May 17, 2023

7 Ways to Save Money in Your Wedding Photography Business

7 Ways to Save Money in Your Wedding Photography Business

You’re starting your business, or maybe you’re even a few years in. You’re realizing that everything is expensive… and things can add up, quickly! You’re looking for ways to save money, but still produce quality images.

As a business owner of 15 years, I’ve learned plenty of ways to save money in your photography business – and I’m sharing them with you today! 

Rent Your Gear

When I started my wedding photography business, there was a business down the street from me that rented cameras. Instead of spending thousands of dollars buying gear, I was able to spend only a couple hundred dollars to rent. This allowed me to photograph my first wedding and sessions on a budget.

If there isn’t a local spot or friend you can rent from, there are online options as well. For example, if you’re interested in film, you can go to to see if you like a Contax before investing tons of money in buying one!

Do Your Research

It’s commonplace for people to share their favorite lens, camera body, and so on. But you have to keep in mind: photography is art. 

Meaning? It’s subjective. One photographer might love a small, point-and-shoot, direct flash approach. Others might love a buttery, creamy Contax film aesthetic. It really just depends!

When you’re trying to figure out which gear to purchase, consider your own needs and what art you like to create. Research and test out different types of gear. 

Even after photographing weddings for 15 years, I still do my research! I recently considered switching from Nikon to Sony. I was able to borrow a friend’s Sony camera and test it out at a rehearsal dinner and wedding. I then compared the images side-by-side, so I could make the decision that was best for my aesthetic. It was totally worth it!

Only Buy What You Need

Only buy what you need – and it doesn’t have to be the best! Maybe you’re early on in your wedding photography career, and you can’t afford the best Nikon, Sony, or Canon that you can get. Start out with what you absolutely need. 

Once you’re able to acquire the funds, then you’ll be able to purchase the gear you want (and of course, that’ll uplevel your photography). 

Yes, there is a difference between gear and it’s worth comparing them. But I stand behind a debt-free approach to building your wedding photography business. You can find used gear on Amazon, eBay, and KEH, and usually just by asking around! Gear really does hold its value, and you can save money in your business by buying and selling used.

But Cat, What DO I Need?

So if you’re wondering what is actually the base amount of gear you’ll need to photograph a wedding, here’s what I would recommend:

  • A dual-card slot camera (so you can back up the primary card)
  • A 24-70mm lens in the brand of your preference (at a fixed aperture of f2 or f2.8)
  • A speedlight

Honestly, this combination can get you through 90% of weddings. Are there better options for some aspects of the day? Yes. But to photograph your first few events, this is what I’d recommend.

Additionally, if you don’t have a second photographer, I’d highly recommend you have backup gear on hand. 

Continue Your Education – For Free!

I’m a firm believer in education. There are TONS of free education out there (I’ve got plenty of YouTube videos and free resources on our website – but there are so many photographers out there who also release their own educational content!). 

Once you find the educator you love and trust, learn everything you can from them for free. Then look into their paid products. When I started my business, I learned so much reading blogs and books for free. Take advantage of these resources!

Invest Wisely

There are 4 things I’d highly suggest you invest your money in early in your wedding photography business:

  • Your website. Your website will be where people get to know who you are. We use a platform called ShowIt for our website, and I LOVE it. There are other resources out there to build your website, like Wix and Squarespace, but we’ve always preferred ShowIt. If you’re interested in trying ShowIt, you can use the affiliate code MAGIC for 10% off.
  • A client management system. We use a program called Dubsado to manage our clients (if you’re interested, use the affiliate code CatherineG for 20% of Dubsado). Dubsado is great for contracts, invoicing, keeping track of your calendar, sending canned emails, and more. It helps you keep your clients organized in every way, and it REALLY helps you as you get busier in your business. 
  • An accountant. I CANNOT stress this enough: as you start your business, you’re going to want to understand sales tax, your local rules, your annual tax filing, your business type, and so on. I know it sounds intimidating right now, but it’ll end up saving you thousands of dollars if you invest in an accountant. We were recently audited, and our accounting firm was able to get us all the documents we needed to show the IRS within a day!
  • An image sharing system. We use Pic-Time and Zenfolio to share images with our clients. I love them both for different reasons, but it’s important to have at least one way to host and share your images.

Steal These Discount Codes

What better way to save money in your photography business than using discount codes? Swipe these affiliate codes and links:

Remember This Takes Time

Remember: you don’t have to have ALL of these things all at once. Setting up a business can be very overwhelming – I’ve been there! It won’t happen overnight.

Setting up a website could take 2 months. Then setting up a client management system could take another month! The beauty of it is that you can spend your early years building – so that when you look back, you’ll be amazed at all you’ve accomplished 🤍 

Focus on building your portfolio and your network. Ultimately, these two things will push your business to the next level. Saving up for gas money to make it to networking events or styled events are worth it! Reaching out for collaborations or just to touch base go very far and will help you build your wedding photography business the most.

Are Your Prices Saving You Money?

When you’re thinking about saving money in your photography business, pricing is often the first question that comes to mind. It’s also usually the most stressful topic 😓 

Do you know why you’re charging what you’re charging? Do you know if it’s enough to keep you profitable? I have a free resource that will help you figure it out! 

Grab my free Pricing Guide to help you: 

  • Understand the WHY behind your base prices so you feel more confident in pricing
  • Decide WHAT to charge for your photography 
  • Cover your expenses so you remain profitable and sustainable 

Check it out below ⤵️

Get the pricing guide!