Starting Wedding Photography Business Requirements

Thursday, June 13, 2019

I decided to go to a Canon workshop because I just needed to get out of the house. This evening’s workshop is about “Starting a Wedding Photography Business.” Wedding Photographer Nathan Nowack listed requirements to help you start your business.

  1. Ask yourself if you really love photography, wedding photography, or any photography. What is your motivation for photography? Capture moments and emotions, creating art, and/or just making lots of money? Be real and true to yourself.
  2. Startup needs consist of basic needs that help you actually start the business, get some clients, and make some money. As you get experience, you will need to think about getting an accountant, doing marketing, renting a studio, and becoming incorporated. Then, there is a lot of networking and more marketing as well as buy new equipment, in which will lead to raising prices and growing your business.
  3. Print out a contract in order to legalize business deals with your client. You will also need a lawyer. has free contract templates to print out and use. You will also need to use basic equipment, such as camera, lenses, desktop, laptop, and external hard drive. Photography is a very expensive career, and you are likely to spend $12,000 to $80,000 on new equipment per year.
  4. You will also need liability insurance, as well as insurance on your equipment, workers comp, and life insurance. Some people and photographers won’t hire second photographers if they aren’t insured.
  5. Basic software requirements include adobe lightroom, photoshop, photomechanic, and photo hosting—cloudspot, pixieset, and smugmug.
  6. Create a business name for your photography business. Make sure your business website URL has this name in it so others can easily find you on the internet.
  7. Portfolio websites include Wix, Weebly, squarespace, photobiz, and showit. I am actually on Webnode, Wix, and Behance.
  8. License should be registered with city and state. You should also have Sellers Permit, Business license, fictitious business name, and EIN Register (Free)

After you become an established photographer, you will definitely need to get an accountant to help you maximize deductions, track history, and deal with new tax laws. Marketing is endless work. You need to find your target audience so that you market to the right people. Write blogs, go to shows, go to and certain websites. The easiest and cheapest marketing ways include word of mouth, vendors, and social media networking sites. But remember to be very selective in order to stand out.

The cheapest studio includes a coffee shop, where you can meet clients, discuss job requirements, and sign contract. Eventually, you might get a live work loft. Or, even a 550 square/feet studio in Downtown Fullerton. A bigger one, around 1100 square/feet renovated studio in orange. You are likely to do the editing at home on your desktop.

Ready to be Incorporated?

LLC or Sole Proprietor or C-Corp? LLC protects anything you own—house, etc., but LLC annual tax is a minimum of $800.

Separate personal and business account.

You are likely to change over time, which might involve new style and buying better equipment/software. Such products might include Loupedeck for editing, Magmod for flash modifiers, CRM, and Dubsado.

You need to be always organized by logging everything you do in a notebook. Use a bookkeeping software, such as Excel, to log in your costs and business dealings. Never stop educating yourself because everything is always changing. A good place to start is Canon Workshops, meetup groups, conferences, online—SLR Lounge, Creative Live, F-Stoppers, and Youtube videos.

Social Media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube are good for marketing and tagging. Morever, Facebook groups, meetups, and organizations like Fearless Photography are good for networking.

What are your goals? weekend part-time job? Full-time career?

But don’t forget that your style is likely to change over time, within a year. Analyze your style and what you enjoy photographing. Is your style Fine Arts, Traditional/Classic, Dark/Moody, Light/Airy, photojournalistic, fashion, or bridal? What are you most attracted to or relate with the most? Whose style do you follow? Be true to yourself and be consistent with that particular style.


California average for wedding photography is around $32,000; how much to charge depends on supply and demand as well as you clients. But the amount should cover your total costs so that you are making some profits. The industry average is around $500 to $2000 for beginner photographers. Intermediate photographers make around $2000 to $4000; professional photographers make $3000 to $7000; high-end photographers make $7000 to $25,000.

Wedding packages include A La Carte, Photos/Videos, Set Collections, and Custom.

IPS = In-Person Sales

Lists all the costs, such as cost of goods, cost of labor, and profit amount you would like to make. Add taxes. Divide Total Costs / Number of events = Price Per Event

To raise the price without scaring the shit out of your client, add value to your package. Separate your brand. Be creative and unique. Consistently do good work and follow up with good customer service. Always be visible, busy, and confident.


What do you think?


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