Wedding Photography Experts Wish They’d Known These Things Before Starting Out
Wedding photography today is quickly changing. For people who are just starting out as wedding photographers, entering the industry might feel a bit daunting. There are so many things to learn, and it’s not just about photography.
We have reached out to 7 wedding photography experts with years of experience in the industry, and successful businesses with large numbers of clients. We asked them to share their advice, by asking this question:
“What is one thing you know now about wedding photography business that you wish you had known when you started out in your career as a wedding photographer?”
Their answers provide valuable insights and advice about the wedding photography business.
Arun from Arun Titan Studio
We have, not one point, but three!
Target clientele: Our present clients trust us for our quality, regardless of the costs. They do not give us time restrictions, because they know good work takes enough time and haste hinders creativity. We wish we had known at the beginning how to make our clients trust our quality and to choose clients who respect artists’ space and time.
Marketing and showcasing: One factor that every artist learns after years of practice, mistakes, and experience- Marketing oneself and one’s work. We started at a time when social media sites (SMS) had just begun their entry into the country. We wish we had forecast the future of the great platform they provided for artists and used them well, updated ourselves on their techs and begun using them for marketing.
Team building: The foundation of a wedding photography company (or any company, for that matter) is the team/crew who work in each departmental area. Discovering and distinguishing the areas of work, setting up teams, building trusts, encouraging the art of learning new and encouraging skills are huge processes. They take time and innumerous tests to become strong. We wish someone had taught us how to go about it.
Neil Rodrigues from Photooneil Photography
The one thing I know now on being a Wedding Photographer that I wish I knew when starting out in my career as a Wedding Photographer is that no matter how good your work or portfolio is, you have to step up your marketing. Being creative or a head swinger may not necessarily give you your next assignment. Don’t expect your next potential client or bride to know about you if you haven’t shown or displayed to them what you are capable of. If you have it in you, you have to show it. Thus marketing I would consider to be a vital part of any Wedding Photographers growth. Provide your client with Photobooks and Albums. Make your presence felt online with a website, Facebook page and Instagram. Make it easy for them to spot you.
Shruti Khanna and Jayant Chhabra from Cupcake Productions
Wedding photography has picked up a great pace in the last couple years but about a decade back this concept was still an alien, not only for the photographers but the couples as well.
Being in the industry for a while now, we as photographers feel, that technology has become an inevitable part of our day to day functioning. In today’s era, we would have felt at still without the tech part of our journey as photographers.
The 360-degree camera is one such thing we wish we had when we originated, and also a major pick for us is drone photography. It’s the best thing that has happened to wedding photography, the top angle shots give a deeper and a classic perspective on everything that we shoot.
Moving on to another lesson that we’ve had along our way climbing up, is to realise the power of social media. Hashtags and features are ruling the industry these days. Real weddings being published across all media channels is one major thing we swear by now.
A major pick in the new age wedding photography is cinemagraphs and levitation. We have personally been a fan of these and have been experimenting with levitation a lot and we feel it is the new cool thing in the industry. Adding on to these, video photobooths also grasps people’s interest and is a fun thing that you can add on to your wedding. This is one such thing that has been missing out all these years but is finally trending up now.
A piece of advice that we would like to extend, is same day edit. Being on the other side of the lens for a bit now, we know it’s hard but trust us it’s going to make a huge difference in the way you work.
Karan Sidhu from Karan Sidhu Photography
One needs to be equally good at business. What brought me to wedding photography was my absolute love for weddings and for people in general and of course photography, but little did I know that wedding photography is not just about photography alone. It is a business and needs everything that any business needs to be successful. One needs to do client servicing, marketing, PR, human resource management, accounting, and much much more. Unfortunately, photography is just a part of the whole game (the most important of course), but a major chunk of my time goes into doing everything else other than photography.
Nitin Arora from Nitin Arora Photography
You are not just a photographer. You are a photographer/customer service expert/bookkeeper/marketing director/social media expert and pretty much any other title you can think of.
The sooner you realize that you’re going to need to become good at a lot of different things, the sooner you can start improving at them all. Great photography skills are important, don’t get me wrong. But you need to have a lot of other ones if you’re going to make a business out of it and the relationship you maintain with your clients which will last more than anything else
Kanishk Gupta from The Lensocrat
“The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow.”
Undoubtedly Indian weddings is the fastest and furthest growing business opportunity in India. It holds true to its nature of being a loud social hub. An audience of a thousand people isn’t easy to get. Growing into this business was a very natural process for me, learning the tricks & trade by means of observation.
Understanding the art was passed on by my mentor Rajesh Gupta, the social nature of my work made me many friends & got me business. But the one thing I wish I knew before getting into the wedding industry was the ‘process of being curious.’ I learnt the real value of the field only when I could see it from the outside.
The wedding industry is an amalgamation of fashion, trends, design, decor and exquisite taste and a wedding photographer has to be not only updated with the latest trends but in turn has to be a reflection of the fraternity he works in, a new canvas every time he paints the visions in his mind, every season bringing something new to the table.
Amar Ramesh from StudioA
It has been 7 years. There are mistakes that I have made and lessons that I’ve learned in the course. But looking back from here, honestly, there are no regrets or thoughts that I wish I had known earlier when starting. Because this journey was important and the learning curve was essential to know the art and business of wedding photography, the right way. All we did was seed sincere efforts and work hard. The rest fell into place. No shortcuts but this natural evolution laid our foundation of core values that set us apart. This is our biggest strength.
A huge thank you to these wedding photography experts who have contributed to this article by sharing their valuable tips and advice!