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3 Tips for Marketing a New Wedding Photography Business

A wedding is often one of the most important days in a couple’s lives, and as the wedding photographer, there’s a lot of pressure on you to capture those memories in the best way possible. Try our course, Wedding Photography for Beginners to learn about everything you’ll need. In this lesson we’ll go through your professional offering, from what you’ll provide, to deciding what to charge.

This lesson includes a quoted section from an interview with a long-standing wedding photographer from Adamskii Photography.

Offering Your Wedding Photography for the First Time: Start Local

Know Your Market

One of the first things you really need to know is your market, so do research into the area you’re covering and investigate similar businesses, you need to know what your competition are providing and charging to know if your costs are realistic.

Have a plan, do your researchHave a plan, do your researchHave a plan, do your research
Have a plan, do your research / Twenty20

The best way to work out prices is to start with what you'll actually offer and figure out the hard cost to you. Will you provide an album in with your quote, or will it be an upsell? Will you offer digital images and if so, will you put them onto a flash drive or a CD?

Price Your Wedding Photography Services Well 

Pricing is a delicate balance. Once you really know what you’d like to offer you can start to work out your prices.

To start, think about your potential clients and come up with a rough tier system for your services that covers their potential needs. Then you've got a basis to work out costs. You might have a price for your local area – say a 20-mile radius – and then break down the parts of the day. Some clients will just want the ceremony and reception, some might want photos taken from getting ready, and then some will want the full day, from getting ready right through to the evening party.

Remember, if you do a full day you could be looking at 14 hours, it’s a long day so make sure you price accordingly. 

By breaking it down this way you’ve got a sensible base to work out costs for a client. You could do an hourly rate but remember your work doesn’t end after the wedding. You’ll have photos to edit, an album to design and other things you might offer, like putting together a video. You need to be happy with your profit but also have something that's actually a liveable wage.

Where to Get Wedding Photography Clients?

Your current clients are your best ambassadors, and referrals are an excellent way to get wedding business. Make sure they have everything they need to recommend your services, like a business phone number and a website.

In an ideal world, all your clients would find you by word-of-mouth, but realistically that won’t happen spontaneously, not without many months or even years of legwork. Put your portfolio on your website. Get some business cards and nicely printed promo cards. Make sure your SEO is up to scratch and if you’re not too sure about that sort of thing, do research. And make friends with all the wedding planners you meet.

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How to get clients? / Twenty20

Think about how you'd like to market your business, who are your clients? Dropping leaflets through a door is unlikely to get you anything what about taking out an advert in your local magazines’ wedding feature. The larger publications tend to put these out twice a year and you can catch reasonable rates if you’re savvy with your communication.

Wedding Shows

Wedding shows are another consideration. Here's the perspective from Adamskii Photography:

“We did quite a lot of wedding fairs and then we held off for a while and we saw a slight drop in our bookings, so I would say it’s worth it.

If it’s one of the really big wedding fairs it tends to be [about] getting as much information and marketing out as possible, as people come past, or at a small fair it’s more about establishing a rapport with each client and trying to show them your style and really talk to them about what they want.

We tend to bring small fliers and a price list. It's always a difficult one to start with, when people come up you don't want to jump on them or do the hard sale straightaway but at the same time you don't want them to wander off so I tend to let them have a quick look and then just ask them either if they've got their wedding date booked or if they've got the photographer booked as they're having a look and then try and establish it from there.

I think it's important, especially if for a photographer, to show what you can do and to have examples of your work. I've had the small pull up banners, I've had framed pictures, ones hung on a frame and things like that but the best thing that works for me is one of the large pop-up banners. They're quite expensive, they can be up to a thousand pounds for one but it really it makes you look professional and gives clients that sort of feeling that you know what you're doing. Also bringing along albums and examples and small bits of marketing that they can take away.  

I think wedding fairs where you can talk to them face to face and they can get to know you as well as you get to know them are important.”

Remember, you are your best marketing tool so be engaging, be polite be friendly to everybody that you come into contact with, even if they're not in need of your services. You don't know who they'll speak to who will be. For many photographers, a lot of work come from word-of-mouth and it's a really nice way to get business.

More Wedding Resources

About the Authors

Marie Gardiner created the video course that includes this lesson, and wrote the updated text version. Marie is a writer and photographer from England, with a background in media.

This lesson was edited and published by Jackson Couse. Jackson is a photographer and the editor of the Photo & Video section of Envato Tuts+.

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