How I’d Start A Wedding Photography Business in 2023

I started my wedding photography business in 2013. It’s been 10 years which got me thinking… what would I do if I started my wedding photography business in 2023? So if you are starting your wedding photography business this year, here is what I would do if I were just starting out.

First, you should absolutely be consuming and dissecting work you admire. If you want to be a wedding photographer, I highly suggest following other’s work that inspires you. Follow them on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and all the usual places. Immerse yourself in their work. I believe that the work we consume the most will inevitably inspire us. Whether consciously or sub-consciously we will begin viewing images through our viewfinder based on other’s works that we’ve consumed. But it’s not enough to just follow people who’s work you like and are inspired by. The second half is to dissect their work. Find patterns, things that speak to you. Is it the way they use light, or color? Is it the couple’s free-spirited posing a photographer like India Earl creates, or the candidness of the wedding day in work found by John Dolan and Daniel Kim? Learn the pattern. Find what is speaking to you. Determining what that is means you can use it and have something to aim for when it comes to shooting and editing your work.

Second, you need to practice. So many people say shoot for free, and so many also say to not shoot for free. Instead, I say “shoot on your terms.” You should approach people and ask if you can photograph them. Your brother and his girlfriend, or your best friend who just got married and their spouse, especially if they can jump back into their wedding outfits. Put an open call out on Instagram or something. Heck, ask your parents or grandparents! The important thing is to get in the field and practice creating. Take the inspiration and what you learned by dissecting that work and learn how to create and achieve that look. Learn how to light during sunset, or in midday sun. Get hands on experience with posing people comfortably. Learning how to juggle the choosing of a backdrop, finding the right light, talking and making the couple feel at ease, and then posing them comfortably takes a lot of practice. You can even learn by just keeping your camera on you during family outtings or events. Documenting candid moments and learning to tell stories through your camera lens is an important skill that can be developed through practice. One of the best ways we learned was by trying to copy other photographer’s edits and trying to reverse engineer how they posed the couple. What did they say to get them to pose that way? Get in the field on your terms with no pressure and just practice. That said, if someone approaches you and asks you to photograph them, you should absolutely charge them money. Take all of this a step farther and set up a styled shoot at venues you’d like to work at in your area. This will help get you portfolio images to use from that venue so you can show you have some experience shooting in that space, plus you’ll build connections with venues and vendors in the process.

Third, you should start collecting reviews from people. Of course, if all of your work was done on your terms and you didn’t provide a paid service to anyone, you may need to approach this differently. I would send out a quick email after sharing the photos with them stating that “you’d love feedback to better serve clients moving forward and to hear about their experience in front of camera. Ask if they can you share with you a quick review of their experience being photographed. How did they feel in front of camera? Did they have a fun time? How did they feel about the photographs you delivered? What is something they think you did really well, and what is something they think you can do better?” Tell them to be honest. If they answer these questions then you’ll have a brief little mini review where they might answer that “they felt so comfortable in front of camera and that you made the session so much fun! They love the photos, and how you captured their love and relationship. They think you do a really great job at posing and making the experience really easy.” They also may give you something you can do better that you can work on in the future. Now that you have a review or two or three, you’ll be able to feature those reviews on social media and a website.

Speaking of social media, the fourth thing I would do is to, of course, post work on social media. You’ll want to dedicate an Instagram account to your photography and this might mean creating a new account or turning your current one into your own photography brand. Begin posting reels, carousels, stories. Get your work out there. Tag the people you photographed. Share reviews from the people you’ve photographed in a story highlight or as a post. Create on TikToks as well. Share your work and get it out there. And yes, get on Facebook. There are tons of people on Facebook who are getting married. Getting your work out to your immediate sphere of influence like your friends, your parent’s friends, your friend’s parents, your co-workers, your former school classmates, and anyone else who was in your life at one point or another is all connected to you on social media. We’ve had nearly a dozen people I went to high school with hire us for their wedding and they found out about my business through facebook and instagram. The more people who know, the more likely you will grow and get booked.

Fifth is to build a website. I highly recommend using Showit which is a completely customizable drag and drop website builder. You can customize your mobile layout as well and the website builder is really intuitive, plus there are a bunch of free templates, or you can purchase a pre-built website from places like or or other Showit designers and plug in your info and photos and you’re ready to go. I’d recommend getting a website that has a blog as well. Showcasing your work is important and blogging is helpful when it comes to people finding you online. We’ve built our entire business on our blog and it is the cornerstone of our marketing. I can’t begin to tell you how many inquiries we get that state “google” as the source. That google search likely brought them directly to our blog. While you might be able to get far on Instagram alone, trust us, eventually you will need a website. Don’t rely on social media to be your only home base on the internet. Create a home yourself of which you are in complete control.

Sixth, create a workflow. I’m not saying you need to go and invest in a CRM like HoneyBook or Dubsado immediately especially when you have no money. But you should create a workflow of sorts. If I didn’t have a client relationship management software like HoneyBook, I would use and create a workflow in there that I can use to track each of my client’s progress so I know exactly what I need to do for each client. This might sound pointless right now when you’re just starting, but it’s the equivalent of dressing for the job you want to have. You wouldn’t walk into an interview for an office job in a band t-shirt and ripped jeans. You’d walk in with a dress shirt, tie, and nice slacks. The same applies to our business. You want your business to operate as if it were already a well oiled machine. Believe me, you don’t want to realize you need to put a workflow in place after your have 20 clients you’re trying to manage. Put the system in place before you get the clients so that when you eventually do have 20 or more clients at once, you can manage them all easily. If you want to grab resources like workflows and email templates, you can head to and use the code “2023” for 15% off any products. The link is in the description.

Seventh, connect with other local photographers. Follow them on social media. Comment on their work. Put the social in social media. Put yourself on their radar because you’ll want to gain experience second shooting for them. They will undoubtedly be in need of a second shooter at some point. It’s okay to DM them after you’ve interacted with them long enough on social to say that you love their work, and that if they’re ever in need of a second that you’d love to help them. Gaining experience as a second where there is less pressure will prepare you to lead shoot a wedding on your own one day.

Those are the seven steps I would take to start building the foundation of my wedding photography business. This is something that takes time, practice, and commitment. Don’t expect to become a pro quickly, or have everything set overnight. Want more tips? You can always check out my YouTube channel here.

For Photographers

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February 10, 2023



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