Have you ever thought, “I'm so good at taking pictures and I love weddings…I should totally be a wedding photographer!”

But wait! There’s more to being a wedding photographer than just snapping a few pics and schmoozing with the guests.

Learn what it takes to capture memories on someone's special day!

A man standing behind camera moving his hands.

Two Types of Work

A wedding photographer can either be "freelance" or work for another photographer. You can usually gain experience from working with another photographer, as a "secondary" photographer. After a few years of experience, you can strike out on your own.

A woman points and winks at an office colleague. She says,

Before, During and After a Wedding

Let's look at what a wedding photographer needs to do before, during and after a wedding.


  • Call the client and confirm all details. They may be stressed, so be sure you have everything correct.

  • Connect with the wedding planner to make sure your plans line up.

  • Pack your bags! Charge your camera and pack some snacks.

    A man pushing clothing into bag using his foot.


  • Make sure you look stylish — comfortable shoes are a must!

  • Mingle with guests. Arrange people in pics. Take pics!

A wedding photographer taking picture of the bride and groom in a field under a tree. Photo by Mariah Krafft on Unsplash


  • Edit photos — crop, brightness, etc...hundreds of times!

  • Print or arrange them in an album, then Gget them delivered to the customer.

A scene from The Simpsons. A photographer uses a photo editor to make Bartender Moe look better.

Extra Info

At the wedding, you'll also have to:

  • Know when the "pre-set" photo sessions will happen on the wedding day.

  • Prepare a list of all the group photos (aunts + uncles, friends of groom, friends of bride, etc).

  • Hire an assistant (or that's you!) who will take "on-the-spot" photos (people mingling at the reception and on the dance floor).

A person checking off to do list.

Love it or hate it?

You'll love it because...

  1. You create memories of a couple’s special day — that's priceless!

  2. You get to see some wickedly cool venues.

  3. You're a people-person and get along with anyone.

You might hate it because...

  1. Lost weekends — most weddings are on Sat/Sun, not Mon-Fri.

  2. Seasonality — there can be low demand in winter months in some locations.

  3. Lots of standing — remember what we said about comfy shoes!

Salary in US and CAN

The salary can vary widely, but when starting out, the average salary in Canada is about $40,000 a year ($20 an hour). In the USA, it's a bit higher, around $60,000 a year ($35/hr).

How much you actually make per hour will depend on:

  • Commute times to and from the wedding location

  • How fast you are at editing pictures

Other factors include:

  • If you're renting or buying your lens/lenses

  • How you choose to price your package

  • Whether you also do videography and/or photo slideshows

  • Your sales/marketing strategy

  • How you share your portfolio

  • Whether you hire assistants

Take Action

To get a better idea if this is the job for you:

cute penguin cartoon taking pictures


Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte