The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos

 

Lesson Info

Importance of The Inquiry Reply

All right, so where do the inquiries come from? Good timing, so again we slash I went ahead and did a little bit of research on where those were coming from. So 48% of our inquiries for 2018 came from the internet. I don't know why that has to be in quotations but I like it. So, Instagram, Pinterest, Fearless, Google, Facebook, et cetera. That's where half of our inquiries came from. Almost. Yeah, 13% of our inquiries came from planners and resulted in 50% of the weddings booked for 2018. And then 39% of inquiries came from referrals, so past brides or other vendors, and that resulted in the other 50% of weddings booked. So, how many weddings did we book from the internet or from general sources where SEO would be relevant? Zero, so all of our weddings booked for this year, it's planners and past referrals. So, that was kinda mind blowing for me. And Daniel got these stats for this, for you guys so we could talk about it. And I was actually like, whoa, how have we first of al...

l never even done that? Shame on us as business people to not know these numbers. But also, where we put our resources, that means that our referrals and our planners, I mean our past clients and our planners we're working with, that's where we need to be paying attention. We need to be sending thank you's to these people, we need to be making sure that planners are getting the photos, you know. If they're representing 50% of our booked weddings, that says something. On the other hand, what is says to me that the internet, I have to use the quotes now, the internet is not actually bringing us weddings. It's bringing us tons of inquiries but not weddings, and what does that say? Maybe that people who find us from the internet are actually just shopping around and they're looking at tons of other photographers, and they've got a list of like, 50 people and they don't particularly connect with what we're doing. Maybe it means that they see one random photo on Pinterest and get excited about it, contact us, and then they're like, whoa, how much? No way, I wanna spend $500 or whatever. I don't know, it could mean a ton of things. But what that's important for us to note is just that these are the relationships we need to be really paying attention to. Yeah, so that kind of answers your question about the SEO. We don't put that much effort into it because this is where 100% of our weddings for this year are really coming from. All right, so once the inquiry comes in, what does our first email look like? So, there's three different things that we really want to communicate to a potential couple who might be booking us. So we wanna write out in words what our style is about. So we'll explain to them that we have a very documentary approach but that we still take control in situations where we need to take control, make sure that the lighting is good, make sure that the poses are good. So, take control where needed and that we also fulfill our responsibilities as wedding photographers by covering all of their guests and photographing all the details and the formals. But ultimately we want them to end up with a body of work that is very unique and special and that is gonna tell the story of their wedding day. Same thing, basically our formula but just written out in words that are easy to understand for a bride and groom who doesn't really understand anything about photography. We want them to know exactly what they're getting themselves into. So that kind of answers the question, these photos look candid, I'm gonna assume they're candid, that answers the question. Yes, these are real moments, okay? Then it answers what they don't see which is yes, we also do traditional photos, yes, we do cover your details, yes, we do classic portraits of the two of you, of your families, all that. So they have that answer in words with our reply. Then we include a few different slide shows. So, depending on where the wedding is taking place, we'll adjust which two or three slide shows we send them. So if it's a beach wedding, we'll send other beach weddings. If it's in a synagogue and it's a Jewish wedding, we'll include more of those. We want them to look at images that they're gonna be able to relate to, so they have a better idea of what their final product in their setting in their environment is going to look like. That's especially important with cultural weddings. So like Indian weddings, they want to see other Indian weddings and yeah, the setting is really important too. You don't want to send a ballroom wedding to an outdoor beach wedding or something. Yes, they can relate to the storytelling approach, and sometimes one of the slideshows we'll include might be a little bit further from the wedding that they're having. But the idea is that we want them to be able to relate to the photos as well. And then we'll include the price list. So, we'll jump into that in a second. One thing we don't include in that initial inquiry is a link to a full gallery. We're not withholding this from inquiring minds but we don't wanna show everything right off the bat. I think if they start looking at slideshows and start looking at full galleries, it just gets a little bit overwhelming. The challenge with a full gallery, is when it's the client's full gallery, they know everybody who's in their photos, it's very personal so they enjoy looking at all thousand or two thousand photos. But, someone who's inquiring, who's about to get married is looking at stranger's photos and is looking at this many images, it gets very overwhelming very fast. So if we do share a full gallery, we want that to come with a disclaimer and it'll usually be after we exchange a few emails or we hop on a phone call and we'll explain to them, sure we can send you a full gallery so you know what our coverage looks like but keep in mind that this is not your wedding, it's gonna be a very different viewing experience. We encourage you to just scroll through the thumbnails and look at the overall coverage, rather than one image at a time. But it is important for us to not be ashamed of our full galleries, to keep striving to have the quality of our images be at a certain level all throughout the day, even when we're doing formals, even when we're doing details because we want couples to know exactly what they can expect from us. And the slideshows are great, that's important, we want them to hire us for that. But we want the full gallery still to not scare them away. We want it to still be like, okay no, they know how to do this other stuff too, and I'll be in good hands, so it's important for both of us. And when they are looking at a lot of photographers, and they're trying to make a decision, it's actually something we often will be like, here take a look at our full galleries and we encourage you to ask that from the other photographers that you're considering. And it's because we want them to know exactly what they're gonna get. And honestly, it's not because I'm trying to be like, our full galleries are better, just ask them, you'll see, they suck. It's not that at all, it's really that I want them to know what to expect and I really do want them to make the best decision. The last thing I want is to be hired by someone who's not a good fit and by comparing the full galleries of other photographers, they could hopefully make a good decision. And that mindset has motivated us over the years to make sure that our full gallery gets better and better and better. I think our slide shows got better way before our full galleries did and we would suck at details and we would suck at formals and we would suck at covering in between moments and over the years we'd just start taking more pride in that final full gallery. And we really wanna make sure that that's good, as much for our existing clients but also for other clients who might be inquiring, want them to feel safe with what the rest of their photos are gonna look like. Sorry, we had talked a little bit about guests, that came up, about covering guests and how I've given myself the mission now, don't just cover the guests, actually get a good photo that they might want as their profile picture. So to me, that's kind of like elevating my own standards and giving myself these mini assignments to try to bring up the quality of the overall full galleries, sorry. Do you separate your full galleries into certain parts of the day so it's easier for them to digest or is it just all the images at once? We just started doing that. Yeah, for that exact reason. Yeah, I think it's for a viewing experience, it's so much easier, it's also easier after if you send a wedding planner, you know, here you can check out the photos and they know where to find the details. If a guest comes to the page and only shows up at the reception, wants to find photos of themselves, they can scroll through that. So yeah, I think it's easier when it's separated into categories instead of like scrolling through 15 hundred photos. Davina and Daniel, there was a question that had come, and similarly do you give the wedding planners access to full galleries and or usage of photos for their own promo? And maybe beyond just the wedding planners, who else on team good photos can use the photos? Well, what we've learned from this is that we definitely should be sharing photos with the planner since they're sending us 50% of our weddings this year. We could probably be better about it or at least do it in a more timely way. Mostly that, yeah, we just did it in December for all the weddings we photographed in 2017, which is not the timing that we would've liked. But at least we did follow through and do it. We do believe in this sort of like, free trade where we don't pay a commission when we get referrals from other vendors, but we also give them full usage of images of the flowers and of the decor and of lighting and of the DJ and for the planners and for everybody. We just kind of believe in the wedding industry being one happy family and we can all help each other and all we ask- It's a little idealistic. Yeah (laughs), all we ask for, when they do post the images is for it to come with a photo credit so it kinda brings the leads back to us for the photography itself. So, if it's posted on social media, that they mention us on Instagram or Facebook. And if they post it on their website, just that there's a photo credit that says photo by Davina plus Daniel. What we also do, and to go along, because we don't want to be hired for our detail photos, right, so these photo credits are all fine and great but at the end of the day if someone sees a beautiful detail photo, they're not gonna be like, I have to hire those photographers 'cause that's not what we're about. So what we do is we send the slide shows to everybody who was involved in the wedding, so the planner, even the DJ, whoever's contact information we have, so they get to know what we're about. So yes, they see their own work showcased within the context of the detail we photographed, but they also hopefully can fall in love with the work itself and you never know who will become your best promoter. We've had mothers of brides who have talked to coworkers, we've had so many makeup artists who talk to us about everybody they meet. You really never know who's gonna become your greatest marketing person, so, sharing it with as many people as possible. And they see weddings all the time. So if you set yourself apart in what you do and you have a distinct style or something special that you do really well, that's even more of a reason for them to be like, you have to see this, I see lots of weddings and this is really special. So, their word is even more special in a way.

Wedding Photography is a hard and sometimes exhausting business. Finding ways to stay creative while continuing to capture timeless and classic imagery is important. Drawing from their own life experiences, Davina and Daniel Kudish capture the subtle nuances of their client's life stories at every wedding. In this course, they’ll discuss techniques to personalize each individual wedding to capture the stories and moments that make each couple unique.

They’ll discuss the formula to capturing stories and teach:

  • Pre-Wedding Conversation techniques with clients to help build your shot list
  • Utilize what you know about each couple to help approach capturing the day
  • Research and location scouting techniques
  • Capture the details that matter most
  • How to work with various lighting situations
  • Preserve the mood and capture natural moments
  • Composition and Framing
  • Shooting with variety
  • Create personal and creative portraits
  • Edit a slideshow and how to create an album

Davina and Daniel are known for capturing creative portraits and important moments that tell every unique love story. Join them to learn how to implement their formula to find and capture the creative story with every client.

Lessons

Class Introduction
What Are "Epic" Images?
The Slideshow Formula
First Client Meeting
Establish Client Relationship
Expectation vs Preparation
Pre-Wedding Checklist
Gear for Photographing Weddings
Capture The Subtleties
Show The Connection
Importance of Capturing Transitions
Sidelines & Story Telling Details
Anticipation & Patience
Let The Scene Develop
Sequencing in Numbers
Successful "Anticipatience"
Examples of Poor Reaction Time
HTCG in 10
Giving Direction
Have Variety With Light & Composition
Capture The Mood
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Be Creative With Video Light
On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor
Find Flattering Ambient Light
Don't be Afraid of Tough Light
Composition & Framing
Lens Choice
Keep it Simple
Purpose of the Creative Portrait
Scouting for the Creative Portrait
Maximize a Location
Unique Posing for a Creative Portrait
Experiment with Your Photography
Make The Image Personal
Post Production Overview
Stay Organized in Post Production
Full Gallery Edits
Lightroom Workflow Overview
Bring Out Detail in Lightroom
Black & White in Lightroom
Landscape Images in Lightroom
Bold Images in Lightroom
Slideshow Edits
Importance of The Slideshow
Selecting Slideshow Images For a Large Wedding
Culling Slideshow Images for a Large Wedding
Complete Slideshow Example for a Large Wedding
Slideshow Images for a Small Wedding
Complete Slideshow Example for a Small Wedding
Build a Business Around Storytelling
Portfolio for Clients
Importance of The Inquiry Reply
Price List Best Practices
How to Price Your Work
Final Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • Davina and Daniel are fantastic presenters as well as an exceptional photo team (plus they are super nice people, too!). I love their approach and methods and felt like there is so much value in this course. Even though I've been photographing for a long time, I took away a lot of great value gems from their course and look forward to applying several to my own business!
  • It has been a couple of days since Davina and Daniel's Creative Live course ended and I can't stop thinking about all the amazing information and inspiration they shared. I'm filled with so much inspiration I can't wait to utilize everything I have learned. I learned so much and know I'll learn more each time I re-watch which I plan to do often. I believe this is Creative Live's best wedding photography course.
  • Davina + Daniel, this is a wonderful class. I've enjoyed your teaching style and watching your banter between each other. The images are simply beautiful. I'm portrait photographer with no desire to do weddings, but this has opened my eyes to a whole other view of wedding photography that's rather enticing. Your storytelling is amazing and I'm going to definitely incorporate what I can into my own photography style.