Wedding Photography Certificate Program


All students who finish this program will receive a signed certificate of completion verifying their participation in the program.

Program Description

In this fast-paced, comprehensive Certificate program, you'll learn everything you need 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 while shooting a "mock" wedding with live models using your equipment! This class will be held live via Zoom, except for Thursday which will be held SAFELY in-person.

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 niche market.

Read more about what makes our certificate programs unique.


For the Thursday in-person class, students will be required to wear a mask at all times, and hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be supplied and used constantly throughout the day, including on any shared photo equipment & props used in the class. In addition, social distancing guidelines will be strictly observed, and the classroom/studio will be large enough to create a safe space for all students.

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 Thursday's in-person 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
  • If possible, a laptop computer with the current version of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop

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.

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:
    • Camera(s)
    • 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 up 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
  • Contracts
  • 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

Day 5: Friday: After the Wedding Day, Most of the Work!

  • The day after the wedding
  • What your studio needs, an 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"
  • For the best photos taken on Thursday, photo equipment will be awarded!
  • Recieve your Certificate of Completion for the program


Gretchen Troop

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.

BDA Members


BDA Members: $1,269.00

Non-Members: $1,299.00

Available Dates

Sorry, we don't have this event scheduled right now but we'll probably be adding it again soon! If you're interested in this event, we recommend using our follow feature to be notified the next time we add it to our schedule. You can also email us to request that we add it soon.

Related To: Wedding Photography Certificate Program

Adobe Photoshop Certificate Program

Adobe Photoshop Certificate Program

Fees: $1199 for members / $1299 for non-members

Adobe Photographer Workflow Hands On - Lightroom & Photoshop

Optional Payment Plan for Certificate Programs:

We want to make our training as accessible as possible so we offer a simple payment plan for our Certificate Programs. For classes that are $400 - $998, each of the two payments is simply 50% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. For classes that are $999+, each of the four payments is simply 25% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. BDA membership is required to obtain a payment plan. Click here to learn about membership. The first payment will be taken at the time of registration and the remaining payments are paid once a month for the following three months. Details the payment amounts for this particular program are listed in the table below.

It's easy to take advantage of this option and we encourage you to sign up early since these programs often fill up fast! If you're interested, don't register online. Instead, please contact BDA staff at 720-282-1435 or email us with the name and start date of the class you wish to attend ( and we'll get you setup, take your first payment, and confirm your registration.


Payment Program Details

  Payment Amount
Payment 1
Paid at time of registration.
Payment 2
Due one month after registration.
Payment 3
Due two months after registration.
Payment 4
Due three months after registration.
Note: you must be a BDA member to take advantage of our payment plans. Registrants using the payment plan are not eligible for any early registration discounts and always pay the standard registration fee ($1,269.00).


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