Wedding photography has changed vastly over the years. And as much as there is a growing potential for newcomers, there is also an amassing amount of challenges that one has to encounter. It is wise to have a clear understanding of the industry before taking the plunge.
In order to understand this and more, I got in a conversation with Joshua Karthik, the co-founder of Stories by Joseph Radhik. It was interesting to reflect on a lot of topics, especially the beginning stages of surging into an alternative career. Quitting a high paying job for the love of becoming a wedding photographer is no longer a unique story. So what can you do to become smart and shrewd in the growing field of wedding photography? How can you ensure yourself a spot of progress in this field that is getting competitive every day? Here are a few quick pointers that you ought to take care of.
Invest in the question "Why?"
Even before you plunge into any field, let alone wedding photography, it is very important that you ask yourself on why you want to get into that field in the first place. Is it the money or the calling or the market? Whatever might be the reason, you have to come in terms with it. And also, just because a market is flourishing doesn’t mean you will shine completely in it. As in wedding photography, the market is very promising now, but that can’t be the only reason that you take up wedding photography. You have to know the craft, and would have a hold in it.
Plan Your Decision
Nothing happens over night, ever. Your decision to take up wedding photography has to be calculative. For instance, if you take the case of myself, I now run Studio A, a wedding photography firm with a team of 25 people. We have shot over 400 weddings. But where did it all start? It began as a two-member team 6 years ago, and even before that, I had been saving a lot to keep my cushion when I’d jump over. It is like taking a dive having your parachutes intact. With the right plan, the ability to take risks and scale up is more promising. Impulsive decisions without proper planning are likely to cost you a lot at some instance.
Think Beyond Social Media
The entire generation today is hooked on social media. On the positive side, social media opens so many doors. In fact, one should consider his or her social media pages to be their shop front. How will you want your shop front to be? That’s how you have to approach the content you feed into your social media pages rather than sharing generic and sensational stuff that doesn’t reflect who you are as a professional. It is best to maintain two different pages, one for your personal content and other for your professional content. That way the interests won’t clash. On the negative side, what concerns is how the generation today has started seeking inspiration only from social media. Nothing wrong in that but one has to go beyond social media, look at a diverse range of work and be inspired by people from all walks of life. The number of likes and shares you get for your pictures should not determine your success or satisfaction.
Understand the Significance of People Skills
Wedding photography is all about building relationships. Be it your team, the clients, or the vendors, you will be subjected to interact with a lot of people in the journey and you have to be ready for it. Only a person who is able to gel well with people, empathize with expectations, and deliver satisfaction will be able to sustain a business in wedding photography.
Be Prepared to Face the Best and the Worst
Given all the planning you do, it doesn’t guarantee that things will go according to the blueprint. Yes, there will be amazing successes and also, there will be equally challenging situations which you wouldn’t have foreseen. You have to be aware of what you are going through and value your time at its best. Only then will you be able to gauge exactly if you are on the right track. There is a difference between profit and revenue. All this will fall into place when you are embracing everything that comes your way and improvises with time.
Understand That the Wedding Photography Business Is More Than Pictures
Yes, we all signed up on this for the love of making pictures. But when it comes to wedding photography as a business, the brand is beyond pictures. A whole lot like client handling, team management, editing etc., comes into the picture and you have to be donning multiple hats to come out successful. You can either be someone who allocates time and effort accordingly and ticks it all or outsources smartly the processes that need an expert touch. One person can not do all the things. And you have to understand that by outsourcing things you are not losing control but only gaining command over the overall quality. That matters end of the day.
Have a Long-Term Vision
This is where a lot of us fall short. We don’t see far beyond 5 years. Our vision has to be more than that, and the short terms goals must be broken down from that big vision. It has to be from the top to the bottom approach rather than the other way around. The bigger picture has to be out there, loud and clear for you and your team to adhere to. This will give focus and direction in the creative pursuit.
On the whole, it is this conscious decision of taking the plunge and going with the flow in a disciplined manner that will matter in the long run. The only difference between the ones who succeeded big and the ones who started off big yet failed in the midterm is the vision factor. The clearer the vision, the better the focus. This video happens to be the first of the many to come under the title Evolve with Titans. Now hop on to this episode and listen to the conversation as we speak on how to venture successfully into wedding photography today.