Bride and groom embracing

Being a successful photographer means being able to blend entrepreneurship and creativity. This is the reality. And whether you’re stuck in a 9-5 job that you hate, are working in the corporate or creative world, or merely enjoy taking photographs as a hobby, the sooner you learn how to incorporate both aspects, the sooner you’ll be able to thrive in this industry.


To get your copy of our success path and more free training, click on the link below.

Yes Please


Seem impossible? I’m here to tell you that it isn’t and what steps you can take to build your dream career as a photographer.

Ten years ago i was sitting in an office in London with a job i didn’t like and a miserable outlook on where i was heading in my life and my career. Luckily for me that day served as the catalyst i needed to take action.

I could not have done this alone, but with the help of some amazing people and mentors i have built a successful and profitable photography business that gives me what i really want. The financial security to do what i love for a living

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In this post I summarise what you need to do and what stages you need to pass through to build the business that you truly want.

The Five Stages of Expertise: Become a Successful Wedding Photographer

The road to becoming a professional wedding photographer, including portrait photography, begins by recognising and understanding the five stages of expertise…



1. Emerging Talent

You have a passion to do what you love, and are ready to fulfil your creative potential as a successful photographer. In this stage, you’re going to start defining your style and creative vision.

Your Path to Success:
  • Find inspiration from other people’s work.
  • Start creating tangible evidence of your work, such as social media pages, a website, and offline channels in order to book your first paying clients.
  • Continue to practice your photography skills to develop and gain more creativity.
  • Become active in a photographer’s community for inspiration and support.


Things to Be Aware Of:
  • Being overwhelmed with your new journey.
  • Doubting your abilities, e.g. Imposter Syndrome.
  • Being impulsive and impatient in your motivation to succeed.


Your To-Do List:
  1. Have a clear vision and style
  2. Photograph your first wedding or portrait shoot
  3. Create a website with your best images
  4. Commit to doing shoots that’ll build your wedding portfolio
  5. Get your first paying client


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2. Adventurous Photographer

You have a particular style, and are ready to build a portfolio whilst exploring your niche and tapping into your creativity.

Your Path to Success:
  • Visualise and define your next-level photography aesthetic and vision.
  • Refine your website to elevate your work and brand’s voice.
  • Create a brand video with a compelling story.
  • Implement marketing strategies for social media.
  • Set up a professional email and start a newsletter list to attract subscribers.


Things to Be Aware Of:
  • Skipping through this step to success or underestimating the power it holds.
  • Other people’s opinions who may not understand your vision.
  • Not giving yourself the credit to call yourself a professional photographer.


Your To-Do List:
  1. Develop your portfolio
  2. Book at least 25 new clients that you’ve gotten via your marketing strategies
  3. Create a social media content strategy that’ll build your audience
  4. Become a full-time photographer and make over 40k


Cheers at wedding

3. Professional Photographer

You are confident in your skills as a successful wedding photographer, and are ready to learn about how to run a business (which is more than collecting beautiful images). This step is about exploring growth strategies that’ll bring you more profit and sustainable business.

Your Path to Success:
  • Diversify your revenue stream by tapping into different photography sources (wedding, portraits etc.) for financial security.
  • Send at least one newsletter a month that speaks directly to your audience in your brand’s voice.
  • Refine your brand aesthetic and voice.


Things to Be Aware Of:
  • Don’t become sidetracked. Choose your niche and continue to build and grow it. Don’t be afraid to say no to something that doesn’t represent your bigger vision.
  • Don’t become too dependent on other people’s work. Being inspired is one thing, but be sure to keep working on your own unique style.
  • Try not to dismiss the power of community within your niche. It is this community that will understand your struggles and success.


Your To-Do List:
  1. Know who your ideal client is
  2. Run Facebook ads that generate revenue and inquiries
  3. Have strategies in place that’ll grow your business and email list
  4. Have a social media strategy that’s connecting your work with the world
  5. Make over 85k per year


Bride and groom first dance

4. Master Craftsman

You’ve established yourself in the industry and are making profits with your business. Now it’s time to develop your skill even further, such as exploring creativity, trying new techniques, and learning new things about lighting, composition, and emotion.

Your Path to Success:
  • Tap into new markets.
  • Think of fresh ways to grow your brand and vision.
  • Think of ways to inspire other photographers.
  • Have a workshop to engage with, learn, and teach other photographers.
  • Create a community of photographers that’ll broaden your skill set and client offers.
  • Continue to refine your brand by evaluating your social media pages, website design, typography, logo etc.


Things to Be Aware Of:
  • Fear of growing out of your comfort zone. Try not to find excuses to fulfilling your potential and reaching hew heights.
  • Don’t forget that you are a talented professional in your niche, and you can breathe new life into photography unlike anyone else.


Your To-Do List:
  1. Gain an understanding of lighting, composition and emotion
  2. Generate over 100k per year
  3. Have 25 or more weddings or portrait shoots booked
  4. Make sure people are engaging with your social media pages
  5. Have a second stream of income over 30k, for example pet or commercial photography


Newly weds dancing at sunset

5. Creative Entrepreneur

You’re actively making a positive impact in the wedding or portrait photography industry, and you’re ready to scale your studio, and teach others what you’ve learned, while continuing to explore your creativity and be inspired.

Your Path to Success:
  • Aim to impact more lives with your photography.
  • Further refine your brand to attract your ideal clients.
  • Continue to be inspired and to create powerful images that are full of emotion.
  • Reach out to or start new ways to reach your ideal clients, such as podcasts, blogs, or conferences.
  • Keep working on your marketing so that it’s constantly fresh and relevant.


Things to Be Aware Of:
  • Stick to your niche and try not to get sidetracked by opportunities that don’t align with your vision.
  • Work hard, but make time for yourself to prevent burnout.
  • Trying to achieve all of your goals by yourself is near impossible. Focus on the creative process by building a team that can assist you in other areas.


Your To-Do List:
  1. Be fully booked that you need to hire staff to help out
  2. Bring in a 6-figure income
  3. Win awards and gain industry recognition
  4. Host a workshop to help other photographers
  5. Continue to work on your brand and gain fresh inspiration in order to better serve the photography community.

A final word? The key to being a successful wedding photographer is to have patience and to continue believing in yourself and your ability. There’s inspiration everywhere and you’re capable of capturing all of the magic beautifully.


To get your copy of our success path and more free training, click on the link below.

Yes Please