How to get OUT of the Wedding Business (For Photographers)

I get it – there is MONEY to be made in the wedding business, especially for photographers!  I did weddings for the first part of my career and they were really great!  Until they weren’t…

My body started to really hurt from the long wedding days and I began to feel trapped in the business.  I remember wondering: how can I get out of the wedding business and still make the money I want?

When my body started to break down, I knew I needed to make a change.  And listen, if you’re a wedding photographer and you are wanting to transition to something else, you can do it!  I promise.  Here are the steps I took (so you can too).

Change your mindset to get out of the wedding business

how to get out of the wedding business

First things first, your mindset might need to shift.  Once you’ve been in the wedding business for awhile, you kind of get used to the chaos of it.  After a little while more, you might forget that there are other ways to make money as a photographer.  When this happens, it becomes almost impossible to get out of the wedding business.  And that’s why this is where the mindset-magic needs to come in!

First things first, if you’re ever getting out of the wedding business, you’ve got to tell yourself you can.  You can make money doing photography for other things.  You can have a successful business and NEVER shoot a wedding again.  YOU CAN DO IT.


Okay – moving on…

Find mentors to get out of the wedding business

In order to bolster that new mindset of yours, it’s helpful to find a mentor or two.  Seek out mentors who are successful at running a non-wedding-related business.  I found a mentor who specialized in portrait photography because I thought it was interesting.  This mentor helped me see how I could be successful in new ways.  So, get out there and find someone!  (Psst, I have a bunch of resources for running a successful NON-WEDDING photography business, so if you don’t know where to start, you’re already in the right place) 

Rework your business plan

Alright, mindset, CHECK!

Mentors, CHECK!

Now it’s time to rework your business plan. 

If you’re like, Meghan, what business plan?!  Listen up, it’s time to make some changes to help you succeed!  

Whether or not you have a current business plan, you probably have goals.  When I was doing weddings, I wanted to be as booked as possible, having as many as 2-3 weddings per weekend.  (It makes me sweat just thinking about it!!)  As I was transitioning into portrait photography, I needed to rethink my services and packages and create a business plan to reflect my new goals.  

I recommend going through this short exercise:

  1. What is your overall income goal for the next year?
  2. What are the services and packages you are offering/would like to offer?
  3. How many of each service will you need to complete to reach your goal? 
  4. Next, break those services down into how many you need to complete each month.

Finally, when you have all the numbers, I like to look at the quality of life aspect.  Does it make sense for you to do the amount of services you have listed per month?  Or are you setting yourself up for overwhelm and burnout?  Make sure your business plan will WORK for you, otherwise you will have trouble sticking to it.  

Finally, I just want to say, if you’re thinking that you have no idea how to get out of the wedding business, I know how hopeless that can feel!  I’m here to tell you, you CAN do it.  You can have a successful business doing what you love.  And… you don’t have to do weddings!  

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how to get out of the wedding business for photographers


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