As a wedding photographer, you should be filling your calendar with free leads from fellow vendors. I mean, aren’t they grateful? Haven’t they seen all the amazing photos on your blog? Without your images, no one beyond the guest list would ever see the flowers, fashion and decor they create—at least not in the appealing and professional way you photograph them. If you want to get on a wedding planner’s good side, see your name on a venue’s referral list or even become the go-to personal photographer for wedding vendors everywhere, consider the following tips.
Stylized commercial shoots offer a great way to collaborate with vendors to create something over the top for your portfolio, as well as theirs. You earn goodwill and build relationships that become mutually beneficial over time. We like to put together two or three of these shoots every year to keep images fresh and relationships alive. The planning process can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re thinking you can do it alone. Here are the key elements of planning and executing a stylized commercial shoot.
Recently I was looking at where my wedding referrals were coming from when I noticed that a venue I used to shoot at several times a year had completely fallen off my radar. We had not shot a wedding there in almost five years. How could that be? We picked up the phone, scheduled a meeting with their team and did something about it. Below is how we went from an afterthought to front-runner—and rebuilt a relationship and our portfolio along the way.
Strategic alliances in business can make major differences in the success of all parties involved if done correctly. This is true for just about any industry, but is often overlooked in the arts. It should never be about competition as much as it should be about synergy (a business buzzword that usually makes my stomach turn, but stay with me here). Aligning your photography business with someone else’s can be the injection of energy you were always looking for if you’re open to it and go about it the right way.
Photography is an incredible hobby and profession. We get to visit amazing places, document memories for people, create art and even travel all over the world. But the business side is a different story. To finance this amazing hobby and turn it into a living, we have to charge livable wages.