Did you know that the U.S. photography industry is worth about $10 billion? If you are trying to establish yourself as a professional photographer, it isn’t as hard as some might lead you to imagine. While many people might have a decent camera, few are trying to make a living from recording life events with it, and that is the difference.
It might be difficult to get a job taking photographs for a news organization these days, but luckily, there are many other opportunities for those who feel most comfortable behind a lens. The average photographer in the U.S. makes about $25,000, but within that field is a wide range of incomes. Wedding photographers, for example, frequently make upwards of $100,000, and the average salary for a graduation photographer is $33,000.
If you want to make the most money in this industry, you’ll probably be looking at wedding photography. Not only does it pay well, but the work is usually engaging and interesting — much better than taking stock images of products. Here are three tips for making yourself stand out above all the other wedding photographers in your area.
1. Have a Great Online Portfolio
No matter how many business cards you hand out, ultimately, a lot of your traffic is going to come from your website, and on this end, it pays to represent your work as fully as possible. In other words, you need more than a single web page with five choice photographs and a link to your email for more information. Look to have at least 30+ examples of photographs you’ve taken, and aim to show a wide range of styles and compositions.
2. Have Customized, Beautiful Options for Products
Many photographers don’t do their own print work today, especially when the market calls for professional wedding albums that would be nearly impossible to print in-house. The wedding photo albums you hand your clients ultimately need to be high-end, as these are the photos they will cherish likely for the rest of their lives. Finding a great company to work with that offers many options for customization — different types of paper and embellishments — will be your best bet for offering potential clients a wide range of possibilities. Photo cards can be one unexpected boon — many couples like to re-use their wedding photo for the holidays.
3. Remember to Capture the Little Details
There’s more to a wedding than just the people. The average wedding now costs about $25,000, and much of this is going into details like place settings, DJs, food, and decorative elements. Find an interesting way to frame a shot of the centerpiece or the main food dish and incorporate that in professional wedding albums for photographers. Capture pictures of shoes taken off during a particular dance. These are sometimes the details people forget afterward, and they’ll appreciate being reminded.
What tips do you have for creating professional wedding albums for photographers? Let us know in the comments.