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The Wedding Day Timeline

Lesson 25 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

The Wedding Day Timeline

Lesson 25 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

25. The Wedding Day Timeline


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

The Wedding Day Timeline

I don't personally think this is an overly complicated topic, but it's, so funny that when I deal with photographers everywhere all around the world, this is a subject that everybody gets tripped up on, like, how do you tell the bride what to do? And and, uh, when do you tell her what to do and what you do with planners? And what do you do here? And what do you do there? And so I'm a really big believer in controlling our own destiny in the timeline discussion is part of controlling the debt, your own destiny. I've never walked into a wedding day well, don't say never in the last eight years, I've not walked into a wedding day and been anywhere stumped or confused on what's about to happen next, so we're working that timeline from the very beginning. In fact, most of the times were working the timeline before we ever even book the client that's how early in the booking process, we're having that conversation so here's, what I want to cover, I want to cover about first, controlling your...

own destiny, understanding when the conversation should happen, how we walk them through it, what do we do when we have video in photography? Timeline, changes, dealing with objections? What do you do when brides tell you, like, no not yet. No can change it. I'm not going. I don't want to see him before the wedding. I don't want to do a first. Look. No. We want to go to cocktail hour. No, I don't want to give you more than ten minutes for creatives. What do you do with all that? How do you handle all that? What do you do upon arrival at the event? Right. So once you get to the event, I find that the timeline kinda goes out the window once get to the reception least my experience has been that, uh and then what? What to do when things go wrong things, they're going to go wrong from time to time on that time line, no matter what the best laid plans things, we're going to go completely sideways on you. So what do you do then? So let's kind of it's kind of dig into it first, you have to control your own destiny. I never want to come back from a wedding and have a conversation with my bride and and say to her, I didn't have time. Your deejay, your planner and the host of other things your makeup artist, your hair stylist, I don't want to blame her because you know what she's going to say, well, I didn't know why didn't you say something that's what she's going to say she's going to push that back on you and as she should she should put that back on you because you are the expert you should be the trusted advisor and so brides don't understand how to prepare a timeline you understand in the mind of a bride she shows up she gets in her dress gets a little makeup on they get married they party that's her day that's really what she thinks happened you don't have to drive anywhere there's no such thing as traffic makeup artists are never laid right these things never happen in her mind she doesn't know how to plan the wedding day that's us that's our job we're the experts I've worked wedding I don't know how many hundreds of weddings I've worked at this point in my career but I've rarely seen one go perfectly according to plan when that bride sits down with you she's expecting you to culture through that process you're the expert and today bride the planner doesn't care about you the planet could care less about you I can't this why can't stand planners I've there's only a handful of planets that I've worked with that I've had a good experience with er it's just really unbelievable so I'll share the story with you I've shared it before it's just it's just unbelievable to me we had a bride she hired me full video, full photography. Lots of money into our studio. The planner? Uh way have she tells me I'm gonna have two hours for creatives planner calls me a week before the wedding. Now she calls taylor. She says she says the tower she goes out there's been some time on changes. I'm gonna send you an email since taylor the email, we get the timeline terrors like, uh, you're gonna have you looked at that e mail? I'm like no she's like you're gonna freak out. She was they've cut your time down to fifteen minutes. Like what? So I look at the email. I mean, it's gotta be a mistake. So I called this planner, we get into a heated conversation and she's like, well, this is the way it's gonna be is what she says to me. I go hey, lady, with all due respect, I don't know you from a hole in the wall. At the end of the day, you didn't hire me. You're not paying my bill. I had a conversation with my bride and until I hear from my bride, I'm operating on the same timeline that she and I discussed, and when we contract it, she she got all huffy, I said some other things, not very nice. She hung up on me as it was to be expected, I think called my bride immediately and let my bride know what was going on I said I'm not deviating from our plan until I hear from you I said here's what your plan is trying to dio she called me up she was at work she called me up from where she goes, I didn't approve this timeline she was that's my mother she's my mother in the planner decided they want to change the timeline she goes, I'm gonna have a conversation with them. You and I are sticking to the plan that we agreed to do you understand how important that was that I was willing to push back on that and not just go ok, whatever the planner says, I guess that's what the bride wands, but because I had had that conversation with my bride at the time of contract, I knew that wasn't in the spirit of what she wanted. And so for me, what if I just showed up on the wedding day and said, hey, this is this is the time line my bride would have been looking at me going, why didn't you say something? You and I had a conversation, then I would have had to say to her, well, your planner said, I don't ever want to have that conversation nobody cares about the day more than you were the only one who's there the entire day right? The floor shows up drops off their flowers they're done the caterer they're not there till the end of the night they cook their food they drop it there done the deejay ended the night done we're the ones who are not only they're from a year earlier six months earlier were there the day of the event and now we're dealing with our client's six months or a year after their wedding whether they're doing their wedding albums or anything like that we've got to take control of our own destiny does the convo go? The combo is actually a really easy conversation to have we have this conversation with them right when they're sitting there at the time of consultation so as we're sitting there having a conversation with him and we're saying things like tell me a little bit about your day where's the ceremony ceremonies that savior church great uh what time is the ceremony? Well ceremonies at two o'clock that's the time slot we got and great what time's the reception receptions at five o'clock I already know when she says that okay cocktail hour starts at five o'clock I already know I've got about a two hour window for creatives in there I don't have to really say much else I know because of the way the timelines well, great. Where's your ceremony. Well, our ceremony, we got this hillside that we're renting out the the ceremony is going to be about five o'clock. We're going to sunset botanical gardens in st louis is a place they go. We're going to a sun set in the japanese garden. It's gonna be about five, five. Thirty and then we're going right to cocktail hour right from there in the botanical gardens. Well, great. What are we taking pictures? And you could see, like there's just the wheels start turning in their head. They hadn't thought about that. All right, well, guys, typically are you open to a first look what's that I get asked out all the time, what's the first look, this is where you're going to see each other before that? No, no, no, we're not seeing each other before. We don't want to do anything like that. My answer totally understand. So as we're putting your timeline together, you just gotta let me know when, um, I actually taking pictures so you see this stuff, you're you're sitting in my room, you're looking at wedding albums, you're looking at pictures. I need about an hour and a half to two hours to do this. You just got to tell me when you want to be able to go do this, and if you're okay not getting this, I'm okay not getting it. Then I just shut up because at that point they have a decision to make. Do you really want to spend five, six, seven, ten thousand dollars on a photographer and not get the pictures that brought you in the door in the first place? Nine and a half out of ten times? No way they'll adjust their timeline. If you have the conversation the way I'm telling you to have it, if you don't have the conversation away, I'm telling you to have it and you just go, okay? I just want to book the business, so I'm gonna tell them whatever they want to hear. I'm gonna book the wedding and then we bitch about it nonstop until until the wedding day and then when they don't have the pictures that they hired me for their upset. I'm just gonna blame them, that's one alternative. My option is to say something right then and there and let them know I'm not going to be able to get the pictures you're hiring before. If you don't give me the time I need, I am willing to say that, and if I lose the business, so be it, they have to make the decision to say, no, we're totally fine if we don't get those pictures, we don't care. I have that client say that to me what I'll say, right? I'm ready for that objection hey, no problem, something else you may want to consider the bride of session. The bridal session is something we do after the wedding. And so if you got a really tight timeline and there's no way around it, you can't see each other beforehand or whatever the case may be that's totally fine. Would you be interested in doing a day after a session where we can go off and do some of these more creatives? Right? So now I'm offering alternatives. I'm not just saying no, I'm not just being difficult, I'm giving them alternatives. You with it again establishes you is the expert, and I think I just think overall, we have to do that. We have to be the expert at that point. And so what is the timeline? What is this thing is just when the ceremony is the reception is from my perspective in perspective, the timeline is everything that's happening that day. Right? Not the planners timeline have you ever looked at a planet's timeline? It's like eleven fifteen bride will go to the bathroom eleven seventeen dad will arrive right? I don't want that kind of time line that's way too much information instead. To me, a timeline is kind of like milestone events what's happening when it's happening that becomes the most important part. We have four different timelines we're going to review to of them together. Uh one is for traditional wedding right ceremony go off and do creatives reception just kind of your traditional wedding the next one is the first look, so if they opt to do a first looks each other before the ceremony, there's another timeline for that wedding video traditional rights or ceremony go off a new creative reception, but now they add video to the mix once who had video to the mix timeline does change things take a lot longer you gotta move gear around, you've got to move to different you gotta drive just all these things start coming in and it's not it's fast pace is just shooting the photography and then of course, wedding video first looked and again, I cannot stress enough the importance of understanding that this conversation is happening during the initial consultation now we're not going into this level of detail with him where I'm like, okay two o'clock and then to fifteen we're driving from here to there, it's very, very high level at this point because they haven't booked me, but I do want to be in their head because a lot of times, if you're my clients are booking me about a year out at a year out, you still have an opportunity to get them to move things around, write a year out, they could move cocktail hour, back back a half hour back in our year out. Maybe they didn't have wiggle room with the church, but they can definitely alter the flow of event once you start getting inside six months, three months before the wedding there's no wiggle room, nothing can be moved and so that's, why I want to have that conversation as far out as possible many, many times when the clients come in and meet with us a year out, and I asked him what's their timeline, they have no idea at that point they'll be the first to tell me they're like, you know what we haven't met met with all the people, yet we don't have our timeline figured out, they'll say, what do you think? Great, I pull out a piece of paper, and I just start writing things down, and I actually let them keep that piece of paper. So I'll say, well what? What time do you have the church booked yet usually they have one or two things book before they get to me. Do you have the church book yet? Yes, that's the only thing we have booked. Great! What time's this ceremony ceremony's at two o'clock ceremonies at three o'clock ceremonies at noon whatever time it is so I write down ceremony where is it? St st saviour. Ok, great. So we're in the kind of the middle of st louis. Where you getting ready? That's. The one that throws everybody for a loop. Where you getting ready? You've got to start controlling this part part of the day. Uh, well, we were thinking about, you know, we don't know here's what I recommend. You should probably get ready at a hotel. Last thing you wanna do is be in your house, it's going to get really small really fast. You have all the people, their food all around. You gotta worry about clean up your house just to a hotel. It's much easier, obviously very selfish in my motivations by telling them to get ready in the hotel but makes everyone's life easier, including there's after the fact they'll thank me before the fact they don't quite understand it. Because now if she's getting ready at the hotel and the groom's getting ready at the hotel I don't have to travel thirty minutes cross town to get from one location to another something else they don't really think about when planning their timeline, so I say them okay, if you're getting ready here um what we typically do is start shooting three hours before so now again we're doing the math that's two o'clock ceremony I'm probably going to show up in about eleven a m to start photographing you and the girls will spend about an hour with you then I'll peel off, go to the guys I'll spend about a half hour forty five minutes with the guys then we're going to head off to the church right? You don't run your timeline literally to the point she's walking down the aisle you have to give her time to get to the church t get ready to go into the ready room to touch up her makeup, to fix her dress just to breathe for a second and and for us we need to get to the church early to shoot church details something else the average bride doesn't think about these are not things they're thinking about is your travel time? This is why you are now the expert, so just having that small part of the discussion I'm already planting seeds as they look don't worry about it. Uh, this is good, high level start just to give you a sense of where we're at go meet with the reception hall or whatever your next steps are, and then what we'll do is, uh, just before your engagement session, or we can jump on a phone call with you and we'll walk you through our timeline now what we'll do if they book remember, at this point they haven't booked us. I'm just establishing myself as an expert at this point. Next, what will do is if they book us, we'll send them this timeline sheet and this is the part I want to walk you guys through. And so this is ahh it's a spreadsheet for them and I want you to see some take note of some things here. It's a traditional worksheet. This is stuff we sell in our store. If you want to go to the behind the shutter store, pick it up. Pdf. You can customize it. You can you can drop your logo waited as you should. You should be sending the timeline with my logo. We send this to him. They then printed out or we walk through it with him on on a phone call now, as we walk through this notice, you're seeing guys girls prep we don't know what's first we'll price circle it right sometimes the guys are getting ready for sometimes the girls are getting ready first, so we'll circle guys see what it says there. Thirty minutes to an hour. We're letting know what to expect. How much toe leave there, where the location this becomes the work she force on the wedding day. So I've got a picture of this on my phone. I then change the background of my phone. Right? The lock screen to this timeline so that every throughout the day mean elissa like okay, what's next, keep me on track. So something we didn't talk about is my second shooter is also keeping me on track for my timeline. So she'll call the time should be like you got fifteen minutes left. Right? Well, should you say fifteen? I know what she's talking about. This is important to keep us moving in the right, right direction. And so verse. Having a piece of paper that where is it? It's in the bag. It's all crumpled up. Uh, it starts looking on professional. I just pulled my phone. Poppet. I see what it is. I got it. So take a picture, make it your lock screen on your on your phone. Okay guys we're gonna be first lot of times they only get thirty minutes with the guys if there's an address one two three main street written right there so I don't have to look up I don't want to see groom's house that does me no good now it's the groom's house now I got to go into my contacts I gotta hope it's there I gotta hope it's updated I gotta plug it in my gps just write down where it isthe one two three main street okay this is brilliant right here travel I don't know what it is our brides things we think we're just like part of time travel group as photographers they have no idea that it takes time to get from location location but even better they have no idea that from the time I lived their hotel room I have to actually go downstairs, get my car out of parking load up my equipment into the car go to the next location they have no idea they just think magically we're driving right oh you left my room and now you're driving no anytime that is listed here in the travel to the next location then we're going to go to the girls we like about an hour with the girls I needed shooting the girls in thirty minutes is really really tough I mean it's really tough and so you're dealing with things like uh jewelry dress getting up to a certain floor in the hotel room, all sorts of things that start taking a lot of time. And so we need about an hour with the girls travel to the ceremony notice taylor has here allow extra fifteen minutes to transport gear. This is so important because they're gonna go oh, I don't know about you guys. If you ever had a conversation with a bridegroom or a couple and you ask him how long it is get to a place the guy will say one thing the girl will say another, they're never the same time, right? If if I asked taylor how long's it take to get downtown st louis she's going to give us one time if you ask me how long it takes to get downtown st louis, I'm gonna give another time and so they don't normally allow for you that ten minutes for you to allow extra gear, get beer in your car comes in handy. What about traffic? These kind of things we have to think about, I don't want to run late, I don't want to scramble the whole day ceremony, okay, this is also important, but also notice receiving line if they decide to do a receiving line and exit by row, god allow an extra thirty minutes this is really popular in the midwest. And we've been talking bride after bride out of doing it because we're showing them that that eats up another thirty minutes once again we're the experts were showing them I don't have to argue with them so we would have brides and go yeah, we're going to exit by road how many? How many gets you having at the wedding? Well, there's probably about one hundred fifty people at the church okay, well, you're gonna lose about thirty minutes or more as you do in exit by road here's your other alternative at the reception go table by table so instead of taking pictures of drunk dancing and you're just doing whatever you're doing go do it at the reception and let's get off to your creatives this allows us to do that family pictures. Okay, well, how about thirty minutes? Four family pictures then traveled to creative allow an extra fifteen minutes to transport here and we're gonna talk about what kind of family pictures I take, what I what I think needs to be had from the average wedding, right? So you don't want me sitting there for forty five minutes taking family pictures I saw the most crazy thing I was shooting a wedding in chicago and thiss church he was like a croatian church in chicago and there's a wedding before us and we were there waiting the wedding was over and they were doing family pictures the photographer is doing family pictures at the altar and it was the most disorganized process I've ever seen in my life they spent forty five plus minutes taking family pictures and of that forty five plus minutes I want to say maybe ten minutes was actually take pictures because the photographers were just standing there waiting from family members to come in to get their picture taken so we do not run the day like that at all were very much let's go go go let's get the people here that we need we'll talk more about that traveled to creative's again we got allowed fifteen minutes to get in a car get it all loaded up creatives we say right there minimum hour and a half the bride has this time she she's the one working on it with or without us to fill it out so she's now got a red flag if she doesn't want to give us that time we're now covering our ass and we're putting in here to say here's what we need to travel to the reception the bottom part of the sheet cocktail hour announcement's cake cut toasts dinner slideshow dances slide shows another one they don't realize they need to allow time for the sideshow dances bouquet garter coverage ends so now they have this entire worksheet we're all in agreement it's either been photocopied or email to each other everybody is incomplete sync on what's going on with this timeline this is so important to the success of your business and ensuring you get what you need questions it's making sense easy you gotta have the conversation let's look at thea let's look at the traditional with video so something's changed here now guys girl prep one hour minimum can to can't two guys in thirty minutes have tohave an hour reason I have to have an hour he's doing I'm doing video we're recording audio usually they're writing notes to each other okay so if you're looking at breaking into video this is a time on you're gonna want to pay attention to you've got to give you've got allow time for that notes and I'm not just shooting the groom putting his cufflinks on in this tie on maybe he's going to write a note to her maybe that's going to service the story line any time for that any time to set up my audio equipment all that stuff takes time travel to the next location that simple girls minimum of an hour when I'm doing video try to get an hour and a half with the girls that's really really important it already takes me damn near forty five minutes when I'm when I'm photographing the girl's dress and details all that stuff I now need at least thirty more minutes to add the notes uh video and all that other stuff that goes into it this is really, really important when we're doing video. We need to get to the ceremony in our early that's it there's no scenario I can roll in with all this video equipment set up bride, groom cameras, get the groom miked up at the church, get all the details in the church and roll up fifteen minutes before the wedding's about to start. I can't do it. I need about an hour. I need to be there an hour early to get all my equipment in the church to do it. So this is important. We've learned this the hard way. Anybody doing video right now, rob? You're doing video. Are you not just added it? You just added it. So have you shot any? Uh yeah. Okay. Is this resonating with you or if it's er yeah, when you first our video it zaroff, it's rewarding. I love video for the most part, but yeah, it's it's not easy. Uh, same thing for receiving line family pictures, right? We're not really filming video on family pictures. That's not we're doing. The video team is breaking down during the time of family pictures. That's why there's, no additional time allowed their travel too creative creatives an hour and a half nothing's really changed their travel to reception okay, we need to arrive an hour before the guests are seated. This is also really, really important if we don't arrive before the guests are seated, we don't get the room if we don't arrive before the guests receded, we lose all those details that of people of setting up my bride's typically want, especially for their video. They want footage off the room being set up of glasses, being put down of champagne being poured right? We call b roll, we need that b roll and if we don't get there before the guests there's no scenario, we're getting that b roll. This might it's very difficult, but when we have had to split up the team, this will be a point where we split up the team from a creative perspective. There's not a whole lot of creative footage that makes its way into it. Sounds wrong, right? That makes its way into the final video by creatives I mean there's, not that footage where, you know the bride and groom are standing there in the middle of street and that kind of stuff, right there's, maybe five minutes of that I need to capture on video and then I need to go, and so the video team will break off and go here and start getting more of the creatives style b roll travel to the reception cocktail announcement everything else starts falling in line everything else is the same att this point so nothing nothing magical here now any questions about timeline way good we feel comfortable yeah jonathan do you have the brides and sign you out at the end of the day or you there throughout the whole evening now there for the whole evening right I showed you in our pricing up to eight hours up to ten hours in our coverage they don't sign us out at all at the end of that eight hours when they say when you say that you're done do they say I want to stay for another hour or two hours or whatever sometimes that'll happen sometimes but it really should rarely happen because of this timeline so what you're what you're referring to used to happen to me early on in my career we'd be going to give our bridegroom a hog and be like you're leaving already oh my god no no no we're doing this dance at the end we want you to stay for it that used to happen to me early on in my career that's when this was born this was born out of necessity now this all is being put together by her she's part of this work she she sees that coverage ends at nine o'clock eight o'clock now if coverage ends I've had this happen where they only have eight hours coverage we start shooting at ten am okay, well guess what if you want any of your reception covered you're gonna have to add extra time I don't have to really have that conversation with them they're seeing so this happens to me a lot it'll be a noon ceremony it's the only time they could get the church well, I start shooting two to three hours earlier okay so now we're starting to shoot at nine or ten a m well, I start shooting at nine or ten a m and you're only getting eight hours of coverage I'm done it like five pm six pm ish even if you're in my black label I'm only going to let's call it seven p m all right well I'm done it's mpm you're seeing that right here that I'm done before you've even put a play to dinner down taylor's now having that conversation right guys, we're gonna have to add a few more hours of time you have anything else going on? Remember we're the experts were asking all the questions you have any special dances? Do you have any eggs? It lot of times kinda come back we're having a sparkler exit can you can you be here and film the sparkler exit? Uh no, I'm not well yes if you want to pay for me say another four hours just to get the sparkler exit totally khun do that and I'll tell the bride that one day it was like it was like a pm we were done and we were done I didn't miss any footage right we got the first dances she she was on a very fast paced timeline we had all the first dance is all this stuff and she's like we're having a carriage come get us at midnight cinderella carriage is going to come give us a minute I mean I didn't even know about it I'm like that's four hours from now she's like well can't you photograph it like no that's four hours what am I doing for four hours she's like well can't you come back no I'm not coming back like you know what's wrong with you know like if you want to pay for four hours I said I just I don't think it's worth it I said if you want it I mean you could do it I said it's just a lot of money to keep my whole team here for four hours to get this carriage at that point I'm letting her decide what's important if it's important to her that's fine but the reality is you know you're not gonna want to pay me to stay there for one shot because that's ultimately what it's gonna be right so but there should be no surprise if you're having this conversation early on that scenario should not come up when the bride and groom fill out that timeline are you filling it out with them with the meeting yeah, not necessarily at the meeting because that initial meeting it's just high level fifty thousand foot view right? So what's your day look like many times a year out they still don't know but all I'm looking to do at that point a year out his plant seeds did you think about this? Did you think about this? Did you think about this and they're going to know I did ok I'm the expert you trust me I'm not the expert cause I'm saying I'm the expert on the expert because I'm establishing myself as an expert now I'm asking them those those questions and they're taking notes I say look just getting interest to this once you lock in with us wolf will help you with your entire timeline now this worksheet up that I'm showing you this were actually filling out in conjunction with them so we're doing it either on the phone back and forth and email but ultimately when this is final they have it and so they have it for their records now when that last nine o'clock comes I go up to him go hey guys we're done got everything we need everything's good you need anything from me that's what I say don't you need anything else from me? Is there any shot you feel I miss it's a fifty fifty, fifty percent of the time they're like no, have we had a great time. We'll see you soon. Can we see our pictures? Another fifty percent of the time they're like. Oh, I forgot. I want to get a shot of me and all my sorority sisters great let's get him altogether right. I'm not going to like it's nine o five. We're done deuces, right? That's not good service. That's what we're gonna do? Yeah, what a question. What do you do in a situation where you have such a large space between family images in your creators and things of that nature with video it's air dismissing immediately to a reception area? Um, are you splitting the video team? We're splitting up. I mean, what are you doing? I mean, are you just taking what you get? And you're getting the room with people in it or no, your your questions actually a really good one. It happens from time to time, not too often, but it does what we do in that situation because my team's all been trained the same way. Uh, taylor and lauren will go with the bride and groom or I'm sorry taylor and myself will go with the bridegroom to do the creatives make sure you get the video I want and then elissa and lauren will go to the reception. Okay, but we know this ahead of time it's not a surprise that's why we have two cars normally we're all in one car so if we know this is gonna happen were in two cars I mean taylor go get all the video that we need uh, lauren and elissa go back to the reception to make sure we're getting all that b roll that's the way to do it but you gotta have a team you can trust to splinter off and go do that. All right, so we arrive at the event as far as I'm concerned once I get to the event, I released the time line to the d j or band I am not controlling when the cake cuts happening when the first dances are I want nothing to do with it at this point I've been working for seven hours straight I've been hustling I've been making people move, move, move! Staying to the timeline. Now we get to the reception all the d j or band it's his day a tte that point now I do coordinate with him if you don't coordinate with him there's going to be massive confusion between the two of you because I can guarantee one thing the timeline you had the conversation with with your bridegroom as faras when kate cut is going to be when first dancers they're going to be is going to be completely different than what the deejay has on his schedule and that's fine doesn't matter to me at that point, all I'm doing is I go in a documentary style mode at that point I'm no longer really directing when you're dancing I'm not telling you how to dance when you're doing your bouquet garter I'm not telling you how do you break a garda right? Okay cut just do your thing sync with them immediately nothing else matters umm and then let them know when you're leaving that's actually really, really important deejays kind of get carried away all right? They just want to play music they want everybody dancing the deejay judges whose success by how many people are on the dance floor that's the way they're wired okay, I could care less how many people are on the dance floor? It doesn't matter to me but for him if he's got a dead dance for he's not doing his job as a deejay, so that kind of gets in the way of what we're trying to accomplish he doesn't want to do a book a garter toss too soon because that interferes with people being on the dance floor in dancing cause you gotta clear that dance for to make that happen so first thing we're doing is we walk in okay? Dude what's your timeline look like and he'll say, you know here's, what I got, we go through view and I'm having my list with me, right? Right on my phone, we're going through the same list, maybe we're in sync. Maybe we're not seeing now say don't just f y I I'm out of here at nine o'clock, so if we're running late from the rest of the day it's very important I get that deejay on board with me can you get me out of here at nine o'clock? If you go too much later, I gotta charge him that's what I tell him because you tell them which I wouldn't do by the way, but I tell him that this way he knows he's gotta get he's gotta make it happen. Excuse me if you don't tell the d j if you don't tell the deejay that, uh it'll end up happening, is he's going to run his own timeline and will take forever? And you're sitting there doing nothing watching people dance so it's very important to get in sync with him on that also asked for a professional courtesy really, really important that when you're dealing with the deejay a lot of times, a lot of venues don't have you in the room right if they're going to feed you dinner, it's usually in another room, you're not sitting there with the guests it's hitting miss sometimes they tell you, just pick an empty spot on the table. I hate doing that do not sit down with guess I just think it's super attacking your, like hired help and you're sitting down at the table with guests. I don't care how much your clients love you. I have clients that love us to death, and they want us to have dinner in a place setting, and I love that, and I always appreciate that they're doing it for me, but the reality is, I don't want to sit next down next to your aunt and I'm working and then I can't you know what I mean, it's just like it's the wrong thing, I don't want to do that, so you're more than likely to find me sitting on the corner and sitting in the corner in the back of the room. That's that's just where I'd rather be on do that, but if I have to leave the room, I tell the d j hey, dude, nothing can happen in this room if I'm not here, I'm look I mean, I'm looking at him dead in the eye. Because I've seen djs where they're like yeah no problem go do what you want to do and then I'm in another room and I can hear and now for the first time it's like what are you doing keep me in the loop give me professional courtesy so make sure you ask for that because the djs will go off the deep end and just start knowing things how do you deal with objections so they just refused to give you time we've talked a little bit about that right no we want to do our cocktail hour we don't want to do a first look what do you do when that objection comes up you have to let them know what the ramifications are for not giving you the time you need you cannot just say okay no problem also don't get huffy about it right don't get all like well I can't do my job like no just be a professional let them know say hey no problem I totally understand you want to be at your cocktail hour you paid a lot of money for it I told you understand that you don't want to do first look you'd rather see in the church for the first time I just need a cz long as you're okay that we're not going to get the shots the shots that you're looking for I'm okay my job is just to let you know what's gonna happen we don't do it and if she gets upset or your bridegroom get upset guys, I'm not looking to be confrontational with you. Just it's a mathematics problem at this point tell me where the time is to do what you're looking for us to do and usually that's the first time they have a chance to process there really is no time it's not it doesn't exist planners who just refused to listen or change things. I told you what I did, I'm gonna confront that planner and ultimately gonna go back to my bride. That's the thing you should be doing go back to the bride, go back to the person who's paying you the planner is not paying you. So who cares what the planner has to say? This isn't my client, the planners, not my client. What if you just have ah, um, apathetic bride, right? She just doesn't care. That happens from time to time. Okay, you just got to kind of go with the flow. You got to make sure you produce what youre looking teo produce. What about if you've got a mother of the bride driving the day, right, mom it's not like mob style running the day its mother of the bride if you got a mlb driving the day for you, have you ever had that I got some pushing moms who want to drive the day and by the way they're driving the day in a way that is completely out of sync with what their daughter wants how do you navigate that situation so I'll tell you what I do uh when when these things were happening and I'm dealing with the mother of the bride I'm trying to make sure that I'm making this happy as I can write if she starts asking me for things though that are compromising what I've agreed to with the bride that's when I go mom, no worries just this is not what your daughter and asked me to do and so I've got to talk to her about it you okay if we go talk to her together let's go talk to her together right? So now I'm just trying to bring anybody get to get us on seeing so if the bride tells me yeah, go do that that's totally fine ria world scenario right true story we're doing a wedding my bride and groom wanted no create church pictures I could totally care less about any church pictures they didn't want any the father of the groom wanted all these were his italian family father groom he wanted all his brothers all his cousins because they do it every wedding right and the father of the bride and the father of the groom is saying to me he goes what are we doing these pictures I'm like dad you're gonna have to talk to your kids they don't want to do those pictures they don't want those and they got me on strict orders we've got to get out of here we've got to get out of the church he gets up on the line and he will he will not smile for one one single picture he's pissed off at me like that I mean smile from him and he's just like he's just looking at me like he's annoyed by me and so I went to my room I go hey man I know your dad's pissed off right now my dad's pissed off at everybody all the time he was just it's okay all right I just want to make sure if there's anything he wants I want to make him happy and so to play peacekeeper I walked over to doubt ago dad look I'm not trying to be difficult the church's kicking us out we don't have a whole lot of time here's what I'll do for you when I get to the reception any picture you want with you your brothers, your cousins, whatever you want I'll take for you and that made him feel much better right? So you don't want to just say no I always want to give them an alternative help them figure out a solution to their problem day of planner same thing dave planners I feel bad for them I really really do they walk into a scene they're walking into a wedding and they really don't have a whole lot of understanding of what's going on in that day there kind of coming in the last minute and they're just doing all sorts of like grunt work right there carrying flowers from the church of the reception and so what I try to do when I can is just talk to the day of planner and let her know what I have on tap and as long as I'm in sync with that day of planner write everybody's happy so again be an ambassador of goodwill for photographers right? Go out there and talk to people video people yeah have you ever worked first of all there's like this constant battle between video people and photographers right? They want to get in your shot you get in there shot nobody's happy and so what I do because I have a video company I'm sensitive to these guys I'm sensitive toe what's going on and so if I see a video crew that's not mine and I welcome to a wedding I I walked right up to him and I blow his mind just by introducing myself hey man, I'm salome the photographer today uh talk to me what do you got planned answer's always the same. Whatever you've got planned. I don't wanna get in your way. I don't want I don't want to do no, no, no worried talk to me. What do you think today? They don't know what they do not know how to answer me when I asked these questions so we're doing a wedding a few months ago and it's down by the arch grounds and it's just his gorgeous leading lines for the bride and groom on getting these great shots. And I'm watching the video guy he's off there on the side just so I don't know what he is getting I go. Hey, dude, come here. Come here. Put your camera right there. Like there's your shot he's like, oh, my god, right? Yeah, of course. Oh, my god! Because I don't know what you're shooting over there, right? So here you go on like, just put your camera there, stand down, I'll shoot over your head. Adam walked to the camera, right? So that they walked right through his his his setup. So I'm helping him write its good will let's be ambassadors of goodwill, right? That's what shutter fest is all about by the way, right, it's that camaraderie we've built uh, it's, that the friendships we've built it's, the helping each other that we've built let's extend that outside of our own industry. Let's be part of a goodwill for photographers and video people and all the other people that are involved in a in a wedding day. All right, wrap up this section. What do we do when things go wrong? Because they will go wrong by the way. It's gonna happen? It's inevitable priest doesn't show up to a wedding. I say this because I've had it happen. We did a wedding and the priest didn't show up bright only gave us fifteen minutes for creatives on the timeline. She knew we had the whole conversation. Everything I'm telling you that say on and of course, on her wedding day, of all people, the priest doesn't show up at his weekends mixed up guy was about ninety years old. Got his weekends mixed. Hyung didn't show up for the wedding twenty minutes. She hasn't come down the aisle. We're all like making fun in the church. I'm like maybe she changed her mind, right, she's not she's not coming. Uh, I go to the back and you see, dad is frantically on the phone hey comes out into the church air and he's like, is anyone an attorney and sure enough that a judge there so on the other side of the family on the groom's side of family there was a judge uh who was one of the ants she performed the entire ceremony had no idea what she was doing by the way she was saying just saying random things on everybody who's ever been to a wedding is looking at her and we're all like no, no, no we're not and she because she would be like and the bride's going to say a few words now and the broads like no no I'm not saying anything why are you saying I'm going to say any words right? I don't have my I don't have any vows you're supposed to tell me what to say so it's kind of funny it was entertaining but ends up pushing the ceremony a good forty five minutes late I only have fifteen minutes for creative so those were gone all right, so what do you do? You just got to get into that rhythm that progression. When we were talking about that progression that I go through it's the only thing that saved me that day I was just she had literally forced her to give me five minutes we ran outside, the sun was setting there was a park bench and I just went through a progression so I had some level of creative shots for them on their day, what about hair and make up later? This happens all the time when this starts happening. I just keep taking pictures of her in the makeup chair so that when we get back and look at pictures and she's missing stuff, she sees the time stamp. I will show the bride the timestamp on when I first got there and when she finally got out of the make up chair and then she realizes how late she was going to cover my ass on that, we have to, um, some random things we've learned over the years, right? So learn from my experience getting ready near each other to avoid traffic and various other delays. This is huge. Do not let your bride get ready at their house and the groom get ready at another hotel somewhere far away, it starts creating massive travel issues for everybody bringing makeup to the hotel verse them going to a salon, them going to salon is a nightmare, the salons in no rush, they don't care, and then the bride usually doesn't allow enough time to travel back to the hotel. So in the beginning, the bride's used to get ready at the salon, I would be sitting at the hotel or wherever they were getting ready it be one o'clock. Right that we're supposed to start at one she's not even there then I'm calling her she's still in the makeup chair at a salon twenty minutes away these are the things we've learned over the years now make them get ready at at the church right someplace close to the group getting ready at the hotel versus small home this is also important earlier in my career people were always getting ready in their in their houses to save money they're not processing that in their house they're going to have ten groomsmen and the ten groomsmen some of them have kids something have wives and so now you're in this small, you know, fifteen hundred square foot house or apartment and now you've got twenty people in there doesn't work doesn't work at all so we fort we encourage them to get ready we can't force him, but we encourage them to get ready uh at a hotel and then also don't let them exit by rome once they exit by row you're losing thirty minutes forty minutes of time and so instead we encourage them to go do table visits at the reception and that's health right sir? Again we don't you say no tell them no tell them why give them the alternative so hopefully the segment has given you a lot to think about when it comes tio just the timeline and understanding that this seemingly insignificant, seemingly simple thing can have such a huge impact on the overall results of your wedding. And this is how we do it, man. We learned this a long time ago and we learned to control this. So next up, what I want to do is talk about how to manage the actual wedding day. So in the next segment we're gonna get into managing the wedding day. We're going to get into what shots I have to come out of that so kind of reviewing a shot list of mandatory shots that have to happen. And this is this is maybe something that you need to look out for yourself, right as you go into that there's. A formula eighty five percent of every wedding is pretty much the same for me. I got different people, different hotels, different lighting, but what I have to produce is the same. So that next segment, I think I'd be a really good one.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and Reviews

Brandon D

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

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I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

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