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Husband and wife wedding & relationship photography team, Laibel and Chana of Laibel Schwartz Photography started out their business as more of a “team-building” project — something to aide in personal communication.
“It was fun to be creative together and challenge ourselves together,” Chana says. “And we specifically started weddings because I had a passion for that.”
Chana told us that her own experience with her wedding photographer had not been an overly positive one. “She posed me in ways where I felt like… ‘Well this doesn’t feel good, but I’m sure it will look good…’ And then it didn’t look good.” Chana says their philosophy on wedding photography has developed around their perspective of what a bride really wants to feel like on her wedding day.
Philosophy on Client Experience
Client experience is super important to both Laibel and Chana. They wanted to create a client experience that centers around how their clients feel through the entire process of booking a wedding photographer and everything that comes after.
“We created a system,” says Laibel. “A brand new system that literally took all of the frustrations out of what is a very traditionally frustrating experience.” They wanted to essentially create an experience for their clients that was pleasant from beginning to end.
Building Strong Brand Partnerships
The client experience is only one part of their successful business though. another, equally as important to them is building brand relationships.
Shortly before making a trip out to California to film and photograph marketing material for their photography business, Laibel made a surprise purchase of two Profoto B1’s. Chana was against the purchase at the time, but after her experience with using the B1s, she fell in love with their ease-of-use.
So while they were out in California, shooting at amazing locations like Palos Verdes and on Yachts in the Pacific — they decided to create a short, three-minute video pitch to send back to Profoto using the B1s they had just purchased.
“At the time, Profoto had just come out with a brand new light — the B2,” says Laibel. “And they hired eighteen of the best photographers in the world to showcase how they utilized this light to make magic… I wanted to be the nineteenth person.”
Laibel and Chana rented two hot air balloons in California to take a couple up to shoot a photo session. Chana was in one balloon with a long lens while Laibel and the couple went into the other balloon.
The photos and video they took that day were stunning! They quickly put the pitch video together and sent it on its way to Profoto. Needless to say, Profoto loved it and told Laibel and Chana to make a longer video. So they rented another hot air balloon, and this time brought along a professional video team.
The result? “Perfect!” Laibel says. “Profoto was ready to share it with the world!”
A year after creating that brand relationship, Laibel and Chana were named one of Profoto’s ‘Legends of Light’.
When asked about his advice for other photographers looking to make these types of brand partnerships, Laibel says, “Just make it. Don’t wait for people to give you an opportunity. Create the opportunity, gift it to them, show them what you’re about, and if it’s good enough, they’re going to believe in you.”
Why Partnering with Photography Brands Can Boost Your Business
Recently, Laibel and Chana used their brand-partnership-aquisition technique with Adorama to great success. “They said, ‘We love your process. Go make a film!’” Laibel says.
Laibel told us that partnering with Profoto and Adorama has been a great way to build their brand as photographers. “Big brand partnerships empower you to touch projects you may not have otherwise been able to touch,” he says. “It also gives you validity when reaching out to larger brands to be able to connect.”
However, if something doesn’t work, then Laibel and Chana aren’t afraid to admit it and go in a different direction.
When it comes to different ways to expand their business, Laibel and Chana work every day to keep profit coming in. This includes partnering with outsourcing services like ShootDotEdit [link to product page].
“I believe that ShootDotEdit is an opportunity to actually be profitable,” Laibel says. “Because I can stay focused on what I want to be doing. I can stay focused on business and allow myself not to worry about my post-production.”
If you’re interested in checking out Laibel and Chana’s stunning work, check out their website or follow them on Instagram or Facebook. These are two photographers who do not stop — always creating — and we at ShootDotEdit are proud to be a part of their team.