Have ever wanted to learn how to photograph a wedding like a pro? Or to learn the how to price your wedding photos as you can start to make a profit from your camera?
Well then, you need to check out this wedding photography guide to pricing your work. It’s full of ideas on how to become a wedding photographer and how to make money.
Over the years, the Tutors here at iPhotography have shot hundreds of weddings and engagement photoshoots between them and now we want to share our best wedding photography techniques with our faithful and dedicated members.
Are you looking at the wedding pictures you’ve taken of friends and family and thinking you could do this as a job? That’s great news. Professional wedding photographer Emily Lowrey gives us her thoughts about what it’s actually like being a full-time shooter.
“The best thing about being a wedding photographer — at least for me — is that it is a creative job. I consider myself a very creative person, and I really thrive when I’m using that part of my brain. I love that every wedding is different, and an opportunity for me to document a couple’s story in my own unique style.
Life used to be about trying to fit my creativity around a standard job, and now I get to do that as my job. It’s ideal!
It isn’t always a fairy-tale though. I’m sure you might have experienced days where the last thing you want to do is pick up your camera. Some days you’re just not “there” creatively. Some days you come back home to look at your images and feel entirely uninspired.
As a hobbyist, that’s no bother at all. We can just try again another day. But when you’re being paid for your photography, you have to push through those days and still deliver a high standard of work.”
How to become a photographer in general is totally different from becoming a wedding photographer. There is much more groundwork, patience, adaptability and communication needed with weddings than most jobs in photography.
Photographing weddings is one of the most popular areas of photography if you want to start turning your hobby into a career. It’s an ideal place to make money from your photography and a fantastic opportunity to get noticed in the local community.
But all too often amateurs and semi-pros overlook the essentials when either preparing their photography equipment, planning their poses or composing their shots resulting in poor wedding photographs – and you only get one chance for each special day!
We are here to help you overcome that pressure and turn every wedding photograph you take into a magical memory for the bride and groom to cherish forever.
We understand that everyone has a different approach to photography, and weddings are no different. Whether you prefer formal wedding poses or the reportage side then we think this wedding photography tutorial will help you regardless.
We’re going to look at the best place to learn online, discover poses for brides and grooms and hidden tricks that professional photographers use.
Being a wedding photographer means your routine is often varied. You might shoot on weekends, edit during the week, take a day to work on your social media, take an evening to run a stall at a wedding fayre, or take a month off in winter.
A wedding photographer’s salary is all dependent upon your overheads as well as how often you get bookings. The iPhotography Wedding Masterclass gives you a full breakdown of how to price your time so that you make money from your camera.
On average wedding photographers cost between £700-£3,500 for a full day’s cover. There are options to offer half-day hire too. Join our wedding course to unlock the full training and discover how much to charge and how to make money from wedding photography.
You can make more money from your clients by staggering your services into packages. These wedding photography packages could include photo albums, video cover, digital and printed versions of photos as well as an online wedding photo gallery.
Photographers will inevitably need to add more items to their kit bag as time goes by. You need to build in the cost of your photography equipment when it comes pricing your photos.
We’re not saying charge everyone thousands for one print, because that’s what your camera costs. Instead find out how much it is to hire a camera, such as yours, for a day. The same goes for lenses, tripods etc. This will give you a daily kit cost, so if someone hires you for the day you know how much it would have cost them to buy the camera kit you use themselves.
There is also repeated costs that need to be accounted for too. Memory cards need to be replaced at times and storing photos requires more hard drives the bigger your library gets, factor in these costs too.
In addition to this, you should account for general wear and tear to your kit. Your camera may need to get repaired or serviced once a year, again another cost to factor in.
Break down the annual costs of these items and determine how much you shell out for them per month to work into pricing your photos.
Remember to include other expenses in your materials such as:
• Printing photos
• Designing albums
• Camera cleaning equipment
If you are spending 20 hours a week for example, working on your wedding photography business (planning, shooting, editing etc) and not looking at going pro, then approach it differently.
Instead multiply the hours you work with an hourly rate, taken from a total cost of all other factors that we’ve talked about so far. Add in an extra 10% to give yourself a little profit too.
At least this way, you’ll never be out of pocket from your photography time and investments. You may only be breaking even but at least you get back exactly what you put in. Remember to include other expenses in your time such as:
• Travel (petrol, taxis, public transport tickets)
• Setting up your equipment
• Post-Production editing
We’ve just mentioned costing in time spent on post-production in our last section, but it’s worth looking at in more detail as you the time you spend will change.
You may not even need or want to edit your wedding photos, if so, great, it’ll only save time. But in truth, you will spend time editing. In fact, you’ll spend a lot of time editing for three reasons.
Being a wedding photographer means you’ll need to be paying close attention to the presentation of your clients when editing. Is there skin smooth? Do they look their best? Do you need to edit expressions etc? Imagine editing 40-50 pictures in this way for one session. It will take hours. And what about re-edits? A Bride or Groom may want further changes made after a preview, so you need to charge them an hourly rate for further changes.
Your photographs aren’t just for your customers. You’ll also use them for advertising purposes. Wedding photographers exploit social media to its fullest and show off their most recent work. Pictures on Instagram for example may require a different crop from what you’ve been using. Again, more time editing to suit the marketing opportunities. It is worth saying Lightroom and Photoshop allow you to make pre-sets to crop images in set dimensions, making it possible to batch edit pictures.
It is very rare for a photographer to stick to one method of editing for a lifetime. They will learn new tricks, shortcuts, more efficient processes and it takes time to discover these methods. You need to invest time into your Photoshop or Lightroom skills, just like your photography one. There’s always a new trend to watch out for that your wedding clients would love to see.
When it comes to pricing your wedding photography overheads normally only get considered by professionals as this is their primary income source. Though if you are working towards this status then you need to be aware of these extra costs in your pricing.
There are the 2 types of overheads – fixed and variable. We’ve outline them both with a few example costs you should aim to cover.
• Rent / Mortgage
• Insurance premiums
• Utilities (electricity, gas, water)
• Taxes (business and personal)
• Subscriptions / Accreditations
• Travel / Transport
• Other direct debits
• New equipment
• Repairing kit
• Assistant fees
• Printing costs
• Pre-shoot consultations
• Posting & packaging
Add in extra costs to your overheads where necessary.
To entice your clients into your wedding photography you may at times need to offer promotions on your work. Creating packages and bonuses are a great idea depending upon your business.
For example, a landscape photographer who’s selling prints at a local market may offer a 3 for 2 promos or 10 for 7. Either way, make sure when you split the individual unit cost down, in any promotion, that it doesn’t go below your red lines and ends up leaving you in debt.
Expecting a couple to shell out hundreds or thousands on a wedding photographer who they don’t know is misguided. Instead, gently lead them in at a low cost and blow them away with your skills so they’ll want to spend lots of on the finished article.
However, you price your wedding photography with packages then make sure you don’t trip yourself up. We’ve seen instances before where photographers sell prints at £20 per print, but then offer a bundle of 10 for $200.
The package may sound great but if they look further then it may not be actual value for money. Therefore, make any discount genuine.
Reading a book about wedding photography will never give you a true sense of the occasion. In fact, unless you’re there in person it’ll never be the same. But iPhotography has developed the closest possible way of learning wedding photography through a complete unique masterclass.
You could spend hundreds on attending wedding photography workshops, but they’ll only teach you how to take photos of the happy couple.
What about the family? The wedding parties? The guests? The difficulties with low light and bad weather?
Yes – we cover all that (and more) in the iPhotography wedding masterclass.
Our wedding photography course is the only online virtual class where you can follow a simulated wedding from start to finish. Using our live pause technique, we’ve staged an entire wedding to show you what it’s like to be a wedding photographer without leaving your home.
It’s the closest way to being there, without being there.
You’ll learn so much as you shadow Emily Lowrey, our course instructor. She’ll show you everything you need to have in your kit bag, all the essentials lighting right through to arranging business contracts and editing your wedding photos.
With over 60 wedding photography classes in this course, you’ll get extensive information and training on everything it takes to become a strong wedding photographer.