The wedding industry thrives on relationships! And naturally, the wedding photography industry follows suit. What starts as a meeting at a conference or photography-related event turns into a personal relationship, which then has the potential to turn into a professional relationship that benefits both parties. It’s important to collaborate with other vendors to run your wedding photography business successfully. But collaborations may not always come easy. You may not know who to reach out to, you may not be sure if they are the right vendor for you, or you may not know what you can offer in return – there can be several reasons as to why you find yourself unable to reach out to a vendor. And if that’s the case, this blog is for you! In this blog, we bring you the top 5 wedding collaboration tips that will help you expand your network, meet new vendors and eventually get more referrals.
Top 5 Wedding Collaboration Tips for Photographers
1. Attend Wedding-Related Events
What better way to meet like-minded people than to be in a room full of them? As one of the top wedding collaboration tips,we’d suggest that you consider attending conferences and wedding-related events. Attending these can significantly increase your chances of meeting and eventually collaborating with another vendor. Ideally, you could try to find events near you. This way, you will have more chances of meeting local vendors. The best part of these events is that you can meet all kinds of vendors – from makeup artists to florists and bakers. So, take your pick, start networking and remember, you don’t want to appear too desperate or boring, so be prepared to form some real relationships.
2. Do Your Vendor Research
To help you save your and other people’s time, our next wedding collaboration tip for you would be to carefully consider who you want to collaborate with and for what reasons. Before you reach out to a wedding vendor for a collaboration, it would be ideal if you knew exactly what you expect from them. And if not an exact idea, then even having a rough outline of what their role is going to be will help the vendor understand you and your vision better. This would also make it easier for them to know whether they would be interested in collaborating with you. Having a clear idea in your head will also give them the confidence that you know what you want to do and you are not just wasting their time.
As a photographer, you should be reaching out to wedding vendors whose style you love and whose work you would love to photograph. Make sure that your aesthetics match. So, when you do plan to collaborate on a styled shoot, you and your vendors can be on the same page when it comes to the creative process.
3. Wedding Collaboration is a Two-Way Street
One of the most important wedding collaboration tips, and many would agree, is that you can’t be selfish when planning a collaboration. Similar to wedding planning, planning a wedding collaboration is also a long process with multiple decision-making stages. As you think about what you want from other vendors, you should also plan to offer something useful in return. Both parties should benefit and feel valued when collaborating for a wedding.
Since you are a wedding photographer, you could take pictures of the services they provide. For example, for makeup artists, you could take pictures of their models or take beautiful photos of the wedding cakes if you are collaborating with a baker. You could offer these photos to them free of cost and simply ask them to give you a shoutout if they share them on their social media.
Related Read: 4 Easy Ways to Share Images With Vendors
4. Create a Contract
Don’t forget to make things official (and bound by law)! Once you have found the vendors you want to collaborate with and they’ve agreed to your terms and conditions, make sure you document everything. Prepare a contract that includes all the agreed-upon deliverables and any other miscellaneous agreements you have made with each vendor. While we do suggest that you try to form a real connection with the vendors you choose, we would also suggest that you keep things official and ensure that there are no loose ends or misunderstandings that could land you in legal trouble later.
5. Follow Timelines & Communicate
Everyone loves working with people who stick to the schedule and are dependable. So, the last and another important wedding collaboration tip we suggest you follow is respecting timelines. Just like you, other vendors also work with tight deadlines with their clients. So if they have your back, you should have their backs too. In case you are dealing with an emergency or can’t deliver on the agreed-upon time, let your vendor know. They are dependent on you, so instead of lying to them or being unreachable, you should be honest and inform them in case of any delays on the day of or afterward.
Collaborating with other vendors is crucial for expanding your network, meeting new people from your industry, getting more referrals, and even making new friends! While this may be a business deal, we’d suggest that you try to really get to know the vendors you choose to work with. Instead of directly approaching them with a business proposition, you could actually try to get to know them first. Ask them about their business, how long they’ve been doing it, why they started etc. Your curiosity will lead to better conversations.
Additionally, before you even approach a vendor, make sure that you do your research on them and know exactly why you want to collaborate with them. And once you are sure about the vendor, communicate your vision to them as clearly as possible. Beyond these give wedding collaboration tips that we’ve offered in this blog, you could do a lot more to connect with other vendors. Make sure you read our blog on how to build trust with wedding vendors to learn more about vendor relationships.
At ShootDotEdit, we love offering you tips that help you take your wedding photography business to the next step. We also pride ourselves on making your life easier by lessening your post-production workload. To learn more about how we can help, check out our price plans.