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The Business of Wedding Photography

Lesson 2 of 19

4 Reasons You're Failing

Vanessa Joy

The Business of Wedding Photography

Vanessa Joy

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Lesson Info

2. 4 Reasons You're Failing

Lesson Info

4 Reasons You're Failing

We're gonna first talk about the four reasons you are failing. All right, because we all fail, right? And that's a good thing. Failing is okay. We're supposed to fail. We're supposed to learn that way. I truly believe that a lot of the pain in the world, the pain that we go through, is a good thing. Because you learn lessons better through pain than you do through happiness, right? Those are the ones that stick. We don't like it. It's not good, feeling. It's not all butterflies and unicorns and rainbows. But those are the ones that push you forward. So four reasons why we are failing. The secret here, ultimately, is that we're gonna go through fundamentals of business, fundamentals of wedding photography. But, a lot of it doesn't matter. It does matter. You need to learn it. You need to apply it. You need to do it, but a the root of everything I'm very much a whole-picture kind of thinker. At the root of everything is your character and who you are. That's what makes or breaks your bus...

iness. When I hire people, when I look for office managers or interns or shooters, things like that. I'm not necessarily looking for their work. I'm looking for their work ethic. I'm looking for their character, who they are as a person, because you can't really teach that. Yu can try to use Band-Aids and cover up the symptoms, but if who they are at the root is a problem, then everything growing from that root is going to be a problem. So number one reason why you are failing is fear. And that's a pretty good one. Happy little trees. Do you guys know who said that? Happy little trees? I just paint happy little trees. We don't make mistakes. Bob Ross, right. If you don't know who Bob Ross is, I'm so excited I get to introduce him to you. Go ahead, and you guys at home go open up a little side window in the viewer that you're using and look up Bob Ross. And he was a painter in the 70s, 80s, right, and he had this TV show. And there were no mistakes. There were just happy little accidents, right? And I loved Bob Ross when I was five, six, seven years old. Loved him. I used to watch him paint. He was so inspiring and soothing, kind of relaxing to watch, and he had this little kit, this master painter's kit that he was selling, and I wanted it so badly. So badly I wanted this painter's kit, and it was $99. And back then it was informercial, so it was like four payments of $24.95, right, and you get three free brushes. So I wanted it, and my family could not afford $100 on a present for this little six-year-old girl that wanted it so badly. But somehow, my parents got it for me. They got me this Bob Ross paint kit, and it was wonderful. It smelled new. I had it in the plastic, and I opened it, and I looked at all the possibilities that these paints and paint brushes gave me, and I treasured it. I loved it. You wanna know what I did with it? Absolutely nothing. Not a thing, because I was scared to death that the second my hand took that paint to the canvas, the canvas would be ruined. I would do it wrong, and it wouldn't even come out right. And I let that fear, as a six-year-old little girl, I let it cripple me to the point of not even trying. So many of us today in our photography career feel the same way, especially with social media because we don't see people's failures on social media, do we? What do we see? We see people's successes. So when we go to try something, we're very hesitant, especially if you're trying a new marketing tactic on social media because you're afraid you're gonna look so dumb. No one's gonna respond, except for like your mother, right? Your mother will post on your social media. Other than that it will just be crickets. We let that consume us, and that is absolutely a reason why we are failing. Number two reason why we're failing is arrogance. We don't ask for help, or we don't take criticism. You ever have somebody show you their photography work or any kind of work, and really they're like, "Look at this, praise me." (laughing) They don't actually want the criticism, they just want the compliments. Or worse, you have people that are jealous. I think a little bit of envy is only human nature, right? But they take it too far, and that arrogance is looking at that other work and instead of being inspired by it, you hate them for it. Complaining, clients sense that. Do you know that? We're talking about business and photography, and it sounds like I'm giving you a motivational speech here, but this all directly relates to your clients. My best client of my life, of my life, which I'll show you later, she fired her photographer, her high-end photographer in New York City to hire me, and one of her reasons, the one she gave me, other than that she liked my style of photography, was that she didn't like her attitude. She didn't like her attitude. If your attitude stinks, and arrogance was absolutely the attitude this other photographer had, if it stinks, your clients can smell it a mile away. So, make sure that you have an attitude of confidence but not arrogance because your clients will 100% fire you for that, or not hire you at all. Photographers come to me all the time, "Why am I not getting hired? Why am I not getting hired? And their personality is absolutely one of the things I look at, and how it comes off. Number three reason you're failing you get hung up on competition instead of focusing on the one thing you can actually work on. What is the one thing you can work on? Yourself. My husband is a wedding videographer, and the two of us fight about this all the time, all the time. Because he will talk about the industry and videographers, and he'll get hung up on looking outwards, instead of looking inwards. And you can never change what other people charge. And you know what? We all started there. My first wedding was $500. You think I didn't really aggravate some other photographers that that was my price point? Of course I did. But we all have to grow. We can only work on ourselves. But number four, the biggest reason you are all or failing, or could be failing, is this. Excusitis. This is the severe condition of thinking you can do nothing about your situation. See also blaming other people for your shortcomings. There is a reason that I'm introing our segment on business photography for this. A lot of people will watch this segment and will come up with excuse after excuse after excuse of why they can't apply this to your business. Your job today is to turn off your "but" in your head (laughing). You're gonna take the word but, and you're gonna throw it out of your head because you are not looking for all of the excuses here. You are looking for the nuggets. I'm not going to save you today. I'm not gonna, and maybe I will, maybe I'll enlighten you a little bit, but this might not be the most groundbreaking thing in the entire world, but what this will be, what this course will be for you is full of little nuggets of practical, tangible things that you can take and apply to your business and see actual changes, see more money come in, see happier clients leave your studio. So, if you all don't mind, I love physical activities, go ahead and put hour hands here. Grab all the buts out of your head and throw them away. (laughing) Perfect, thank you. So, do not think of all the buts, just think of all the things you can do. That is what you want to focus on and get your pens ready. So these are the four areas that we are going to go over today. We are going to talk about branding and marketing. We are going to talk about client experience and communication. We've got the workflow and product section. And then pricing and sales. Your pens are gonna burn holes through those notebooks. I guarantee it, so get your pens ready, or if you're at home, by all means, when I watch Creative Live, I have Creative Live in this window, and I've got my notes in this one, so I can just be like typing and screen grabbing and dragging it over. So much fun, I love it.

Class Description

Along with your technical and creative knowledge, you need to know how to run your wedding photography business and set it up for long term success. How else can you expand and reach your desired clientele? Vanessa Joy, an award winning wedding photographer, joins us at CreativeLive to teach you the skills to help your business thrive. She’ll provide actionable steps in marketing, communication, workflow, and pricing that will attract the couples you want to work with. You’ll learn:

  • How to show your photographic style
  • Secret areas to brand your business
  • Social Media Quick Tips
  • Methods to make clients happy
  • Keys to effective and efficient workflow
  • What products you should offer
  • Packaging that sells
  • Understand how to make profit

Photograph what you love and learn to run a business that allows you to market your creativity.

Ratings and Reviews

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Célia Gomes

I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free. Célia Gomes, Portugal.

angela warmington

Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!

a Creativelive Student

This course is fantastic! Whether your new to the industry or been at it forever, there are amazing tips that can easily be implemented to improve your business. Vanessa lays everything out clearly. There were a number of things I had heard in the past, which is not a bad thing. This reinforced ideas and reminded me to work on things that I have been putting off. I highly recommend checking out this course with Vanessa Joy.