Trust me when I tell you, I am right there with you. Turn on the news, negativity. Go to social media, negativity. Family, friends, negativity everywhere. So what happens? This eats away at you, eats away at any creativity you may have left in you. It leads you to start questioning everything you believe in. Am I resonating with anyone yet? Or is this just me?
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.
The senior photography industry is constantly changing. Looking through the history of senior portraits, it seems that each decade represents a new trend in the industry. In the 80s, we saw “Glamour Shots” as senior portraits—feather boas, leather jackets, bright backgrounds, and a soft glow on the images. The 90s brought in more casual studio portraits complete with large numbers to represent the graduation year, high key backgrounds, fake brick walls, and those lovely folios that held six or eight or more wallet-size photographs. The 2000s started the trend of casual outdoor portraits in addition to the studio options. The studio portraits also included more options such as sports. The 2010s saw a big push into model programs and high fashion looks complete with hair and makeup options, with outdoor portraits being the norm.
After the excitement of the shoot day itself, the seniors can’t wait to see their images! In-person sales sessions are the way to go to be most profitable while providing the most valuable thing to your client—printed products. Even in these days of digital images and social media, teens still love choosing images for their albums and wall art. I recall one of my seniors recently saying at her order pickup, “Seeing them on the TV was cool, but seeing them in the album is completely different. This is absolutely amazing.”
Taking pictures of the bride as she gets ready for the wedding ceremony on her special day is a time-honored tradition in wedding photography, but it can require a different set of skills from the traditional photos of the ceremony. I personally love the close, intimate setting and the candid shots that can be captured during bridal prep. Of course, it does take a little planning, a good deal of forethought, and the right mindset to bring out the best in the bride, the bridesmaids, and the hair and makeup artists. Here are three keys to photographing bridal preps that I've found to be extremely helpful:
As you listen, you will unlock exactly what you need to craft personalized art for your clients. Human beings naturally align with companies who create personal, client-focused experiences, paired with great service and expertise. To produce the best client encounter possible, spearhead a collaborative effort with them to help them feel valued and provide expertly tailored service and craftsmanship. This mutual approach will differentiate your studio from other photographers and illuminate you as an expert portrait artist who cares about more than just the bottom line.
If you want success, I promise you, it's out there for you to go and get. Make no mistake, there are a lot of people out there who want it just as bad, but the difference is, they are not willing to work as hard as you are to get it. Once you know this and see it, you start to realize that you can truly get whatever you put your mind to. Change your life. Change your world.
In-person sales can be hard. They can be overwhelming when you first start. IPS is a roller coaster. It’s unpredictable. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. And it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll experience as a photographer—not worth missing for the world.
There is not a single thing about owning a business that is simple or easy. So, I want to lay out the truth behind the long race that lies ahead of you and how you can go the distance and be a successful business owner.
For the past few months in The Business Corner, we’ve been discussing using certain digital tools to attract and nurture leads. In theory, our lead is now ready to make the leap. But once they buy, it’s important not to end the nurture sequence. In fact, there are additional steps to the sales funnel once the lead becomes a client.