Wedding has long been established as a great way to make money from your photography, but it can also be stressful, time-consuming and expensive to get started. Because of that, it’s a good idea to start off slowly, perhaps shooting weddings for family members or friends, before deciding if it’s for you.

In this feature we’ll be looking at the things you can start doing right now to gain some valuable experience as a weddung photographer, while also making a bit of extra income on the side. Only when you’ve photographed a few weddings will you know if it really is for you. Along with the necessary photographic talent – because the photos you take will be a couple’s greatest reminder of their day – you will need to be authoritative, to take charge of proceedings when it’s time to get your images, but also be friendly, approachable and great with people.

You will also need to be as good at promoting your business and yourself, as it’s a very competitive market out there, and business skills are almost as important as taking great images.

Start by shooting candids and other less formal images as a guest for friends and family, but it’s important that you shouldn’t try to ‘compete’ with the main photographer.