There’s no manual to becoming a wedding photographer. Everyone has a different experience.
My journey to becoming a wedding photographer:
- I started as a non-shooting, unpaid donkey that carried photography equipment, kept the photographers hydrated, and kept the schedule and checklist handy.
- During the studio hours, I learned about anal-retentive, but completely necessary digital file backup procedures. I helped create workflow systems for image processing, editing, and album design.
- Eventually, I was trusted to be a second photographer and then started photographing lead weddings under the studio brand.
- I have always prioritized client care and the client experience. Along the way, I attended conferences and watched online training about how to be a creative entrepreneur and a small business owner.
Mentorship and Coaching
The “Asian Tiger Mom” Coaching Experience
Asian Tiger Moms have been known to provide tough love in order to reach astronomical levels of success. I work with photographers to help them realize and reach their potential.
Let’s sharpen up your lighting and posing skills to fulfill you creatively, create a client experience that you can be proud of, and design a business that allows you to live a fruitful life.
Asian Tiger Moms get a bad reputation sometimes. I won’t be that terrifying. I will encourage you, ask you uncomfortable questions, and be there for you when you need the support.
The full “Asian Tiger Mom” Coaching Experience is a six month program at $2900. Hourly rates are also available at $400/hour.
Education for Small Business Owners
I’ve spoken at WPPI (largest conference expo for professional wedding and portrait photographers and filmmakers), PPA, universities, women’s entrepreneur groups, and countless other conferences.
Topics include: The business of photography, Creative lighting and posing, “Diversity, Equality and Inclusion”, and Small business marketing.
The business of wedding photography cannot be ignored
Many wedding photographers and creatives enter the industry because they love creating photographs, however, there’s a whole business side that cannot be ignored.
The barrier to entry into the wedding photographer industry is low. Because of this, I feel that there are copious amounts of photographer “horror stories”. Most are unintentional and accidental – like a photographer’s harddrive being corrupted and losing all of the photos from a wedding.
Regardless if it was accidental or not, this causes a great deal of stress to wedding couples and ruins memories from a day that can never be repeated. I’d like to share some of the resources that have helped me along the way.
Business resources for wedding photographers
Yes, many of the below resources are expensive. Gone are the days where you can swing by Radio Shack or Best Buy, pick up a $1000 camera, and go out and photograph a $2000 wedding. That’s not how this works. New wedding photographers, stop getting your advice from Facebook groups. They’re not lawyers and accountants!
Payroll for wedding photographers
Gusto provides small business owners with full-service payroll, health insurance (Medical, dental, vision), certified HR experts, compliance help, and employee/independent contractor finance tools.
Gusto is the dashboard as to how I pay myself, employees, and contractors. It’s perfect for solopreneurs and small businesses. I love the analytics and reports that I can create from it.
Education for wedding photographers
Invest in yourself! I wish this training was around when I first started, because it’s genius. Think about how much money most spend on their college major. It’s imperative to continue your photographic education and to stay up to date with the industry
SLR Lounge Premium – For a mere $350/year, it’s a steal to access all of the SLR Lounge’s learning courses. 30+ workshops and 2000+ hours!
If enrolling in the premium isn’t in the cards for you yet, here are some individual workshops that I think are very much worth it!
- Wedding Photography Training System – Nuts to bolts. This is an incredible training!!
- Posing Workshop – Learn how to direct clients effortlessly. Of course, there’s a huge practice component, but this workshop really breaks it down!
- Photography Business Training System – As mentioned above, business foundation is essential to creating a sustainable business that is a long living career!
Bookkeeping and Accounting
Every state is a bit different, so I suggest that you do your own research into someone that’s a good fit for you!
Wedding photography equipment
Here’s my full list of wedding equipment here! I talk about my cameras, lenses, lighting, accessories, and bags!
I’d like to give a special shoutout to MagMod.
For Boston, lighting is an extreme challenge. Venues are dark and old buildings provide difficult lighting. It’s important to be able to have the skills to create natural and flattering light when necessary, so that you’re never in a situation where you’re at the mercy of the sun. Wedding photographers are not paid to create good photos. We’re paid to create consistently good photos regardless of how awful the conditions are.
I love how MagMod has revolutionized my off-camera equipment as well as on-camera lighting abilities. The $99 MagMod starter kit with the MagGrip, MagGrid, and MagSphere is what I highly recommend.
Hill & Usher and Package ChoiceTM takes care of my general business liability Insurance, equipment insurance, errors & omissions (professional liability) and most importantly, certificates of insurance for when venues and clients ask if my business is fully insured.
Social Media Marketing for Wedding photographers
I love social media, but I do need help in managing all of the posting, else it would have taken over my life.
Later is the platform that I use to schedule posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. It helps me manage my account by showing me analytics and allowing me to schedule out posts and captions!
Attorney for Wedding photographers
Arce Stark & Haskell LLP understands the industry and drafts all of the studio’s contracts. I also work with a local law firm for corporate, employment, and small business needs.
Have any questions for me? Reach out!
Some of these links. are affiliate links, which means that if you click on it and buy something, I get a small kickback! This money goes directly into my chocolates and mango snack fund for wedding days!
I write blogs to help my clients understand that I’m a nerd. I research and test my wedding photography equipment to extreme measures because I love what I do and I take my job super seriously.
You’d be surprised at how many snacks I consume on a wedding day. Every penny helps! 🙂