Tips & Tutorials >> All Tips & Tutorials

Basic Knowledge for Pre-Wedding Photography Start-ups


Pre-wedding photography is one of the commonly known forms of photography with a good business prospect. Its popularity has spread across the world, including Indonesia. Here are some points to factor in before starting this business:

1. Photography equipment

2. Production costs

3. Ideas

4. Updates

5. Ego

6. Supporting aspects

7. Promotions

pre-wedding; wedding photography

EF50mm f/1.8 STM; 50mm; f/2.8; 1/250sec; ISO-800

Photography Equipment

One question that often comes up: do we have to use expensive equipment? The answer is no, it’s not necessary. Because equipment will follow the needs and expenses. Here is an example of basic equipments:

1. DSLR or Mirrorless camera 

2. Supporting accessories: Flash light / Mobile Light, Trigger, Flash light Stand, Reflector, Tripod etc.

All these equipments are not necessary to be used all at once, depending on the situation. My current equipments are: DSLR Canon EOS 6D, Mirrorless camera EOS M3, EF35mm lens, EF50mm lens, EF24-70mm lens, Flash 600EX, etc.

Familiarise with the basic of photography concept: In Focus: Camera Basics

Learn more about how to use EOS-M: Basic Settings and Tips for Your EOS-M

Find out what kind of tripod that fits your need: How to Find the Right Tripod for Your Photography

wedding; pre-wedding photography

EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM; 18mm; f/10; 1/500 sec; ISO-400

Production Costs

For those who want to start their business in pre-wedding and wedding photography, there are a few basic expenses to cover:

- Photographer’s Fee: we may set prices based on the skills, service, results, and experience.

- Crew’s Fee: in some occasions, we may need a crew/other support. The crew's expenses are also based on skills and time.

- Rental Equipment Cost: this is a very important part because we have to maintain our equipment. The estimated price for this will be about 5%-10% of total equipment price used during a pre-wedding session.

- Printing Cost: this depends on the requests and medium, from printing to framing and photo album, etc.

- Operational Fee: this fee covers meals, transportation, and even accommodation costs if the project extends overnight. If this expenditure is not covered by client, we can factor it into operational cost based on the needs during photo session. If we run a studio/office, we should include that in the operational fees too.

wedding; pre-wedding photography

EOS 5D Mark II; EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM; 95mm, f/8; 1/640 sec; ISO-200


We should have thoughts on where we can shoot and the style of picture that best suits the setting. To anticipate this, we may start by surveying the place. Planning will make our processes easier and faster than deciding on the spot during the photoshoot. 

pre-wedding photography

EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM; 22mm; f/5.6; 1/60 sec; ISO-400


As a photographer, we have to find more references and refresh our knowledge on trending styles and news within the industry. This will keep us up to date and relevant for better growth.  

pre-wedding photography

EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM; 10mm, f/8; 1/200 sec; ISO-100


This is an important point to note. Though we have our own preferences, we are engaged by our clients to fulfill their requirements. It would be useful to share inputs and suggestions but there is no room to impose our personal ideas on the work. Our clients may request against our recommendations, but our main goal is to satisfy them. This is part of being a professional photographer.

Supporting factors

Costumes, wardrobes, properties, and photo spots are supporting factors that can elevate the quality of the pictures. Be sure to consider them before every shoot.

wedding photography; pre-wedding

EF-M22mm f/2.0 STM; 22mm; f/8; 1/10 sec; ISO-1600


Expanding the network through promotions is an important element to the business. All of the promotional costs can be allocated by including them in the other costs mentioned above.

pre-wedding photography

EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM; 18mm; f/5.6; 1/160 sec; ISO-400

These are just some basic pointers for starting a pre-wedding photography business. As with every business, we must be persistent and never give up. There’s no need to be afraid of the competitions. What matters is the trust we get from clients every time we produce satisfactory and professional services. 

Receive the latest update on photography news, tips and tricks.

Be part of the SNAPSHOT Community.

Sign Up Now!

Agung Lawerissa

Agung Lawerissa

Born in Solo, 15 September 1986, he started commercial photography since 2010. The owner of Bestbride Photography, he is the winner of numerous national championships and has sat in the panel of judges in both local and regional photography contests.