During the COVID pandemic, wedding photographers have had to make many changes to their businesses. After months of no weddings, pro photographers had to return to wedding photography with fewer people on their teams, masks on their faces, social distancing at all times, slashed wedding photography budgets, and making a habit of sanitizing their hands and their equipment. Besides adapting to weddings during the pandemic, they’ve also had to navigate canceled weddings and modify price plan requests for COVID weddings, which can get quite tricky.
If your couple is canceling their wedding or asking you for a refund, our blog on Navigating Wedding Cancellations and Refunds During the Pandemic could help you deal with it in the right way.
Don’t Lose Hope
With medical companies working on vaccine creation and distribution, we are hopeful that things will start to get better soon. As the world watches and waits, weddings are still happening, and couples still want you to be a part of their special day. Though many are struggling financially, one bright side to this pandemic is that a wedding photographer’s expertise has remained somewhat in demand.
While your job may not be the same as before, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for surviving this and coming out strong. You’ve learned to adapt to the new normal and now have a new piece of gear – the mandatory mask. But while your business may slowly be getting back to how it was pre-COVID, your couples could still face a financial crunch and request that you modify your price plans for COVID weddings to meet their budgets. What do you do in this situation? This blog aims to help you figure out how – or if – it is warranted to adjust pricing weddings during COVID.
Our blog on Top 18 Ways to Book Weddings in the COVID-19 Pandemic could help you out if you are having a tough time booking sessions during the pandemic.
Modifying Price Plans For COVID Weddings
1. Plan Reopening Strategies
As restrictions ease worldwide and couples get the green light to start planning their weddings again, many are opting for small, intimate weddings – think elopements, backyard weddings, and small venues. Despite the downsizing, as a photographer you are still valuable – in truth, we might argue essential – at these smaller affairs. But many couples, especially those with a tight budget, might consider not having a pro photographer at their wedding. As you plan to reopen, consider sharing some tips from this post with your couples who might think they don’t need a photographer! 10 Reasons Why Small COVID Weddings Need Pro Photographers. But if, despite your best efforts at sharing, the post-pandemic cost is still an issue for the couple, here are some other things you can do:
- Consider reviewing the packages you offer and adding something of value to each package that doesn’t cost you money but makes the COVID wedding packages look more attractive. An example of this would be adding a print credit of some value to every package that the client can use for a purchase later on.
- Consider creating a smaller, limited time only COVID wedding package with a time frame associated with it but at a lower cost. The key here is limited time only – this way, people know this is different than your usual price points.
- Consider creating a wedding or elopement package with a flat rate for fewer hours of coverage.
2. Improve and Increase What You Offer
Along the lines of value-added, if you don’t want to make drastic changes to your price plans for COVID weddings, try to compensate elsewhere. You could offer a pre-wedding shoot (different than engagement session) or a post-wedding shoot to your couples. As long as safety regulations are followed, you could take them to a stunning outdoor location and take pictures of them as they enjoy each other’s company. You could even have them simply walk around the city. If they are open to it, you could take some photos of them at their home.
Alternatively, you could also offer your time in helping them navigate the more challenging waters of wedding planning in the time of COVID. If you know any good venues or vendors that fit their needs, budget, and price plan for COVID weddings, you could refer them to your couple. It’s these small things that could make the lives of your clients (and the vendors you’re referring to) easier. In the end, wedding photography is about relationships.
If you would like to help your couple plan their wedding and refer vendors in the future, How to Build Trust With Wedding Vendors could give you some tips on forming relationships with vendors.
3. Offer Discounts
To attract more clients as weddings get back on track, you could even consider offering a discount. Check out what discounts other wedding photographers around your area are offering and try to match them or add something special to your offer as well. You could also consider creating a COVID discount for essential workers or first responders. You can frame this as a percentage off your price plans for COVID weddings or as a dollar value off your price plan. As mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to do discounts with a limited time offer. Limited time offers tend to attract more interest, and the hope is that, as weddings return to normal, you would want to return to your regular pricing if possible.
4. Think of Different Payment Options
A financial crunch might not necessarily mean that your couples can’t pay what you want to charge. Sometimes, you may not have to modify your price plans at all and instead offer your couples different payment options. You could offer them a monthly payment price plan for COVID weddings, wherein they pay you in installments every month. Another payment option would be to forego any cancellation or rescheduling charges. It’s a tough time for everyone, so try to be more understanding with your couples. But also remember that while you want to help your couples, try not to stretch yourself too thin.
Stay Safe & Try to Establish Trust With Clients
Since the pandemic is not in our control, all you can do is try to stay proactive and positive. Many people are suffering from some financial or personal loss, so try to remain patient and considerate about what’s going on in your potential client’s life. As you resume business, modifying your price plans for COVID weddings could help you attract new customers. It would also send across the message that you are willing to meet your couples halfway. If you can, try to give them something that the rest of the pros are not, like free prints or a fantastic location that only you know about. Trust that your couples want the best for their wedding and they’ve chosen you for it. Try to keep checking in with your couples and assure them that you are staying safe and also taking steps to keep them safe.
At ShootDotEdit, besides editing pictures for wedding photographers, we also help you with blog posts such as How to Plan For COVID Engagement Sessions and How to Help Your Clients Plan Their Destination Wedding During the Pandemic. Check out our price plans to see what else we can offer your wedding photography business.