Wedding Photography Certificate Program
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
All students who finish this program will receive a signed certificate of completion verifying their participation in the program.
In this fast-paced, comprehensive certificate program you'll learn everything you need to know to start photographing weddings professionally. From essential background information, to marketing yourself and finding clients all the way through shooting the wedding itself, getting the best coverage and delivering the results to the newlyweds. You'll also get a chance to practice what you've learned shooting a "mock" wedding with models using your equipment.
This program will not cover basic photography skills. Instead, this program is designed for photographers who already have the necessary photography skills to learn about wedding photography specifically including the business essentials of this market.
After You Register
BDA is committed to making this process as smooth and enjoyable as possible so that you can focus on your learning. After you register you will be contacted by our staff who can answer questions and assist you with any logistical and travel concerns you might have.
Please bring the following equipment with you to each class. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!:
- A DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses
- Any lenses and lights that you own
- Any other relevant photography equipment that you own
- A laptop computer with the current version of Adobe Lightroom (required) and Adobe Photoshop (optional)
We always recommend that if you have one, that you bring your own computer if at all possible. However, if you need one, we have several Apple iMac workstations with all the necessary software that are available by reservation for only $20 per day. You can reserve a computer rental using this form but you must complete your registration first. In most cases, the class will be taught with the Macintosh version of the software but generally the only difference between the Mac and Windows version is the keyboard shortcuts, using the Command key on Mac and the Control key on Windows.
If you would like to take your class work and sample projects home, please be sure to bring a Mac compatible portable drive with 4GB of free space.
Adobe Creative Cloud
This class will be presented from the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you are using your own computer for the class, it is important that you have the latest version installed! Adobe offers a free 7-day trial of the Creative Cloud.
Day 1: Monday: Getting Started & Gear
- Foundational principles of wedding photography
- The Wedding Experience - the physical, logistical and emotional realities of shooting weddings
- Get out there, how to start shooting weddings
- How to be a great 2nd shooter
- Light, natural, on-camera flash and off-camera flash
- A complete overview of gear:
- On-camera flash
- Light modifiers
- Computers and monitors at home/studio
- Posing techniques and tips to get the best from your client
Day 2: Tuesday: Starting Your Business and Marketing
- Review of posing and setting up shots
- Current state of the wedding industry
- Setting your wedding photography business
- Marketing your business with tips and tricks for finding clients including social media marketing
- Developing wedding packages, determining prices and what's included and how to value yourself honestly
- Creating and designing your wedding photography website
- Using social media
- Wedding showcases/events
- Booking weddings
- Negotiations with potential clients
- Gear: adjust your camera settings before the wedding day
- Overview of the wedding day - a timeline overview
- Homework: Create your business plan and create a "persona" of your ideal client (due Friday)
Day 3: Wednesday: Overview of Photographing a Wedding
- Defining your wedding style, current vs. traditional and "posed" vs. "journalistic"
- Storytelling with your photos
- Identifying and handling any family conflicts
- Communication, essential tips and tricks
- Bridal gown photography
- Coaching your bride & groom for the best results
- Capturing a great bridal portrait
- Making your shots exceptional
- Relationships between attendees and why this matters
- Capturing great group shots, including lighting
- Prepping for the ceremony
- Shooting the ceremony and capturing the key moments
- Formal portraits of the couple
- Posing in practice: how to coordinate and pose everyone, including large groups
- How to use a "second shooter" effectively
- Covering the reception and typical key events:
- Grand entrance
- First dances
- The dinner
- Cake cutting
- Bouquet toss
- Garter toss
- The dancing
Day 4: Thursday: Wedding Day!
- Review the necessary equipment
- Packing, prepparing and maintaining your gear
- Creating a checklist of shots
- We'll spend the rest of this day shooting a "mock wedding" with models using your camera equipment including:
- Getting Ready with the bride
- Getting Ready with the groom
- Bridal photograph
- Groom photograph
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen shots
- First look
- The Ceremony
- Group shots
- Couple portraits
- Grand entrance
- First dances
- Bouquet toss / garter toss
- Cake cutting
- The Reception
Friday: After the Wedding Day, Most of the Work!
- The day after the wedding
- What your studio needs overview of equipment
- Backing up your photographs and media systems
- Best workflow practices
- How to cull your photographs (note: we'll be using Adobe Lightroom for all reviewing and post-processing/editing)
- How to organize the photographs
- Practical timelines for delivery
- Correcting and editing the photos
- Delivery to the client
- Wedding books and prints, vendors and post-wedding add-ons
- Homework due and review of everyone's business plan and ideal client "personas"
- Awards for best photos taken on Thursday
- Recieve your Certificate of Completion for the program
Gretchen's primary business is Gretchen Troop Photography, a wedding/portraiture/landscape/music photography business based in Boulder. In addition she runs a successful digital graphic design business, GT Digital Studio, specializing in Photoshop design, video production, animation, UI/UX, HTML and WordPress. Gretchen has been a successful landscape photographer since the introduction of digital cameras (although she studied film in college as well). Gretchen Troop Photography combines her passion for the landscape with her skills in photographing people, founded on her Bachelors of Science degree in Photography from Syracuse University. Gretchen is also a passionate teacher who brings both her deep knowledge and a fun interactive approach which helps her students retain what they learn.