How to Start a Wedding Photography Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Wedding Photography Business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How much do wedding photographers cost?
  • How much does a wedding photographer charge? 
  • What equipment do you need for wedding photography?
  • How much work does a wedding photographer do? 
 

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the Wedding Photography Business?

Wedding Photography is the photography of all the events related to the wedding ceremonies: pre-wedding, wedding, reception, and other special events.

Wedding photographers are responsible for capturing the special moments of a couple’s big day, including the ceremony, reception, and any other events that take place during the wedding.

They typically work with clients to plan and coordinate the photography for the wedding, including discussing the desired style of the photographs, the number of photographers needed, and the specific shots that the couple would like to have taken.

To get inspiration, you can look into these photographers: 

  • Rebecca Carpenter (UK)
  • Sam Gibson (UK)
  • Fiona Kelly (UK)
  • Jeff Tisman (US)
  • Ken Pak (US)
  • Matthew Sowa (US)

As a photographer, it is a profound honor to witness two people falling in love. – Jesh de Rox

Wedding Photography Business

Is the Wedding Photography Business right for me?

Here are some questions and facts to consider when deciding whether or not this business is for you: 

Pros 
  • It requires little startup costs.
  • It is rewarding to work.
  • You have the freedom to pick & choose your clients 
  • Unlimited income potential 
  • You are your boss 
  • You develop good relations in the local community 
  • The demand for wedding photography is increasing year by year. 

Cons 
  • A longer sales process.
  • Your work can be inconsistent (only during the wedding season). 
  • You have to pay high self-employment taxes.
  • It can be very stressful.
  • You may find your work repetitive and tiresome. 
  • A challenging industry due to increased competition. 
  • Your job is only sometimes going to be glamorous.
  • You may need to make yourself available on a 24/7 basis.
  • You may have to invest more in your equipment.

Types of Weddings in Current Trend:

- Traditional or Classic Wedding
- Destination Wedding
- DIY Wedding
- Vintage Style Wedding
- A Beach Wedding
- Hindu wedding Traditions
- Greek wedding Traditions
- Japanese wedding Traditions
- Chinese Wedding Traditions

Wedding Photography Business

Investment needed for the Wedding Photography Business? 

Startup costs for a Wedding Photography Business depend upon various factors–

  • Type of studio you aspire to accommodate (depends on location)
  • Variety of services you plan to offer
  • The staff you plan to hire/ team size
  • Type and size of clients
  • Advertising tools and channels
  • Various types of equipment needed
 
To give you a benchmark, the estimated cost of your Wedding Photography Business would range from $10K to $60K, depending upon the equipment and the staff you are willing to hire.

On the day of the wedding, photographers may work with the couple to create a shot list and may also take candid shots of the guests and the event.

In addition to providing photography services for weddings, many wedding photographers also offer engagement photography, bridal portraits, and other types of event photography.

Wedding Photography Business

Equipment needed to start a Wedding Photography Business

When starting, one of the biggest questions is, ‘How much equipment do you need to get started?’ 

 

While some begin by buying too little, others buy too much. The list below is the vital equipment you will need to invest in:

 

Camera Body: 

To become a professional wedding photographer, you will need a professional camera. You do not need the most expensive camera available; researching and purchasing the highest quality you can afford will be your most significant investment.

Some of the best cameras you can use in wedding photography:

1. Nikon D870

2. Canon EOS R10

3. Sony Alpha A7R IV

4. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2 

Camera Lens:

Most professional camera bodies come without a prime lens; for weddings, buy at least 2 lenses – Wide and Telephoto which are faster, silent, and handle low-light situations.

Some of the best lens you can use in wedding photography: 

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens

2. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens

3. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF 

4. Nikon AF-S Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens 

Memory Cards:

You will be shooting hundreds or thousands of images at a wedding, and the last thing you need during this situation is your cards filling up.

Purchasing high-quality memory cards that support files and are quicker to process is always preferred. 

Some of the best Memory cards for wedding photography are:

1. SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I

2. Lexar Pro UHS-II

3. ProGrade UHS-II

4. Sony Tough UHS-II

Batteries:

For a typical wedding, you can expect to shoot for several hours or sometimes for the whole day.

Therefore, it is always best to have backup batteries for your camera and ensure several batteries are charged and ready to go.

Some of the best batteries for wedding photography are:

1. Canon LP-E6NH battery

2. Hahnel Extreme HLX-E6NH

3. Nikon EN-EL15c Battery

4. Sony NP-FZ100 Z-series

A Flash:

Weddings are usually held in churches with low light or halls without access to natural light. Having a flash to obtain good photos is always preferred in these situations. Having a built-in transmitter syncing with your camera and multiple flashes is beneficial. 
Some of the best Flashlights for wedding photography:

1. Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI

2. Nikon Speedlight SB-5000

3. Yongnuo YN560 IV

4. Sony HVLF32M

Computer and Editing Software

Always try to have a backup or storage system with an external hard drive that works wonderfully for storing all those client galleries. 

Some of the best Editing software for Wedding Photography :

1. Adobe Lightroom

2. Adobe Photoshop

3. Adobe Premier

4. Final Cut

Wedding Photography Business

What price can you set for your services?

In the UK, a Wedding Photographer can price between £1K -£25K depending upon the services, manpower, and the location the wedding is situated.

In the US, a Wedding Photographer can price between $1K -$30K depending upon the services, manpower, and the location the wedding is situated.

Additional Services you can provide in wedding photography:

  • Pre-wedding shoots
  • Special Albums
  • Videography
  • Wedding documentary
  • Personal Portraits
 

Some photographers may also offer additional services, such as videography, drone shots, photo editing, video editing, and album design, to help clients create beautiful, memorable collections of their wedding photographs.

Types of weddings you can shoot are:

1. A Traditional Classic Wedding
2. Destination Wedding
3. DIY Wedding
4. Vintage Style Wedding
5. Elopement Wedding
6. A Beach Wedding

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Wedding Photography Business

How to grow your Wedding Photography Business?

As per the services you decide to offer, you need to set up measures for promoting the business. 

  • Take specialization in at least one style & make it your USP.
  • Be smart about your pricing and stay on top of your expenses.
  • Create an excellent wedding portfolio website.
  • Share your wedding shoot experiences on a blog.
  • Create or update your social media business profiles.
  • Setting up your ‘Google My Business profile.
  • Utilizing client referrals. 
  • List your wedding photography business on ‘Wedding Marketplaces.’
  • Collaborate with photographers from a different genre
  • Get your work featured in wedding magazines and blogs.
 
Is Videography compulsory in Wedding Photography? 

While many of these tips to further grow your businesses are available, it’s always better to have some extra support to grow your business. 

Providing the option of videography during weddings is always better!

While your photos mostly do the trick of capturing the emotions and the moments around you, a filmmaker who can capture those moments in motion has a different feeling in itself.

Market Insight: In the UK, the wedding season runs between May and October, with the wedding season peaking in July and August.

In the US, wedding season extends from late spring to early fall, with weddings peaking in June and September.​

Wedding Photography Business

A typical day for a wedding photographer (Wedding Shoot)

In the Wedding Photography Business, the most important thing for the photographers is the Wedding Day! 

The list below is what you can expect as a wedding photographer on the wedding day. 

  • Start the day by checking emails and responding to sales inquiries.
  • Prepare for the shoot by cleaning and packing up equipments.
  • Call and follow up on the clients.
  • Arrive on location and begin the bridal party shoot.
  • Drive to the ceremony site and shoot the family formals. 
  • Set up our positions for the ceremony and shoot the candids.
  • Cover the person giving the toast and the reaction shots of others.
  • During the Cake cutting and first dances, cover the primary subjects and the reaction shots of the bridal party and guests.
  • Set up and shoot one last large formal group photo with everyone.

TIP: Here are some Extra Income Ideas for you to consider:

- Portrait Photography

- Event Photography

- Sports Photography

- Fashion Photography

- Travel Photography

- Product Photography

- Commercial Photography

- Street Photography

- Stock Photography

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Wedding Photography Business

Wedding Photography Business Insurance

With an insurance plan offering liability coverage, you will also want to consider adding one or several of the following protections as well:

  • Equipment insurance
  • Property insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Errors and omissions insurance
Wedding Photography Business

How do I get my first Wedding Photography Client?

The idea of business is abstract without customers; the real deal is to bring clients… Right?

So, here are some pointers to help you get your first client.

  • Use your social circle
  • Reach out to local small businesses – cold call & email
  • Run Google, Facebook & Instagram Ads
  • Network in Linkedin
  • Organic SEO and Blogging
  • Quora Answers, Reddit Network

Your goal should be building your portfolio rather than making a profit. So make sure that your prices seem like an offer to them.

The lessons learned from your first customer will be valuable and will help you tremendously throughout your journey.

Conclusion

Today, the wedding photography business is one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide.

 

Starting a wedding photography business can be challenging at the start, yet it remains a very profitable business

 

Becoming a wedding photographer takes dedication, multi-tasking, and creative skills. Capturing photographs of the couple; before and during the marriage will be fun, challenging, creative, and will give a sense of fulfillment; give them their memorable day photos.

Your creative skills and dedication will help your business become a success.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

Wedding Photography Behind The Scenes | Full Wedding Day | Free Wedding photography course – YT Channel ‘John Branch IV Photography’

How I Turned My Love For Photography Into A $177K Business | On The Side – YT Channel ‘CNBC Make It’

Second Shoot With Sam Hurd! Wedding Photography Behind The Scenes – YT Channel ‘Taylor Jackson’

A. Yes, wedding photography is really demanding and a good business but equally challenging. This is why it is important for you to build a brand of your own and know how to do professional photography.

A. Some services you can provide are:

Discounted engagement photo sessions
After-wedding sessions
Wedding video
Photo albums
Film camera shots
Polaroid camera shot

A. The salaries of the majority of Wedding Photographers currently range between $88,000 to $125,000 and a maximum of $314,000 annually across the United States. 

A. Yes, it is a very profitable business due to high demand and according to some stats, extremely good wedding photographers can earn $100,000 per year.

A. Full-time established professionals in the wedding photography business can make around £35,000 to 55,000. It’s a reasonable amount of profit with lots of work benefits. 

A. In the UK, reports reveal that generally in photography, there are over 8,000 businesses providing an average income of £42,212 a year. So yes, it is a good career in the UK.

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