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A Wedding Photography Marketing Plan That Helps You Book More Clients

Here’s a quick question (as stated in the graphic above): where do the majority of your wedding clients come from? The answer will differ for every photographer. Your ideal client is unique, just as your wedding photography business is. The reason we started off with this questions is that it’s important to know where your clients come from to help you set up and execute a strategic wedding photography marketing plan. Rather than spending your time marketing in areas you hope you will receive bookings, you can use your efforts in the places where you know your audience is (which maximizes your time).

To start, here are a few ways you can find out where your clients first found out about your wedding photography business:

  • Use Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a tool you can use to learn more about your clients. It allows you to track where a client comes from to access your website and blog. The data you receive can help you make decisions about where you should use your marketing efforts.
  • Provide questionnaires: Include questionnaires for your clients to fill out before and after booking you to let you know how they found out about you. One way to do this is to include the question on the contact form on your website. You can also ask your clients post-booking, especially during the first client planning meeting.

The next steps to take are to look at the areas your clients are coming from, and create a wedding photography marketing plan that helps you expand your reach and maximize your efforts. Take a look at a few of the first touch points your clients could have with you and ways to create a strong marketing plan.

photography engagement session

Image Compliments of Bōm Photography

Social Media

If you find most of your clients are from social media, this is where the majority of your time should be spent. The next thing to do is to learn which platform your clients are, whether it is Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. If you find the majority of your bookings come from clients that found you on Instagram, and you receive higher interaction there, that is the first platform where you will want to create a plan.

Some ways to maximize social media for your wedding photography business are to:

  • Share your top photos from past weddings. After you receive your images back from a photo editing service, share them on social media. These should be the best images you took and are ones that represent your unique photography style.
  • Develop a hashtag strategy. This applies to both Instagram and Facebook (although it’s not as popular on Facebook quite yet). Make sure to use hashtags that relate your business, specialty, and ideal clients. These 19 can help you get started and expand your reach.
  • Tag clients and vendors. Tag your clients and vendors that helped during the wedding day. This gives both your clients and vendors the opportunity to talk about you to others and shares your images with their followers.
  • Link to your website and blog. A link to your website or blog encourages followers on all social platforms to learn more about you and your services. When you share images from a recent blog post, make sure to include a call to action that invites your followers to see the rest of the images and story on your blog.

Related: Find out how to maximize your time on social media with our free guide, filled with advanced tips and tricks!

Past Clients

If you find most of your clients come from word of mouth from past clients, use your time to create a strategy that helps you market to your past clients. Your past clients are the perfect people to share about your wedding photography business because they know what you provide and can share an accurate retelling of their experience.

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A few wedding photography marketing ideas for your past clients are to:

  • Think ahead. The wedding day is just the beginning of the experiences your clients will have together. Think of ways you can help them for other life events, such as buying a house (maybe you know a realtor!).
  • Invite them to events. As your clients progress through the things that come after getting married, invite them to events with other couples in the same stages. This will help them share about their time with you as their wedding photographer, and also reminds them of how much you helped them.
  • Create a newsletter. Send your past clients a newsletter to assist them with things they need help with or could use more information about after the wedding day is over. You stay top of mind with them and also share valuable tips they can use.

Search Engines

If you decide that most of your past bookings come from your clients finding your website or blog on search engines, create a wedding photography marketing plan that is focused on how to increase your presence there. Using Search Engine Optimization techniques on your website and blog are key to grabbing the attention of search engines and having your website and blog posts rank higher.

Ways to optimize your presence on search engines are to:

  • Build links for SEO. Start with your social media platforms when you build links, and make sure they link back to your website or blog. Use call to actions to encourage clicks on the links so clients can learn more about you and your services.
  • Be specific with keywords. Use keywords that are specific to your specialty for your website, images, and blog and ones that help you target your ideal clients as they search for a photographer. The more specific you are, the easier it becomes to use keywords your clients often use on search engines.
  • Share blog posts regularly. Blog posts are a quick way to add links for SEO to help you rank on search engine. Adding keywords to your blog posts and images is essential to your success. A blogging service for professional wedding photographers, such as Fotoskribe, implement proper SEO strategies and more for your blog posts. Learn more about what they can do to help you rank higher on search engines here.

Related: Are you making these critical mistakes in SEO?

When you know where your clients come from, you can create a strategic wedding photography marketing plan for your business that helps you book more weddings. What are additional strategies you can use to book clients throughout the year? In our Secrets to Getting Booked in 2017 Guide, we connected with 22 pros who shared what worked for them in their business to increase their bookings. Download your copy today!

Shooting Indoor Wedding Portraits with Off Camera Flash Photography

One of the most challenging aspects of being a wedding photographer is that, often times, you have absolutely no control of the situations you encounter to photograph. One specific aspect of that challenge is the lighting conditions you encounter. Knowing how to use off camera flash can help you overcome these challenging wedding photography lighting scenarios.

In our Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding Photographers Guide, created with SLR Lounge, we discuss a few scenarios that may occur during the getting ready part of the day. Throughout the first post of this series, Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge and Lin & Jirsa Photography shared his suggestions to set up the lighting for the getting ready scene to help you develop unique and dramatic images. For the second post, he will share how to using off camera flash for indoor portraits can continue to add these effects to your images.

 

Locations for indoor portraits will differ, as will the light you are provided. In some cases, as viewed during the getting ready examples, there is natural light to help with the scene. Other times, though, you may be in an indoor location where there is no natural light filling the scene. While there might be some artificial light provided from ceiling lights, you may not want to only rely on that to be your main source of light. This is when knowing how to add off camera flash into the scene can be particularly useful. Below, Pye walks you through how to take dark locations with low and terrible lighting and transform it to create dramatic portraits.

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groom wedding photography lighting

Image Compliments of Lin & Jirsa Photography

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Creating Effective Instagram and Facebook Ads for Wedding Photographers

Just like the wedding photography industry, social media is constantly evolving. It seems like every week there are updates and adjustments to the various platforms (some of them are great and some require you to modify your strategy). One thing is for sure – social media is an essential part of the marketing strategy you use for your business.

As a wedding photographer, platforms like Instagram and Facebook are ideal for you. They allow you to share your content and images with large audiences, which helps you drive traffic to your website and blog. Even better, both platforms allow you to share content with specific audiences made up of ideal clients. Instagram and Facebook ads are valuable tools to focus your marketing efforts on and get the maximum benefit. Since there are plenty of ways to set up ads, we partnered with wedding photography duo Jesse and Becky Morquecho of Idealust. In an Online Training with them, Jesse and Becky shared their insights into what works in regard to building ads that convert clients. Here are a few tips to help you create effective (and profitable!) Instagram and Facebook ads.

Create Relevant Content

Because Instagram and Facebook use native advertising, you have the ability to create ads that can look like non-paid or non-ad content. To find success, produce content that is relevant and encourages engagement. When you encourage comments or shares on your ads, Instagram and Facebook will actually make it less expensive for you to get in front of more people. The platforms promote the content their users want to see, which is encouragement enough to ensure what you share is relevant and valuable. Also, keep in mind that the more engagement your ads receive, the more people will respond and want to learn more about you.

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Photography Lighting Setups During the Wedding Family Formals

wedding photography lighting tips

It’s that part of the day… the wedding family formals, where you have to (quickly) gather the bride and groom’s family members and take a few memorable photos of everyone together. This is where your skills and confidence as a photographer comes in handy – especially when it comes to photography lighting. Because lighting is unpredictable, you must be prepared for any type of condition during this part of the wedding day. With multiple people together (their attention spans fading…), how can you create the perfect light to quickly capture these images? In her second post of her Wedding Lighting Masterclass, ShootDotEdit Customer, Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers will share her wedding photography lighting tips to help you shoot confidently through the family formals.

Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Headshot

One of the leading wedding photographers in Pittsburgh, Leeann Marie has created an exclusive brand that is family focused for the cosmopolitan bride. She’s a national speaker for WPPI, has been in business for 9 years, and has a background in Industrial Engineering giving her a unique perspective on photography and business. She relies heavily on systems in her business to accomplish all of her goals, and has been a ShootDotEdit happy photographer for seven years. She lives in the city of Pittsburgh with her husband and daughter. She loves looking out her back window into the firefly-lit woods, and enjoying a night out for sushi and drinks with friends. Learn more about Leeann on her website and Instagram account!

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Welcome to the Wedding Lighting Masterclass! This is the first article in the series, which I hope will help you to learn some valuable techniques for perfectly managing and lighting the different photography scenarios that you will be faced with on a wedding day.

A few notes about this course:

FAST IS BEST: I truly believe that “Fast Is Best”, which is (obviously) why I love ShootDotEdit 🙂 But really, one of the key valuable principles that I bring to my brides and grooms each wedding day is an experience that is organized, hassle-free, and yet still beautifully lit and happy.

Keeping my lighting scenarios as fast as possible allows me to move between scenarios quickly, while still creating beautiful photography for my couples. I do use natural light as a photographer, but I’m not afraid of flash in the least, and work with tools and an arsenal of mental notes (lots of them that are described in this course!) to help me move between situations quickly and flawlessly.

THERE ARE OPTIONS: In the photography-world, there are a million ways to light one simple scene. The methods outlined in this course are my personal preferences, and I encourage you to try them and then modify if necessary to fit your photography style and client needs.

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How to Create a Wedding Photography Business Plan

In your business, planning is an essential part of your growth. Because creating a plan takes time and there are many elements to prepare for, how do you know exactly what to focus on first? We put together a list of how to create a wedding photography business plan to set your business up for success. Take a look below to get started.

Define a Specialty

One of the first steps to take to create a strong business plan is to define a specialty. You are a wedding photographer, but what makes you unique and helps you stand out from others in the industry? Will you shoot locally or travel for your clients? Do you prefer to shoot outdoors or have a few favorite venues? These questions, and more, can help you decide what specialty defines you so you can create a strategic plan around it and share it with your ideal clients.

Related: How can you find and develop your unique photography style?

Identify Ideal Clients

Now that you know what makes you unique, you can then identify your ideal client. Use your specialty to help – if you are an outdoor photographer who loves adventure, your ideal client will have similar qualities. Also think about the age range they are, their likes and dislikes, and location to narrow down the selection. When you know who your ideal client is, you can develop a business plan specifically catered to them.

wedding photography staircase

Image Compliments of Custom by Nicole Photography

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4 Visual WordPress Plugins You Need for Your Wedding Photography Website

One of the first stops an ideal client makes in searching for a wedding photographer is at your website. Your website is where you share your past photography work and is a reflection of your brand and what clients can expect when they book you. That’s why it’s so important to have all the tools necessary to create a positive experience for them as soon as they access your website. Plugins are a popular feature that helps you expand what your website can offer to ideal clients. We reached out to Scott Wyden Kivowitz from Imagely, a leading provider of WordPress products and services for professional photographers, to gain his insights on 4 visual wedding photography plugins you need for your website.

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I’m often hearing from wedding photographers who want to know what WordPress plugins they should use on their site. So today, I’d like to address this popular question. To be specific, though, I’m going to offer my recommendations for visual plugins. Plugins which add features to make your website more aesthetically pleasing. Before we dive in, I want to make sure you understand that almost all the plugins I’m recommending are free but have paid counterparts and services. 

Image Compliments of TNK Photo

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My First Year as a Photographer: 16 Things I Wish I Did

Ah, the feeling of officially turning your photography hobby into a full-fledged business venture – it’s thrilling and you’re on cloud 9! You get to be your own boss and can do what you love every. single. day. As in any endeavor, your first year is likely to have speed bumps and issues as you learn the most efficient ways to be the best photographer possible.

Reality sets in as the speed bumps occur. There are emails to answer, shoots to direct, images to backup, social media to post… the list goes on. Suddenly, this newfound freedom of being your own boss is extremely overwhelming. With a laundry list of things to do, where do you possibly focus your time in the first few years to set your business up for longevity and success? We’ve got just the thing to help.

16 Things I Wish I Did My First Year as a Photographer

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5 Things to Let Go of for Success in Your Wedding Photography Business

You’ve likely heard this before… success takes a lot of hard work. As a wedding photography business owner, there are so many tasks on your plate (and they all seem vital to complete). The key to success is to focus on the items that are most important for your growth and reallocate the ones that are not to other resources.

Back with her next post, ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro Vanessa Joy shares her personal insights into how she decided what to let go of in her wedding photography business. Continue reading to discover her process and tips to help you decide what to take off your plate.

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“Stop the glorification of busy.”

This was a quote I recently stumbled across and I absolutely love it. It’s so funny to me in this world, and in today’s culture, that busy equals important. In my opinion, being too busy doesn’t mean important. It means I’m sacrificing things like friends, family, health, exercise, vacations, and sanity time; all the things that we’re meant to enjoy in life. Why is it that we find the need to keep ourselves busy?

engagement photography

Image Compliments of Vanessa Joy Photography

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Top 5 Tips for Creativity Sparks for Wedding Photography Busy Season

With busy season on its way, are you feeling creative and inspired? Often times, it can be challenging to maintain inspiration during the slower months, especially with fewer opportunities to flex your creative muscles. How can you jumpstart your creativity and capture memorable images from each wedding you shoot this year?

In our Online Training: Simple Creativity Sparks for Your Wedding Photography Busy Season, Montana Dennis shared his personal insights into what you can do to spark your creativity and prepare for the busy summer months. Even if you’ve been shooting for years, or are just getting started, these are tips you can use to jumpstart your creativity. Here are the top 5 tips from the Training to help you get started.

1. Be Intentional

As a wedding photographer, you have the unique ability to be with your clients on one of the most important days of their lives. Because of that, be intentional in the images you create for them. Every photo you take should tell a story about your couple and represent your unique wedding photography style.

sunset wedding photography

Image Compliments of Montana Dennis

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Using Off-Camera Flash to Create Dramatic Getting Ready Images

One of the most challenging aspects of being a wedding photographer is that, often times, you have absolutely no control of the situations you encounter to photograph. One specific aspect of that challenge is the lighting conditions you encounter. Knowing how to use off-camera flash can help you overcome these challenging wedding photography lighting scenarios.

On a wedding day, one of the first scenes you encounter is the getting ready location. This can happen in a variety of places, such as a hotel room, a house, or a room provided at the wedding venue. Depending on the location, you might be able to shoot most of these images with natural light. However, using off-camera flash during the getting ready scene is a great way to add drama to an otherwise potentially dull scene.

In our Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding Photographers Guide, created with SLR Lounge, we discuss a few scenarios that may occur during the getting ready part of the day. Below, we show you how Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge and Lin & Jirsa Photography personally sets up the lighting for the getting ready scene to create unique and dramatic images.

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dramatic getting ready image with the bride

Image Compliments of Lin & Jirsa Photography

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How to Grow your Wedding Photography Business

The ShootDotEdit blog is a resource for aspiring wedding photographers as well as professional wedding photographers. Photographers can learn how to grow their wedding photography business and sustain a thriving business by outsourcing wedding photography editing to ShootDotEdit.