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How to Market Your Photography

Lesson 22 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

How to Market Your Photography

Lesson 22 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

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Lesson Info

22. How to Market Your Photography

Learn how to market your photography using blogging and social media to tell the stories of your clients and highlight your expertise as a photographer.


Class Trailer



Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration


How to Define Your Photography Style


Shooting with Intent: Romantic + Editorial Wedding Photography


Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos


Overcoming Shyness to Find Success as a Wedding Photographer




The Best Wedding Photography Marketing


Lesson Info

How to Market Your Photography

I've mentioned in previous lessons that pricing or workflow or editing probably isn't my cup of tea but when we talk about marketing, well, now I'm excited. This kind of is just a pep in my step. This is my jam right about here. So if you're watching this and you happen to find your strengths in like album design and post processing but marking isn't your thing, hang out to your hats because we're gonna be flying and I'm gonna be showing you results. Like real time results from some of the marketing efforts that we put in via social media. Now I make no qualms with my love affair with marketing. I absolutely love it. I love photography but I cannot do photography unless I actually have a business. So, if I'm going to air on the side of one thing when I'm currently working now and when I first started, that was I need to build a strong business in order for me to actually do photography. And in order for me to build a strong business, I actually have to have a strong marketing sense. So...

, for those of you who aren't aware marketing is defined as an action or business of promoting and selling products or services. So, what I do is photography. What I sell are my services. And that small little distinction is very powerful because so often I see photographers selling photography. Now if I were to sell photography, chances are I would lose. Or I just wouldn't be as successful. That's what I think. If we're gonna go head to head strictly on photography, I wouldn't be where I am today. But we're not going head to head on just photography. We're going head to head on photography and services and where my services, my services outshine photography 10 to one and that has made the biggest difference. That is what, has made me a strong contender in one of the most competitive wedding photography markets in the world which is Southern California. Now, I have, some people might disagree and I completely understand but I believe from my experience for the past 10 years that people are investing in me as much as they are investing in my services. So that's a thing that I really need to show case again and again. Yes the photos are important but the person making the photos is equally as important. And so often we hide behind that. We just say oh here are the photos, here are the photos, here are the photos. How can you interject yourself as a creator, as a curator and then as the sharer of those images. Now I think that one of the things I want to compete on is not just photos. I want to compete on my personality. I want to compete on my brand. I want to compete first and foremost on an experience. Now if we just talk about the definition of a brand, a brand is a series of sets of expectations and experiences that one client chooses one service over another. That was defined, that really awful paraphrase was from Seth Cohen. He says that people choose one business or another. One service over another based on personal experiences. So if we understand that people are choosing based on experience and we are not infusing ourselves into the experience of photography, we are doing ourselves a disservice. So what you will see me going into when it comes to marketing, is personality, service, experience. Yes the photos, but how can I be competitive by adding things that make me unique? How can you be competitive by making things, by adding things that make you unique? So I'm going to show you my marketing forces so that you can utilize them in the feature as well. Now, this is going to be a review. One thing to note is that this slide might be familiar because earlier on in the lessons, and some people are nodding like yes thank you so much for paying attention and going through the journey. JD had said when I was stressing out around midnight last night he's like why don't you just use some of the photos that you've used in the past and just put new text on it? I was like, people notice. And he's like people don't notice. Well you just proved that I said you might notice this photo and she's like yes I do, I do notice it. So boom. They notice. (audience laughs) So that lack of sleep last night was so worth it. But I'm going to use this image and use this idea of creating evangelists to jar your memory. Image of association. Now, when I talk about evangelists, these are basically people who are zealous advocates of something. You don't want to have a client who's simply satisfied. While effective, it's not going to get you where you need to be. You need a zealous advocate. Now when I refer to my efforts and myself I will say that I'm marketing or that I am a marketer. When I refer to people who are talking up my services on my behalf, I call them evangelists. So that's gonna be a key marker as we go into. So basically you want to create evangelists for your work because they're going to take care of your business far better than you could take care of your business in regards to talking about it. 'Cause I can go up to you and be like (laughs) my business is so great. My business is like so great. So great, so great, business is great. Great, great, great. I'm great, my business is great. It sounds funny when I say this but when you listen to the radio, what do we say? Our beer is great. Our food is great. Our shoes are great. We listen to, when we watch TV, our beer is great. Our food is great, our shoes are great right? So we're trying to compete with this on slot of pay attention to me I'm great I'm great. But what if your sister came to you and said Jasmine's great? You would trust her so much more. That's the evangelist. That's the zealous advocate I want to create. So how do we first kind of create and get into those advocates? First I want to prepare my images so that my advocates can use them. So that my evangelists can use them. So, the first step that I use to make sure that my images are gonna go out in the most effective way is BlogStomp. Now BlogStomp will rock your world. Now people who are using it are just like mm hm. That's right. We just went to church in like Atlanta, Georgia mm hm. BlogStomp amen. Because what we do is in a single button, we have watermarked all of our images. Yes but wait, there's more. (audience laughs) I'm gonna show you how this actually happens. It is an app and it will revolutionize the way that you approach it 'cause sometimes people, my biggest complaint that I hear from photographers is that it takes me so long to blog. It takes me so long to share my images. Well, we're gonna talk about how easy it is. Now as a clarification I have received emails, I have read a Facebook group, when do you watermark and when do you not? Rule of thumb, I don't watermark. So if anybody's gonna walk away with something it's that. I don't watermark. However, if I do watermark, I want to clarify. I do watermark. But I don't want people saying, I don't want people perceiving that I give my vendors watermarks, that I give my clients watermarks. No no no. People who have participated in the event and that are close to the event do not get watermarked images. I watermark the images that will go out in that first marketing campaign. Because people on Pinterest, people on Twitter, on Instagram, they're going to be seeing my images and I really want to be able to be sourced back to that. At least initially. That's where the biggest push comes and that's my largest concern. So, why I dot watermark images for my vendors, for the creative team is because I want them to know that I trust them. I want them, I send an email and I have a template email when I send to the creative team to cite me when they use images in print, online, any sort of promotional campaign I say I do not watermark images but please site photo credit as Jasmine Star. So I'm letting them know. Now, by and large the creative team takes care of me because I have taken care of them. Have there been instances in the past where a vendor will use images and not site the source? Yes that has happened. And the next time I work with that vendor, do I send them images without my name on them? No. First time shame on you. Second time shame on me. So, once we have established that but 9.5 times out of 10 everybody's doing it the way that they should. Now I don't watermark images for my clients because some photographers might disagree, but my clients are just as much of an owner of the images as I am. I could not do what I do without them. Why would I give them watermarked images for them not to share? For them to make me feel like they're having to promote me? I would prefer to inspire them to promote me. I'm gonna talk about what that looks like. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to get into a demo of BlogStomp so that you guys can kinda see what that looks like and how quickly and efficiently this is working. So we're gonna bring that up. Great. So this is BlogStomp. This is an app that you download. Now, very basic, very intuitive. So let me just follow some directions. Go on. Drag some photos in here. Well, let's grab 41 images. All high res. So what it's doing for me automatically is populating them in my box. Okay, cool. So why don't we just do a little preview of what it would look like. I can select this photo. And look at here in the lower right hand corner, my watermark is already there. Now you can add borders, you can add your own type, font within the app. I have uploaded a PNG file because it's the font that I want but you're capable of doing that too. Let's just say that I want to create some sort of like diptic for a blog post, for social media. Or a tryptic. A diptic are two photos to each other, a tryptic three photos. Maybe I want to add a quadric. I don't even know if that's technically a word but it makes me sound really smart. Let's just technically try a couple of things here. Why don't we pull, let's see. Let's go to, so we're gonna click on free style. And then I'm gonna select this probably. Great. So what it's doing is like, do I like what's going on here? I don't know. Let's try this one. Oh let me redesign here. Or redesign here. 'Kay? How easy? Boom. Let's go back to batch right? So let's just say I don't want to create any sort of collages. Let' just say that I want to watermark all of these image, all 41 images. Hang on one sec. (clears throat) Oops. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna simply say Stomp It. Look on them here. Go on girl. Get your BlogStomp on. 41 images Stomped to your folder. Now I have a folder on my desktop called Stomped. All 41 images in here, watermark. Watermark. Watermark. Watermark. Watermark. Can we get an amen? [Audience Members] Amen. That's right. Amen Mount Zion. (audience laughs) Okay. So, what I do is get all of my images that I think will go on the blog post that I think will go on social media. An average blog post for me has around 30 images from a wedding and eight images from an engagement session. I've gone to blog posts in the past where photographers will have 50, 60 photos on their blog post and I think that that's way too many. Because most of the time people aren't scrolling. You want what's online to be your best work. Anything beyond your absolute best work, put it into a slide show. We're gonna get into a slideshow right there. So I want you to do that demo and a lot of the teammates that I'm talking about today, let's see we're gonna see, in a past lesson we talked about photographers edit. We're talking about BlogStomp, we're talking about my album design, we're talking about totally red actions. All of these sponsors have come on board with the bootcamp to offer discount codes. You can find the discount codes on the course page. So definitely dig into that. So, that is what it looks like to prepare the images. Now these are how my images are prepared for my blog. Once I have the images for my blog, then I know that they're also prepared for Facebook. For Twitter. For Instagram. It's a one time thing. So let's take in back. Now that we have the images set up to go. We're gonna get back into the keynote. So, once the images are blog ready, after using BlogStomp the first thing I'm going to do is the images are going to be prepped online and I'm going to blog them. My first marketing coup, blogging. And we've talked about in a previous lesson why I personalize each blog post. If you have not seen that lesson please go back and review it because I can't get into the reasoning why I personalize every post, but just trust me and when I say that it works, that it is effective and it makes your clients feel like you are there. I'm gonna take a second and I'm just going to read the first few sentences of this story because what I want to do when I write is draw someone in. You are a photographer but you are also a curator. You have to sell people why these photos are important. At least I believe, I'm speaking very like directly but it's all or nothing with me. I want you guys to like, I know you're (laughs), Brittney's just like what did I get myself into? (audience laughs) It's all or nothing. It's very pleasant. (audience laughs) Okay. (audience laughs) It was aptly described as a wedding for friends and family from far and farther to gather in Sonoma for what promised to be a day filled with love, laughter and contentment. But it was filled with so much more simply because a boy fell in love with a girl who's soul lights the world on fire. Samantha can walk into any room and make someone feel like they're the most special person she could spend her time with and no one knows this better than Taylor. The man who acts like the match to Samantha's flame. For as much as the couple ignites love around them people can't help but be attracted to their light. They emit a positive joyful energy and invite others into their love as if they'd been there just waiting for the right moment for their paths to intercept. This was apparent when they said I do in front of 125 of their closest friends and family at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma. I go into a little bit more about explaining about The Knot Dream Wedding. And then at the end of every single blog post when I blog about a wedding I write a personal note to the client. Photographers often wonder or ask why I blog and to be honest I'm gonna be very forthcoming, I don't blog for the industry and I don't blog for photographers. I blog for my clients and I blog for their friends. I blog for their family so that when they read this they understand that I hope I was not commissioned as any other creative member of their team. I was commissioned for my voice, and because I was there with them and present. Sam and Taylor I don't have all the right words to say but what I came up with this is thank you. This is rather a small thing to say for how much I appreciate and adore you but it's all I have. You made me feel like the luckiest photographer to document your love and I'm happy to call your friends. Cheers to health, joy and making memories. Much love and appreciation, J Star. What I did know in this situation is usually I will say have fun in Greece. Or enjoy Tahiti. But they had a honeymoon to Tahiti, but because of Samantha's mom they had decided to postpone. So I made no mention of the honeymoon during this time. That's why I think making these small little notations, people ask if I write notes on the wedding day. No. I'm fully present on the wedding day but if you have a lot of stuff on your mind that's okay. Step away from guests. Step inside. Go to the bathroom and write notes on your phone so that at a later point in time if you have to revisit it to write the blog post you can review what you wrote about the day. So now what we're going to do is I'm going to highlight a few things that I do strategically. So yes the first part of the blog post is for the client. Is for their friends and family. But let's talk about how we can leverage the rest of the blog post to really help us from a business perspective. Now, I try to write verbiage in between each photo and I'm doing this strategically. 'Cause it's important to personalize absolutely the blog post. One it makes the clients feel special. And I'm makes them feel that you were paying attention. But two, it gives Google more of a way for my images to come up in an organic search. How? Google reads text. This is gonna be super important. So, the vineyard at Chateau St. Jean was lunch and green. Too perfect. Link into Chateau St. Jean. The wedding reception was at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma one of the prettiest wineries in Sonoma and the best makers of wine. I may or may not have nominated myself as the official taste tester obvs. A few seconds into the first dance the music stopped and the couple was surprised to hear that one of their favorite country singers Canaan Smith was going to serenade them with a special song. This was their reaction. Couple photos later. As part of The Knot Dream Wedding the couple participated in an episode of the Food Network's Cake Wars. The cake was debuted at the wedding. Another one. Once guests departed I had some time for bridal party photos along the St. Jean property. I'm using Chateau St. Jean all the time and hyperlinking it. That makes my post come up higher. I have labeled the photos in the post Chateau dash St. dash Jean dash wedding dash photo underscore number. When somebody types in Google Images Chateau St. Jean wedding, I want my image to come at the top. When somebody says first dance Canaan Smith, I want blog post to come up. I'm thinking about what people can search for. Winery weddings Sonoma. How many times did I mention wedding? How many times did I mention Sonoma? How many times did I mention winery? There was other things like for the florals. I describe what the florals were. Peonies. Chartreuse. Pops of colors. Vineyard. I'm typing out searchable items. This is all done strategically. So, once, I need to smile more. I've just decided that. Everyone is just like, and I'm like I think I'm the scary force right now. Let's make this pleasant. Let's make this pleasant. Okay. So once we have this blog post live and once you guys know the strategy behind what it is that I'm doing, I'm going to get attention to this blog post in three main ways. One, Twitter. Two, Instagram. Three, Facebook. In the order of their importance starting with least to greatest. Essentially I'm maximizing my ways to get reach. Now I understand that some people like Twitter. Other people hate it. Some people are on Facebook, some people can't stand it. So what I'm trying to do is I'm going to pick and choose what marketing vehicles play to my strengths and then I'm going to tap all of them, hopefully finding one outlet that connects with different people. Even you yourself as a business owner and then you yourself as just you, you have a personal preference like oh for business this one works. But for personal I just love this one. Right? So now what I'm trying to do is tap into four different wells. My blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Those have been by far the most effective in regards to getting more business. So, what I'm going to move into is my, I'm gonna reveal my blog efforts. The results from blogging. This just happened a day ago. So blog marketing efforts. Well, in less than 12 hours, the blog was viewed 11,500 times. 7,000 of those were unique blog views. There were 35 comments. And there were 30 likes on that post. I'm getting, I'm aggregating these stats yesterday to bring them in here today. This number will be greater in a week. And when The Knot Dream Wedding happens again in the future, and people are Googling The Knot Dream Wedding, I will have some sort of activity then too. Cool. Again, smile. Here we go. Now what I want to do is I want to talk about Twitter. Remember 'cause we started off, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to talk about the four mechanisms in which I apply and then I'm gonna show you the results of each of them. So now you're going to call me to the carpet and I'm gonna show you that I'm not talking trash. At least I hope I'm not. So on Twitter, blogged @TheKnot #DreamWedding today. Loved this day. I kept it short because I need to include a link to my blog post. And then I strategically chose three vendors who I could fit in 140 characters and how I chose these vendors was strategically those with the largest followings. Large followings indicates there's activity on Twitter. The venue at Chateau St. Jean had less than 100 followers but they don't tweet. So why would it make sense for me to highlight Chateau St. Jean if there's a really low likelihood of them retweeting me. The goal always is to get a retweet or to notify those people that I'm writing. So I chose The Knot. Details Jeanne, the coordinator and Farm Girl Flowers. And I included a photo. Give people a reason to actually stop and look. Now, what I want to do is highlight one of the vendors who highlighted the photos. So this is from The Knot. Can't get over these gorgeous @, or I'm sorry can't get over these gorgeous #theknotdreamweddingphotos from @jasminestar! Now, one thing I want to talk about was that the creative team shared images by the way of Twitter. This is a one particular look at The Knot. But other who shared were the coordinator, the florist, the venue, the linen company and CreativeLive. So, knowing those things, let's talk about what resulted from these Twitter efforts. So our Twitter marketing efforts. In less than two days we had the potential to reach 304,000 followers. This is incredible. Do I think that all 302,000 followers saw it? No. But do I think a chunk of them did? Yes. And my marketing theory's that if you throw enough mud on the wall, some of it's gonna stick. So, let's move in to Instagram. So, this was a sneak peek that I shared after the wedding day. This goes to back to a question that I get quite often is how do I get the contact from all the vendors? In the previous lesson I talked about what I do in advance. I will find out from the bride or the coordinator who's involved with the wedding and then I will do my homework in advance 'cause I want their Instagram handles, I want everything ready. So, this is after the wedding day happened. I highlighted, I tagged the bride. So I tagged Samantha. I tagged The Knot, Details Jeanne and everybody else who was on Instagram. I use the hashtag because I want yes, for my images to come up in, when somebody looks for Sonoma, Sonoma wedding, Chateau St. Jean, The Knot Dream Wedding. I added all of those. Now because I was working with a new creative team, by and large I was new to everybody and everybody was new to me. So how do I go out and find how to create those connections? Because my goal was to get everybody involved. So, somebody had told me that a rising tide raises all ships. So what could I do to help raise the tide? I sent an email. So what happens is a few days before the wedding, which happens quite often with a coordinator and if it does not happen and if you are not working with a coordinator, you could do it on your own. She sent an email to the creative team and said here is the timeline. This is what time everybody's starting. These are the camera that'll be there yada yada yada. So, when she sent that email that had everybody listed on it I was like goldmine. You just did my work. So I emailed everybody back and I didn't ask for permission. So this is what transpired. (audience laughs) Jeanne the coordinator, you are a dream to work with and for. Thank you for all your hard work. I can't wait to see it come to life. Happy face. For those who I don't know, my name is Jasmine Star and I'll be photographing the wedding. I can't wait to document your artisanship later this week. Because this is such a great opportunity for us to collaborate, I put together an Instagram cheat sheet in case you want to share the images as part of this event. I tried to make it as easy as possible, just simply copy and paste. The #knotdreamwedding by @theknot for Serendipity. I listed everybody and I highlighted, what everybody did. Right? So, simply copy and paste. I did my best to find everyone's Instagram from their websites but if I missed you please feel free to add. Lastly my goal is to send the team to 25 sneak peek images from the wedding day no later than 6 p.m. on the same day as the wedding. So yes you will be able to share the same day sneak peeks that I'll be sending to press. The entire wedding gallery will be completed a few days after the wedding on Tuesday June 9th, 2015. The creative team will have full access to the high res images for you to use and share as part of this amazing event. You have any questions please don't hesitate to drop me a line. Shone on, J Star and then I listed all forms of my social media, to be honest to prove credence. I listed my Facebook because I have one. I listed my Twitter because I have following. That I'm not following, excuse me, that I'm active on them. Even if you have 20 followers on Twitter but you're active it shows that you're using it. I'm putting out that I'm active on Instagram. So in case anyone's like who is this girl? So, let's talk about how things transpired. Brief overview. The Knot shared my images. Details Jeanne the coordinator shared my images multiple times. Multiple times, multiple times. Flower Farm Girls, twice. The linen company. The band. The fact that everybody was prepared to know who did what made it very effective. So I can't help but wonder maybe this would've happened organically. But I didn't want to leave it to chance. I didn't want to say hey you guys, maybe you can give me photo credit or hey maybe, no. Let's all do this together. So, let's talk about our Instagram marketing effects. Efforts. Excuse me. Our Instagram marketing efforts. In less then two days we reached at minimum, 591,000 people. They are over that I know of 10,500 likes and over 225 comments on photos that I'm just aware of. There's other stuff that's floating around. Do I think that I worked and had a hand to contribute to this type of success? Yes. Do I think that this type of success is regulated just to me? Never. What I just showed you, please copy and paste it and send it to your creative team at the next wedding. Set yourself up for this type of success and start growing your following incrementally. So, that was just on Instagram. So now let's get, let's hit the money maker. Let's go to Facebook. Now, we're not even including the sneak peak. Remember? 'Cause we already talked about the sneak peek. The sneak peek was addressed in a previous lesson on Facebook when it came to expressing appreciation. Now we're just getting solely into wedding marketing. Beyond thrilled to share tagging The Knot Dream Wedding. I blogged it here. So, one thing I want to talk about honestly is that I know that Facebook, I get the most drive from Facebook. So if I get the most drive from Facebook, I want to share my wedding on Facebook twice. But in two different ways. I simply can't copy and paste the same update. So this is the first of two. Now I'm going to update with a link to my blog. Statistics show that people in Facebook do not leave the organic platform in which they are in. So, I know that. So I know that I'm not gonna get as much punch from this link, but I'm still gonna do it for those who are willing to bounce over. Now what I want you to notice is that there were over 66,000 people who reached this post just from my page. There were over 1500 likes. There were 95 comments and there were four shares. 'Kay. So this is approach one of Facebook on the day that I blogged it. Now what I want to do is go to approach two. Now for those who don't like to leave the organic platform of Facebook I will about three, four hours later update a folder of images. So I update a folder of images and all of these images that go in the folder are the exact same images that were on the blog. I am not doing any extra work. I'm simply dragging those photos on over and I'm including the story. That story that I posted on my blog goes into the body of this folder. I'm not doing any extra work but I'm finding a way to personalize this approach on Facebook. Now, when I upload the folder, the folder, not the first update, the folder, I am linking to every creative vendor. So I'm linking to Jeanne Savage of Details Jeanne. I'm linking to her page. I'm linking to The Knot. I'm linking to Farm Girl Flowers. I'm linking to Wild Flower Linen. A rising tide raises ships. If I want another business to link to my page, I must link to their page. It's etiquette. It is absolute etiquette. Now this particular post reached over 40,000 reached. It had 1200 likes, it had 75 comments and it had 12 shares. So, I want to highlight what The Knot did. The day couldn't have been any more beautiful. Photo linked to my page. Sharing images from the wedding that I had sent from that first push. And I can't tell you how many people it reached because I'm not an owner to that page. You will only be able to see reach if you are an owner to that page. What I do know is that The Knot has 400,000 likes on their page. So do I think they had a great reach? I do. I do. So, let's talk about our Facebook marketing efforts. In less than 12 hours this is what transpired. 108,000 people reached. 2700 likes. 170 comments. 16 shares. Now this is not including the sneak peak that I did a couple days earlier and this is not including anybody else's Facebook pages. This is not Peony Farms. This is not Farm Girl Flowers. This is not Jeanne. This is not The Knot because I couldn't get those numbers. I could guess but what does that do for us? Nothing. I just know that it's happening and it's happening good. This right here is solely my network. This is solely your network. This is the stuff that like fires me up. This is not me serving my current clients, this is me getting new clients. I'm in the business of new. Taking care of my present but they already paid me. You got to go hustle for the new stuff. So, we just spoke about all the online marketing that we've been doing. So I'm gonna grab a little somethin'. Now, I like to, for weddings that I think want to work more with the creative team, for weddings who I think JD and I, well not JD. I tell JD that there are certain weddings in our business that we refer to as unicorn weddings. That they're just so magical and everything worked. Like the timeline worked, the light worked, the venue worked, the details worked right? So what I want to shoot more of I'm gonna show more of. So, what I wanted to do is for wedding vendors what I want I really want to work more with Farm Girl Flowers. She's based here in San Francisco. She does great stuff. Like she sips internationally and she gets her bouquets and she wraps them in burlap. And even if burlap isn't your zhoosh, even if you aren't like the shabby chic she just does it right and I'm like I like you, I want to work more with you. So, what I want to do is create promo cards. Now because we're literally like, I'm adding these photos, I hopped on the plane, I got here. I didn't have an opportunity to make the cards and have them printed for today. I want to show you a card that I did for our recent wedding and I'm gonna show you how all of this comes together. Stick with me. Stick with me. So, right here. Let me first show you. First and foremost, anything that leaves my studio is accompanied by a handwritten card. I have customized stationary. Now before you say oh customized stationary must be nice, I first started with customized stationary that cost me about 75 cents to make. A friend from, my moms friend from church did something called creative memories where they just kind of make cards, they used to make albums with like stick 'em paper. Well I said can you make a card for me that's similar to an album? Just put my logo and have a little ribbon and she said yes and she was gonna charge me a dollar. And I said okay that's great. I'll buy 20. I could afford 20 cards. So I paid her $20 and she made me these customized cards. I now have letter press cards I'm about to show you. So yes my business has grown and my stationery's gotten fancier but it doesn't mean that anybody else isn't in that position. And in worse case scenario if you're really hard up you can walk to Paper Source or Papyrus, get 10 cards for $12. Anything to personalize that experience. So this is the card. I will have it in another envelope and it will have my address. I'm not including my address 'cause I don't want to highlight that. Have that address, the studio stuff. They open it up, it's handwritten with their name. So when they open this up and I want all of my cards to be branded. So this is my card. And when you pull up the card, there's a little note. And it says, let me pull it all the way up. A note from the heart and an invitation too. Call me, enjoy a cocktail, join me for yoga, walk on the beach, walk to the sunset, all of the above. So I will choose one of these things. Usually it's all of the above or else I look rude. (audience laughs) And then I note as a child I begged my mother for a pen pal. Every month I'd faithfully write my new friend in Sydney, Australia imaging a koala reading over her shoulder. Years later I'm thrilled to send a note to you because there's nothing better than a hand written note sent with the utmost care. Here's to scribbled words, notes and koalas. And then there's a space for my signature and that's what I write there. And then what they'll do, they pull out the card. It's letter pressed with my name and I have a hand written note here. So what I will say, when the cards are ready and maybe I'll do a blog post but I'll say, Dear Jeanne, thank you so much for everything at The Knot. It was a fantastic. I'll list a personal memory. Much love. Let me know if you need anything else. Then what I'll do is I'll send promo cards. These are five by seven promo cards that I had printed at White House Custom Color. And what these are, and you can make it this template. I literally cropped these pictures into squares and I dropped them on a five by seven card. And then what I did is, so this was from a wedding that I shot in December in Chicago. I shot this wedding in December in Chicago and the team that I worked with was fantastic. And I had a really good feeling about this wedding and this wedding will be featured in the Chicago Knot edition magazine this coming season. And when I was shooting it I knew that it was gonna be something good and I liked the team that I was working with. So this is Keyho Designs in Chicago. So what I did is I got designs, I got his flowers, I got the chuppah, more flowers, the bride and groom in front of the chuppah. It was a night time wedding. I got all of his floral details and an overview. Then I went to his website and I just grabbed the JPEG from his website and I cropped it into a square. And I plopped it in here and I went and I got these images. I ordered them from White House Custom Color. Now, if anybody notices my name isn't on this card. My question is to you, why do we feel we must make marketing material for ourselves and expect somebody else to pass it out for us? What if I did the same thing and then right here I put Jasmine Star photography? Good, not as good. When I send Kehoe Designs I've made them a marketing material but guess what? I gave myself photo credit. Right? So what I'm going to do is, these sets come in 20. These are from White House Custom Color. This is a small investment. Correct me but I mean give me a little bit of grace, it's around 25 or $30 for a set of 20. This is fantastic. I ordered this at 20, what am I gonna do for The Knot? I'm going to do the same thing and in Photoshop I just save this template. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna drag and rope this other set of photos from The Knot Dream Wedding and what I'm going to do here is I'm going to change this out to every vendor. I want to work with Farm Girl. I want to send one to Jeanne. I'm gonna send one to the Chateau St, Jean. Why? Why? Why do I want to send one to the Chateau? So they recommend you. So I go back to Chateau. Nappa. Yeah I want to go to Nappa. (audience laughs) You need to pay me so I can go and drink. Yeah, okay. (audience laughs) Yes. So that's what I'm going to do and I might change the design slightly. Maybe raise it up to make the squares a little bit smaller and at the bottom I will say The Knot Dream Wedding because I do think that's a very important marketing component that I'm going to be taking care of them and I will have my photo credit in the back. This right here is a $30 investment. And my stationary is $1.50 a piece. Or like actually it was like a little bit more. JD's like no. I have, we went back and forth. He's like you want to pay how much for stationary? I was like but it's part of the brand. I think my cards were like 4.75 a piece. Yeah, I know. But you know what? I go to Paper Source and I buy expensive cards. I do it's terrible and I love it though when I go through my cards and I hand write, like my birthday, if you have a birthday and I send you a card know that I probably spent an hour trying to find the perfect card for you. That's just me but guess what? I attract that in my clients. I can't tell you how many clients will email me like, I got your note card, I love it. Great. If you like it we're already really well prepared for really great experience. You gave us a card after modeling for you. We were both like oh that's so sweet. Aw. Okay, so Ashley's not on a mic. I still have it. Aw. So, it does work. There you go. I'll pay you later. (audience laughs) So, Ashley didn't have a mic. Ashley modeled for a workshop I had in Orange County, and I'm a firm believer in writing handwritten thank you notes. So I wrote Ashley and her husband Kaia a note saying thank you so much for being here. You've literally helped photographers around the world by coming here and modeling for us. And the fact that Ashley said that when she opened it she said aw, and the fact that she still had it in her possession months later is a testament that it works. Personal touches work. That's the era of marketing. So, one thing I want to do is I want to take a second because where we are now, slideshows. A photographer's commercial. So I'm gonna be prepping to show you what my slideshow looks like online. But one thing I want to make sure is this is one thing I've said. I'm gonna take a second to take it a step back is that we are a photographer but we are first and secondly a curator. We are gonna be sifting through hundreds of images. How then can we put the best foot forward? Now I create a slideshow for my clients. So the way that it works is I will blog the images. I will share on social media. And they get to see other people validating on social media. When I tag my clients from my Facebook page, 'cause I will only tag from my Facebook page. Not from my personal page. My Facebook business page. Not my Facebook personal page. And then when other people are leaving comments like what a great day. How beautiful. Her hair was great. Look at the light and my clients are reading that, they are feeling great and they are feeling validated by their decision to hire me. So once they have all these warm and fuzzies now what I want to do is I want to come in and, no I don't want to punch 'em again. I want to hug 'em again. (audience laughs) It's that one two hug, right? I want to go in and I want to set the expectations of seeing that 20 to 25, 30 images on Facebook and then I wanna come back and I'm gonna show them a slideshow. An average slideshow for me. So I'm blogging and sharing in the morning and I'll send them the slideshow late afternoon. They are, these slideshows are empowering like evangelists to talk more about me. That is all marketing is. Having people talk about you. So I must empower my clients to talk about me. But I can do that by giving them things to pre-qualify my work. What these essentially become are a commercial. This is a Jasmine Star commercial, starring Samantha and Taylor. And when Samantha and Taylor send their slideshow to their friends and family, they are pre-qualifying my as their photographer. When she upstarted her Facebook, she said only nice things about me and then gave a link. So, I'm going to share what that slideshow looks like for me now. (gentle music) (upbeat music) (audience applauding) Alright. (audience applauding) Yeah. So one thing that I want to point out that I had said specifically that we are curators of our work. We are curators, we're curators, we're curators. You must have noticed because you were there with me at the wedding, that the wedding did not unfold this way. And I'm not talking theoretically, I'm actually talking about timeline. Like, really. I had to incorporate, not I had to, I chose to incorporate bridal party photos and bride and groom photos out of order. I could not sell the story of the day, I could not sell the art of the day if we had actually followed what transpired. So if you were with us you know that we didn't do bride and groom photos until after everybody had left. We didn't do the bridal, the group bridal party until after everybody had left. How do I tell that story? There was dancing and then all of a sudden there was just bridal party. It just didn't make sense. So what I need to do is because yes the slideshow is for my clients. A thousand percent it only for them, but ancillary I get to use it as a commercial for my business. So that if somebody inquires and says I'm getting married in Sonoma next year. What I'm going to say is funny, I shot in Sonoma. Let me send you something. So that slideshow will be hey, I can shoot in Sonoma. I have done a Sonoma story but do I want to sell weddings where I shoot bride and groom after in a hot vineyard? No. I have to sell the story that I ultimately want to book. That's gonna be the thing, the types of decisions that I was making. So what I want to do is I'm gonna hop back into my keynote. Now let's talk about what actually transpired as a result. This is an email from Taylor. Hey Jasmine, thanks so much for the kind words. You and JD are seriously the best. I sincerely appreciate everything you've said in this email and your offer to take photos with her mom if her health ever allows. That means the world to us both and I just wanted you to know. My only goal in life that matters to me truly is making Sam happy. So I can only say thank you for helping me do this with your photos, memories and just for being you. I will keep you posted on her moms health and if we think photos are a reality at some point in the near future. And if we think photos are a reality at some point in the near future. Much love back, Taylor. Oh, your slideshow had me bawling by myself in my house. It was absolutely perfect Jasmine. (audience laughs) This is from Samantha. Jasmine I wish you could be been a fly on the wall in the hospital when I showed, oh my God, I'm sorry. Oh man, okay. Okay, hold on. Okay. (exhales) (clears throat) Okay. I'm so sorry, forgive me. Jasmine I wish you could've been a fly on the wall at the hospital when I showed this slideshow to my mom this morning. It was the first truly happy smile I have seen from her in awhile. She was so mesmerized by your photos and fell so in love by the moments you captured. Thank you so much for sending this to me and for all the love you continuously send our way. Sam. Forgive me, I'm so sorry. This email I got yesterday so I feel like, just being close to it is a little difficult. But I, here's the thing. I can choose to see the sad or I can choose to see the good that our, my photos, our collective photos by you guys joining the journey with me, it's offering her mom something. Her mom wasn't there. But she was able to join us on a very important day and for that I'm honored and I take it very seriously. So, why this marketing approach works. The marketing approach works is because, I'm not gonna get into debate about what is more effective. What I do know is that I'm a fan of this type of marketing because it's available to every photographer. Myself and a photographer who's been doing this one year. This is a new generation of marketing. Advertisements are powerful but they are not powerful in the traditional sense. So we see commercials and radio stints and pop up ads on the internet. Those are affective but they're not half as affective as marketing that chooses to be heartfelt. That marketing that chooses to be real and that marketing that chooses to be helpful. The best part of this marketing if you have not noticed by now, is that it is free. I haven't spent a dime. But this marketing takes a lot of work. This marketing takes a lot of time. And this type of marketing takes a lot of dedication. But it pays off in big ways to enhance and outshine your current state of portfolio. I look forward to seeing how you guys employ these type of marketing techniques because I hopefully show that they work and they are very effective. I want to say thank you guys. We have about five, 10 minutes of Q and A if you guys are willing to get into it. So we'll make sure that the mics are passed around for anybody who has it and please forgive me for that cry fest. (clears throat) I had to clear my throat a couple times there. Do we have any mics to go around? Do you have it? Oh great, sorry. Okay, I'm sure you've been asked this before but do you blog every single wedding? Yes. (woman laughs) I do. I'm gonna tell you. I blog every single wedding for two reasons. One, it puts the fire under my butt to perform every single wedding. Even if I feel like I can't. There have been weddings where I show up and I'm like oh my God, still to this day, oh my God what am I gonna shoot? How am I gonna tell the story? Like oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. And it's too easy for me to say, oh this one's not makin' the blog. And then I just go through the motions. What this does is keeps a fire at my back. Get better. Make the not so pretty beautiful. Second reason I do that is because I have had photos of my husband and I taken and this photographer blogs quite frequently, and our photo session did not get blogged. (audience laughs) And I remember thinking, like I had that 14 year old girl moment. Am I not good enough? (audience laughs) Did I have a bad hair day? It must've been my makeup right? (audience laughs) And here's what I think, I did not get a homie hook up. I paid full asking price. I went to this photographer as a paying client. How I was made to feel was that I was second guessing. Far be it from me to ever make my client feel that way. So 1,000% yes and yes. And it's a great marketing opportunity and if you don't see it as such you're not working hard enough. That sounds mean but it's true. I need to make this warm and fuzzy. Are there any, yes? You have the mic, great. How long after you send the clients their gallery are you, this is a two part question. Okay. So how long after you send them the gallery are you doing the blog posts and the social media push and are you sending them the links to the blogs that they can see it right away? Fantastic. I don't send the gallery first. Okay. That's a great clarification. So the way that this chronologically works is that I will prepare the photos for marketing purposes. And then I blog and then I do social media. And I don't actually email my clients and tell them that they're on the blog. Why? Because I'm updating my fan page so maybe organically they would see it like that. But when I get into the second Facebook push and I upload the album I'm tagging my clients and there's a link to my blog post within that. And even if they don't go to the blog post, they're reading the verbiage that I wrote. They're seeing the photos. So they're having a quasi blog experience within Facebook if they so choose. So I do not need to follow up with it. I always assume that my clients will see it because most of my clients are very active on Facebook. So if I were to tag them and then they see that, I will only follow up with them later that afternoon to send them the slideshow. Now what I'm doing is I'm creating baby steps of anticipation. So they see the blog post, they see the images on Facebook and they're feeling excited and people are publicly validating their decision to use me and then I create the slideshow which empowers them to share it with their personal friends on a personal front because they may or may not share my album. Most clients do but some clients don't. If I give them another reason to tap into that network, I absolutely will. That's the slideshow that comes. So then they usually will send back emails like Sam and Taylor. Thank you so much, we're on our honeymoon. My mom was crying. Why didn't you tell me I needed Kleenex? We get these emails right? And so what's their emotions right now? Sky high. They're loving it. They're feeling validated. They're feeling empowered. They feel like they made a good decision. Then I send the gallery. Because can I-- On the same day? No the next day. Oh. 'Cause I can control how they feel about 80 to 100 photos. I may or may not be able to control what they can feel about 800 images. So the baby steps to anticipation is making it really effective marketing. We have one and then two. Question for you. I know that you mentioned this in a past class but for those who maybe didn't see it-- Yes. Who do you, what do you or who do you use for your slideshow and then do you post the slideshow on Facebook or do you just email your clients? First answer to the question is I use S-o-u-n-d s-l-i-d-e-s. I use it and love it because it's a one time fee. So I downloaded it and I upload the slideshows to my server. So I have made hundreds of slideshows and it is paid of in dividens. But I also looked into a lot of different slideshow options and for me this works great. It's very simple. It's not fancy. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but it's fully compatible with mobile devices which is where my clients are usually experiencing them. They're experiencing them abroad on their phones or on their iPads. I want to make sure that they can then share. Now I don't post it on Facebook because there's are a lot of images in there that I think work on a very personal level but maybe not on a business level and if I put it on Facebook and then I shared it it does not give my clients a reason to validate the deeper marketing. It's important for me to use my resources but I want to tap into their circles and a slideshow allows me to do that. Yes we have a question. Mine goes back to sharing to the blog and to Facebook. And have you had the problem where maybe the couple isn't into social media that much and seeing their pictures on your blog or Facebook before seeing them privately or sharing them with their family and friends privately before the world sees them? I think that's a great question. I'm gonna answer it confidently. Like so the first part of the question is have I had clients who aren't on social media? Who don't want to share on social media at all. I'm not gonna answer that question. Okay. Here's why. Well, I'll answer it but not in the way that you think. So, (audience laughs) Okay. (audience laughs) I'm so nice. (audience laughs) Clients find me online. It is the nature of the beast. When they sign my contract, they are agreeing to how I do it. However, you can't play both sides. You cant have a dead Facebook page and then all of a sudden you shoot this like great wedding and then you want to go and plaster it with like 40 photos. Because your clients are expecting your pattern, your routine. We are all animals and instinctual by nature. We love and crave patterns. If I am, which I am, which I do, every week I'm posting new folder of wedding images. Every week I say oh I'm in Sonoma. Three days later here's a sneak peek from me in Sonoma. Here's the blog post from me in Sonoma. Here's the folder of me in Sonoma and then the following, oh here I am in Newport Beach. Here's a sneak peek. Here I am with the folder. Here I am with the push. Here, it's like they know that this is the pattern. So people aren't coming to me and being like why am I, why? So if you're a photographer and you're in the point to where you have not created a pattern, you have to start slowly because you do run the risk if you kind of aren't really active on social media and then after this course you're like I'm going, I'm gonna do it. And then clients are just like well why didn't you get my approval? You can't hold them accountable for the changes that you're making internally. So slowly start ramping it up. But no I have never had a client email me and be like why did you post that picture? Or why this or why that? Not once in 10 years because I think that they understand that my force is that push force. It is. And, if I had said hey look at this great wedding that I shot in Sonoma and I meet it, how do I? Okay I'm just gonna say it for what it is. Sometimes I read photographer updates and it just sounds like so pretentious. I'm so blessed to be shooting in the Bahamas and we stayed at the Ritz Carlton and we went scuba diving right before the groom surprises bride with a 14 karat yellow diamond. It's like wah wah. It just sounds like promotion for you, promotion for you. But my promotions are highlight who the wedding's about. Highlight the marriage, not just the wedding. And I get people feel that. So when people feel loved and feel respected then it empowers them to share versus I shot a wedding in Sonoma, it's here's a love story about two amazing people who got married and that changes the dynamic. On that note I want to say thank you. I look forward to seeing how you guys change your marketing approach and remember, personalization is the strongest form of marketing that you guys can create. Thank you. (audience applauding)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials: Shooting Guides

The Complete Wedding Photographer's Experience Keynote
Gallery Access
Shooting Guide: How to Pose a Curvy Bride
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot a Tall-Short Couple
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot in the Worst Light
Shooting Guide: Shooting with Intention

Bonus Material: Syllabus


Ratings and Reviews


Do not just watch this video. Eat it up, live it and breathe it. I am a recent Jasmine Star convert (a.k.a. evangelist) and a newbie photographer. I was looking for inspiration online and her name had come up before in conversations with another photographer and I am SO GLAD I stumbled upon her blog, her store and her Creative Live classes. I have to say that in the 9 months now that my business has been in operation, she's been with me every step of the way (in internet spirit) and although I've never spoken to or corresponded with her, her online presence has served as a guide for many steps in my business. I am not a high-end photographer or teaching my own classes, like I said I'm brand-spanking new to the industry, but her blog and this class has helped me develop a clear vision and plan for my business, and to me that is half the battle. If you want to feel good about your business, know what you stand for, your style of photography…if you want to know your 2-minute why-hire-me speech in an elevator full of brides or whoever your audience is, listen, really listen to what she has to say. Then DO DO DO what you need to do for yourself a successful business takes a lot of work. But if you love it and it's a passion of yours, then you can make your business what you want it to be. Thank you, Jasmine Star and JD for being an amazing beacon of light to many photographers around the world and for being my wedding day warriors who amp me up on the mornings of my professional shoots! All the best from Ohio, Donna May


Remember when Magicians kept all their secrets to themseves ? Well its as if Jasmine said enough is enough I'm doing a 30 day class on the A to Z of Wedding Photography and I'm not holding anything back baby!! I'm even going to wear a mic and speak my thoughts out loud! Is this really happening? Creative live said its free the first time around? Am I dreaming? Jasmine your giving us a wealth of knowlege and I cannot thank you enough I love and look forward to your teaching everyday Talk about step by step! Jasmine your the Tony Robbins of Wedding Photography, You've inspired me to pick up my camera once again Thank you so much for doing this course for us and explaining everything so clearly and sharing every tip you know with us I feel like i'm shadowing you on the shoots :) Thanks to creative live and JD too An awesome class that I will be buying Highly recommend!

Charlie Ketchen

WOW! So inspiring! This course really shook things up for me! I've never seen a live wedding, meeting, engagement/bridal shoot before and it was so valuable. Edited nicely, easy to follow and so relatable. It's been truly inspiring to watch this over the past few weeks. I purchased the course and I am so glad I did, the course materials saved me making 1,000s of notes, but I still had documents open to make notes because EVERYTHING she says is helpful/moving/game-changing. Don't skip the Q&A's at the end of each session, or the last sessions as she either recalls and compounds what we learned over the 30+ lessons and there is value in all of it! I can't be thankful enough for Jasmine, JD & the CL team for bringing this to us in a shiny, clean format for us to enjoy. For bearing all, for wearing your hearts on your sleeves and pulling back the curtain on how the J* brand operates and came about. So so so so inspiring. BUY IT!!!

Student Work