I love wedding photography. It is my passion. Every week, every month, every year, there are new couples getting married who want us to document their big day. In the United States, there are over 2 million weddings a year. There’s no shortage of opportunities for you to get started in or expand your wedding business. The real question is, how do you up your game and charge a premium for your services? How do you and your studio stand out from the never-ending barrage of competitors in your market?
Destination weddings can be downright amazing—new places, new sights and sounds. They can also be stressful. With the right preparation, you can make it an unforgettable experience. From my travels to Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Thailand and other countries, I have gathered these five tips I wish I’d known before I shot my first destination wedding.
In 2016, when my business started to struggle again, I was not going to let it die. I still had that hustle. I knew it was time to innovate, but I didn’t know why or how, and I needed to come up with something quick. Then a couple hired us to photograph their elopement in Yosemite. As I shot their ceremony at Cathedral Beach, with El Capitan looming over us, I knew how I was going to save my business.
I am a destination photographer. I photograph weddings, portraits and commercial gigs, and the one thing that is consistent across all genres is that I travel quite a long distance to most of my shoots. As a destination photographer, I’m constantly trying to simplify and protect my gear as I travel—it’s my goal to arrive at my destination (and back home again!) with all of my gear undamaged and my images intact.
Do you like to travel? Do you like adventures? Do you love different cultures and cuisines? Do you want to see the world? Then maybe you, like me, will love destination wedding photography. Sure, you have to work and you are not going to spend your time tanning, but if you are going to work, why not have the world as your backdrop? That’s pretty much been my philosophy for the last seven years. Seeing the world is one of the single most enjoyable things I do in my life. I just love it—the culture, the food, the people. Knowing that I have made new friends all around the world is such an incredible feeling.
One of the goals on the vision board of a lot of wedding photographers is the high-end wedding. Depending on where you are in the world, this can have a very different connotation. I’m in the New Jersey and New York City area, one of the most expensive regions to have a wedding, where high-end means multimillion-dollar weddings at places like Cipriani and The Plaza. Whatever high-end means to you, you have to find a way to appeal to more luxurious clients. This isn’t easy, especially if you don’t run in those crowds yourself (I sure don’t). But there are ways to position yourself and your brand so you get in front of those clients and make them happy when you do.
We wedding photographers place a lot of emphasis on our portraits of the bride and groom on their wedding day. That’s because large prints of these shots are in high demand by couples. But all wedding photographers agree that there are other parts of the day that are extremely important to capture. The bride and groom choose those closest to them to be a part of their bridal party, and the wedding day is a great opportunity to showcase the connections between the bride and groom and those close friends and family members. Here are five tips that will help you create amazing images of your bridal party.
Authentic images are the ones our clients want to buy. So how do you learn to recognize authenticity in a photograph? Even more challenging, how do you then re-create authenticity in image after image for your many clients? It’s a hugely important question for your business. So let’s talk about six ways Eileen and I capture authentic moments.
If you’re a seasoned wedding photographer, you already know that the last quarter of the season can get tough. Maybe you took on too many weddings this year, or maybe you feel a bit of longing with the end of wedding season in sight. Whatever it is, wedding professionals typically look forward to a little bit of a break come winter—except for those in warmer climates who are just getting started. In the Northeast, weddings in September and October are ideal because of the pleasant temperatures and bright colors. The last thing we want to give our clients is a tired-out photographer. Here are my tips for making it through the last stretch of wedding season.
2017 is a great year for photographers. Technology has advanced at such a rapid pace, and continues to offer some of the best tools available to do what we love doing. With all the options, how do you choose a primary camera system? Wedding shoots comprise a mixture of product, portrait and action photography—so how do you know which system works best for all these needs? I recently tested multiple camera systems to see which came out on top.