In the recent decade, the market for professional wedding photographers has become extremely saturated with options for future wedded couples to choose from. Along with this increasingly competitive industry, it creates new expectations for professional photographers to reach in terms of both quality work and equipment to run a flawless business, turning out fast production and work that is ripe with detail and high quality images. In order to set the foundation as a new professional wedding photography business and even to keep up with the ever-evolving line of new cameras, lenses, lighting and other required equipment, many professional wedding photographers are turning to Small Business Loans and Start-Up Loans to keep their business well endowed with the best equipment on the market.
We have developed a bit of a list, geared specifically at the professional wedding photographer start-ups, to help give you an idea of the type of Small Business Loan or Start-Up Loan that may be needed. Getting all the facts and exploring the resources takes time, but when you are setting yourself and your business up for success, you should never skimp on the research and all the details about where your money will be going. You’ve most likely heard the phrase, “you have to spend money to make money”, and in a profitable industry such as wedding photography, it is exactly that. Before you can start bringing in the big bucks and expanding your portfolio and your potential new client database, you have to have all your ducks in a row.
7 Must Required Start-Up Costs for Professional Wedding Photographers
Keep in mind that this list does not include things such as business licensing and insurance, at-home printing, stationery, marketing, branding elements… These are the main pieces of “equipment” that you will need. Costs can vary, and few are lucky enough to get ahold of great deals on pieces. This is just one of the resources you should be taking into account when planning out the details of your business.
- Camera Body
Of course, right? If you are going to be a photographer, you want to make sure you have that all-important weapon to brandish against those demanding brides and grooms – the camera. There are options upon options, whether to use Nikon, Canon, Sony…etc. After that choice, you must decide if you want a crop-sensor or a full frame? If you want crisp focus and high performance in low-light atmospheres, the lenses are important but they work best on a high quality body. You can easily spend over $3000 for a full frame body, such as the Canon 5D Mark IV. On the other hand, there are less expensive options (along with those at greater expense), but you have to perform your due diligence to discover what fits in your budget and meets the expectations of quality. It is recommended that before making a choice on any of these pieces, that you rent the equipment and give it a run.
When it comes to lenses, professional photographers are constantly in disagreement about whether to use prime lenses (one focal length) or a zoom lens. Both have pros and cons and it really comes down to preference. Either way, one lens is never enough for a wedding. You have to look at different pieces of glass for each purpose – portraits, close-ups, and wide shots. Again it comes down to what works best with your budget and needs, but a minimum of 3 lenses is pretty much standard for a new professional wedding photographer. High grade quality glass will run you between $1,000 – $1,800 for each lens.
If all weddings were outdoors entirely, in perfect sunny weather, during only the most opportune hours of the afternoon, then no one would ever need a flash. However, the reality of it all, is that most wedding run into the darker hours of the evening, and the indoor lighting and ambiance is low lit to create a romantic vibe, therefore having a flash is necessary. Along with this need, any photographer worth their salt will have at least one backup flash. Options for these pieces of equipment range from $100 – $1000, and if you are looking for studio grade lighting rigs, they will likely run even higher.
Protection for your expensive babies is important. You don’t want to spend this kind of budget on all your equipment and leave it in the hands of fate by storing it any old bag. Companies such as the ever-popular Pelican design heavy duty carrying cases for all types of equipment and provide you with peace of mind that your bread-and-butter will be able to withstand all types of travel and transportation.
Once all is said and done, the confetti is blanketing the dance floor, and the “Just Married” vehicle has left the building, you can take your tired feet home to cull and edit all your beautiful images. For this next step you will need a trusty computer ( and a backup system) to upload all your work and begin the editing process. It is important to find a computer system that can handle large editing software and run smoothly. Computers can range from $1500 – $2000 for a solid system to handle all your work.
- Editing Software
If only everything was ready to show straight from the camera, right? The reality of any wedding is that no matter your knowledge and skill with the camera settings, you will never have an entire wedding that doesn’t need touch ups, lighting fixes and color correction. Not-to-mention the variety of stylization trends that come and go in the industry. With the Adobe Suite being the most popular software for this job, it now comes in versions available for either renting or owning. WIth renting being the most popular choice these days, plans start at $10 monthly. Not too shabby.
Now that you’ve used all this fancy equipment, paired with your knowledge, skill and interpersonal savvy, you want to bring in all the referrals and market your work to new potential clients. The first and most vital way to showcase all of your glorious work is to set up a website that is aesthetically pleasing, intuitive and compliments your work. A mark of any great professional these days is to have a dynamic website that allows potential clients to find you and check out your work online. Professional Websites can be built for $1000 – $10,000 depending on the extent of your content, but are a necessity to host your portfolio in a way that is easy to navigate and casts a spotlight on your images for all of your audience to see.
For more resources on equipment to choose from and insight from other professionals, check out sites similar to the following: ShotKit.com and Enviragallery.com. Then you can head over to us and see how much you can qualify for in a Small Business Loan or Start-Up Loan!
Unsecured Finances has over 10 years in the consulting business! We specialized in educating and assisting clients on acquiring Unsecured Business Loans and Start-Up Business Specialty Loans including; Unsecured No Documentation (No-Doc Stated Income) Loans, Unsecured Business Loans, and Unsecured Start-Up Business Loans and Lines of Credit from $10,000 to $500,000 without Assets.
Apply on our website to find out if you qualify, or call today for a free consultation: 1-888-294-2584