8 Ideas for Marketing Your Wedding Photography
Wedding photography is a very challenging and competitive business to be in. And, in order to be successful, you not only have to be an amazing photographer, but smart about your marketing strategies. Here are 8 steps to being a successful wedding photographer.
The first thing you need is experience. You will need to photograph at least three different weddings before you will have enough work to choose a portfolio. One idea is to get hired (or volunteer) as a second photographer for another professional. This can be a great learning experience for you.
For your first official wedding booking, I advise the following:
- offer to do it at a reasonable price
- take an abundance of photos
- give the couple some enlargements for free
- ask them to recommend you to their friends
Another thing you will need is a portfolio of your best photographs. Select what you think are your most professional images from each wedding you have done. You should be able to pick about five images from each wedding. Use the feedback of your wedding clients, and that of your friends and family to help you decide which ones to choose. Your best work will be what you display on your website and you should also make enlargements of them, so you can show prospective couples samples of your work. If you offer an album, you should be ready to show them a sample album of your best wedding.
Create a website, or hire someone to make one for you. Your website should be professional looking and be where you can show only your best work. Make sure you don’t show similar photos. For example you might have one picture taken before the wedding, two bridal shots, one group photo, three or four of during the ceremony pictures, and a few of reception/cake/dancing. Show your best posed photos and also your best candids.Your images need to be creative, well lit and in sharp focus. And, most importantly, the photos should tell a short story about each couple. After you have the site setup, make sure you gain knowledge of how to use the best SEO tactics to make your site more visible. Get setup with Google local.
You also need to create a Facebook page for your wedding photography. This can be a place to post more photos of couples and allow name tagging. Make sure you put your logo and copyright on the photos you post and invite everyone you know to link to your page. Social media is a very important part of your marketing strategy. The more connections you make there, the greater your chances of booking future weddings will be. It can also be a valuable place for obtaining feedback by seeing what comments people make about your images.
You will need to create a logo, design business cards, make a pricelist and have a business email address. It is also a good idea to start advertising with local vendors. Find all the businesses in your area that produce wedding related services, such as dressmakers, cake makers, musicians, wedding planners, limo drivers, catering companies, etc. You can pass out business cards and brochures at those locations and make personal contacts. You can visit all the area churches and other locations where weddings are held, and see if they will let you leave your business cards. You should learn about Google AdWords. You can also run ads in local newspapers and set up a booth at local bridal shows.
The best wedding photographers are those who offer something unique that the couple wants. After you do wedding photography for a while, you will figure out what your style is. Do you prefer the church photos or family groups, or do you want to specialize in natural light couple photos? Maybe you are best at capturing the candid moments, or perhaps you enjoy doing things like silhouettes or photos at sunset. Styles are as different as the photographer’s own personal tastes. Whatever you do, remember to always be flexible and open to trying new things.
Of all the things you do in marketing your wedding business, nothing is more important than the relationships you build with your clients-the wedding couple, their parents and relatives. Your success as a photographer largely depends on how comfortable people feel around you, and if they are satisfied with what they get after the wedding.
You will find that each couple is different, and each wedding is different. It is important to find out as much as you can about the bride and groom beforehand. Ask them questions about what they want and expect from you. Make sure you understand the timeline of how everything will happen.
At the wedding make sure you are on site well ahead of time and prepared. Weddings are famous for being the kind of situation where unexpected things happen, and as a photographer you must be prepared for some incredible moments and be able to capture the spontaneous things that happen. You have to be on your toes and ready for anything!
The true value of a wedding photographer is known after the event. When you show your work and people respond with delight and amazement at the quality of the photos, that will be your greatest reward.
Give your wedding clients more than what they expect from you. Be generous with your time, and what you offer them. Go above and beyond with what you deliver and you will build a photography business that people will remember and recommend to others.
Offer your clients a multitude of products after the wedding. Give them a price list with a variety of enlargement sizes. In addition to making an album for them, you should post their photos in an online album that can be viewed by their family and friends.
You can also do a few other creative things. For example, you can make several specialized images for them, by blending images together in photoshop. You could make a slideshow of their wedding images and add music and titles to it.
Another idea is to give them the opportunity to order large wall murals of any of the photos. This can be a unique way for them to enjoy the most romantic images in their home decor.
Being a great wedding photographer is not easy. Your success depends on your ability to work with a variety of people and make them happy, as well as having great creative talent and good marketing ideas.
About the Author
Karen Bresnahan is a professional writer, photographer and artist from Boise, Idaho. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Idaho and is the mother of three grown children. Her past experience includes feature writing and photography for the Valley News in Meridian, ID, and the Owyhee Avalanche in Homedale, ID.
She is a small business owner and is currently working on developing a web portfolio of her creative work, which includes Romantic Idaho Weddings, KBLifelines Positive Quotes, and Idaho Naturals Desertscapes original artwork.
Karen enjoys writing stories that feature interesting people and human interest topics. Her goal is to motivate, educate and inspire others through her writing and photography.
You can connect with her through email at
email@example.com or on twitter @idaho1111