The Importance of Wedding Photography
Again, it's about educating and educating them, again on the importance, we'll bring this up again because we spoke about it in earlier sessions but the importance of photography. And yes, most of the couples who'll come in and see us are genuinely interested and have already an idea of the importance of photography but it's our job as photographers to remind them again. To remind them that what does photography do? Accurately documents the history, it memorializes their lives at this point in their lives. And up until this point in their lives, this is probably the biggest event that has happened as well. It's the biggest event where the most amount of people from their families have combined and come together. So it's important to have that documented.
Yeah absolutely, and I think, as you were saying, you know, it's important for us photographers to understand it but it's important for us photographers to make our clients understand it.
And the education process is ...
Yeah, keeping us in touch with the past and I always bring this up with my clients and I may have alluded to it in earlier sessions that, you know, who remembers that time when they were a toddler and they were at the beach with their family on a family holiday? Most people go, "Yeah, yeah I do remember that. "I do remember that." Probably you don't remember it so much as that it's the triggered memory from a photograph and actually I use that example, day in day out with my clients. So that it really drives home the point of what I do is very, very important to them. I also say to them, "Guys, this is a big day. "You're probably gonna spend a lotta money yeah? "Most people spend a lotta money on a wedding. "Would you chance that? "Would you chance that to someone with less experience? "Because all we've got is one chance "in one very confined piece of time to get this right. "And there's no redo." I say to them, "I would hate to think "what it would cost you again, to redo your whole wedding." So that point really needs to be drived home. It's not to scare them just to educate them.
Yeah but also, you know, it's like you said. It's not about scaring them but it's really making them understand that the importance of picking a real professional that is able to deal with the changing aspects of the day. Whether it be weather, whether it be time constraints, whether it be you know, things going on with the location that they've actually picked. You know, these are all things that a professional overlooks and still comes back with the goods. Okay and this is one very important note, that they need to understand. So essentially we're not putting the fear of God in them but we're just stating fact.
Yeah, just pointing out the facts really. Yeah, and it's hard for us photographers in this day and age as well because, really we're an ungoverned profession aren't we? We're an ungoverned profession and it's hard to stick out as a true professional. You know, 'cause there's no rubber stamp at the end of the day that makes us, you're a true professional.
So you've gotta have all of these things in your arsenal to educate your clients with, to really drive home the importance of hiring me because I am a professional. I'm telling you, that I am a professional. And that's all we have really. That's all we have. Okay.
Okay so, one of the other very important aspects is getting this message across. Your ability to work with couples. And it's a very simple statement that you can make. John, Mary we work closely with every couple to achieve that ultimate result. What have we said? We wanna work with you to get that ultimate result. Don't assume that they know that this is, you're gonna work with them. They might think that, you know, have the perception that you're some sort of you know, Pose Nazi that you wanna control their day but it's about working with them to achieve that ultimate result. So once again, you're stating fact but don't assume that they know it yeah? And then educating them on a service level as well to a timeline of events. So letting them know, at exactly what times you're gonna meet with 'em again. How the day is actually gonna run, so a timeline of the events on the day, then a timeline of events after the wedding. So how long it will take to get their images. How long it may take to get their album. What the process is for all of that. I think if the more you can state to them, the more you can tell them, the more they can trust you. Yeah, because they're really getting a good idea of everything that you do.
So at this stage the interview would've spent, probably half an hour to 40 minutes and we still haven't discussed price. What we've done is connected with the couple, made them feel absolutely amazing and then we start to get to products okay. And the products are all about, the most important aspect is show them what you want to sell. In the next couple of sessions when we talk about albums, one of the most important points about albums is that if you wanna sell big albums, you gotta show them big albums. There is no point showing them a 20 page album and wondering why you don't sell 60 page books. 'Cause the client hasn't seen one. Okay, you gotta show what you want to sell. Whether it be albums, parent albums, wall prints of different sizes, acrylics, canvas, art paper. I mean, there's so many different products out there. It doesn't mean you've gotta stock them all. I mean, in our businesses we stick to a couple of products and we do it well and we control the process. But whatever you choose to sell, it's gotta be on display and it's gotta look amazing so that they can relate to it and they can connect with it. Very, very, very important.
One of the probably most important things that we're doing at the moment which is probably a little bit different to other people is that we will not sell our work without the printed product. So without some sort of tangible printed product. Whether it be albums, wall prints, art box with prints in it, we don't care. It has to have something that we have printed for them. What it'll do is it'll show them the difference. Yes, we still give them a USB. Yes, they still get all their images but it'll show them the difference as to why we like to print our own images, why we take them through this process, why our prints are so much more expensive. Now, it's because they can get a side by side comparison and work out the difference themselves. It's that blatantly obvious.
The other side of the coin also, the minute you give a USB to a client, and you've spent all this time retouching all these beautiful images, they look amazing. That USB gets taken to wherever they choose to print and guess what? Digital files are open to interpretation. So all of a sudden, a professional photographer who's put his heart and soul into creating an image, that image will be printed on a three cent piece of paper. At Walmart, I can tell you now the quality isn't gonna be amazing. But that print, will get handed to the family. That first impression of who you are as a photographer is this. "Oh wow, who shot your wedding?" 'Cause the print is cyan, it's light, it's just, "Oh you know, Ryan did it." "Right, won't be going there." Your reputation is everything. So, if you have a printed component with what you do, whether it's a fine art box or whether it's an album, whether it's a series of prints that you control the quality of, then all bets are off because the client knows what you can achieve and those prints will be displayed in their environment at home. So guests coming over, friends coming over will see these amazing you know, prints that have been shot by Ryan or Rocco, whoever. But the minute you don't do that, then a USB is just that. A USB that will be open for interpretation by whoever prints it. And never assume that the client's gonna go to a reputable place. You know, it's just not gonna happen. One of the things I've done to combat, 'cause I think a lot of people are still having the issue of people coming to them and saying, "I just want the USB. "That's it, that's all I want. "Sell that to me, that's it." Fine, and I had to combat that somehow because I still had and we still had that problem yeah? So, yes, we will sell you a USB only package if you like. Not a problem at all. But one thing I will do for them, is do them a fine-art print still. Framed, it's only small. Probably eight by 12. In an eight by 12 frame with a matte. Doesn't cost me a hell of lot of money but what it does is it sets the tone. It sets the tone for my prints. It sets the tone for the standard of my work. So, please if you do that type of work. Any USB, that's it only package. At least have something there for them that can prove your worth as a photographer.