Wedding Stock Photography: Your Complete Handbook

Wedding stock photography is a great way to add to your professional portfolio, start a new side business, and even make some money. You don’t need fancy equipment or years of experience to get started, and since your subjects are repeating their vows repeatedly, you can capture their most authentic moments.

This article will help you get started with wedding stock photography and show you how to make it a profitable side business.

How to Get Started with Wedding Stock Photography

Wedding stock photography is a great way to get your foot in the door with professional photography. It will teach you how to take and edit beautiful photos, which is a skill that will benefit you no matter what kind of photography you do.

And the best part? You can make money with it. Here’s an overview of how to get started:

  • Find wedding stock photography jobs online or by word-of-mouth. Wedding photographers often need additional help during busy seasons, especially if they photograph weddings full-time. Start looking for these opportunities by searching for “wedding photographers” on Google and contacting photographers who look like they’d be good matches for you.
  • Read more about marketing yourself as a wedding photographer here.
  • Learn how to negotiate payment from clients here.
  • Get paid for your work by submitting it to stock photo websites like Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, and other sites specializing in wedding photography.
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What Equipment Do You Need for Wedding Stock Photography?

Of course, you’ll need a camera and lenses. You may also want to invest in a tripod and/or flash. A backdrop is helpful as well, along with reflectors and lights if they’re not provided by the venue. If you’re going to be taking any photos at night or indoors (and you probably will), make sure to bring extra batteries for your camera and memory cards for shooting in low-light situations.

A lens cleaning kit goes without saying—you don’t want dust spots ruining an otherwise perfect shot. And finally, bring all your gear in some sort of bag or backpack so that you can haul it around and keep it safe from prying eyes while on location.

What to Know About Your Wedding Stock Photography Models

When you’re shooting a wedding, it is your responsibility to make sure that your models are comfortable. You should know the following:

  • What their expectations are
  • Their comfort level with photography in general and of themselves
  • Their schedule for the day (i.e., if they have any other events planned)
  • Their location for the day (if not at home)
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How to Get the Right Look for your Wedding Stock Photos

The main goal is to create a romantic, soft, warm look. In order to achieve this, you will need to use natural light and have a bright background. If you are shooting indoors, then use a window light or set up your own softbox. Make sure that your camera is set at f/8-f/11, and the ISO setting should be kept between 100-200, depending on how brightly lit the room is.

If you want more control over lighting, set up a flash with a diffuser. Pick a diffuser instead of any other type of modifiers such as reflectors or softboxes because they give even lighting across all areas while also reducing shadows on faces, making them appear unnatural in stock photos.

How to Structure Your Wedding Stock Photo Shoot Session

After you’ve decided on your wedding photography style, you’ll want to figure out how many photos you want to take. This will depend on the number of people who will be in attendance and the overall length of your ceremony.

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You can also decide on your shooting locations around town or out at a location that’s not too far away from where you live. A good place for this may be at a local park or even at home if you have a nice backyard.

Also, keep in mind what kind of weather might affect how well your shoot goes: For example, if it’s hot out, then everyone might sweat more than usual which could make them uncomfortable (and less photogenic).

How to Plan for Multiple Print Sizes for Wedding Stock Photos

Whether you plan to use your wedding stock photos for print, online, or both should determine the size of your photos. If you’re planning on having them printed at home and sharing them with friends and family, then a small file size (300 dpi) will do just fine.

However, if you hope to sell the images or include them in an album or book, then higher resolution sizes are necessary to maintain quality when printed large.


We hope that you’ve found this article helpful. Although stock photography might not be the most exciting topic, it can greatly impact your business and your audience. We encourage you to keep experimenting and finding out what works for you—and keep in mind that there’s no single right way to do it.

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