bridal outfits, in some time of aesthetic background, and you will work with other photographers to pose them. This is entirely about getting the content you need, so don’t be shy when you think of a pose! Using these photos helps potential clients see themselves in your work, which is necessary for them to book with you.
2: Second/Assisting at weddings
Before officially doing a wedding of your own, I highly recommend assisting, if not second shooting at other weddings. Not only does this help you better understand how a wedding day operates (which is totally different than any other type of photoshoot), but you receive content just through second shooting or assisting. Often, I have beginner photographers assist me at the wedding, to get content to advertise, and to better understand if this is a job they would love.
After you get this content, share it EVERYWHERE. It is crucial to only advertise what you want to continue booking, and if you are intent on becoming a wedding photographer, this content should be shared ALL the time.
Booked your first wedding? Check out my blog on First Wedding Checklist!
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