Quick Wedding Photography Tips

For my fellow photographer friends out there, here are a few things I wanted to share to help you shoot, manage, and run your business that I’ve learned especially over the past year and a half of being full-time.

I am so thankful for the way the photography business is.  I have never been a part of an industry that is so wonderful with sharing and helping one another out that I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for so many established fellow photographers who have guided me along the way.  There are too many to thank, but you know who you are if I have ever asked you a question when I first began.  Thank you, thank you.  Your kindness has inspired me to pass the kindness and openness along to others.

  • If you shoot a wedding on a Saturday, block of Monday and Tuesday as your edit days.  Finish culling, editing, burning the disc, and yes, blogging them (schedule the post).  Then move on to the next project.
  • If you have a gut feeling that this might not go well, don’t take it.
  • Consider very different hourly packages.  I used to offer 6 as a starting because I wanted the smaller weddings.  What I discovered were the couples who needed 8 hours tried to cram it all in 6 hours which never benefited anyone. I now offer packages starting at 7 hours.
  • Work with your clients before they print the invitations on their ceremony time to ensure you have enough portrait time with your couple.
  • Make a close knit of vendor friends in the industry.  Other photographers, makeup artists, cinematographers, planners, you name it.  I cannot tell you how nice it is to have such transparency when you share a client, or if you need guidance in general.  You can share wisdom and ensure reputations are kept.  I’ve even been warned of specific clients that seem fishy or might be a scam, this is so important to be connected.
  • Every person and couple signs and returns a contract, even friends. No exceptions.
  • However, I’d advise not to shoot friends if you still want to be friends after. Unfortunately friends don’t always give the same respect as clients and I hear how often one can get burned by a friend.
  • If that pose looks dumb, it’s your fault for putting them in it.
  • Always have the bride lean into the groom or take the masculine approach.  It’s your job to make him look “manly.”
  • If a bride says, “Do I look fat?” at any time during her wedding day, liquify – she wants you to make her thinner.
  • If the groom complains about his double chin, and you’re doing a close up profile shot, correct his chin in post but don’t mention it.
  • Learn how to eat fast, and I mean inhale that vendor food so you can go back out and shoot.

If you want to learn more about shooting a wedding, sign up for my 3-hour Wedding Crasher online course here.  It is being held on July 9.

Diana Elizabeth says remember trials and errors are just as important as the triumphs.  Always make friends wherever you go, treat others how you’d like to be treated and remember, business is also business so stick to your guns and honor your talents and time because if you don’t, who will?

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • fotografo de casamento Rio de Janeiro

    This is good to know. Family portraits are super important to me, but I want them to go fast, so trying to minimize the number and debating which combos we need

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi, I go through family portraits quickly – I advice suggesting to the bride and groom that the majority of family photos have them BOTH in it as one without the other looks strange (unless it’s bride and her sister, etc.) Names for each shot helps gather them as my second shooter does roll call :)

  • Tara

    @Tam – I completely agree – you don’t really want to be responsible to a friend like that. Maybe if they couldn’t afford a photographer but even then they tend to expect too much out of you!

  • Tam Nguyen Photography

    “If a bride says, “Do I look fat?” at any time during her wedding day, liquify – she wants you to make her thinner.” <~~ hahahahahaha!!!

    A friend of my insisted that I shoot his wedding. I took me a few days, and we almost got into an argument, but I finally was able to decline it. Shooting a friend's engagement photos is as far as I go, and that's already pushing it.

  • Ashley

    Thank you so much for the tips! Great Advice!!

  • Mailinh Nguyen

    Great & awesome tips, Diana! Hope you’re having a happy Monday! :)

  • sheila

    Thank you for these really great tips! I’m trying to build my business (slow going) and here in So Cal I feel like I’ve had the opposite experience with other photographers. Disheartening but I am determined to be the tortoise outlasting the hare!


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