Look at your current schedule. Are you behind or overwhelmed by all your responsibilities? Do tasks keep appearing on your plate, creating business bottlenecks, and stopping you from focusing on success photography business items because you have no time to work on them? These business bottlenecks can range from administrative duties, to blogging, to email organization, to anything else which takes you too long to accomplish.
During the wedding day, there are various resources involved in making sure everything runs smoothly for the bride and groom. In addition to you photographing the happenings of the day, multiple vendors take care of the cake, flowers, decorations, and music. These vendors are people you should get to know and create lasting relationships with. Not only can they help you meet ideal clients, they can become friends who support what you do and help you get through the longest wedding day shoots.
An important vendor involved in the day is the wedding coordinator, who has been working with the couple from the beginning to help their vision come to life. Jessica Gillon, owner of Events by Design, compares a coordinator to a producer or director of a movie. The star of the movie has great ideas but may not have the ability to make them come to life, but the producer or director can help their vision happen. Among other important decisions, a wedding coordinator helps the bride and groom choose the perfect vendors, which includes the wedding photographer!
Since wedding coordinators are a large part of the day, it is important for you to build a relationship with them. Not only is the coordinator someone who can make it easier for you to shoot the couple and their wedding party, they are powerful referral sources for your business. When you connect with the wedding coordinator, they get to know who you are and can help match you with the perfect couple. Here are some of Jessica’s tips to help you make the wedding coordinator your best friend.
Follow the Timeline
Because the wedding day can be chaotic, the wedding coordinator helps the couple create a timeline which helps everything run smoothly. This is a detailed list of everything happening during the day, such as when the bride and groom get ready, what time they should arrive at the ceremony, and when they should include each activity within the reception. There are also specific details included in the timeline of when you should arrive and start shooting the couple and their wedding party. [···]
When you decided to become a wedding photographer, the decision came with a lot of responsibility, as well as a bit of pressure. As your brand continues to develop, it is important to have a dedicated workspace for your business. This is somewhere you can be yourself and feel inspired to successfully run your photography business. Your office should be a stress-free work environment which helps you be the best business owner possible. The more comfortable you are in your space, the better work you will produce. To help you get started on your office design, we put together a list of 11 industry pros who have successfully created an office design to help them stay consistently inspired in their business.
1. Stephanie Messick
When creating a design for your office, it can be necessary to separate your business from your personal life. Developing a space for your business that is it its own can help you focus on achieving your goals. If your office is in your home, perhaps you can make it a room in which no one else can enter besides you and any clients you meet. In addition to creating an office focused on your work, it should be a place you love to be, as well as a place your clients are excited to visit. This can assist you in motivating yourself to accomplish the necessary task your business needs to grow.
Destination Wedding and Portrait Photographer, Stephanie Messick, has an office design which is dedicated entirely to her business, rather than splitting her personal and work spaces. When you create an office similar to this, you can create a space which drives you to do some of your best work.
Now that off-season is officially here, you have the opportunity to take a step back and breathe. Although your business could always use adjustments and improvements, it is important for your well-being to slow down a bit. Busy season can take a toll on you, so this is the perfect time to regroup.
The off-season allows time for you to revitalize yourself as a photographer and business owner. One of the top qualities of a successful business owner is the desire to learn. During this time, you have the chance to attend photography workshops and seminars, network with local photographers and vendors, and read as much as possible. Because understanding how to approach the next busy wedding season is crucial, we put together nine books you should read during the off-season.
Written by Jon Acuff
With an ever-changing industry, you may feel as if you need to revamp your business and try a new strategy. After all, the same techniques you used years before may not be what gets you to the next level this year. Making large changes to your business can be challenging and frustrating at times, especially if you are not finding success right away.
Do you remember the first day you decided to take your photography hobby to the next level and start your business? Whether that was years ago, or you are just starting out, your first few years of business are crucial to your future success. 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.
Since everyone has a different story, we wanted to share some of the things some of the pros missed out on their first year as a photographer. Maybe these are things you can relate to, or they are items you may have not come across yet. Either way, take a look at 16 things that pro photographers wish they did during their first year of business.
1. Realize You Are Not Just a Photographer
When the bride and groom book you for their wedding, they may not realize all of the tasks you will perform leading up to the wedding day. Not only will you be a resource for your couple,but you will help them plan out their wedding day schedule. When the day of the wedding arrives, you will tell the bridal party and family members where to stand and how to pose through every shot.
“You are a photographer/customer service expert/book keeper/marketing director/social media whiz/branding dude/website creation person/secretary/treasurer/CEO/CFO/ and pretty much any other title you can think of.” – Lauren Lim
You are a valuable asset to your couple, so remember that when it becomes challenging to be a business owner.
As a wedding photographer, what is the one thing you spend the most time creating and delivering to your clients? Your images! The bride and groom seek you out and book you based on the quality of your images, and whether your style matches their vision. The images you provide your couples can help you meet your business goals by increasing your overall profit. Another way to reach your business goals is to create pricing that matches the quality of your images. How can you improve your images and make a higher profit off of each booking? Check out these eight methods and increase the value of your images starting today.
1. Shoot for your Ideal Client
Although there are thousands of couples who are looking for a wedding photographer, many of them are not in your target market. For instance, if a couple lives in a different state and you do not travel, you would not want to invest time in trying to book that couple. Or, if you are a destination photographer, but a couple wants to get married in a local location, that can also be a time-consuming process that will not help you define who you are as a wedding photographer.
If you take a step back and look at where you are in your wedding photography business, are you exactly where you thought you’d be at this time in your career? As a wedding photographer, it’s important to consistently reevaluate where you are and what you can improve on.
During your wedding shoots, how often do you test out new shooting techniques? Even if you are comfortable with the skills you have, it can be crucial to know how to use the most advanced and up-to-date shooting techniques. Additionally, understanding how to shoot in any situation can take your photography business to another level.
In order for you to grow your business and book higher-end weddings, it’s important for you to learn the science of lighting as well as the art involved in posing to deliver gorgeous imagery. If you want to stand out from other photographers in the industry, you must have all of the skillsets necessary to deliver breathtaking images, no matter what the lighting situation or subject is.
To help you master lighting and posing, we have the perfect free guide for you:
As a professional wedding photographer, you spend months helping your bride and groom prep for their special day. From the engagement shoot to the wedding day timeline, you take time to ensure that your couple is prepared for everything leading up to the wedding. Along with ensuring that the bride and groom are prepared, it is also crucial that you feel prepared as well, especially on the morning of the wedding!
Here at ShootDotEdit, we love to educate and help you find better solutions to growing your business. In order to feel your best before a shoot, it is important to have a consistent routine. Every wedding photographer’s morning-of ritual is unique, and we asked some of the industry’s pros to see what they do before their events. Their answers can help you better prepare yourself and have a more successful shoot.
Continue to Build Trust
Leading up to the wedding, you take time to develop a meaningful relationship with your couple. As the wedding day arrives, it is crucial to continue to build trust with them. Making efforts to reach out to them, or learning important family member’s names can make a large impact on the relationship you and your couple already have. The more they can trust you, the easier it is for them to become loyal customers!
Wedding photographer Terra Cooper has a morning-of wedding ritual that consists of reviewing the plan the couple wrote for the day, as well as making attempts to memorize names of the bride and groom’s immediate family and bridal party. She knows that the more she can talk to family members by using their first names, the more personalized the entire experience becomes.
“I go over the bride and groom’s questionnaires they sent me to make sure I have everything fresh in my mind, as well as their parents’ names. I try to use names as much as I can, because it is more personal and helps to nurture our relationship.”
Throughout every shoot you do with your couples, you coach them on the best ways to pose, ensuring that they look stunning in each image. When you receive your images back from ShootDotEdit’s photography editing services, you review to make sure that your clients sent a proper message with their body language that represented the wedding day. If they were slouching or leaning in the pose, the message is not as strong. Body language is the key to sending the right message, especially in photography!
This applies to you as a business owner, as well! One of the reasons your clients booked you is because they had a positive experience with you during the initial meeting. When you interact with your clients, it is crucial for you to begin creating trust. Not only does your body language increase your clients’ trust, it also boosts your confidence, which enhances the ability for you to book and sell your highest packages. Here are 4 tips for you to ensure that your body language is sending the right message.
1. Maintain Eye Contact
From the moment you meet your potential clients, eye contact is crucial! There is a balance to this, though – too much eye contact can make you come across as intimidating and even rude, and too little eye contact can give clients the impression that you are insecure or unprepared. So how do you find a balance to the right amount of eye contact? As a rule of thumb, keeping eye contact between 30%-60% of the time will help to create a comfortable atmosphere for both you and your clients! [···]
Inspiration. As photographers, we all draw it from different places. As business owners, we all look to different sources for motivation. Being inspired is at the very core of being an artist and entrepreneur.
While no list could ever be exhaustive, we wanted to give you a quick highlight reel of some of our favorites. To help sort through, we have created 5 categories for inspiration and chosen an artist for each that we feel best exemplifies the characteristics of that topic.
Jennifer Rozenbaum runs New York’s premier boudoir photography studio, Jenerations. She is known for working with her clients to help them feel empowered and sexy and then capturing that feeling in her images. Jen tells us:
“Empowering women with a renewed sense of femininity and fearlessness is the inspiration and motivation behind Jenerations.”