It’s a photographer’s house of horrors—a dark reception hall. Let me simplify everything for you. Below, I’ll lay out the easy system we at The Blumes use to create crisp, color-balanced, commercial-quality reception images every time. You’ll just need your camera, three cheap flashes, and a few rubber bands. Sound good?
Photographers seem to obsess over editing. They treat it like it’s the special sauce that, once mastered, will bring you in new clientele. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I will let you guys in on a little secret. Our clients come to us for cinematic, dramatic environmental portraiture, yet the images that they love, and the ones that we choose for our portfolio, are typically the ones for which we diverge the least from the original file.
Last January, Mike Allebach and I decided that it would be great to challenge everyone after one of the workshops to reach out to past wedding clients, use what we taught them, and get wedding albums into their clients’ hands. We called it the $10K Challenge: if you have ten clients from the past two years and sell each of them a $1,000 wedding album, you will have made an extra $10,000 that January.
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.
As a wedding photographer, social media is one of the strongest marketing and branding tools at our disposal. It’s also the most time-consuming task, taking us away from our passion of running our own photography business. It’s the end of engagement season, so marketing is a top priority for wedding photography businesses. Social media is where most newly engaged couples hang out digitally these days, but that’s not the only way to get in front of them. How can you make sure you’re doing your best job at marketing when everything keeps changing?
The customer experience is made up of many different parts. The most basic thing to understand is that it is the totality of all of your client’s interactions with your brand, starting from the moment they find you and visit your website, to the final delivery of their album. If you are a portrait photographer, those processes can be fairly quick, but wedding photographers will likely be with their clients for a year or more. Throughout that entire process, there are many different interactions that clients will have with your brand. One hiccup in any of those processes can affect the overall client experience and cost you future revenue.
I am frequently asked if the LGBT market is big enough to make it worth pursuing. Absolutely. Tapping into this market is a whole new obstacle. LGBT couples are unlikely to contact a photographer simply because they like our work. They need to feel secure that your business is a safe place. This doesn’t mean you have to know everything about LGBT couples or their history. It means only that they know you are someone who desires their business, free of judgment.
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.
So you think you want to become a wedding photographer? Be careful what you wish for. Yes, it’s true what they say: A career in wedding photography can be quite lucrative. For my wife Eileen and I (The Blumes), our decade-long career has allowed us to create a life of travel and comfort we never imagined. On the other hand, the vast majority of photographers who approach weddings as a golden goose get bitten, and there’s good reason for the burnout and high failure rates. This job isn’t for the faint of heart.
Photographers are well known for investing money in their toys. In fact, I would be willing to bet that many of us got started on this career path after realizing the cost of their new toys, and that we needed to charge people for pictures in order to just afford them. I am no exception to that. I love cameras, lights and new technology. We have so many options to choose from, but many that we crave are unnecessary. How do you choose the best tools to purchase? In this article, I break down my recommendations.