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How To Build A Drool-Worthy Wedding Photography Portfolio

October 10, 2023

That’s right, worthy of drool. Not in the literal sense. Although who knows, maybe the photos are just that good!!! Business idea: You hand out an album with handkerchiefs and say matter-of-factly, “Careful now, people have been known to physically drool.” That would be memorable (I’m just spitballing here). OK OK … so how do you build an epic wedding photography portfolio oozing with the best wedding photography content out there? 

I’ve drummed it down to five ways to make a killer wedding portfolio. Essentially it boils down to you putting yourself out there and old-fashioned hustling!

The secret is to have an end goal in sight (a kickass wedding photography portfolio) and then everything that takes you closer to that goal is a good thing — even if you have to work for free. 

Having a clear guide and sticking to that purpose is the surest way to succeed, whether you want to develop your wedding photographer portfolio or sell ice cream from a van by the beach. Nothing is more powerful than a CLEAR vision!

1. Do Styled Shoots

Styled shoots are an incredible (and fun!) way to build up the portfolio you want and establish your specific style. That’s the power of it — you’re in control of the images you’re creating so you can be meticulous in what comes out. 

Photography workshops can be particularly useful in styling the shots your portfolio most needs too. I’m running a Content Creation Workshop which is a GREAT opportunity to level up your portfolio as well as share some game-changing tips and tricks with you that will transform your photography biz!

2. Offer To Be A Second Shooter For Free

The key to building your wedding portfolio … is to actually shoot weddings! This means you may need to offer your services for free (or at a reduced fee) when starting out. 

The experience can be really invaluable though — you’ll get used to the pace of the day and will learn how to be ready for the big moments. The big pressure moments do come but with experience, you’ll be able to dial into them naturally ensuring you get the shots you need. 

Simultaneously, you’ll be capturing epic content for wedding photography — and the more variety of images that you’re able to show in your portfolio, the more impressive it will be!

3. Shoot A Friend’s Wedding

This can be a really special experience, for you and your bestie. And has SO many amazing perks beyond just building your portfolio. When it comes to content creation for photographers, this tip is invaluable to gain experience as the primary wedding photographer!

This is an important step in a wedding photographer’s career and I know many people in the industry who started out shooting a friend’s wedding. The added benefits are many: you’re closely involved in the day, you capture their most precious moments, and you’ll inevitably grow closer as a result!

4. Capture Families And Couples 

This is about developing alllll the skillz you need on a wedding day. You’ll be shooting a lot of families and couples at weddings, so it’s relevant subject matter! Get familiar with that process, get comfortable grabbing their attention, and work on getting them to relax and smile. That in itself is a REALLY useful skill to have in your arsenal! 

5. Do Complimentary Shoots For Venues 

You’ll want to get used to shooting venues, the vibes, the aesthetics, and the details of a big day. A great idea is to approach all the wedding vendors you can think of — from churches, unorthodox venues, makeup artists, hair stylists, celebrants, and anyone else involved in the wedding industry — and offer them your services to win some favour with them (they’ll love you for it!). 

If they like your work, you’ll not only be building your portfolio but you’ll be building your network, which is seriously powerful and a secret to success! This is one of the best photography content ideas for those in the wedding industry — it’ll give you a valuable edge over less ambitious photographers.

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If you’ve ever caught yourself really wondering, “how do I make a wedding photography portfolio???” then I hope I’ve sparked some ideas for you. This is what I do. I help aspiring wedding photographers break into the biz and make those big dreams a REALITY (and crush it). I absolutely love it — if I can do the same for you, send me a message and let’s do this!