Wedding Photography: An Inside Look (Part 2)

In my previous post on this subject I focused on the photography gear required to properly do wedding photography. In this segment I’d like to focus on some of the requirements not directly related to photographic equipment but very important to operate legally, ethically and createively in the business.

While every location will have different requirements, to operate a business legally some kind of regisitration or licensing is likely required. In my home state, North Carolina, you need to be properly registered with the state in order to collect sales tax. Without this registration you cannot collect sales tax, nor remitt collected taxes to the state government. Conversely, if you sale tangible goods, such as prints, state law requires you collect sales taxes. Simply put you cannot conduct the business legally without meeting this requirement. Additionally, counites, towns, etc. will have licensing or permit requirements that must be met.

Another cost of doing business relates to basic liability insurance. Without professional liability insurance the photographer is taking a fairly big risk should something s/he does, or if an accident involving his/her equipment results in an injury while shooting an event. Additionally, some venues will not allow a photographer to work in their facility without proof of insurance.

Obviously in today’s digital age a photographer needs a computer or computers to process the images they capture. The photographer will also need to be able to track business expenses, answer emails, create marketing materials and all the other little details involved in running a small business. Of course a computer is of little use without the correct software. A full featured photo editing software package will typically cost in the neighborhood of $1000.

The costs of doing wedding photoghraphy doesn’t stop with office equipment, business licensing, insurance and software. You have to develop some kind of marketing plan, advertising materials and such. You’ll almost have to have a website, probably could benefit from a blog, sample prints, brochures, business cars…………… the list goes on and on. All of this takes time and money.

As you can see there are a lot of costs and requirments besides having the necessary photographic equipment to properly produce wedding photography. And I can assure you, I’ve only glossed over a few of the more obvious costs associated with the job. In “Part 3” I’ll summarize what’s involved in a typical wedding shoot from pre-even preparations to delivering the final product (Ok.. I may have to stretch this to 4 parts).


  1. Dallas Wedding Photographer February 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    Great article! This is some good information, it took me a lot of time to learn all of this!

  2. Kevin April 27, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Your article is well-written and very interesting. Would you mind me asking a link for the Part 1?

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