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Wedding Photography Starter Kit

Lesson 11 of 11

Why Wedding Photography Is an Excellent Business


Wedding Photography Starter Kit

Lesson 11 of 11

Why Wedding Photography Is an Excellent Business


Lesson Info

Why Wedding Photography Is an Excellent Business

Let's talk very briefly about why I'm a wedding photographer and I know that sounds a little silly like why am I a wedding photographer? Well, I've been doing this for fourteen years don't I know by now I want to talk about why I'm a wedding photographer because if you're stuck in that point where you're thinking I like this but maybe I want this to be a serious hobby maybe I want this to be a part time job maybe I want this to be a full time job. Why do I like it? What do I feel like? It can give you as a career whether that career is part time whether that career is full time what khun wedding photography b for you why do I do it? Well first things first job flexibility that's kind of a big one. Most people who start their own business start their own business because they want to be their own boss and they want to set their own hours. I could be home for my kids now. Yes and no, I shoot weddings on saturdays. There is lots of saturday's where things happen and I miss it because I'm ...

at a wedding because I signed a contract and I legally committed to show up at somebody's wedding I'm there on a saturday now the flip side of that is I can chaperone every field trip my kid needs to stay home sick from school on a tuesday. I don't have a chute, I can stay home with my kid, it gives me a lot of weekday flexibility now where I'm at in my business, it is a forty hour a week job plus shooting on the weekends now that said, I could do those forty hours during the week, pretty much whenever I want to do them as long as I respond to emails in a timely manner, as long as I get my phone calls made in a timely manner, I can do four hours in the morning and four hours at midnight if I want teo, there is a lot of flexibility and structure that you can handle on your own. I can spend time with my husband now. I'm in kind of an odd situation and that my husband's a wedding photographer, too, so we have the same super super weird hours and schedules. But even if he wasn't, even if he worked a nine to five if he had a different type of job, I have the flexibility on moving my hours around during the week so that I can spend some time with my husband, which for me is incredibly, incredibly important I can control the speed of my work flow. I don't work for someone else who dictates how I do things and where I do them. I can take the time to look at my work flow, whether it's before the wedding during the wedding after the wedding during the off season and I can work to maximize my efficiency so that it's faster, I confined parts. I want to spend more time on the speed of how things are done, is totally in my control and I have the flexibility to make those decisions that's very important for me. I can outsource when I need to. You know, I used to edit every single wedding that I shot by myself, every wedding, but now I shoot fifty weddings a year, and I know that you know that that's insane and there's no way that I can edit fifty weddings a year. I have to do things like sleep and eat and breathe there's just only so many hours in the day I could make the decision to outsource things. So I've decided to outsource my raw processing of the images that I shoot on the wedding day and I outsource my album designs. I also outsource other parts of my life, like cleaning my house and taking care of my little yard in my brooklyn apartment. You can out force parts of your business once you have the funds to do so. To give yourself more flexibility during the week and you're the one that can make these decisions, you don't have to run them by a committee or run them by a boss. You have that flexibility, it's completely up to me. Yes, how do you find yourself balancing work and life at this point? I mean, I know you touched based on a few things here and there, but just to get the general sense of, you know, when it is chaotic, do you kind of require that time to yourself on? Do you make sure to give yourself a few hours a week to do things that you like to dio or, you know, it's interesting there's a lot of people, if I get asked that a lot like how do you manage? How do you balance work in life? Well, you can't I mean, if I'm being completely honest, there is no such thing as having it all in having perfect balance, it's having priorities and giving certain things priorities at certain times. I know now how many weddings a year I can handle. I know how many speaking engagements I could take a year. I also know that if I don't give myself time off, I'm going to be very sad. So for me, mostly mondays are my day off and by day off I mean, I'm not completely off I still respond to e mails and answer phone calls, but I don't do shoots on mondays, you know? I don't do anything crazy on mondays I give myself some downtime, you know, I make sure that I do things like watch tv and read a book before I go to bed and you don't have to be in your business all the time, and that is a very common mistake that new business owners make, especially because when you get into it at the very beginning, you're the only one and every decision has to be run by you, and everything that's done has to be done by you and the urge to just do it all yourself is a major. You will find a point where you realize you have to start pulling back or it's going to start eating into your personal life. And if I could give you one bit of advice, it's know where that isthe when you start to feel crazy when your husband says things to you like, hey, I haven't seen you in days take that as a signal that you need to pull back, you know, as a culture nowadays we sort of worship at the altar of being busy it's not always a good thing I like that I can work from home that's another massive benefit to doing what I do you don't have to have a studio I mean I have a studio but I don't need it you know I have a studio so that I could meet with clients and it doesn't have to be in my home and I have a studio so that I could do portrait but do I need a studio? I don't need a studio you don't even need a dedicated office you just need a place where you can set your computer up and have a dedicated space for youto work and whether it's the corner of your kitchen or the corner of your bedroom or you have a studio or you share a studio with someone else or anything you don't have toe have stuff to get started I don't want you to feel like I'm not a real photographer if I don't have a studio or I'm not a real photographer if I don't have a dedicated office in my apartment that's ridiculous you can learn to multi task you will have decisions to make, but if what you want to do is work in your pajamas in the corner of your bedroom at home, you can do it that way if what you want to do is have a studio with five employees that you go to when you work out of every single day you can do it that way too there is no gold standard of how you have to behave to be a professional photographer you can work from home if you want there is good income potential in wedding photography weddings lied to baby portrait ce you shoot someone's wedding several years down the road they start having kids weddings lied to baby portrait's which lead to family portrait suites leave to their next baby which leads to their bigger family and then suddenly you've built a relationship with a couple that goes for years and years and years to come baby portrait's not only lied to families but they lied to senior portrait says they grow up through high school senior portrait sleep backto weddings it's all in one big circle you shoot somebody's wedding you shoot their kid you shoot their family shoot their kid you shoot their family shoot their senior portrait then you shoot that kid's wedding you shoot their sister's wedding you shoot their cousin's wedding you shoot their best friend's wedding it all leads to other types of work and then weddings naturally dovetail into other types of photography as well you can get into headshots for corporate offices for actors, for dancers for anyone who needs a headshot for whatever it is they do for a living it could lead into commercial work maybe you start shooting christmas parties and other parties or corporate events or corporate retreats it can lead to other types of event photography. You're not just stuck shooting weddings, shooting weddings opens the door to tons of different relationships with these people over the courses of their lives and their career, and it leads your income in tow lots of different directions, which could be very helpful if you start shooting event photography. If you have a down, you're on weddings, you might have up here on events or if you have a down, you're on babies, you might have an up, you're on families I never like to put all of my eggs in one basket I like to span them out just makes me feel more secure that way. Wedding photography also leads you into a zillion other types of skills, so that if one day you decided you did not want to be a wedding photographer anymore or a studio owner, you know things like office skills, you have business management experience, you pick up taxes and accounting knowledge. I am awesome with taxes and accounting by now, I don't do my own taxes, and I am not my own accountant, but I know enough about it that I could go in and do basic taxes and basic accounting for another business I could run somebody else's office, no matter what the office wass I'm pretty good now with financial planning as a business owner, you have to learn to wear so many different hats, and all of those hats are resume line items. Should you ever decide not to do this and go in a different direction. So hopefully over this brief little primer toe wedding photography, you have learned that it could be very fun. It could be very flexible you can make out of it whatever you want to make out of it. Whether it's a hobby or a part time job or a full time job, you can take your skills wherever you want them to go. You'll learn that it's not too hard to get out and shoot your first wedding. If you have some basic gear and basic understanding of photography that it's not gonna be too hard to take it to a part time or a full time business. If you do a little consulting and take the right steps that those clients are out there, they will find you thank you guys so much for sitting and listening to me. If you'd like to learn more about anything else that I've talked about today, I do have a three day course here and creative lives, you'll get the scene, he actually shoot things really time and talk about all of these things, literally everything I've talked about here, ingrate and more very detail. But if you want to go super crazy and learn literally everything that I know I have thirty days of wedding photography here, you'll get to see me shoot a real live wedding in rial lifetime and talk about everything from business to marketing to shooting. Everything practically has its own day if you want to find me online, there's a million different places to find me online, instagram, twitter, facebook the dynamic range is my educational blawg. You can also read more about my creative live classes there, and thank you guys so much for being here. Wedding photography is a wonderful thing, and hopefully this class's inspired you to go learn more and give it a shot yourself. Thanks, guys.

Class Description

Are you really prepared to shoot your first wedding? Wedding photography comes with a lot of moving parts and committing to your first paid gig can be intimidating. In Wedding Photography Starter Kit with Susan Stripling, you’ll get the low down on everything you need to know before you head out on your first official wedding-related shoot.

Susan’s wedding photography has earned accolades from around the globe. But her success wasn’t built overnight. In Wedding Photography Starter Kit, she’ll detail every step in the process of starting out. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Transitioning from shooting as a hobby to making it a business
  • The process of getting clients and booking a wedding
  • The gear you need to have on hand
  • How a typical wedding shoot flows

Wedding photography has the potential to be a lucrative profession for any photographer who is willing to work hard and develop the skills. In Wedding Photography Starter Kit, you’ll get advice on starting a photography business from a serious professional who knows exactly what it takes to thrive.


Laura Bellamy

Honestly, I thought this was a great and pretty informative, all-encompassing course. Great for beginners, but even as a slightly more seasoned photographer, I found a lot of this super helpful. Much of it wasn't news to me, but a lot of it I found just hasn't been on my radar recently. I think it's always a good idea to return to basics every now and then. There is always more to learn, and I feel I can definitely learn from someone with a great deal more experience than myself. As soon as I can afford it, I'll be buying more of her courses, I respond to her very well!


Fantastic Course. Susan is well prepared, very informative and very entertaining. She puts it all out there. She is 100% a PRO. She was fun to watch and she makes beautiful images.

Larissa Jean

I honestly love this class. I'm just starting out as a photographer, and like she said, a friend's wedding just sort of fell into my lap. I had no intentions of trying to photograph any weddings this first year of learning, but I was persuaded by the fact that my friend really just wants photos to look back at. This class is helping me get prepared, it's making me feel more confident, and it's teaching me things that I didn't know or was very unsure about. If you are new in your photography venture like I am, I would highly recommend this class!