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Wedding Photography Starter Kit

Lesson 9 of 11

How to Book Your First Clients


Wedding Photography Starter Kit

Lesson 9 of 11

How to Book Your First Clients


Lesson Info

How to Book Your First Clients

Getting your first clients we talked about this very super briefly let's go into it a little bit more into detail getting your very first clients how do you find them after you've second shot after you've assisted? If you decided to do that after you've done some weddings for free for family and friends, eventually you're going to need actual paying clients. How do you get that first paying client well joined local business associations? When I lived in florida, I was very active in the chamber of commerce for a brief amount of time, and I met a lot of people through that. So whether it's a business association, whether it's your church, if you're very active in your church, if it's your kid's pita, if you're a member of the junior league, any local business associations or gatherings that you can become a part of, the goal is to meet people you know you never know what the next person you sit next to on a plane could be your first wedding client. You know, the guy in line with you at ...

starbucks could be your first wedding client, so get out there and start meeting people and start joining groups and associations that will allow you to expand the circle around you go to networking events ah lot of the work that I get now is referrals from other wedding vendors from florists, from event planners from other photographers, and as I go to networking event and I start to get to know all of the other people who work in my industry, I can refer work to them, they can then refer, work back to me. So if there's a coordinator, that I've sent a few weddings, too, when she inevitably needs to refer a photographer on an event I want her to think of me or another photographer locally might get an inquiry might be booked for that inquiry, they can refer me, so not only do you need to expand the circle of people that are around you, personally expanding the circle of people that are around you professionally, you'll have a larger pool of people who might be getting married, who might call you, and then a larger pool of people who might be able to hook you up with a job when they either have won and need to refer it to a photographer, or if they are a photographer and they're already booked, they might be able to refer it to you. I have a great network of people that I refer weddings, too, in the photography community, and I have helped them get work every single year reliably, and they have helped me get work every single year, reliably as well, local bride affairs now if you have not paid the money to exhibit at the bridal fair, do not go to the bridal fair and try to weasel around being an exhibitor. The worst thing that you can dio and the way to make all of the other vendors hate you is to try to sell yourself out of bridal fair without actually having space in the bridal fair. Don't bring your cards don't start introducing yourself to brides if you are not exhibiting there's nothing wrong with going and showing up and looking around, but do not be there as a photographer trying to market your business without actually buying space in the bridal fair. When I was very first starting out the local bridal fairs were major for me I would go every single year and then they're reached a point where I was going every single year but it wasn't so much to pick up clients it was to remind the other vendors that I was still there and to show my work to the other vendors. So take a look at the costs of what your local bride affairs will be. Some of them will be very expensive, some of them will be much more reasonable and then decide if that's an expense that you're willing to incur in your first couple of years contact whoever's running the bridal fair, ask how many brides usually come through ask if they have any analytic data on the budgets of these brides or what they're usually looking for, and then you'll be able to tell if that's going to be a smart decision for you. But it is a really good way to expose yourself to a large number of potential clients who might be looking for a photographer all in one location facebook ads I could again be up here for three days talking to you about how to run facebook ads, but facebook ads are a really great way to get your business and your name in front of a lot of people who are engaged. Now, if you don't know how to set up a facebook ad, most people don't, it is ok, there are a lot of resource is online that will walk you through setting up a very basic facebook ad, and what a facebook ad will allow you to do is target a very specific set of people. So I always have facebook ads running, and what they do is they basically say, hey, listen, I have this ad facebook, I want you to go out and find people who live within a fifty mile radius of new york city who have their relationship status listed as engaged. Now I know that if someone has their relationship status listed as engaged, they're probably planning a wedding maybe they do have a wedding photographer maybe they don't, but I'd like to get my ad in front of those people who are engaged so a little research a little reading up on how to start a very basic, very simple facebook ad don't spend a ton of money on it. I think of my ads that are running I have one for the philadelphia area and one for the new york area and they run a five dollars or less per day and basically what that does is it tells facebook. Facebook listen, I've got five bucks a day to spend on this when I spent my five dollars stop running the ad for the day so you don't need a massive budget to start getting your name out to potential brides on facebook and again I could be up here for days teaching you how to do it. There are a lot of wonderful, wonderful resource is online just to help you with a very basic ad nothing retargeting crazy we're not going to delve in and go fall down the rabbit hole of facebook ads or we're gonna be here for the rest of the week but for a very little amount of money you can start getting your name out to engage brides and grooms in your demographic area so with all of these advertising and different ways to get your names in front of that potential first or second or third client take it slow take it very, very, very slow much like we're talking about going slow with your photographic ability go slow with your marketability also don't jump in too fast and don't spend too much what you want more than anything else is you want an organic billed to your business and an organic built your business takes time and an organic following takes time also I cannot emphasize this enough you know, about two months ago instagram went through instagram and it dumped all the fake accounts all of the robot accounts all of the link buying accounts and some people's instagram accounts would drop from twenty five thousand followers to ten thousand photographers ten thousand followers and what that told people as that whoever had that instagram account had bought fifteen thousand followers. I don't buy your followers on instagram don't buy your followers on twitter don't buy likes on facebook facebook in the last couple of weeks didn't clear up of deceased accounts dead accounts robot account so on and so forth and I actually saw my facebook likes drop which meant that somewhere around in there some robot account started following me now I only lost I think I think I lost like three percent of my facebook fans that wasn't much there were other businesses and studios and whatnot out there who lost half of their facebook likes well, what that meant was they had gone out and bought a large portion of them you don't want to do that I would rather have five hundred people who like my facebook page who genuinely know my business who came and liked it on purpose than five thousand likes that I bought because what's most important is an organic following and organic disc like discussion back and forth so when you're looking for example like at your facebook page I want an actual day discussion with the people who are on my facebook page I want to ask a question and have actual people actually answer me um I don't want a large number of likes but no interaction on my page because interaction on my page is going to be what keeps people coming back and it's not just facebook, it's all other types of social media and it's your business in general you want an organic following you wanted organic fan base you want on organic build everything there are no ways to buy it you cannot fast track it your business will build as your business builds and this is one of the hardest things that I see new photographer struggling with is but I want it all and I want it now it's only fourteen years to get where I'm at right now fourteen years of hard, hard, hard work you will get there. You just have to put in the work and to not be afraid of putting in the work. So when things start slow, when you're following start slow, don't be disheartened. If you're following is organic and it's, people who truly care about you and your business. That's, what's. Most important from the beginning.

Class Description

Are you really prepared to shoot your first wedding? Wedding photography comes with a lot of moving parts and committing to your first paid gig can be intimidating. In Wedding Photography Starter Kit with Susan Stripling, you’ll get the low down on everything you need to know before you head out on your first official wedding-related shoot.

Susan’s wedding photography has earned accolades from around the globe. But her success wasn’t built overnight. In Wedding Photography Starter Kit, she’ll detail every step in the process of starting out. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Transitioning from shooting as a hobby to making it a business
  • The process of getting clients and booking a wedding
  • The gear you need to have on hand
  • How a typical wedding shoot flows

Wedding photography has the potential to be a lucrative profession for any photographer who is willing to work hard and develop the skills. In Wedding Photography Starter Kit, you’ll get advice on starting a photography business from a serious professional who knows exactly what it takes to thrive.


Laura Bellamy

Honestly, I thought this was a great and pretty informative, all-encompassing course. Great for beginners, but even as a slightly more seasoned photographer, I found a lot of this super helpful. Much of it wasn't news to me, but a lot of it I found just hasn't been on my radar recently. I think it's always a good idea to return to basics every now and then. There is always more to learn, and I feel I can definitely learn from someone with a great deal more experience than myself. As soon as I can afford it, I'll be buying more of her courses, I respond to her very well!


Fantastic Course. Susan is well prepared, very informative and very entertaining. She puts it all out there. She is 100% a PRO. She was fun to watch and she makes beautiful images.

Larissa Jean

I honestly love this class. I'm just starting out as a photographer, and like she said, a friend's wedding just sort of fell into my lap. I had no intentions of trying to photograph any weddings this first year of learning, but I was persuaded by the fact that my friend really just wants photos to look back at. This class is helping me get prepared, it's making me feel more confident, and it's teaching me things that I didn't know or was very unsure about. If you are new in your photography venture like I am, I would highly recommend this class!