You hear the notification from your email and… Yes! You have a new booking for your studio. You encourage your potential client into an actual paying client… Now, how do you take a client that’s nervous and relax them for their badass session?
In my self-discovery with newborn portraits, if you will, I realized I was photographing newborns how I had seen everyone else photograph them. Mistake #1. The one thing I am always encouraging other photographers to do is to find your groove, find your style. I was guilty of not doing this myself. I know... me! Can you believe it?!?! I mean, my rule of thumb is to create what you want… how you envision it, and then you market so the right people can find you for exactly what you do. We don’t shoot like others because we think that’s what our clients want. Because we all already know most of the time clients have no idea what they want. We educate them because we are the professional and we have a style.
Photographing newborns is one thing, but photographing children requires a whole lot of knowledge about child development, bribery, and cognitive behavior. I have been photographing children since I became an aunt 26 years ago. I remember when I first started observing my nieces and nephews, I was in love with their every move. I could quietly photograph them and it seemed so easy. I wasn’t their “parent” or their “paid photographer”—just Aunt Ana with a camera.
I believe wedding photography is a lot more involved than most other genres of photography. What I mean by “involved” is that a wedding day usually lasts 8-12 hours and has many moving parts and we, as photographers, are involved in it all throughout the day. We are also involved in the wedding much earlier. Our relationship with the client starts months before the big day and sometimes years earlier. As a boutique studio, I go out of my way to get to know my clients and what is important to them. How can I know what they love and want if I don’t ask? I’m genuinely curious. So on your next potential client meeting, make sure you ask. This is one of the most vital pieces of information because it will lead you to take images that are important to your clients. My curiosity has led me to photograph so many amazing moments.
By transforming our business from a shoot and burn model to a full service IPS photography studio, we took our income from a yearly average of $70K to $195K in one year. I’m not going to lie to you—it was hard work. We revamped our logo, our website, thought about what we could do to elevate our client experience, and most importantly, added IPS. We realized we were leaving so much money on the table and we weren’t helping our clients where they needed it most. Here are 6 actions we took to get the ball rolling.
There are a lot of elements that go into making a wedding successful from a photographer’s perspective. A lot of times we feel that if the client is happy, then mission accomplished! But if that’s your only gauge of whether a wedding was successful or not, then there’s a lot you’re missing out on. I want to help challenge you to look at other aspects of a successful wedding day, from before you even book a client to getting bookings from guests at the wedding. Once you finish this article, I challenge you to make a list of items that define a successful wedding for you. But first, let’s jump into my top 5 tips for a successful wedding.
Most of us love to travel. The excitement of new locations, new scenery, fresh ideas. It inspires us and feeds our creative soul. If you’re like me, I tend to put a lot of planning and creative energy towards shoots that take place while I’m traveling. I look forward to it, marking these shoots as standout portfolio builders and points of growth. But, have you ever stopped to think about all the missed opportunities for amazing shots right in our own backyards?
Over the years, I worked with Laura on several occasions. For a hobby photographer, it’s a true pleasure to work with a professional model. Laura doesn’t need much direction, works hard and doesn’t complain even when we’re shooting outside in the pouring rain. She also has a great sense of humor and it is always good fun working together. After shooting with Laura, the results are always “next level.” In this article, we will share the 4 pillars of a successful location shoot with you, based on our recent experience in London.
All in all the shoot came together really well and my client couldn’t be happier. Bringing your client’s concepts to life doesn't have to be complicated or onerous. The key is good communication, a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish going in, and a simple, effective lighting plan. My advice is always to keep it uncomplicated and creative. Keep your eyes and ears open and always think about what you’re not seeing. The final you’re seeing here isn’t where I started out during this shoot. It’s easy to miss something potentially great when you’re in the shooting bubble. In my experience, the strongest image may not be the one you’re shooting but something still unseen and undiscovered. Stop, look around, reframe. You’ll be surprised at the hidden gems just waiting for you!
For us, it's about empathy. As artists, we believe many things go into creating beautiful, unique work, but being empathic with our fellow humans is the only way to truly understand and grow the way we create art. That's what photography is to us. It's getting to know and learn about life from some of the most energetic, gifted, and spirited souls our planet has. What we do enriches our lives and our marriages daily. So we've put a lot of thought into creating an experience for our couples that will reflect this enrichment in our art and give our couples the once-in-a-lifetime photographs that they deserve. We call these “adventurous elopements.”