Building a Wedding Photography Portfolio in a Pandemic

Building a Wedding Photography Portfolio in a Pandemic

It is quite an uncertain time for wedding photographers. We don’t know when our next event will be or what weddings will look like in the near future. What we do know is that people will still be getting married one way or another. However, it can feel creatively exhausting to go for months on end without photographing what you love.

But there are ways to keep on building your portfolio even in the middle of a pandemic. If you keep on creating work and putting your business out there, you will keep the interest of potential clients. Let’s look at different options for you to be spending time creatively.

Building a Portfolio of Still Life Wedding Photos

A major trend in wedding photography in the last few years has become still life flat lay images. These are essential in a fine art wedding photography portfolio. They typically consist of shoes, invitations, and stationery, stamps, candles, flowers, and really whatever propping you can come up with for a unique and beautiful image that represents your couples.

Create Commemorative Photos for Your Couples

Offer your couples still life photos of their wedding invitations and stationery. Even if they could not have their wedding on the days that they originally planned for, they can still commemorate it with a beautiful still life. You can also reach out to fellow vendors to collaborate on flat lay designs, as these are good for everyone’s portfolio in the wedding industry. Start conversations with stationery designers, florists, accessories brands, and see what you can come up with for some interesting flat lay still life photos.

Get Unique With Your Photo Shoots

Some photographers have chosen to create interesting photos of “weddings” that do not involve people. One of the more interesting ideas is using dolls in dresses and tuxedos to create some mock wedding photos. These will grab the attention of your online audience and give people something to smile about in hard times. Think outside the box and use your creative abilities to keep building upon your online brand.

FaceTime Photo Shoots

Many photographers have taken this time to do FaceTime photo sessions for couples. This typically involves the photographer getting on a video call with their couples and either taking Live Photos on FaceTime or taking actual pictures with their camera of the couple on the phone screen. Whatever your preferred method is, propose it to some of your local couples and generate interest. Obviously, these are not the same as real engagement or wedding portraits, so you can’t charge the same amount, but what you can do is give your couples something to commemorate this time in their lives.

Elopement Photography

Something to consider getting into is elopement photography. Some photographers are doing socially distant elopement shoots to keep on documenting love stories for couples. If you do not have any elopement shoots lined up, consider asking a married couple that you know to pose for some styled elopement photos for you. That way, you can market elopement photography in your business.

Safety First When It Comes to Elopements

Make sure, of course, to keep social distancing guidelines in your region in mind when marketing elopement photos. Some areas are not quite ready to start having small celebrations and socially distant photo shoots, while others are reopening with specific guidelines.

Start Planning Styled Shoots for the Future

You can’t quite do a styled shoot with a bunch of vendor collaborations just yet, but what you can do is start to plan. Start reaching out to vendors to see who would be interested in doing some styled shoot collaborations with you once guidelines and restrictions are eased. You can start to put together mood boards and do location research for potential opportunities. Just because you can’t execute the shoot right away, does not mean that you cannot start to create plans.

Other Ways to Get Your Photography Business in Front of People During a Pandemic

Show up for your potential clients online during the COVID-19 epidemic. Just because you can’t go out and shoot weddings doesn’t mean that you have to stop showing up altogether. Make sure people know that you are still in business and ready to go as soon as the option becomes available. Let’s go through some ways to show up for couples during coronavirus.

Do Instagram Lives With Local Vendors

Work with local vendors that you love to do collaborative Instagram Live sessions. You could talk to local wedding planners to give couples ideas on how to postpone their wedding, and how to safely replan their wedding once things are a little safer. Or, you could talk to a makeup artist on Instagram Live about how to gather inspiration for your wedding day makeup and hair. Doing these IG Lives also gives you the opportunity to show up for the other vendor's audience, which puts your business in front of a bunch of potential new clients.

Keep Up a Social Media Presence

Keeping up your social media presence is important right now. Some days, it can feel hard to share your thoughts and be active on social media. It doesn’t have to be every day, but having consistent messaging throughout the pandemic will keep you at the top of mind for potential couples. That’s why scheduling social media for photographers can be so beneficial. You can write a bunch of posts and captions ahead of time, and then have them post on a schedule. That way, you’ll be able to keep showing up even when you don’t always feel like it.

Get Experimental With Your Marketing

If you’ve been using the same marketing channels consistently, consider experimenting with your marketing. Whether that’s your messaging, your imagery, or your platforms, there are lots of options available for you to experiment with. Try out some new ad sets. People are still planning their weddings for 2021 and beyond, and your business can be ready for when they are looking for your services.

Work on Your SEO

Working on the SEO for your website will benefit you greatly. This is a free way to stay ahead of the game when it comes to competing with other photography businesses. Now that you have the time, you can finally write all those blog posts that you’ve meant to write. This will help in your long-term business strategy. Using basic SEO tools can help to improve the performance of your site and blog in general.

Don’t Give Up on Your Business

Some days it may feel hard when weddings are constantly rescheduling, and there aren’t many bookings coming in. However, it’s important that you don’t give up on your business. Remember why you started doing this in the first place. Remember what’s important to you about capturing the love stories of couples. It’s ok to have down days and to take some of this time to relax. Just remember not to give up on yourself and your dream.

Megan Breukelman's picture

Megan is the owner of Brooklyn Wedding Photo, and host of the Photo Opp Podcast. She aims to share actionable tips to help photographers grow and scale their businesses.

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My first glance at those rings on that rough wood surface cause me to think of handcuffs.