Beginners guide to become a successful Freelance Wedding Filmmaker / Photographer

Wedding photography and filmmaking is a complex, time-consuming and challenging profession. It’s not for everyone. But if you have already quit your day job to become a wedding photographer/filmmaker, then you have crossed the hardest step. Now that you have finally chosen to take this creative and less taken route, you have to figure out how to make a successful career out of it. Wedding photography is said to be the most commercially successful niche of the lot but it requires a lot of smart work, creativity and persistence to be on top.

As a freelance wedding photographer, you might sometimes feel like a deer caught in the headlights. This feeling overwhelms you more often at the beginning of your career. Even though this profession looks more liberal in comparison, it is also led by a framework of dos and don’ts that can guide you towards success. We bring you a comprehensive guide that will help you chart your success route as a wedding photographer/filmmaker. 

Know Your Passion

Making a career in the photography and filmmaking business is all about selecting the right niche. It’s given that you love photography but the important thing to ask yourself is whether you love capturing weddings or not. 

For being successful in any field, you must be passionate about it. Once you are sure you want to pursue this path, nothing can stop you. If you are passionate about camera, travelling, capturing memories and celebrations then you are reading the right blog. 

Learn the Art

Wedding photography and filmmaking is a world of its own. Just like any other niche, it has its own rules and practices. You will need to refine your photography skills and style to match the trends this industry follows. 

 It is time-consuming and collaborative work that needs its due efforts. If you want to improve your skills and learn more about light setups, gear use, camera positions etc., then your first step should be to start learning on YouTube (Good to cover basics). 

Attending workshops/seminars of prominent artists can help you a lot. If you want some field experience then you should get an internship with a reputed wedding photography company.  

Should you Invest in Gears ?

You need to put in a lot of thought before investing in gears. Only if you are confident about pursuing this work should you even think about buying them. Gears are the most prized and precious possessions of a photographer/cinematographer. Not using them or using them carelessly can cost you a lot. 

You should buy a particular gear only when you have a professional understanding of it and are sure that you require it for your work. Build your gear set gradually and not in one shot. 

Also, you don’t need to buy every advanced version that launches. Don’t invest too much in gears unnecessarily. People will hire a photographer with updated skills, not gears. 

Develop a Portfolio

Build your portfolio right from the start. Mention every big or small work you do and keep updating it regularly. For a freelancer in general, a portfolio plays a crucial role in getting more work. 

Make sure to describe the work you do in detail so that the hirer will have no doubts about what value you provide. It is also important to publish and promote your portfolio on the right platform. Making an interesting profile on wedlancer and uploading your portfolio can get you work from all over the nation. 

At the same time, what is online is what sells. Keep your Instagram updated with your new work so that you gain online buzz. Use your social media as if you are making a digital portfolio for the world to see. 

Make networking a practice

How do you get more work as a freelancer? By networking. It’s the same drill for every freelancer, whether you are a coder or a wedding photographer. 

Socializing and making genuine relationships with people who are related to your work will help you stay relevant and get more work. The world is getting smaller and contacts have become an asset. You should network with like-minded people who are just as inspired and dedicated. 

As a freelance wedding photographer, you will get most of the new work with mouth to mouth publicity. So make sure you attend events, meet new people, exchange business cards, discuss your recent work and initiate collaborations. 

Keep Growing

Once you start to get work on your own, make sure you give your best. Your work is the ultimate scorecard and if it’s good, you will get recommended to more people. At the same time, make sure to keep learning more.  

If you think the learning graph ends here, then you are wrong. To stay at the top of your game, you need to constantly refine your skills and learn new ones. Learn more than just photography and editing to provide an overall premium experience to your clients. The more you diversify yourself, the more you can achieve in your career. Keep investing in yourself. 

The last word

As you begin your journey, you will realize that this profession asks much more of you than you thought. As much as it is glamorous, it requires hard work, dedication and focus. You will have to provide a larger pie to your work life and the trick to living this kind of hectic lifestyle is to love every minute of the craziness. 

Abhishek Kanani
Founder of cinematicAb
Director, Cinematographer and Video Editor based in Surat.


  • parthkankotiya
    June 23, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    nice word brother

  • Anant veer jain
    June 27, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Inspiration words

    June 27, 2021 at 10:43 am

    It’s helpful. ❤️

    June 27, 2021 at 10:43 am

    It’s helpful

  • Filmysantosh
    June 27, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Totally agree thanks for sharing this information

  • Hemant Mhetre
    June 27, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Absolutely correct and to the point in short.

  • ramanighanshyamj
    August 27, 2021 at 11:03 am

    a great guidance.

  • dreamsonmestudio
    September 26, 2021 at 2:31 am


Add a comment