Super Secret Project Booking Weddings
Welcome to this weeks Super Secret Project. In the coming weeks and months I will be transforming the SSP again into a more organized “CLASS” that will focus on understanding light, exposure, composition and how to make money in photography. Where as Greg is focusing on Lighting I will be focusing on using natural light. That is a big with for all of you guys because you are getting full courses in both natural and artificial light.
How many of you out there either shoot weddings or want to shoot weddings? Weddings are a great time in my mind, not only do you get to be creative in your picture taking but you get to meet some really great people. I would be remiss if i did not mention that they can pay very well when you reach that level to command such payments.
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But how do you book weddings? How do you find couples who are getting married? Do you take out ads in a newspaper and hope that someone sees your ad on the one day it runs? Well for Greg and I we have found that Bridal shows work the best for us. For those of you who don’t know what a bridal show is, its where a company organizes a bunch wedding vendors in one location and than advertises to bring in prospective brides. Many times they are at hotels in nice areas and sometimes even in malls. I will have more later on which shows I find to be the best for your level of photography.
I am not a big fan of advertising for weddings, you are not going to find the number of prospective brides to justify the cost. At a bridal show you are placed directly in front of 75 to 250 or more. That means the brides are coming to you, there is no other form of advertising that you could do where you would get directly in front of that many brides.
Here is what is important at a show, you have to know that it is going to cost you a good chunk of change for the privilege of showing to these brides. In my experience it is going to range anywhere from $500 or more per event. You have to be prepared to WOW these brides with your set up. Now I don’t mean spending a ton of money on a traditional flashy booth. That may work for some photographers but it may not fit into your style. Greg and I have a set up that focuses on a few things, huge amazing quality poster prints, continuously changing slide shows on the 27 inch imac and sample wedding albums. I want to make a nice impact without being to overwhelming.
You have to be yourself, do not try to conform to match what other photographers are doing. Dress your part, look the way you want to look and you will connect with the people you are meant to connect with. With that said there is nothing more important than being able to interact with the brides to be. You have to be able to get your message across in a concise way that really grabs the brides interest. Your personality is what you are selling. Sure your work has to be better than good but you have to be able to interact. They are going to be hiring you not just for your work but for you. If you do not sell yourself they will not sell themselves on you.
My advice to new wedding photographers is look for shows that may fit the budgets of your prospective brides. The higher end shows may not be the best place to put your money if you are new to wedding photography and only charge X amount. The reason being is you will be smack dab in the middle of photographers who have been doing this for ten plus years. Pricing is very important and sometimes lower prices may not mean you will book more weddings. Greg and I have priced ourselves at a certain point where we know what our cliental is looking for. This is not meant to discourage you from doing shows its meant to try and guide you to the shows that will allow you to get the most bang for your buck. It is also not saying that your work doesn’t stand up to these other photographers who are showing either.
I think the best thing that you can do is look for shows that are local to your area right now and sign up to go. It may cost you $10 to enter but nothing says you have to be a bride to go. Consider this a reconnoissance mission to see what other photographers are doing, what they say in their pitch and how their work is. If you feel that you can compete with them than by all means try your hand at the next show that comes around.
The bottom line is if your work is very good, you can get your pitch worked out there is no reason why you should not be able to book a few weddings at each show. Remember that you are interviewing brides just as much as they are interviewing you.
tips for good shows or questions to ask beginners