How Do I Choose the Best Wedding Photography Courses?

B. Miller

If you are looking to build a career, or even do some part-time wedding photography work on the side, you will most likely want to take some wedding photography courses unless you are already an extremely experienced photographer. The best place to begin is local community colleges or universities, since you will almost always learn more from an in-person course. If that is not an option, look for courses online that specify what they will teach you so you know exactly what you will be learning, and if it will be time and money well spent. Determine if the wedding photography courses offer any sort of certificate at the end to show to potential clients.

Photography contracts should cover the date and location of a wedding.
Photography contracts should cover the date and location of a wedding.

When you are considering wedding photography courses, start by realistically assessing what you already know. If you are just learning to use a camera, you will want to start with some basic photography courses, since wedding photography is much more specialized. If you already know how to use your camera, and are familiar with basic techniques such as adjusting aperture, shutter speed, and assessing lighting needs, you are probably ready for regular wedding photography courses. If you can find courses at local colleges, these tend to be the best place to begin; otherwise, look online.

Wedding photographers commonly work as independent contractors.
Wedding photographers commonly work as independent contractors.

When you are choosing online wedding photography courses, be sure to research the fee, who is offering and teaching the course, and what their qualifications are. Don't waste your money on a course that won't teach you anything. Be sure to ask what topics will be covered in the course; for instance, specific photography techniques, example images and sample photography sessions, and post-processing techniques can all be very helpful. The course should teach advanced principles of good photography. If the course offers you a certificate of completion that you may then display in an office or show to potential clients, that is even better.

Photography students usually learn basics first, such as how to control lens aperture and shutter speed on single lens reflex cameras.
Photography students usually learn basics first, such as how to control lens aperture and shutter speed on single lens reflex cameras.

If you are interested in the business side of things, be sure to keep that in mind when choosing wedding photography courses as well. Chances are, if you decide to work as a wedding photographer, you will be working as an independent contractor. Therefore, you will need to learn how to set rates, develop packages, and market yourself, in addition to other important business skills to ensure your success. Many wedding photography courses will include these skills as part of their instruction process, and photographers with limited business experience will find them invaluable.

Future wedding photographers should learn how to market their skills.
Future wedding photographers should learn how to market their skills.

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