Five steps to wedding photography marketing success

A bride throws her arms up and her new husband looks up.
Wedding photographer Sanjay Jogia regularly relies on the 14fps frame rate of the Canon EOS-1D X to capture moments such as this bride throwing confetti. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 70-200m f/2.8L USM lens. © Sanjay Jogia

When Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia gave up a career in architecture in 2007 to become a professional wedding photographer in London, there were relatively few competitors. Now, when you type 'wedding photographer' into a web search, more than 400 million results appear in an instant – reflecting how saturated the market has become, and how crucial it is to have a strategic wedding photography marketing plan.

Sanjay and his wife Roshni have distanced themselves from the competition by establishing a high-end photography business, Eye Jogia - with 30 SWPP and 31 WPPI awards to their name. The couple built their brand with a distinguishable repertoire of candid, colourful and emotional wedding images and notable marketing techniques.

Sanjay, a Canon Ambassador, regularly shares his expertise through lectures and workshops around the world, and here explains how to use marketing to grow your wedding photography business.

1. Tailor your wedding photography marketing by demographic

"You've got to decide which genre within weddings you're targeting. That way, you can focus your marketing more precisely with bridal magazines. If you go to one kind of bridal magazine, you're going to attract that type of bride or demographic. Are you going to do Jewish weddings? Indian weddings? Church weddings? You have to make that decision. If you try to target everyone in your marketing, you're going to fall flat on your face."

"Most of our weddings are high-end Indian weddings. Therefore, we advertise in Indian bridal magazines. There are a handful of these, but two or three that we've really come into the market with. In these magazines, we either do full-page or two-page spreads to dominate the real estate and have impact. This costs more but if you want to have presence, have presence. It's as simple as that.

"When it comes to advertising, you need to be unique. In order for our adverts to stand out, we are always redesigning them. The best way to do this is by drawing emphasis to particular types of images, mixing up the colour palette, and keeping the colour palette harmonious. The colours must grab people's attention but also be easy on the eye. I've seen ads that can be a bit jarring to look at because the images on the ad don't sit with one another. There's a psychological technique to this – the images must lead the eyes into the page. You want to make it as easy to look at your work as possible."

A bride is lifted by four men.
Growing your wedding photography business is about pursuing the best possible quality. Sanjay praised the "incredible" resolution of the Canon EOS R5, something that is especially important when images are destined for print. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 1/320 sec, f/2 and ISO1250. © Sanjay Jogia
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2. Engage people through social media and on your website

"Social media is huge. Using Facebook and Instagram is a massive tool for wedding photographers. The algorithms for those sites have changed, and now live posts and Insta stories are driven straight into people's timelines, making this a great way to market yourself. There is a new generation of people searching for photographers through social media rather than Google because it's instant gratification. Instagram is a quick way for people to look at our body of work, as well as what people are saying about it. This might draw them to our website to have a look at our stuff and fill out an enquiry form.

"There are many ways to get noticed on social media, but engagement is the most important. It's not just a case of waiting for people to come to your page – you've got to engage with new clients and old clients, which makes a huge difference. It's all about creating a buzz around you and your work."

"We don't list pricing on our website. We offer a starting fee to give people an idea of affordability depending on what they need. Listing prices can look quite scary and deter people, whereas if you just list a starting price, it gets the phone to ring. It allows Roshni the chance to establish a dialogue with the couple, form some context, and offer advice to the bride and groom about what they need to be doing, where they need to be going and what they should be looking for, based on their requirements. Each couple is unique, and requires different pricing to reach their needs."

A bride and groom hold each other's hands as they walk past the Vatican at night.
When coronavirus restrictions limited how many weddings he could shoot, Sanjay focused on developing new wedding photography marketing opportunities, such as online video content and events streaming. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 1/1600 sec, f/3.2 and ISO400. © Sanjay Jogia

3. In tough times, think long-term with your wedding photography marketing

"When the coronavirus pandemic began, it was scary. We didn't know what was going to happen. We take on up to 20 weddings a year, and in 2020 we were only able to photograph two. I used the time to redesign, re-optimise and add up-to-date content to my website, which can get neglected when you're busy with work. I also focused on new opportunities. For a long time, I've had the educational side of my business, doing one-to-ones and group workshops at conventions. Many of these were cancelled or went virtual so I adapted by creating video tutorials. This is an income stream, and also a marketing tool.

"I also spent the time working on an idea I had over a decade ago to stream weddings. We'll use multiple Canon mirrorless cameras on tripods, mounted on clamps or gimbals, with a director switching between them to create something interactive and dynamic. I want to develop that into a platform, like a TV channel, with a presenter. In future, weddings and other events will be hybrids, with some people attending virtually, some in-person. I can also use this streaming technology for educational content at virtual conventions. You've got to think long-term."

A close-up of the eyes of a bride looking at her husband-to-be.
Sanjay's kitbag contains a range of zoom and prime lenses for capturing different elements of the day, from group shots to details such as wedding rings, all of which feature across his wedding photography marketing. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM lens at 1/800 sec, f/1.8 and ISO800. © Sanjay Jogia

4. Harness the power of print to increase your profile – and profit

"We print our images by hand on a Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer and have them on display where clients can see them in our showroom in London, England. We generally sell our collections with an album included. Many people haven't experienced having their images professionally printed. When couples come in for a consultation, I always say to them, 'you don't get excited about a USB stick, but imagine if I printed out one of your photos and threatened to tear it up, you'd be horrified'.

"All it takes is for someone to experience print themselves to realise its power. You hang a print on the wall, you see it every day, it has more value. There's a finality to printing an image. Once people become familiar with that, it's something they want more of. If they have an album, they want wall art, and so on."

A group of cheerful men throw their hands in the air; confetti surrounds the photo.
Print is an important tool in Sanjay's wedding photography marketing strategy. He says that when his clients see how special prints can be, they are keen to make the investment. © Manjeet Matharoo

5. Remember, the best wedding photography marketing is word of mouth

"Marketing isn't just about paying for space or using free social media space. It's about doing a really good job and getting people to recommend you. We have solidified relationships with people who feel confident to recommend us because they know we'll do a solid job, keep our word, deliver when we're supposed to, and [produce] what we promise in terms of imagery and quality.

"Ultimately when a bride and groom start to search for a wedding photographer, they're most likely going to look at social media to see whom their circle of friends and family are talking about. They're going to ask for recommendations. Weddings are huge. A lot can go wrong. If you can demonstrate that you can leap through the hurdles of a wedding day and leave a shining impression, that will only work in your favour."

Skrevet av Kristine Clifford and Rachel Segal Hamilton

Sanjay Jogia's kitbag

The key kit pros use to take their photographs

Wedding photographer Sanjay Jogia crouches down low on a beach, holding his Canon camera and long lens to his eye to photograph someone out of shot.


Canon EOS R5

Capture sensational 45MP photos at up to 20fps, or cinematic 12-bit 8K RAW video using the entire width of the camera's sensor. "This camera is such a big leap forward – the resolution is incredible and the dynamic range is a big step up," says Sanjay.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

The successor to the camera Sanjay uses is the ultimate creative toolkit, with superb low-light performance, deep learning AF and 5.5K RAW video. "I like how robust it is," says Sanjay. "But mainly it's the customisation and the fact that it's rapid – it does what I want, when I want it to perform. That's very important. It's quick and intuitive and essentially feels like an extension of my eye and my hand. It's so fast that the coordination between eye and hand is instantaneous."


Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

A compact L-series zoom lens with an f/4 aperture and image stabilisation. "I start with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM," says Sanjay. "As the day calms down and I get into a rhythm, I start switching up lenses for different purposes. You have to play it safe at the start because people are all over the place – one minute at a distance, the next very close up."

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

A professional L-series, f/1.2 aperture USM lens for low light and extreme depth of field control. "The zooms are great all-rounders, but the primes give visual character," says Sanjay. "For a more journalistic style my favourites are the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM."

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

The professional's wide-angle lens with L-series optics, with a fast f/1.4 aperture, ideal for low light. "I generally shoot at a similar depth of field to maintain the feel," says Sanjay. "Whether I have a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM or a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM or a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM, I'm somewhere between f/2.8 and f/4. For couple's portraits or bridal shots, I'm usually at f/4."

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

Favoured by many, this new version of the classic wide zoom offers stunning sharpness throughout the zoom range. Sanjay says: "It's a very versatile lens despite the focal range. As long as the centre of focus is roughly in the centre of the lens, where there's minimal distortion, it can create very impactful images."

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

A fast, lightweight, high-quality telephoto lens, that is ideal for capturing indoor sports in low-light conditions and for shooting portrait photography. "This lens gets an outing at the reception when the light is low and I need to shoot at a distance but still give the image a certain intimacy," says Sanjay.

Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM

A fast-aperture 35mm f/1.8 macro lens for wide-angle perspective, close focusing and Hybrid IS. "I usually use the macro for shots of the rings and other wedding details," says Sanjay.

Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM

A super-fast and bright 28-70mm f/2 L-series lens that gives stunning results, even in low light. "I absolutely adore this lens," says Sanjay. "It's a bigger, heavier lens but I can forgive that because it's stunningly good. It's so sharp. It's one of my favourite lenses of all time."

Canon RF 70-200 F2.8L IS USM

An essential lens in the professional trio of zooms, the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM is the perfect companion for news, sport and travel. Sanjay says: "An amazing lens, so compact. Beautifully sharp, beautifully well-resolved, with three modes of stabilisation."

Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM

The RF 85mm F1.2L USM offers uncompromising sharpness for portraits along with superb low-light performance and creative potential. "I'd use this more for portraits, more than photojournalism," says Sanjay.

Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM

Ultra-wide and super sharp thanks to L-series optical quality and 5-stop image stabilisation for dynamic angles even in tight spaces. "A really good lens – it gives edge-to-edge sharpness and no chromatic aberration," says Sanjay.


Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

Print in stunning quality with a 12-ink system up to A2. "It's incredibly consistent right across the image," says Sanjay. "It has the ability to handle a large colour gamut, and faithfully reproduces the details of your images."

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