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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Creating a Successful Wedding Photography Business


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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Client Focused Wedding Business


Marketing for the Wedding Business


Pricing & Sales Strategies


Wedding Client Interaction


Find Your Photographic Style


Gear, Lighting & Camera Settings


Capture the Bride Getting Ready


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Right, I'm here to do another inspiration and education to you guys. I'm gonna share a lot this time, even more than the past. I'm gonna share how I shoot a wedding, how I finish. So basically, what I've prepared is, just recently there was a wedding. It was a, it was wedding of one of my assistants, Danni. So she, obviously she hired me, or she didn't hire me. She's just told me, I should shoot her wedding. (laughs) So, I shot her wedding but I said, "In return I have to film this." I had few problems with the other videographer who was filming but sorted out. I, so I've got the clips of her wedding when I was shooting and then I'm gonna share with you the after, the images. So, a video clip, images, and then I'm gonna talk about what I'm thinking how I go to that stage. But before that, we start with business, because if you don't book wedding, how can you shoot wedding? So it's all connected, you know? So I'm gonna show you how to do the business of wedding, how to book a weddings, ...

how to, which really I'm not that good because I'm a photographer. I, the biggest mistake I do usually is when a beautiful bride comes, books me, I try to give her everything, then I don't have anything left in my pocket. So I become a charity, so, that's why I have two important people in my studio, who run my business for me. So I take pictures, I finish pictures, but this two girls run my business. The first one, who is my wife, Anie, she's amazing, she's been helping me for so many years. She's a marketer, she's quite advanced in what she knows how to do. So she used to run the business. Last year she said, "I want to slow down a little bit and have fun." I said, "alright." So she comes when she feels like coming, so she's the boss. Now, she was the boss, now she's the big boss. (laughs) So she trained Danni, Danni's our new studio manager. You're gonna see her wedding soon. It's Dannis wedding I shot, so Danni is excellent. She's a photographer, I'm teaching her even more my style, because she will be part of my studio. She's specializing in baby-photography. We never done studio work, but when you have a studio, weddings, after weddings, they're gonna have babies. And especially now, you couples are older than younger, so they get married, quickly they have babies. So I've been missing that business because I don't have patience with babies. You know, if babies stay there, don't move baby, don't move! You know? (laughs) So, it's great Danni has taken that over, and she does great shots, but she's a great salesperson, she sells me very well. You know, that's what we need. Photographers we need, salesperson. Without a salesperson we don't have a career. You see, I love photography so much, I really don't care about the money. But the money is handy because if I am gonna buy expensive cameras, have fun, me and my work and live with it, we need to make money. So business is as important as the work. Some people say, "Oh, I'm not, I'm a purist, I do it because I love it." Okay, if you love it, do it for nothing, don't discount. Do it for nothing, be good there, and don't discount. No, I'm sure money will come from somewhere. But for me, it's a living. I have stuff to support, I have my families to support, so it's a living. So we need to make money and there's nothing wrong with that guys. We, we photographers feel guilty to take money. I do, I'm sure all of you do. When you see this little, cute little baby, "how can I take money from the mother of this child?" You know? That's the reality so, we really need, we really need to make money so we can enjoy our career. Photography is one of the best careers, if we keep it alive, because in that last few years it's been here and there, you know. Everyone blames "Oh all those new photographers," no it's not the blame of new photographer, there's always a new photographer out there. It's about having good business, you know? What I'm seeing here, as many as more woman then man. This is a great change, because where were you girls when I started this career, one or two ladies in the room. That was it, and look my fingers, there's no bruises, nothing on it, it's a beautiful career. And now you girls come in, so the industry has become bigger, but the demand for photos are bigger also, thanks to Instagrams and things like that. So don't blame anything else, it's us who make our business happen. So my business has always been, I've been in the business for 30 years, it's a long career, but I enjoy it every time, you know? When I started this presentation, I was nervous, I do the same before wedding. Friday night I have nightmares, either I'm not wearing trousers, or I'm with the pajama when I arrive in the bride. And the other nightmare is I've forgot to buy film, and guess what? I don't shoot film. (laughs) I used to shoot film, but I still have nightmares that I arrived at the bride and there was no film in my camera. And then I say, "Yervant, wake up, it's not film anymore, "it's digital," (laughs) you know? So, what that means is I'm very passionate, I love what to do. Many years ago for me was, at one stage we used to bring Harley Davidsons, hire Harley Davidsons at wedding, put a bride on it and take pictures, so it's something different. Then I realized, "what a bride has to do with Harley Davidson, "unless she has one?" You know, nothing to do with that beautiful bride, white dress, and we put her on Harley Davidson. And they used to go crazy, it was something new. Then we used to, then I realized that it's not about the background, it's not about gadgets, it's not about anything. We are looking past our subject, our subject is the couple. Our subject is the bride and groom, or it doesn't matter, girl, girl, boy, boy, it doesn't matter. They are my subject. So I concentrate on the subject. I concentrate on the subject, background is me too. I can go the same place 10 million times, and I still will achieve something different. Because my subject is different, it's not the background. So, I always have fun with my couples, enjoy, I'm really, you see when I move forward, they told me, don't move forward because you're not gonna be in the camera. I love to be close to my subject. I love to be interacting with them, I don't use long lenses, if I take long lenses, I'm gonna be out to "Hey bride, look at me, don't move!" No, I want to be there, I want to have fun with them. So, once I grab my camera, I'm a hero. So that's why I said, "please can I have my camera next to me?" Because I need to hide behind it sometimes. So I took photography at a young age, my father was photographer, I hated school, after school I didn't never do homework, I went to my fathers studio and printed, printed in the dark, always in the darkroom. When my family moved from Ethiopia to Australia, and still, I made a darkroom in my moms laundry, and all the laundries were damaged because the chemicals, but I don't care, I loved it. So photography is a passion, I live photography and one day, it was about five years ago, one of my friends said, "Yervant, have a hobby, do something." I said, "Yeah, you're right I should have a hobby." So I created a new hobby, I start to collecting cameras. (laughs) So I have now 'bout 600 film cameras, and they are every day I pick up, my little boy loves it also, we pick up, we'll look at it and say, "What a creature, what a beautiful thing here," you know? I love this pet. So, (laughs) so I've created myself a hobby, and you know, at the end of the day what I'm saying is, it's not about the camera, it's the passion. I like to watch pictures, I like to work period pictures, you know. I don't, yes I have an office in my house, just dedicated for photography. I have me sitting in a nice surrounding with my laptop, with my music, with my TV there, and this is my environment. I can have the TV on, but I never watch it. But I watch pictures and keep on watching and keep on working on pictures, because this is what I love to do. So it's very important for me to print also. If I don't print, my business is not photography business. We become digital photographer or whatever. So printing is the second part of my business. Capture and print. So, today I'm gonna talk the business, the capture, and most probably, that's where we'll stop. In the evening, we'll have a real model, so I will demonstrate, so I will show you. So basically, it's like a real wedding. We are today at the wedding, we're gonna shoot, just few hours of presentation of pricing. I'm gonna show, share everything, so I want interaction with you guys. We might get some information, interaction with the guests or whoever is watching. But, I'm happy to answer anything you want. Don't ask me, "A, how much I charge for it by them," because who cares? I don't know what I charge it by them honestly. Sometime when the bride comes and they try to get price out me, they know that I'm gonna give them a lot of discounts so I say, "no sorry, I don't know not no price, "the girls will talk to you." So that's the reality. And so, basically this is what it is, there's gonna be tomorrow, Lightroom, Photoshop, and I'm gonna show you so simple techniques to reach there because I have a business. I myself shoot over 50 weddings a year. So I'm a busy photographer, so I love to finish my work. If I give my work to someone else, it's not me. Yes, the initial softening or retouching is done by my stuff but I finish the pictures, because I know where it's gonna go in an album. I know how to tell the story, it's my story. Because when you are a photographer, a bride likes your story, that's why she hires you. My story is my pictures. She hires me because of my story. If she doesn't hire me because of my story, then something's wrong. If she's gonna hire me because I'm cheap, that's wrong. So, she hires me because of my story. She loves the way I tell the story. So I see the wedding with my eyes and I capture what I see. I guarantee you if you are, you have 10 of us next to each other, we're all gonna see different. We're all gonna see different angles, different things, so, so that's what's special about photography. We can all take, I shoot weddings for the last 35 years, and not one wedding is the same. If you look it in a different way. So it's very important that we capture the way we see it. Don't be scared, don't be scared. Yes, there are traditional moments, like bride standing in front of the camera, looking at the camera and don't move, you know, with the dress. That's a good picture for the parents. Yeah then there's more relax looking at the camera, yeah that's great, but what I want to capture is the expression, the fun of the bride and groom.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Yervant's Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Yervant's Photoshop Actions

Ratings and Reviews

Claudia Montero-Kubli

I love it!!!!!! I am so inspired, I learned a lot! thank you Yervant for sharing your Talent with us this two amazing days! Thank you to all the CREATIVE LIVE staff you are awesome!!!! best time! I want to come again!

a Creativelive Student

I am SO grateful to CreativeLive as well as Yervant for taking the time to put on this class. So many times while sitting in this class I thought to myself "what have I been thinking?!" I have so much to learn! I loved hearing about Yervant's process for creating images, but what inspired me even more was his advice on how to view, and treat yourself as a professional. I completely agree when he said photographers are creative but we are "terrible business people." But I aim to change this in my business from this point forward, thanks to this class! Yervant's advice on how to value, protect, and sell your art is priceless. I have always valued printing and creating products clients can hold, but I don't think I understood the real emotional value in it until this class. When he pulls those images we just watched him create for the last two days, off of that printer, and they are there before our eyes, I had an emotional reaction to it. I want my clients to experience the same, so I must value it and create opportunities to educate my clients. Thanks for the kick in the pants that we all needed Yervant! And I hope this will not be the last time I get to experience your education in my life. I said this many times to other students during the class, but I will say it again here, I want to carry a mini Yervant with me every where I go! Thank you Creative Live and thank you Yervant!

a Creativelive Student

Yervant’s ardent love for wedding photography and capturing his brides in their best light is unquestionable. His love for this photography community and his regard for our respect in the world hierarchy is without reservation. Yervant’s willingness to share his knowledge and skill for all these things to come together is beyond generous. These are some of the things that help Yervant to effortlessly stand out as a photography master and this is exactly what this class is about… plain and simple.

Student Work