Build a Business Around Storytelling
Alright so we wanna start talking about business with this one sentence, which is just so crucial to what we do, especially as photographers. So everything you show is something that you're communicating to your clients. So the way that we're presenting our portfolio, the types of images that we're putting in there, the way that our price list looks, everything that we are showing them, be it imagery or text, is a way for us to communicate a message to them.
So by now you all know a little bit about us, you know that we're pretty emotional, we, meaning me, you know that we value storytelling, you understand how we piece together the story of the wedding day, but how do we then translate that to actually being booked for that? Because it's all great to value storytelling, but how are you actually gonna get clients to understand that and to trust in you as a photographer and to trust in your vision?
And so because we value that one image at a time aspect, that's the way that we've pr...
esented the images on our website. So when you land on our website, the first thing you get is one big image, and that rotates between four or five different images and again, right from the start, the first thing you see is that one big image, single, because that's how we like to value our own work.
So I've written up this little text that goes on there as well, it just says Davina plus Daniel, we are wife and husband, parents to Max and Charlie, partners in every sense of the word. We travel the world to tell wedding stories. We believe in the power of photography for art and for history, and that beauty can be found in the most striking of landscapes and the most subtle of gestures. Hopefully after seeing everything that we're about, you feel like this sums us up really well. I certainly feel like it does. Landscapes and all of that stuff, we do a lot of that and we think there's beauty in that, but we also find a lot of beauty in moments. I feel like with just this, our clients are able to really understand what we're about, or at least have an introduction to what we're about.
Yeah, and it's one thing to show it in the photos, but it's also sometimes good to write it out in words, and it just further reinforces the message that we're trying to convey. On our actual website, we again, isolate the images one-by-one, we've purposely put this white border around the photos themselves, because we wanna isolate the image and really showcase it as a single art piece, rather than within the context of other images. We've also made sure that we put the names of each couple on the website, we want the photos to be real and for an outside viewer to know that this is a real couple that we photographed and that this is from a real wedding.
It's also, I think having the names there, it makes it like this is their story, this is their wedding, and I like having the names associated there, 'cause I hope that it makes our couples start thinking about the other stories that we've been a part of, and it's kind of a subtle way of doing that. We also put the location of the wedding, because we are destination, primarily destination wedding photographers, we want to show that this is just what we do, we travel for weddings and people all over the world have hired us to photograph their weddings, so we communicate that to the client by just putting the location of where the wedding was.
The biggest thing with traveling for weddings is we want the clients who hire us to feel confident in the fact that we are experts at traveling and that we're not gonna miss our flight, and that we're gonna maximize their location, and that we're gonna do all of those things that they see on our website. And by showing the location and showing that this is something that we do at almost every wedding, travel to a different location, it just inspires more of that confidence for them.
So for our about page, we get personal, because remember when we meet our clients and we have that pre-wedding meeting, we talked about how we communicate to them about ourselves as well, so it's really a conversation instead of just a one way thing where they're just talking about themselves. So we want them right away to learn about us and we show a picture from our wedding. So it says, our wedding day was quite simply one of the best days of our lives, second only to the moments when we welcomed our son Max and our daughter Charlie into the world. We gathered outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with 44 of our closest friends and family laughing and crying by our side as we made a promise of love and commitment to one another. Together we have photographed hundreds of weddings all over the world. Weddings we have discovered come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have these things in common, family, friends, tears, laughter, celebration, and love, and this is what our photography is all about. It says, we would love to hear all about you and your wedding and discover whether the four of us are a good match. And that's important too, whether the four of us are a good match, right? It's not just like you choose us, it's a mutual decision, and to a certain extent it is. We wanna make sure that we're gonna be able to deliver what they want, and we wanna make sure we're all on the same page.
Yeah, and the things that we've listed there that we valued from our own wedding, well it's now the same things that we value in the couples that we photograph as well. And again, just putting it in writing, beyond showing it just in the photos reinforces that message right from the get-go.
We also share this photo, which is, we're so young, this is, it just says, but first we actually, because the previous photo was Mexico, but first we actually eloped to Vegas in 2009, just the two of us, as soon as we got engaged, to get the paperwork out of the way. We plan on renewing our vows in this exact same spot in 2019 with our kids by our side this time. So it's a little bit more information about us, it's something that's kind of interesting about us, that we had two weddings, and so yeah. And also I just cannot get over how young we look, and also how young we were. Almost 10 years ago.
And rested, we're so rested. (laughs)
And this is somewhat of a common occurrence for our couples too, when they have destination weddings, they'll have a civil ceremony elsewhere, either in city hall, in Vegas, somewhere else. So this, oftentimes becomes sort of a bonding point between our couples as well, because that's how we did it. We did it in Vegas because we wanted to get the legal stuff out of the way and Mexico was sort of the real wedding, the emotional one, whereas the legal stuff was already done elsewhere.
So what I like about communicating all this is that already before even talking to us, they know stuff about us, right? They know that we're a couple, they know what we value in photography, hopefully they get from this that we really love what we do and that we connect to it on an emotional level, they understand that we travel the world, that we have kids, there's all this information that they already have that kinda creates a bit of an attachment. If they're loving our images and our portfolio, and then they see this and they connect with us, there's even more of an attachment before they even talk to us, before they even find out how much it's gonna cost them, which is pretty important, the stronger the bond is between them and us or them and our work before they even get a price list in their hands, the more likely we are to book the wedding at all.
So there's no price list on our website, there's no starting price. The reason why we do that is we feel that if they're interested by our portfolio, for one, we just want them to just look at the work itself, not get distracted by any pricing numbers. But if they send us their inquiry by email, chances are that they're gonna stay on the website and keep scrolling through the portfolio, whereas if there's a pricing button or a starting at price, they'll jump to look at that right away, and then if it's not in their budget, or if they don't like the number for whatever reason, then they're just gonna close the window and not continue browsing through the work.
Does that make sense? 'Cause it's really important. So it's almost like the slideshow, when we send the slideshow, we want them to fall in love with those images before they see the full gallery, it's kind of a similar concept in a way. They look at the photos, they like it, they start looking, they send the inquiry, and then in the mean time, before they get our reply, they have the chance to continue to fall in love with our photos. And we actually do hear that a lot, they're like, since I sent the inquiry I've been looking through the photos even more and so that's good for us.