Wedding Photography Weekend

Lesson 33 of 49

Website Strategy


Wedding Photography Weekend

Lesson 33 of 49

Website Strategy


Lesson Info

Website Strategy

your website is we feel it's kind of like the first line of defense for your client or potential client that is the very first thing just thing that they see so we really wanted to be very strategic about our website the content that we put in there why we put it in there and how and what we do put in now we realize that wedding photography is very personal and when jodi and I first started out we love talking about this way first started out back in early two thousand seven we had a little website put together by a friend one hundred fifty bucks oh my god that was such amazing deal we're like one hundred times like dunn you know even back then I was like there's a deal so I put together a little website we had a really slick you know branding and business card and we had our crap together pretty early on um but anyway when we were looking at putting a website together what we decided to do is market research take a look at everybody else's website and see what they were doing you know...

so we're googling national wedding photography we're going from website the website website website and you know when you're first starting out especially even like average photography think is amazing just like look at this picture like that picture we're looking at the pictures and all the websites are dominated by photos that the artist has taken and after about website twenty I couldn't remember who took that one picture I liked anymore because I don't know who they were and I remember they were very forgettable and not that they were probably forgettable people some of them are probably great people I just can't remember who they were based on the way they were trying to market to me but then we got on this website we heard about this guy who is pretty popular at the time his name is david j now started short sites shot jasmine starts wedding it's kind of a big deal right so and I but I had never heard of the guy but we got on his website and he didn't have any pictures crazy he's a photographer don't have any pictures on the web site you click on his website there's a video of him going to shoot a destination wedding and he's very charismatic guy he's you know he's studly looking he's a handsome dude he's the kind of guy that you just like being around as soon as you see him and notice the way I'm talking about describing him not even his work I never forgot who david j was from that day forward and I went this guy's obviously one of the best started at fifteen thousand dollars to start at the time that was back in two thousand seven when we first saw him and I went and there's something unique and memorable here we need to do something like that when we create an awesome web site so that people remember us because imagery the this day and age with ah hundred billion photos being on facebook is very forgettable I don't care how awesome you are that most people are sort of in this ninety eight percentile of okay two pretty good there's a few that are like ridiculously amazing and ridiculously awful but most of us are kind of in this other range and who's to decipher the difference and we have to stand out based on something and we is photographers like yeah we'll go to a site maybe we'll remember that image like that was really good and the color here and oz light was just gorgeous but the fact of the matter is clients cannot tell the difference between average photography in great photography and often times recently we spend so much time focusing our energy on making our craft different making aircraft stand out that were missing what truly makes us stand out that we have that no one else has which is ourselves I mean how many times have you know one time we had a bride come in the studio with us and they were like we love is images that kind of had this blue tint cast to them like you mean in the white bounces off in the camera you know like they have no idea and you know they always picked out one image that you're like why did I ever proved that to them because they can't tell the difference between you know on average photo and an amazing technical photos so if we're basing and trying to build our business on just our craft to stand out we're gonna not failed but it's more powerful to find out what truly makes unique so you do stand out when bride is going from website to website toe website since wedding photography is very personal we want to make it personal we want to connect to people personally as much as humanly possible we do that a lot to the site the next thing is that we realize we're selling emotions not products you know a friend of mine kevin swan started kiss books super brilliant guy was in marketing for a multi million dollar marketing company for fifteen years he talked a lot about this when he was creating kiss and he pushes this a lot for photography brand saying a lot of us try to stand now based on the qualities of our products we have this great product and we got this great album that's made in italy and the pages are on kodak and you're a paper and they last one hundred years and people are going well what you going to sell me a piece of crowd well of course it's great leather and it's what else you got you know what I mean like that's not a really good thing because nobody is not selling a great product nobody's saying I sell the worst product you want to buy that actually may be able to stand out doing that saying when instead we want to sell emotion we want to sell a connection to that product why does that product have value so if you look a tte some amazing cos anybody know what disney sells what is disney selling experience for their selling happiness disney doesn't say come and see the most advanced roller coaster on the plan on peter pan ride has been there since nineteen fifty six you know I still go to disneyland and I have nostalgia going there it's this happy feeling of becoming a kid again that's what they're really selling and that's what walt disney was selling chanel and you ladies out there and use the chanel product ceo is quoted as saying we sell hope the women what but that's their marketing strategy is trying to sell this idea of an emotional connection to use our product your life will be better in some way so joining and really push that into our business can we make our clients can we actually make their lives better can we make their marriage better based on what we've done so we're going to kind of go through the process of what specifically we've done for that and up until friday we had a a website that we built ourselves yeah I um um using our website company called show it and it was really great and it was really fun but the brand was gray photography and yes our last name is great but a lot of people may not know that and so they just I think that it's like we're trying to be like black photography and we've realized that as we have made our business more and more and more personal and about us um we were we were mentored by kevin's one and he was saying you need to make it about zach and jodi and we're like yeah we've been thinking about that for a while and so we friday launched our new brand zach and jodi dot com so we went through this process with there's this designer's name is melissa love and she's based out of the uk and probably one of the funnest perks of working with her is you skype with her and you get to hear a cool accent which we have way love it's like a fetish and what melissa does go living along so melissa specializes and website and branding for photographers and then she can build your website on the platform that we use so what's great is we can go in the back and change stuff but melissa she is an identity specialist so what she does is she worked with us on the process of how who we are what we like and what is it that we want to communicate with their brand and how can we bring that out and show it to our clients in a unique way that happens really quickly and this is something to remember when somebody the average website gets forty two seconds of traffic that's the average website years maybe way less or a little bit more but that's average so if you don't because people have a very short attention span these days even brides you know they flip through magazines like cool cool cool cool what was cool ten cools ago I don't remember anymore let's go to the next floor right so if you don't grab their attention and grab it quickly and connect to them deep down at their deepest need and what's their deepest need is that toe have beautiful wedding pictures probably not have they dreams since the first you know since they were two about their wedding picture having a blue sky in the background doubted but they have dreamed about the way that it's going to make him feel or how their dad is going to respond when he gives her away that's what a bride is connecting to so we realize weaning somebody you know we've done it on our own for a long time we had a lot of personal stuff now are you know kind of enhancing it with melissa and going how can we bring out that identity of who we are stick it on a website let somebody see it in sixty seconds so this is kind of the first process of how it started with a little behind the scenes here but this new site again and if you head up our block on tuesday at melissa is kind of sharing her perspective of how she went through the process of running it so it's gonna be super cool so you know we have kind of a hodgepodge of our old running our new bringing some new ideas and then out of that and conversations back and forth we came for we huh melissa came with came up with our final brand from funds that we loved the colors of feel and vibe and then from that came our new website which were so stoked about yeah very very cool so she sort of goes what colors do you love what magazines me into what style do you have what things are unique to you what do you care about the most while we care about our marriage and we care about coffee we care about you know fill in the blank so she started building this thing together and we're getting to see this identity sort of come out and she of course looked at our old site which had a lot of our identity in it but it was sort of built over the years of jodi and I sort of piecing it together now she's kind of bringing in her own specialization and going let's make this even stronger so very very powerful tool that she was able to do and build this for us and build a quick and she's an expert in it so how cool is that you know and we couldn't stress enough we see this all the time if there's one place you're gonna invest if you're thinking should I get the new fifty one point two or should I keep using the one four and should I invest in my branding you want to invest in the things that's going to bring you a big return to allow you to buy your toys in your gear and judy and I realized when I first started out we had a designer from nashville put together our logo of great photography we put together a slick website by somebody that knew what they were doing and the second and third and fourth meetings we had people never even asked us how long we've been shooting we had planners coming up to me it's going how have I not heard about you guys because we just looked so put together and looking put to get perception is not reality says jack trout from twenty immutable laws perception is one of the reality perception is the only reality is not reality is the only reality what your client thinks about you is the truth to them it doesn't matter what the actual truth is now of course we want to tell the truth very important but what they truly believe is most important you could be chris you could show up and be the most educated school legit photographer on the planet and if your website looks like junk if it doesn't work very well and you show up where in a dirty shirt and kind of talking nonchalantly and you haven't you don't even have any you know products to show they're probably not going to hell and you don't have any referrals they're probably not going to feel very secure about working with you but if you show up dressed nice your website reflects your personality you have a slick business card and you have pricing that makes sense and you have other vendors in the industry going yes chris is awesome that bride is probably going to trust you really really quickly so it's very important more than anything to have your identity and your brand on your website and your business cards all put together and looking really sharp most importantly yeah and working with melissa has been a great experience and what we love using about using a website platform that we have is she puts together and then whenever we want to change out a photo or it's like oh zach doesn't like coffee anywhere you don't want to talk about it we can change that and we can go in ourselves instead of having to hire desire then wait two weeks for that change which is the most frustrating thing ever so we want to talk about I would say oh what's also great about our website is not only can you see it on a normal computer but it's um a show it is above the cutting edge of technology and you can actually see our website built on htm five on your mobile devices which is superfund yes obviously everybody knows like this is huge people on their iphones are on their ipads you've got two of our host here on their ipads clicking away talking in a chat room you know people are on these devices and you know apple it doesn't even come with flash anymore built in even though ninety eight percent of websites but we're not gonna get me oh but it's very important to have a non flash version of your website so show it also has that option and they have this beautiful version of our website that's viewable even on a phone it looks incredible super apartments about so here's some of our website goals first of all we wanted to show the experience often times we would find it when we were starting out that we would meet with a lot of clients because they had seen her sight and they had seen you know imagery but they just wanted to meet us they wanted to know who we were in person to make sure we weren't creepers or anything so we figured out if we can put more of our personality and who we are on our website then we won't have to meet with as many clients in person and we can book them over the phone when we'll get teo and we can also get closer toe that booking part of the relationship faster because they don't have toe get on the phone with us for twenty minutes and then meet us for an hour and then they go okay I think I like you and trust you his bride's air you know their biggest concern is making sure they don't surround themselves on their wedding day with annoying people so we can show hey we're not annoying we're cool or fun or were quirky or whatever your personality is on the website where that that many steps closer to that booking process of finding the right type of client so the first thing was you come to our website and click on brides you see this little thirty second intro video that eugene and heather videographers from nashville put together for us so I'm gonna click through and hopefully this goes up on the screen for everybody to see if it doesn't just go to our website and you can see it from here we go you ready I'm about to click turn your volume up ah so really what we want to showcase there with that quick little intro videos just like twenty seconds long is that we want to show our clients that when we're out shooting your wedding we're not whatever if you had a preconceived idea of a fuddy duddy photographer or of a friend who had a disastrous wedding photographer were not that photographer you know this we really focused on him and walked up to the bride and I smiled and she smiled back at us and then a beautiful picture happened or a beautiful moment with that exit the bride and groom are like this and recaptured it captured the important parts of their day that's really what we're trying to showcase and immediately they let down their guard a little bit and then go home I think these guys were kind of cool hopefully I like them and then the next thing we want to do is we also want teo sell the experience going back really quick I'm showing the experience I just want to say for the longest time we actually had a little flip video that we put together for us we hired a kid from the high school youth group that we sort of paid him thirty bucks for the day to follow surrounded the flip videos so it's not like it has to be anything like souped up oh my gosh I have to dedicate a week to put putting something together you don't it can be something very simple remember brides are attracted to quality content content not necessarily the quality but you know do reflector brand we obviously want something sharp and this month we're actually in the process of getting a new video done by eugene and other another new video stay tuned okay so not only do you want to show the experience we also want teo sell the experience when you first go to our website the very first thing you see is not a photo of a bride once you get past the video it's a photo of zack and I yeah so what we're trying to communicate there is you know this is very strategic we're going here's a little video of us interacting with our clients and they're having a lot of fun with us now you go to the website and you see a picture of us jody's smiling I'm looking at the camera we've got our cameras on so they know it's not like a an engagement photo or something otherwise they'd be like oh who's that couple like they don't know who we are and then there's a picture to the right of jodi kissing me on the cheek and I'm smiling at the camera and we're going hey this is or a blogger is if you want to check out even more personal content about us what we're trying to do is get people to become engaged with us because they've probably been going to twenty photographers websites and seeing the same thing because everybody's talking about doing this but nobody is really doing still hardly anybody does this so if they've gone to twenty photographers website that are dominated by images and all of a sudden they see this they go who is this zach and jodi I might want to check them out if you notice on the top it says home and then meet us instead of portfolio because we want people to want to get to know who we are first so wait you specifically sell the experience and we have gotten quotes from our brides then we've pulled our most emotional images and we have these school immediately it's not our coolest images that we take it's the emotional images because that is what really attracts bride so we have a quote here I couldn't have imagined getting married without zach and jodi gray it wasn't my photos were amazing and the lighting was so dynamic it was like I couldn't have imagined getting married without zach and jodi that's a very powerful statement that speaks to a bride she goes man the wedding couldn't have happened without them man this must be really valuable in the next one completely amazing we couldn't have asked for a better experience and then we have this picture of a bride tearing up holding her dad during the first stands and the bride is going I want this and I kid you not always show one more and then I'll tell you I kid you not the next one zach and jodi where a must have for me in my wedding and we have a picture of the bride walking down the aisle with their dad or dad's looking to her the groom is looking at the bride but this really beautiful oh my gosh I'm about to marry my bride look at his face we could show like the stylistic blue sky stuff that we shot yesterday that's cool people love that it's it's on the website but this is what speaks to the bride's deepest need is for her life to get better for her knight in shining armor to show up and for us to photograph that and create a memory that's gonna last for forever so we literally have had a jodi and I were speaking at a p p a in michigan a couple of months back and a bride called us on the phone she had been in the website she sent us an email we emailed and then she wanted to get on the phone with us so I called her and we're gonna talk about all this process and how we you know book on the phone and all that but she called and she said oh my gosh I'm so excited to talk to you I went to your web site after I saw the intro those photos in the about section about you to my new attorney show up I knew I had to have you and I was like well like she had never met us it's an out of state wedding we still have never met her but she was talking to me like I'm sold I'm sold I'm sold and she had just seen us on google yeah and it was like arbitrary and she this had spoken her so much that she had to have us and we went yes our it worked you know our website work is just what we wanted so this is some of the stuff of what she's sauce so you know we want our website to be unique different and we want to introduce ourselves so when you go to the about section there's a photo of a scooping off because yeah we may look cools and photos what kind of goofy and we're just fun and all living and so then we also have another photo of us another photographer mike larson I took this photo of us and all the other photos that you see were shot by the amazing david miller he and his wife tammy are fantastics and definitely check him out at david milner to eleanor that come um and so this personal photo was taken by another photographer california mike larson and we just want to communicate and show our brides that hey we're where you're at you know where we love each other we're happy we're real people or not this like facade of a company where really end it gets even better you see it says find out fun stuff when they click on that it takes them to four galleries exact with his awesome bowl cuts as a child me as a we little less in tables precious over my pbj and then assess photographers and then the last gallery is us as a couple and out of all four galleries as awesome as our baby photos are which she thing is the gallery that's clicked on the most it's a couple and couples other couples connect with that because that's where they are and we just want to show that we're riel and that we're normal people and so they really start making those personal connections with us yeah very very important you know is that that sort of jodi and eyes launching pad other people use other launching pads I know a lot of other photographers there going well I don't have a spouse and we don't shoot together how can I capitalize on personal connection you can connect with people on where they shop on where they eat on the kind of clothes that they wear on the place that they live on things that they're into are interested in or going to the movies you know we're connecting with people about coffee you know and when people come to the house we make coffee for him so it's a great experience you know it's all about figuring out what you love and other people that love and the great thing about that is too when you put yourself out there kind of like that and people are attracted teo you for whatever reasons they're attracted to you now they're the kind of your people they're people that you would probably hang out with so now you're going and working with and having a relationship of professional relationship with people you probably be buddies with at the least friends with at the most so how awesome is the experience you know I told this story may be it was just the attendees when we first got here about this photographer parker pfister and we first started out he was shooting this wedding in two thousand four and um it was a destination wedding in chicago and it shows up to the house and the bride peeks through the window of her home sees parker walking up the walkway and she ran out jumped in his arms and they spun in a circle together and she was like park they're not the ones getting married and I remember thinking to myself how did he do that he did that by making sure his personality shined in that relationship yeah he's a great photographer shouldn't that be a given shouldn't be a given that you're gonna take great pictures that somebody's wedding let's do something mohr and out at the time I was like I don't know what that guy did to get the bride that stokke and they did a three hour portrait session of the bride and groom and I was like get your shit together on the most amazing photos and so cool but this is some of the way that he did he did that he put himself out there and connected to his clients in a personal way we're talking about really being unique and standing out and so we want to highlight eugene and heather they are videographers who are phenomenal they've done our videos and their base out of national tennessee and they shot all of our videos and by the way yes they shoot promo videos for everybody eyes start female blasting them they get booked up they were out here in oregon doing like five videos and shit really showcasing the uniqueness of photographers but they also did our creative live video our intro video with the coffee and all that personalized stuff so absolutely amazing very talented at what they do and they done something so yeah there say done something so powerful as you can see here this is their website again built on show at very powerful tool because you khun really customize it and it's eugene plus heather ah now it's gonna become eugene and heather films is that right first just you eugene and heather dot com um and you've got of course weddings and for videographers because they do stuff for videographers and photographers and then meet the browns and if you look at the site immediately go who are they I want to check them out they seem unique they seem interesting but this is what they do that's even more unique and so when a bride goes to their website they love them and then they shoot eugene and heather and email they say you know my they felt the contact for this and I want a double plot when heather and eugene are available and it seems like it's a really great client for them they send them this all right so we're going to another video here so put it on the screen please tech team here we go wait hey guys I'm heather would teach us to videography that we just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to contact us about one of the biggest days of your life way actually are available for your wedding way love this talk more about your wedding details wei don't charge by the hour mainly because we don't want you to feel rushed the last thing you should be thinking about is this for only forty five hundred dollars you and your fiance can have us for your whole wedding day start to finish if you want to sarah seven a m then we'll be there bright and pushes him ueno you have choices ueno you have friends or family that all came way also know that there's cheaper video out there that's why we want to thank you we want to thank you for seeing the value in what way this's something you ready move for with please feel free to contact us way love to get to know you and your fiance little better wade also love to hear some of your wedding details thank you so much I can't wait to hear from you guys uh how cool is that so very very cool you know uh sit here in the studio we weren't able to listen to it but you all at home got to hear it but what they were communicating is a lot of personalized information obviously you can see from the beginning of the video when they got married the things that they're into and thank you for thinking of us for something that's so important we want to make a documentary of that come true for you guys and even sitting here in the studios quiet and I'm watching people's faces and reactions going oh that's cool like that that seems need and that's exactly what they're trying to do they're trying to connect you on a personal level and make you go wow these guys are really unique and I remember them I remember them more than anyone else and this is allowed heather knew jean to become one of the most expensive videographers and national is still book at the rate they're booking at so very very very cool too and what's great is some brides will see that and they'll be like no no don't connect with that and that's okay because they don't want to shoot every wedding for every bride and that's us too we want to shoot the ones who really get what we dio and yes yeah so obviously unique and introduce ourselves and then create a filter we want to create a filter for our brides so that we can make sure that we don't get the brides that uh want the stuff that we don't do and we do get the brides that want the stuff that we do do so we and do this through our imagery and fear a contact from because we're creating a filter so we can attract a certain type of rights so for example yes we shoot family photos you do that ever every single wedding worldwide but we don't show them on our web you never see one picture this on our website ever yes like jodi mention live in the south and if you don't do this should probably be on out of business pretty quick but instead we share women is like this we show images that are showcasing true emotion and that kind of stuff that we want to put in an album and that we want to deliver to a client and that brings us brides just like this merida is an amazing bride meredith and jakes wedding who are really bringing their emotion out and wanted us to capture that kind of fashion e phone mode photojournalist look to a wedding which is exactly what we want to do and she is the exact type of brian that we I want to work with so right sees those emotions and she connects with them and of course we do want to put a cool few photos in there because that is part of what we do that's what we bring to the table you know cool looking photos so you definitely want to showcase that but our focus is on the moments because that's what brides really connected and we don't want to show the photos of weddings that we don't want to be pursuing

Class Description

Being a successful wedding photographer isn’t just about taking gorgeous shots, it’s about creating an incredible experience for your clients. If a bride feels great about the services you provide—from your first meeting to your wedding day demeanor to the final delivery of the album—then she’ll be a happy customer for life and recommend you to her vast network of friends and family.

Zach and Jody Gray not only produce beautiful photos, they take great pains to ensure that every aspect of the wedding day is well planned and executed. In this weekend course that includes actual shoots of a bride and groom, Zach and Jody cover all the components of wedding photography, everything from marketing your business to finding the perfect lighting sources to posing your subjects to picking the best shots.

By describing their humble beginnings and explaining how their modest start-up grew into a thriving business with clients across the country, Zach and Jody will inspire you to pursue your own wedding photography dreams.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Establish a strong connection with your clients.

  • Identify the essential gear you’ll need for your shoots.

  • Use light rigs when natural light is unavailable.

  • Understand lighting ratios, strobe lighting, clamshell lighting and more.

  • Figure out which lenses to use for each part of the day.

  • Build up your network and attract more clients.

  • Market your business with your website, sales calls and word of mouth.

  • Review your images and find the best shots.