Let’s talk about five tips to help you build your wedding photography portfolio. Now you might think building a portfolio is easy, it’s just the photos you take at weddings, right? But that is actually not the approach that you need to take. Building a portfolio is so much more than just showing some photos and it really goes into your brand and how you show yourself as a business. These five tips should help you book more weddings and the type of weddings that you actually want to shoot. So let’s go ahead and get into these five tips to help you build your wedding photography portfolio.
Tip number one is not every photo is a good photo. One of the biggest issues I see in most people’s portfolios is the fact that they just put all kinds of photos in there because they thought it was a cool photo. And this really hurts your brand and also your portfolio. When you’re choosing the photos for your portfolio, keep in mind that you really need to think about your client and what you want to show them, not what you like as a photo or what you thought was a good photo.
For weddings specifically, think about the emotions that are being shown in the photos. Think about the things that your clients want. Your couples have needs, and they want those needs met. And basically you need to answer their needs with your portfolio. And this means you’re probably gonna be cutting out a fair amount of photos.
I just see so many portfolios with photos in them that don’t really make any sense. The real question is, why am I showing this photo? And you need to be asking yourself that while you’re choosing your photos.
This leads right into tip number two, which is less is more. Don’t put every single photo on your portfolio. Don’t do it. Just like with tip number one, you need to get rid of all the photos that aren’t bringing the right feel or the right vibe to your brand. And this means curating your portfolio down pretty hard, honestly, especially if you’re just starting out.
Now, the biggest mistake I see a lot of photographers make is they’re so concerned about making sure they show enough photos to make it look like they’re doing a lot of work. And trust me, that is a crutch that you do not need. Less is more, always. If you did one wedding and only have 10 good photos, then only show 10 photos. That’s it. Don’t be adding in stuff to be like, “Oh no, one’s gonna book me because I don’t have any photos.” No, the reason they’re not gonna book you is ’cause your portfolio doesn’t make sense. There’s no consistency in your portfolio and it doesn’t give them what they’re looking for in a wedding day.
So trust me, if you have only shot one wedding and you only have three good photos, then have three good photos on your website. Yes, it’ll be a little bit harder to book, but trust me, just showing a whole bunch of stuff to be like, “See, look, I do work.” That’s how you stay in the cheap market. Our mindsets as business owners are what make our brand and who books us, not about how much work you have. Not about your price. Not about how many photos you give them. Not about how many hours you give them. People who are concerned about those things more so are gonna be your cheaper clients.
And again, nothing against them, but there is a client for everybody and each type of client cares about different things. Your higher end and luxury clients are not caring as much about how many photos they get because they already know they’re getting a great product.
Tip number three, I just talked about it, but consistency. Your portfolio needs to be consistent all the way through, not only with vibes, style, and also editing. Don’t have weddings that are edited so differently that you can’t tell what’s happening because what we need to remember as a wedding photographer, we are not in a creative field. We are in customer service. Because of this, we are selling a product. Our art in our photography is a product and how can anyone book a product that’s never consistent and they don’t know what they’re gonna get?
This is why you need to be consistent at all times. You can’t be editing stuff super different and bright and airy one time and dark and moody the next time. Clients aren’t gonna know what they’re gonna get. So you need to be consistent.
Tip with tip number four: show what you want to get. Now we’ve already talked about curating your portfolio down pretty heavily and only showing a couple of photos, but it goes even further than that. If there’s a certain style of wedding that you really want to shoot, that is the only thing you should be showing on your website.
And now this might be something that you never thought about, but seriously, you need to only show what you want. If you’re getting a certain style of wedding all the time and you’re wondering why, it’s probably because that’s what you’re showing on your website. So for example, if you wanna do mountainside elopements, then a majority of your photos on your website should be mountainside elopements. If you wanna do a big grand ballroom, just totally gaudy weddings, then you need to have that on your website. What you show is what’s gonna attract your clients.
So for example, one thing that I’m extremely passionate about is interracial weddings. Now I myself am in a interracial relationship, and because of this, I’m super passionate about it, and look at what I show on my website, mainly mixed couples. And what happens because of that? I mainly get mixed couples because there’s a lot of concerns for them specifically, like the fact that their skin tones can be very different. So they’re already thinking, “Hey, can my photographer handle our different skin tones?” And I’m showing that. And that’s the same type of thing, whatever you wanna do, whatever you’re passionate about, whoever you want to support, show that on your website.
And if you don’t have those photos yet, figure out a way to get them. And if you have other weddings, just hide those deep down on your website. You don’t have to show them feeling like again, “Oh, I have to show all this work because people won’t book me.” No, show what you want. Show what you want and you will get what you want. And then it’ll build on itself and basically become a snowball where the only things you book are in line with the stuff you show on your website.
And tip number five is do your best work at every single wedding. Obviously you should already know this, but seriously, treat every wedding like it’s the most important shoot of your life. Treat every wedding like it’s a styled shoot. Take all the photos that you’ll need for your portfolio while also serving your couples.
And that’s huge as well because that’s a big pet peeve of mine. Don’t be the photographer who only cares about their photos. Serve your couple first and foremost. But while you’re doing that, also make sure to get banger shots for your portfolio. Like seriously, that’s what you should always be doing. Don’t sit back and just let whatever happen on the wedding day and then wonder why you got no good photos.
All of the amazing wedding photographers who I follow and or are friends with make the moments happen. Don’t just sit back and be like, “Well, if they were a beautiful couple but I got no photos because they just, they weren’t doing anything,” Make them do stuff. Get the photos you want while also making amazing memories for your couples as well. This is hands down one of the most important parts, because if you’re not getting the photos you want for your portfolio, all the rest of the tips won’t even matter ’cause you won’t have the photos anyway.
And you have to make sure you’re doing these tips because if you’re not, you’re not booking weddings. You’re not making money and you’re not gonna be able to leave your day job and follow your dreams.