Think Like a 10K Wedding Photographer

Lesson 29/34 - Interview with Gurm Sohal

 

Think Like a 10K Wedding Photographer

 

Lesson Info

Interview with Gurm Sohal

I would like tio bring out my friend girl he's probably one of my best friends. I photographed his wedding, I photographed his sister's okay? And like, I'm like family over there when I go over there and so is the great friend, but I really respect him because he, you know, he did that very hard thing that a lot of us do when we wanted transition ourselves into we've got a nice, very nice paying job. Do I want to sacrifice that, too? Do wedding photography? So we're going to hear a little bit about his story. And how is it able to find a niche in the market to so why don't you give a big round of handed girl? Come on out, john. Thanks for coming on. Thank you. All right, groom. So tell me, how did you kind of get started with this whole busy, crazy wedding business? Well, growing up as a kid, I was I was playing with my dad's slr, and I was also interested in film. So I was had one, cameron each hand, and I tried to document like anything and everything I could. And I guess I was looki...

ng for, like, a story to tell, and I used to capture family events, and I did landscape and things like that, and I got sick of that pretty quickly, and it was pretty dry, and then friends and family told me, you know, it's, just maybe starting weddings, and this is when I was in school and thiss was about two thousand five ish two thousand six, and so I started a few weddings on the side, and I just put together a really crappy website. It was nothing special, and I got a handful of weddings, and I was also interested in film. So I took a film lighting course and that help me with the basics of lighting and just the natural concepts that you should know. And as time went on a book, too few more weddings and about two thousand seven, I think, is when I started stalking you, your log, he was a stalker on dh. I think I reached out to you and I asked you when you were teaching in my area and I went to your workshop in victoria. And I mean that that that is that's. Yes, canada and I remember that first workshop is four days long and every day I was just, like, overwhelmed with the non information that I was getting and like one of us supposed to do with all this on dh that following year I went to every single workshop. Scott had, and at each workshop I was able to concentrate on something that I needed help with lighting, posing um the business side of things. So I had, like, a year of intensive training and that's pretty much that gave me the skills had to bring me where I am. Okay, so that's great. So you develop the content or you had the skill and you invested a lot in teo okay, I did a world towards the two thousand ten thousand nine two thousand nine how many places we went to? Seven were in vegas we were in china, we were in italy, japan and and he went to all of them so he just committed to it. And every time he went, you didn't try to learn everything but just kind of sentry. It's impossible to learn everything. Yes, it's impossible. You know that that's a good point. So how did reach the point where you and you had a nice job at that time? Right? Good paying job. What was that? You know, how did you make that decision to transition over? And how did you actually make it work financially for you? It was a few things that was getting busier. I was getting to a point where if I didn't make a change and was already starting to happen where my couples were getting a little bit impatient cause I was taking so long oh it's impossible to edit weddings and work forty hours a week you just don't have the energy but so that was that was a factor and I knew I couldn't progress any further if I didn't give up my day job I could invest any more into my, uh photography and I also had to I wanted the blessing of my family and my parents and things like that as well that was important so they were all behind me and I think I took the leaper on two thousand nine and you had remember that following year in about twelve weddings book good so you're twelve weddings that that landmark he had that twelve and I think that is the key thing for everybody is that it won't be a natural progression you'd literally have to make a decision right exactly you everybody has to jump off the high dive at some point you and I and you made that switch, which was great and I'm like so proud of you um and I think he said another important thing that's important with a lot of the asian culture which I can relate to is that you want that blessing with your parents right? And I think you're a fortunate and I'm fortunate that I love your parents that they were just so supportive but sometimes they're not it was a sweet balancing balancing act of asking their permission and telling them I was going anyway I do it my mind is already made he was he was going anyway but he wanted that blessing but he wasn't going in and he was going anyway that's just like marrying the person that your parents don't like whatever right is the sample that's a good analogy sometimes it's like that you know, if you love the person and even though your parents may not like her and disapprove her at this thing this time sometimes you just have to go with love right? And that's what you did you you got you you were just in love with your passion and so how did you develop your market? What did you how did you gain traction in the marketplace? What did you focus on? What happened was after I got the lighting imposing skills from you the first few weddings I did that were indian weddings I was looking at what else was out there and to me personally it was just really over processed work and I'm like that's fine that's great people pawn that but I'm like I want to do something different so I decided to really just tone it down and my philosophy became after I got skills from scott to introduce art and get glamour into the indian wedding I said I was photographing and I wanted the bride to look beautiful but not two posey I wanted the post processing to be there, but I don't want it to be over the top and it was something a little bit different that people hadn't been hadn't seen before, so that really got a lot of word of mouth and from the few weddings I had at the beginning I think ninety percent of my couples narrower indian couple's great so there it is you've kind of went to the community that was familiar with you they had trust with you and then you ad and something to that niche market, right? So you looked at it and go well, I see all these weddings out their indian weddings but you don't know the glamour was missing, innit? Yeah, not all of them, but some of them I make something like I can add something to this that yeah already there and then big success for you you went aboard. Now what about that person who is who's considering getting into indian weddings? Well, can you give them some advice? You know, of getting into this market? I think it's a few things one is, I think, it's really important to understand their traditions indian weddings really long usually about five days long there's like a week oh, passivity, ese um and you have to understand that each of those festivities is as important as the wedding and the reception, so if you can go in and not know too much and shoot it mechanically, andi, I'm sure you'll do fine, but I think if you have understanding of the traditions and the history a little bit that would really help capturing those events great, and so I hear that you're actually kind of coming out with a book, right? Yes, I'm working it's a work in progress and it's coming soon, I told them to have it ready before I guess that wasn't gonna happen, but the process but people can contact you, right if they're exactly consultants of what that great? So I mean that's amazing and I think he brought up the important point is that if you're going to dominate in issue have to really know it, the intricacies of it like no other, so somebody else coming in, they're not going to photograph it the same where you are because you know exactly what that client it wants and what they're looking for because you do know all the traditions and all that kind of stand with indian weddings, you also need to satisfy the couple and satisfy the parent it's too it's too different, so they're they're usually in the opposite ends of the spectrum that's kia and they're the ones usually paying the bills so I always kind of catered to them and what they're happy then I can liken work with a couple of sea that's the western point of thinking is a little bit different, right? Because we don't really consider that a lot of times right? And so you you have to that's in trickle part of their culture is you have to understand that process so I would imagine little we'll have time to get into later but the closing process on that is a little bit different it's a lot longer you have more than one consul to exactly so it'll be probably three or four concerts usually and more and more people show up at each one you know what's great about having this is what happens when I was doing your wedding and I'm doing your sister's wedding it's like you get to spend a lot of time with your clients and really built a great relationship. So at the end of the week it's like amazing you feel like family exactly you don't know that that's why like I feel like now when I go over when I go up to your place and everything so that's great let's go but is there any kind of questions or anything that you might have for girl or about him dylan that developing his niece or anything like that let's start with our in studio audience and if not we'll head to the to the internet I'm sure it's going to be asked how do you even start with the five day wedding like charging right commuted to take on less per year I limit myself to run I did twenty five last year it was just too much twenty is good and usually the package includes the wedding and the reception which is usual saturday and sunday everything else's hourly and you just have to determine what you can charge heavily um I think the market it ranges anywhere from seventy five two two fifty an hour for indian weddings so just an example what's the average not like necessarily your price but an average what is a people expecting to pay? Your client expected to pay for indian wedding probably around six thousand six thousand is about the average with an album with an album. Okay, great good to know all right thing else we are a question here we go question from wack a doodle which is one of the one of the great if you were starting over what might you do differently? That's a good question. I would I when I first started I was focusing all on photography like one hundred percent of my energy was going towards that and I'm pretty quiet and reserved guy so I probably spent a little bit more energy on this working with people and developing a report quicker that was kind of one of my weaknesses at the beginning and it took me a lot longer to get over that tonight, right? Cool one sharp joe would like to know how you would like to know how you keep your beard so neatly trimmed one our morning joe uh cindy mac do you work alone? No, I have a few assistants probably don't two for each wedding because sometimes events happen simultaneously during the week and I can't be everywhere at once so I usually have one or two second shooter's each wedding cool and let's take a look at glimmer um I have a really hard time higher hiring my prices when it comes to original clients. They think that since they got the lower prices once they will always get it can we can talk a little bit about that. You mean that's like moving up? Yeah, right, yeah that's gonna happen okay, you're gonna lose it and so my philosophy is is when you raise your rates you're breaking into a new kind of social class. If you will, you need to establish twelve weddings in that new social class before you get that rave again, so sometimes when you raise your rates and you get into a new social class, you're going to go back a little bit because you're leaving behind that but you can't you have to leave behind something in order to get something greater, and I'll be talking about that next lecture, all right, where we have sabrina, who is from jessa a sabrina has also we've had her on we've we are she's been with us on and one of your close friends as well. And so serena's question is, what is for graham? What is the biggest? What is the biggest lesson that you learned from scott's world tour? That's a good thing, there's so that it's more than one? I didn't know anything about lighting or posing when I went in a new, very little so it was lighting posing it was bringing myself into my photography I think that two three biggest things I can't limit that to one thing and then the last sort of looks I'm kind of mentoring him with now is kind of like bringing out your personality that mean he's got a great personality, but just coming a little bit forward and showing it a little bit more, huh? Yeah, that's great graham, this is from hagen in casey, do you have any advice, teo? Non indians for howto get there first indian wedding or booking them, um, it's a bit tricky because I know that they would like to see some work with an indian wedding because they want to make sure that you understand all the traditions and the festivities would recommend maybe second shooting for somebody that does indian weddings so they can at least share some images and show that they think that they know the wedding great we have a lot of questions that are starting to come in on indian weddings way actually haven't had a indian wedding photography workshop here incredible I've and I think that we really should so if you guys know anybody who is unstructured er and educator who could teach that class well let us know what was going to do it alright yes passing teach oh that's fantastic way do have ah we do have a survey I think it's created live dot com slash serving suggests thank you live dot com slash suggest awesome awesome uh do we have any? Do you have any any final questions for her? Anyone in the studio? Yes. Krista, can you talk a little bit more about how you please both the parents and the bride and the groom? Because I've run into that before. Yeah, I just want to hear a little bit more about how I had the luxury a little bit of spending more time with the parents because of the pre wedding events so I try to figure out what's most important to them it's usually like out of town guests and family that they really care about. So I tried to figure out who they are, the days leading up to the wedding, and then I just go crazy with a telephoto lens and just shoot a lot of candid photos of them, and that goes a long way. I get more compliments on those photos, sometimes in the spent hours. So yeah, that's, a good I would've never thought of that so that's, great that's, why I don't get hired, teo. Alright, well, fantastic. We really, really appreciate you coming on and hearing hearing what your experience has been. Where can everybody find you? Website is soho photography, dot com and then facebook. I think it just facebook and then groom soho spell that out for people g o r m s o h l perfect, perfect. Well, please help me in giving grune.

Class Description

Ready to break into the business of high end wedding photography, but don't know how to begin establishing yourself as a luxury brand? Acclaimed photographer Scott Robert Lim will teach you the ins and outs of upscale photography, from marketing yourself to affluent clients to managing your business.

Scott will reveal his 25 "money shots," handing you his tried-and-true playbook for delighting every bride and groom. Not only will this workshop arm you with the mindset and skills you need to boost your prices (and your wallet), you'll also gain greater understanding of your distinct style and place on the luxury market.

Reviews

mc
 

There are a few courses in CL that just keep giving - they exceed expectations - on numerous levels. This is one of those courses. For context: I am not a wedding photographer; i do not aspire to be a wedding photographer, but i saw a re-broadcast of this course and thought i have got to put the pennies together to order this as someone aspiring to be a better photographer. Here's why: The title: think like... In a lot of business and coaching approaches, the way to get better we're told is to be around people who are further ahead than we are - who are as close to where we aspire to be as we can get. Think Like a 10k wedding photographer is an invitation to get insight into how i'm already thinking in this headspace or where i'm not. is this course for you: If you're not already a 10k/wedding (or gig) photographer, there is likely something of value here for you. THE COURSE the course is v.grounded - from the ttitle again - that this is a course about photography as a business - and how to get to a place where one is thriving in that business. It's clear there are steps to getting up the ladder towards 10k, and Scott Robert puts all the milestones in to understand when to up prices, how to pace gigs, how to schedule weddings, how to start. But this course also excels at covering off what's included in creating an excellent wedding photography experience for a particular type of shoot: luxury, glamour, style. This is not documentary wedding photography - though the skills learned here can be applied in that space. Here - just take a look at the photos - people who want what Scott Robert Delivers want to be glamourous, exciting. And Scott makes the point - that looks "natural" but it's constructed, and so we have to know how to engage with people in order to construct these results. Thus the course offers Posing and Shooting techniques for photography - using natural and flash light using flash and video light posing men; posint women; posing groups how to get the checklist of wedding shots from dress to cake. And how to get the business. This course is worth the money just to get the tips for posing - you'll use them right away whether you're doing corporate shoots or what in the us is "seniors" portraits. THE KIT A particularly inspiring element of Scott's work is how minimalist the kit seems to be. No strobes; just speedlights. Lightstands and umbrellas. And small video light(s). Considering the shots he gets that seem so constructed, it's fantastic to see that they are constructed fundamentally with a set of modelling principles about the human form that work work and work. The BUSINESS As said the progressions for the business side to move from a starting photographer to a 10k photographer are clear. The detail is good. The motivation, unflagging. Participants who want to get there need to do the hours of practice. There are a couple people who have used Scott's methods to get from starter to 10k shooter so it's possible to see their path. - One who was a videographer mayn't be as inspiring because already pro etc, but it is cool to see a pro in video testify to the value even for him of scott's approach. LESSON the best advertisement is word of mouth you have to have the work to get that endorsement. Scott is the one person on CL where you'll hear him say he's not working on his social network particularly, but on the quality of his portfolio and referals within jobs to get the jobs - it's plainly working for him. For him, it's clear he wants to be regarded as the best photographer - not the best customer service that trumps adequate photography. THE INSTRUCTOR As other reviewers have commented, scott's attitude is amazing. He has a burning entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to be successful to support his family - which means getting to a point where he's shooting fewer weddings for more money in order to have more time with his people. Nice. No matter what area of photography you're in, there are insights to be gained from this course. Related Courses There are a lot of wedding photography courses on CL. The others i've seen are Wedding Cinematography, Doug Gordon Wedding Project, Master the Business of Photography (which turns out to be based in a wedding business) and Start and Grow your Photography Business (also based around weddings). These all have good things to teach. The biggest contrast to Scott's is Sal Cincotta's Business of Photography - in that course while there is a goal for his teams / shooters to be professional and get all their shots at the wedding and deal with the unexpected well - and there are great tips for how to cover your butt if there's conflict about being able to take a shot or who wants what shot - the focus seems to be way way WAY more on the sale in the studio and selling all kinds of prints. This is v.much the flip side of Scott's work where the focus is on getting the wedding (and why he actually likes 5k weddings more than 10k weddings - fascinating). For scott, it seems the 10k is about figuring out what the package is in terms of what's the difference between 10k vs 5k - and what you promise to deliver in that experience vs SC's focus on what are the materials produced that are worth that charge. And how the wedding can be used to hook people in for life - for portraits, baby photos, seniors etc. Kevin Kebota's class similarly has some nice stuff around bonuses vs discounts. I can see a very interesting panel discussion on pricing btwn sal, scott and kevin... For scott, it's not about shooting the lifecycle and getting money off prints: he does weddings - some engagement and boud. around that, but it's the Wedding that is the star - the quality and amazingness of the images - not the number and size of prints. Perhaps this is a weakness in the course not to go into that part of the deal - but i didn't find it so. What's great is that he has a dropdead line in the sand too: if you're doing X and you're not getting to Y by Z, do something else! fantastic. he even has a part time shooter plan. COol. He also knows how and what to outsource: so will you. He's also cool about how long it will to take to start making a real income. (and what's the difference between a 3k and 5k wedding?? you'll learn). Why would you buy this course? If you're a WEDDING photographer, shooting under 10k /wedding then this will be interesting - lots to learn about what's possible in a wedding context, and seeing examples about how "natural" can be constructed. If you're just considering weddings and want to understand what it would take to make a living or part time living as a photographer here IF YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT POSING -- there are lots of CL classes involving posing and philosophies of posing so why this one? 1: Robert is v.good. that simple: the way he's translated everything he's learned about posing into heuristics - in other words rather than memorising poses, you learn heuristics about what to set up for any shot to get more from it. Fantastic. 2. Posing in the context of a live wedding under pressure is a litle different than in studio 3. We see posing for different lighting conditions/contexts for an event - in this case a wedding. Powerful stuff. What's also cool in the demos is that you don't have him doing tethered shooting, but focusing on teaching posing and having the class learn it. That's cool too. IF YOU WANT TO LEARN LIGHTING - and not spend much on lighting kit and get great results this course is inspiring. INSTRUCTOR - v.engaging - doesn't suffer fools, i'm betting; expects committment to do the work to get to aspirations. EXCELLENT. heck i watched most of this with a friend who just found Scott so compelling, in particular how the posing section worked, it was just that engaging. hope that helps. good luck on your mission.

Kerry Sleeman
 

This is the best Creative Live Course I have purchased, well worth the Money! Scott is fantastic and has a lot of great advice! Even though I am not a wedding photographer I am a Boudoir Photographer and has given me a lot of ideas to help my business. ! Thanks Creative Live Amazing!