Today on the Capture Crew podcast Christora and Tom are talking about some of the many learning curves they’ve had over the years.
If you’re a wedding photographer, then you’re probably familiar with some of these crazy situations.
Starting off, Tom told a story where he recently had a short amount of time to shuffle a very large wedding party to another location for bridal party pictures and how absolutely chaotic it was. All because the couple hadn’t considered the timing and event space ahead of time.
He also had another situation where a bride chugged from a flask on an elevator down right before their pictures and was drunk by the time pictures came… and you can see it on her face in their photos.
These things are so stressful but you can’t always control the situations and people are going to do what people are going to do.
But there are some things you can do to help yourself in these moments.
First, try putting yourself on autopilot. Both Christora and Tom shared that in these moments it’s sometimes easier to take charge and tell the wedding party what you need them to do.
You also have to be okay with whatever you get. If there wasn’t enough time allotted for photos, or if the wedding party gets drunk, or the lighting isn’t the best because it was too cloudy, these are things you cannot control. You have to be okay knowing you’ve done your best at the end of the day.
One tip to consider is recommending to the clients to use their space the best they can. Find out ahead of time what the space looks like and ask them to envision what they picture on their wedding day. Knowing what their vision is will help you orchestrate the best photos with the timing that you have.
To help your couples, consider being upfront with them. Tell them everything they need to know, even in the things that are not specifically wedding photography related.
Additionally, remember on the day of the wedding it’s okay to be loud if you need to.
“Stern and mean are two different things.”
There’s a way to stay professional while standing your ground.
Christora shared how her brand is stress-free, so how can she communicate with her clients in a way that typical things don’t get overlooked?
She likes to discuss plans with her clients in a way that will help prompt them to consider some of the big-yet-overlooked details of their big day. One example is being transported from one place to another.
What about the rest of the bridal party?
Tom always asks the coordinator on the day of the wedding to remind him of the details. What time things are happening. Christora takes the opposite approach and keeps a copy of the timeline for her and her staff. Many times others will be asking her what the timeline is!
When discussing mistakes that were made early in their business Tom shared the reminder to not undersell or underprice yourself.
Think of the longevity of your business, Tom is now shooting weddings that he booked 2 years ago but his price has since doubled.
Christora’s mistake was thinking her website was all the marketing that she needed. She didn’t consider blogs, referrals, social mediate, or creating vendor connections. These things have been the reason her business has grown to what it is now.
Think about what the market is doing vs what are you doing?
You need to understand your market and the people around you… your region, niche, and experience.
Learn your market, and see where you stand price-wise, talent-wise, work quality, and brand position. Pick your niche and run with it, digging into one specific avenue can be radically transformative for your photography business.
Think about where you started and then further think about where you want to be in 5 years.
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