I get emails every so often from people who want to start a career in photography. Usually within wedding or portrait photography.
Earning a living doing something fun, something you love, has to be everyone's dream. So you really can't blame people for wanting a career in photography.
But just how realistic is it?
I think if you take the right steps then I think it is definitely a realistic prospect, but I don't want to fool you and pretend that it will be easy, it won't. There are a lot of people doing wedding photography right now and you will be just one of many in your area. You will have to work really hard and try to give yourself a head start.
I feel that wedding photography is an area that some people go in to blind, starting a photography business with no real knowledge or experience and then find it really difficult to succeed. To be honest, this is probably what I did and I learned the hard way.
I've been running photography courses now since 2008 and Wedding and Portrait Photography courses have played a part. I was running a group course dedicated to wedding photography and this was run over a number of weeks. Since then I have decided that bespoke 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 tuition is a better way to learn, because the individuals in those groups had different needs and requirements and dedicated 1-2-1 tuition is tailored to the individual.
I believe it is possible to carve yourself a career in photography if you have a number of qualities...
- Be willing to learn and better yourself
Having the knowledge to run a photography business is much more than just being able to take a good picture, although that helps too!
- Be a 'People Person'
A lot of the time photography is about people management and you have to know how to handle them to get the best photos.
- Being a professional
Conducting yourself in professional manor is essential.
I get emails from people sometimes that have no photography experience what-so-ever and ask about becoming a wedding photographer. Maybe they have had a change of circumstances, maybe they were made redundant and are looking for a new direction. I think it can be done, but I do think it's important to have an interest in photography first, even if it's just that you love looking at and appreciating photography. I believe then you could start to making a career for yourself, providing you take the right steps first.
So what do I recommend?
To start with I think it's important to have a consultation meeting, either on the telephone or in person. This should take no longer than 30 minutes and is free of charge. This meeting will give me an idea of what level you are at and help me tailor a learning package for you.
I will then recommend a number of 1-2-1 sessions to teach you the things you need to know to give you a head start in becoming a professional photographer.
The sort of things you can expect to learn:
- Photography Equipment
- Technique and camera settings
- Social Media
- How to conduct yourself
The beauty of 1-2-1 sessions is that it's completely bespoke, so I can tailor this to your needs.
I usually recommend either 5 or 10 (2hr) sessions to get started. For some this may be enough and others may need to book a few more.
You will see my prices for 1-2-1 tuition here. £50 for one hour and £95 for two hours. However for this course if you make a block booking you will save money, 10% on booking 5x (2hr) sessions or 20% on booking 10x (2hr) sessions.
These sessions are great and will give you the chance to ask questions and learn. But you need more than that, you need some portfolio to put on your website to begin to get work! Don't worry, I can help you there too. I run these Wedding Photography Shoot Courses so you can learn how to shoot portraits on location. For this course there will be a model couple who will be made up as a bride and groom and we will shoot them on location. I'll be on hand at all times guiding you and helping you to achieve some fantastic portfolio images which are yours to use. This is for a very small group, no more than 4 places. These shoots are run every couple of months for now and we hope that we can make them even more regular. These are currently priced at £189 but there will be some offers from time-to-time, so do check in to see if you can take advantage of those. You can even sign up for the newsletter which will inform you of those offers.
So let's look at some scenarios to give you an idea of cost...
If you are a complete beginner with no experience then I recommend you have 10x (2hr) sessions. Full cost of those is going to be £950, but you receive 20% discount for a block booking, so that brings it down to £760. You will then need to attend at least one of the Wedding Photography Shoot Course to gain some portfolio, this will cost £189. This means a total of £949.
If you have some experience already then you may be fine with just the 5x (2hr) sessions. Full price is £475 but you will receive 10% discount for a block booking, so that brings the cost down to £427.50. You will then need to attend at least one of the Wedding Photography Shoot Course to gain some portfolio, this will cost £189. This means a total of £616.50.
I mentioned earlier on in this article that you can also do 1-2-2 tuition for this course. If you have a friend, perhaps even someone you are considering going in to business with, you could do this course together and then share the costs of 1-2-2 tuition. 1-2-2 tuition is a £142.50 for a 2 hour session. So 10x sessions would be £1,425 but with 20% discount is £1,140 and £570 each of sharing.
Now I'm not going to pretend to you that once you have done this you will be a top hot shot wedding photographer and will immediately earn £50k, but you will be much better prepared than most entering this market right. That will mean you have an advantage over them and the rest is up to you.
My courses are run from my studio in Crowborough, East Sussex. Crowborough is right on the border of Sussex and Kent, very close to Tunbridge Wells. There are public transport links from London and the coast. In fact my studio is located just a 1 minute walk from Crowborugh train station which has a direct line to London Bridge.
Booking is really easy, just head to the 1-2-1 Photography Courses page and choose the length of session, number of people and the quantity of the sessions and then Add to Cart. If you're booking 10 sessions you will need to use this code (WEDDING20) to save 20%. When you get to the checkout enter the code and click redeem. If you're booking 5 sessions, then it's the same process, just choose 5 quantity and use the code (WEDDING10) to save 10%.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone or email me. All my contact details can be found here. You can call anytime!