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!
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.
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.
Make sure you look stylish — comfortable shoes are a must!
Mingle with guests. Arrange people in pics. Take pics!
Edit photos — crop, brightness, etc...hundreds of times!
Print or arrange them in an album, then Gget them delivered to the customer.
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).
Love it or hate it?
You'll love it because...
You create memories of a couple’s special day — that's priceless!
You get to see some wickedly cool venues.
You're a people-person and get along with anyone.
You might hate it because...
Lost weekends — most weddings are on Sat/Sun, not Mon-Fri.
Seasonality — there can be low demand in winter months in some locations.
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
To get a better idea if this is the job for you: