The Business of Wedding Photography

 

The Business of Wedding Photography

 

Lesson Info

Final Sales Tips

Just some last sales tips. Shoot for the sale. You may have heard this already before, but if you want to sell big stuff like that, then you need to take more landscape photos, more scenic type photos. I always tell my clients the last thing you want to do is print your faces larger than life and hang it on your wall, that's scary. Don't do that. I did have a client do that recently and I was cringing. I'm like, okay, that's the one you want? Are you sure, alright, fine. But they love it, so. But shoot for the sale. Try to make sure that you want to sell sequences of pictures in an album, then make sure you take those sequences of photos. Alright, and then pre-design them so that they see the sequences, like the first look. You take a certain number of pictures in a certain way, in a certain method so that you have a whole page dedicated to that first look. Not just one photo of the groom's expression somewhere. Alright? Never end your sale sessions with pricing. Don't show them all th...

is glorious stuff and be like, and here's what it costs, what do you wanna do? That's awkward. Alright, I introduce the pricing and I start talking about it actually based on the reading I'm getting from them. So usually I start off with that album design, and we'll start talking about if they ask me then well how much are the extra spreads, okay, that's when I'll start talking to them about pricing. If not, then I continue and I actually do their design with them in person. It's a great method. The fun designs are so easy that I just sit there and make their changes with them, and I will be like, okay, you've got X number of pages, let's look at the packages and see how these can work for you so that before you make your final decisions on your album, you know where you want them monetarily. So I like to mix up those creative decisions that they get, with their upgrade options and with the pricing. So maybe you introduce the pricing a little bit later, then afterwards have them pick their album cover, or have them pick the type of paper they want in the album. Whatever it is, don't just end on pricing. Just doesn't work well. It works much better to kind of interweave the decision making on the monetary commitment with some of the creative commitments, the creative decisions that they're making. But I do like to concentrate on the album first. That's a goal of mine. I want them to have that album. The album is a priority for me, so I like to concentrate on that. And then I do talk to them about you know, okay, what do mom and dad want? Do they want a portrait? Even if they're getting print albums, do they want something to hang? Be that idea person throughout the whole process. Alright. So, always try new ideas. One of my favorite, favorite sayings is innovate or die. My friend Allison Conda says that, innovate or die. Always try new ideas. Before I started doing sales sessions, I hated the idea of them. It was so again, just used car salesman to me. So, it was like, you know, let me just try it. Remember how I told you you can, you have nothing to lose just by making a price list. Just a little bit of time. It'll take you some time. It'll take you no time, copy mine, just do it, alright? No time. So that's what I did at first when I first started this. I made my price list and I had my first buyer for that year. She was in March, and he had a beautiful wedding. All cherry blossoms, it was so great. And I sent her an email, and usually I sent emails with little upgrade options, like oh, here's your thank you cards, do you want to upgrade them to folded for 40 dollars per 25, I think is what I charged. So they were like little things. But instead, all I did, I didn't have a sales session, I didn't have her sit down and pick out her album cover. I just said, oh, here's some package options that you can have. I don't recall if she booked any or not, but I did the exact same thing throughout that entire year. Didn't meet with anyone, I didn't try any of these sales tactics, nothing. I simply made a price list, and emailed it to my clients. I want to say I had 33 weddings that year, roughly. Just by doing that that year, I grossed another 20,000 dollars, just by making a price list and emailing it. That's it. Now, I make a lot more. I haven't actually done the math for 2017 yet on what my after-sales were, but I would guesstimate probably between 30 to 50 thousand extra I make on 20 weddings. So, always try new ideas. And then if you fail at them, no big deal, it's okay. Just try something else. You know, I failed at a million different things at this. I've definitely changed up the way I was doing those packages, I used to do them where I did a lot of kind of like extras and discounts and threw this in there, but I found that making them smaller and just focusing on what they wanted, but in portrait, pairing albums potentially, and making their album bigger, those were the big sellers. So always try new ideas. And marketing too, it's always about just trying new things. Our businesses, they have to evolve. Our creativity as photographers, they have to evolve. And sometimes you'll find, you just, you know, step into poop, as they say. And you might just make price lists and make another 20,000 dollars that year. I do hope that on all of you. How many of you guys are doing in-person sales now? Just one, cool! That's awesome! Five of you have some nice homework to do. I'd love to hear how you started. When you first started in-person sales how you felt before, some of the things you've changed and then how it affected your business after. Oh, boy, that's a load of conversation. At first, I think the very, okay, initially, I was doing it in coffee shops or in my client's home. I didn't have a studio space. Made that work. I did it in my home at that point, but eventually did get a studio space, and that helped because there at least I was able to actually have product. And having it and letting them, like you said, see it, touch it, smell it if they so wish, and I do get that with the albums. Kind of smell the weather. Yeah, even in my sample box when they open it up. It's just, you get that. Unless, they're a vegan couple, I had that once. (laughter) But, yeah, so starting off it was slow, but once I actually had products to show, that definitely helped. And I'm continuing to refine the process. I start to do certain, I wanna say discount specials, that they can get that day if they purchase then, because when I've had clients walk out the door and say oh, well, we'll order later, never happens. Nope, nope. So I'm very big on making that sale right then, and I'm very frank about why they get those discounts then and why I do I do it and I'll tell you. You know, if you leave, you're not gonna do it, and it's a loss, it's a shame, you're not gonna enjoy your photos. You're not giving them life. Perfect, I love that, great. Anyone else? Did you say you did sales? Yeah. Perfect, I wanna hear about yours too! So, um. Oh yeah, come stand. So I've been a professional photographer for about seven years and I started out by showing them their photos and then they'd pick them and then I'd order them. I made a little bit of money so I could buy some samples, and then we move all over the country. So like, I did it, and I didn't do it, and then I did it and then I didn't do it. So I'm back to doing it again. And I just feel like it's such a service to my clients. And if you don't do it, like for me, if I don't do it, like I feel like I've left them without a finished product. Right? Like, I don't know. So true. I don't really know what else to say about it, but it just, that makes them happy, and that's what we love, right? Perfect, nice. I love hearing other people's experiences, because a lot of photographers just don't do these sales, and for a multitude of reasons. But once you do, you realize what a full service you're giving your clients, and it really does help raise your bottom line too.

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.