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The Wedding Photographer’s Business Plan

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Whether you are just starting your photography business, or you are a seasoned professional wedding photographer, planning for your success is key. Having a wedding photography business plan ensures that you are ready to handle the challenges that come as your grow your photography business. Starting a photography business is fun and exciting, but as you book more weddings and fill your calendar, what once was your dream job can turn becoming stressful and unmanageable. Having a photography business plan will ensure you can handle your growth and scale.

Download our free guide to discover how to grow and market your wedding photography business!

You may attempt to hire an assistant and soon realize that it is time-consuming to try to teach and train someone all of the knowledge you have about your business, and your stress is still at a high. So how do you find a way to make your business scalable where you can work ON your business rather than IN it?

“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn how to delegate.” – John. C Maxwell

In order to run a successful and thriving wedding photography business, it is essential to have a plan. Without one, you may find yourself working on your own in your business until you’re tired and overwhelmed. Being scalable and creating a plan allows you to implement proper systems that allow you to have more time taking pictures and less time working on other tasks. This results in you saving time, energy, and greatly reducing stress. Here are some tips on how to become scalable for your business and create and effective plan.

Image Compliments of Elmer Escobar Photography

Determine the Tasks Only You Can Do

To start, take some time and write out everything that you do, and make this list as detailed as possible. Planning for growth involves creating the systems ahead of time to sustain the growth. Document every step that is involved in each process so you have a thorough list of everything that goes into your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. By being as detailed as possible, it gives you the opportunity to determine what steps are actually necessary to complete certain tasks, and which steps can be eliminated. Try to make each task as streamlined as possible – remember, wedding photographers who spend less time working on tasks can dedicate that time to shooting!

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The 5 Steps to Discovering your Ideal Client

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Within the competitive wedding photography industry, there are thousands of photographers who want to book clients who match their brand and message. As a photographer, you spend much of your time working on your business to reflect a certain message that will reach out to like-minded clients. In order to be successful in attracting ideal couples, there are a few steps you need to take to stand out as a photography business owner from others in the industry.

Since finding your ideal client is key to growing your business, we brought in photography duo Jeff and Erin Youngren of The Youngrens, to share some of her insight into finding couples you want to work with. This is the first installment of our 4-part series discussing how to find your ideal client written by Erin, so let’s get to it!

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Are you tired of shooting weddings that aren’t your style? Or working with clients that you don’t enjoy? There’s nothing more difficult than feeling dragged down by your business or dreading your shoots because you don’t connect with your clients or they don’t connect with you. It’s hard feeling unknown, unappreciated, or simply disconnected from your clientele and your art.

I strongly believe that every photographer has a unique client type that is perfectly suited for them. We talk about it all the time in the wedding and portrait photography industry – your target audience, your perfect bride, the right clientele. All different ways to talk about the same thing – your ideal client. [···]

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Top 5 Tips for Shooting Stand Out Images

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When shooting wedding photography, challenges, both arising and unexpected, are nothing more than perfect opportunities to shoot images that stand out. Some of your best images may come from a few of of the toughest situations you are placed in, because you are challenged to think outside of the box and push yourself when it comes to creating stellar images.

 In our webinar, Shooting Stand Out Imagery in the Toughest Situations, wedding photography duo Justin and Mary Marantz discussed how to make obstacles work to your advantage. They shared tips and strategies on how photographers can turn any challenge into an opportunity to shoot some of the most stunning images. We’ve put together the top 5 tips for shooting stand out imagery for you to implement into your business today!

1. Create a Common Theme in Your Images

During the wedding day, every part of your shoot will have its own set of challenges for you to overcome. The easiest way to face these obstacles is to keep the scene free from distractions. Avoid creating too many calculated moments – let the shoot take a natural course that provides you with stunning images. Since the getting ready shoot is about the moments leading up to the ceremony, be sure to highlight the details that represent the bride and groom during this time. The getting ready room may also have many beautiful details, but those are not necessarily what you should focus on during that shoot. [···]

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11 Go-To Poses for the Groom

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As you are shooting with the bride and groom, you spend a lot of time thinking about what wedding photography poses you should use that will make them look their best. In the past, we have covered topics on how to pose the bride, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family formals. Since posing is a critical part of your shooting routine, we thought we should cover another important part of the wedding day – groom poses! The wedding day is as much about him as it is the bride, and creating poses specifically for the groom will result in standout images that they both will enjoy! Here are the 11 go-to poses for the groom on the wedding day.

Download our free Posing Guide here, with 34 pages of posing tips and tricks from 9 successful wedding photographers!

1. Standing Up Straight

When you start off your shoot, have the groom create classic poses that help him become comfortable with you and the camera. While he is standing, have him face the camera and smile for a few of the shots. Try to change the position of his head as well as the angle of your camera to create dynamic images so that he stays in posture and can easily smile for the shot. This is one of the most flattering groom poses you can do on the wedding day, and is often one that will get selected for the album.

2. Adjusting Cuff Links or Tie

As you pose the groom, suggest that he adjust his cuff links or his tie in the shot. When his hands are moving, he will not focus on posing and the shot will look more natural. Be sure to also capture his expression as he focuses on the details of his attire.

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Image Compliments of Justin and Mary Marantz [···]

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Top 5 Tips for Discovering your Ideal Client

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Before establishing an effective wedding photography business, you have to know who you are trying to attract, and most importantly, who your ideal clients are. Ideal clients are your dream clients – they are your target audience, most preferred consumers, and your biggest fans.

In our recent Discovering Your Ideal Client Webinar, wedding photographers Jeff and Erin Youngren discussed how ideal clients bring joy and satisfaction to your business and become the reason behind why you love what you do. Here are 5 helpful tips on how to discover your ideal clients.

1. Profile Yourself

Profiling yourself will help you identify similar interests that your ideal client shares. Since you have your wedding photo editing outsourced to a specialist, you have more free time to start thinking about yourself what’s important to you. Do you value creativity or simplicity? What are the reasons behind your decisions? How do you spend your money and free time? When profiling yourself, you are figuring out what your core values and beliefs are. Writing down these qualities about yourself will make your profiling process much easier. Chances are, some of your same values, hobbies and beliefs will be the same as your ideal clients. [···]

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How to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy

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As a busy wedding photographer, your calendar is full with client meetings, marketing, blogging, and most importantly, weddings. With everything needing your attention at once, it can be challenging to keep track of everything you need to do, especially small day-to-day tasks such as social media. This is understandable, but the good news is there are ways you can avoid forgetting, and instead, continuously stay relevant in the minds of your past, present, and future clients!

Creating a social media schedule for your business is extremely helpful in assisting you with maintaining a consistent and successful workflow. This is one of the benchmark steps in a successful content marketing strategy, which is why we’ve developed 4 steps to help you figure out what works best for you and your business.

1. Decide on your Social Platforms

Before you can determine how often you are posting, you will first need to know what platforms work best for your business. You want your images to make a connection with your audience, and social media platforms are extremely helpful for several reasons. Instagram allows you to share your photos instantly with other users. You can also use Twitter for the same purpose, as well interacting with your followers. Facebook is also great for this because you can use it for contests that engage people in your feed. [···]

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How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business Guide: 2015 Updated Edition

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In your wedding photography business, there are always ways for you to improve certain areas to stay relevant and desirable as a photographer in the industry. Here at ShootDotEdit, we thrive off of educating photographers and business owners alike!

Since our first guide back in 2014, we’ve learned a lot about how photographers can find success within the ever changing and evolving photography industry. We’re excited to announce the release of an update of one of our most popular guides yet: How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business: 2015 Updated Edition – A guide made for photographers!

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3 Steps to Creating a Personal Series on Your Blog

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As a wedding photographer, there’s something great about finding your ideal clients that have similar interests and values as you. Not only do you create personal connections with them, but it can also help motivate you to push the boundaries on your photography because you love your clients! When couples reflect the same values or artistic interests as you, they are more likely to reach out to you when they are interested in finding a wedding photographer. Being a wedding photographer puts you in a great position to connect with all different kinds of people, and being a social media savvy wedding photographer gives you even more of an advantage. You also have plenty of content to share (your images) – so once you get them back from a post production photography service, you can start implementing them into your blog!

With that in mind, when you sit down to work on your blogging, it is imperative that the experiences you write about and the stories you share create a bond between you and your clients. You can do this by developing a personal series that focuses on something you are passionate about and directly reflects your values as a photographer.

Knowing exactly how to create a personal series can be a challenge at first, especially because it causes you to think of all your other passions besides photography and engage them in a way you otherwise might not have. Here are 3 steps to help you connect with current and potential clients using the most authentic tool in your content marketing toolkit: You!

1. Determine the topic

Think about all the aspects that make up the unique individual that is you. Maybe you are an outdoor wedding photographer that loves camping and frequently camps in the mountains. Take advantage of these trips by documenting and sharing your experiences on the blog. Not only does this allow readers to get to know you on a personal level, but if they also love camping, this may be just the spark they need that gets them to reach out to you. [···]

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4 Tips for Shooting with Backlight

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While you are shooting the bride and groom on the wedding day, there are many variables to think about – do you have the right poses? Are you confident in the shooting plan you have created for this location? Do you have the right lighting to deliver stunning images to your clients? Lighting is an important aspect of your shoot that can elevate your images from good to outstanding. Backlighting is a technique that you can use when shooting your subjects that allows you to shoot your subject directly in front of the light.

Though backlighting can be difficult to master at first, it is a helpful skill to have as a photographer. The more obstacles you can overcome as a photographer, the better chances that your clients will book you again or refer you to other couples who may be getting married soon. We’ve put together 4 tips for shooting with backlight to get you started today!

Download our Lighting Guide for Wedding Photographers here, and discover 26 key tips from Roberto Valenzuela’s #1 Best Selling Book, Picture Perfect Lighting!

1. Diffuse the Sun

With backlighting your subjects, the sun does not always need to be in the full frame of your camera. Knowing exactly how to master the sun flare look while still keeping your subjects properly exposed is not the easiest look to achieve, so start by diffusing the sun. Find a location where the sun can be partially covered to your camera, while still allowing the light to shine onto your subjects. Locations that can help accomplish this look can be buildings or trees. This will still help you to achieve a beautiful backlit portrait while not needing to be in a location that has nothing to diffuse the light with, such as an open field.

Image by Lin and Jirsa Photography (www.linandjirsa.com)

Image Compliments of Lin and Jirsa Photography

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CreativeLive Course: Location, Posing, Execution with Roberto Valenzuela

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CreativeLive is our favorite resource for awesome online education for professional photographers. Photographer and author Roberto Valenzuela spent time teaching the fundamentals of posing in his CreativeLive class, Location, Posing, Execution. We have exciting news – from May 31st to June 1st, CreativeLive is rebroadcasting Roberto’s class for FREE!

As a wedding photographer, posing is one of the most crucial parts of creating stunning images for your clients. By simply understanding the basics of how to pose your clients, you can speed up your shooting process and make sure that your clients look their best in every image! [···]

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