How to become a wedding photographer

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

Yes, I am kinda serious. And why not? Life is not a mathematical equation admitting just one solution. A rainbow of possible futures is at hand, and I have the freedom to pick the candy whose color I fancy most.

Wedding photographer sounds cool. No life threatening situations, a lot of love, a good dose of fun. And, most important of all, space for my creativity.

So, why not to explore another life in this multiplicity?
The question is, where to start from?

Google is always a good place to ask a question, and YouTube is often the right answer. There are plenty of good people giving advises, out there. And most of the times, they say everything and the opposite of everything.

How to become a wedding photographer

So here is my “How to become a wedding photographer” shopping list.

Get a camera, a couple of lenses, a spare battery, a couple of memory cards. To start with, not much more is needed. Maybe a reflector, a bag, a flash.

Practice, but (most important!) be systematic in your practice. Casual shots do not help. Get a volunteer or two among your friends, pay them a beer or a pizza, have them posing for a couple of hours.

Practice, level two. Don’t be shy: go out there, on the street, and ask people to have them portrayed. Strangers are very different to handle than friends. No need to pay a beer to them, though. Give out an email address and a possible website to look at, so that they can get their pictures.

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

Time to stage.

Practice, level three. Stage a wedding. Get a bride, and a groom, not necessarily being sentimentally involved (even better if they are not! It’s more fun!). Find a couple of bride maids, a best man, someone acting as a priest. Take them out, shoot, shoot, shoot. A dinner at your place would be nice, at the end of the day. (Repeat this point a couple of times!)

Set a website. Find a fancy name, register a blog. Post the pictures of the staged wedding.  Set a second website/blog where to post “non wedding” pictures. Get a proper email address, make it easy to reach you.

Even better: create a Facebook page! My sister-in-law got in contact with her wedding photographer thanks to Facebook!

Now it’s getting serious

Get invited to a wedding. Be friendly, smile to everyone, become friend to some young couple, and get invited to their wedding. Bring the camera, and have fun. (Just do not get in the way of the official photographer).

Alternative: crash a wedding. Get a list of coming weddings from the parishes of your area. Crash there before the ceremony, act casually. Take pictures around, pretend to be professional. Not everyone hire a wedding photographer. If they do not have one, chance is they will take advantage of you. Side effect: you might get invited to the wedding dinner!

Shoot a real wedding, for free. The girl who took pictures at my sister’s wedding did so. A wannabe wedding photographer, she offered her services as a present. Brilliant idea.

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

Promote, promote

Keep updating your websites and your Facebook page. Let more and more of your friends now. Contact some wedding planners, and show them your work. Post on wedding websites and forums. Comment on other wedding photographers photos and blogs.

Become friend with other people involved in weddings: florists, restaurant owners, catholic priests, the rabbi at the local Synagogue.

And finally, get your first real engagement as professional wedding photographer.

The photos on this post: Marcus Bell

The photos on this post are not mine. These were taken by one of the best wedding photographers in the world, Marcus Bell. His website is here: — I still have to find someone doing better! I love Marcus’ work, and I really admire the way he portrays weddings!

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

Fancy posing for some pictures?

So, this is my business plan. Are you planning to get married, or wanna just have some fun staging a fictional wedding? Fancy posing for some portrait pictures?
Here are some portraits of a warmhearted Flemish family I have been privileged to meet:  — See more photos on my photography blog Fried Oranges and on my portraits blog qhoto.

Where I am now: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, West Germany, North-East France, Sweden (Stockholm, Uppsala).
I might travel more far away for a real wedding, though!

Write me!

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

A photo by Wedding Photographer Marcus Bell

More resources

2 responses to “How to become a wedding photographer

    • It sounds like a plan, and I am sure you will soon get there! 🙂
      Meanwhile, we might organize a fake wedding, just for practice. I have already some ideas about the bride and the groom, but I guess we will discuss it in person!

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