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How to Become a Wedding Photographer

How to Become a Wedding Photographer

Every time I drive through a small town in the country, I wish I could press “play” on a bunch of stories of individuals who call the town home. I want to know where they came from… were they born there? Did they relocate for a slower pace of life? Are they counting the days until they can leave again? Or is it totally and completely “home” to them?

I love stories.

This week on my YouTube channel, I decided to take 10 minutes and share my photography business story with you, dear readers! Grab your favourite cup of tea and sit back in your office chair for a few minutes, I’m sure you deserve a break!

I’d love to hear from you – including any questions you have! Let’s start a dialogue in the comments below.

P.S. Are you struggling with deciding what to charge for your wedding or portrait services?

Did you know 1 in 2 entrepreneurs who start small businesses fail within the first five years? I want continued success to be the story of your photography business. You may have a passion for your work and incredible talent to go alongside… but unless you are confident in the area of knowing your numbers you won’t succeed.

I want to share an incredible resources for photographers called Knowing Your Numbers! KYN is a step-by-step workbook to help you set profitable prices for your photography products and services. If you’re looking for a simple, easy to understand way to get a grasp on your pricing… Knowing Your Numbers is for you!

Business

Photographer Back Up System

Oh goodness, it’s Wednesday again so soon! This month is flying by–no doubt because of the 5 weddings I’ve shot over the last two weekends–which has reminded me more than ever how important backup systems are! If you don’t have a system in place for backing up your client images that you feel 100% confident about… STOP what you’re doing, watch this video and write out your own system today. Your clients deserve it.

Watch this week’s video, “The Importance of Backup Systems” on my YouTube channel.

Today’s Take-Aways 

1. Having a back-up system in place for your client’s images is one of the most important (and undervalued) parts of our job. Your clients are trusting you with all of their wedding memories. Literally treat those memory cards at the end of the wedding day like they are worth 100 million dollars.

2. My system is as follows – during the wedding reception, I download my memory cards (time permitting) on my laptop during dinner while I can watch the laptop. When I arrive home, I download the rest of my memory cards (from dinner onward) onto my laptop. Next, I plug in my portable hard drive via USB cord and backup all my images from the day. When that completes, I plug in two external hard drives via USB cord and backup all the wedding images to both of them as well.

When I leave the house the next morning, I make sure to have copies of the images on me somehow at all times. This may mean the portable hard drive (it’s light!) or a pack of the memory cards. Regardless, I want to be prepared for my house to burn down (God forbid) and all of the images be okay. Or my purse to be stolen, and all the images to be okay because there are copies at home. Hope for the best but prepare for the absolute worst.

3. When the images are fully edited (by Post Partner, my outsourcing company) they are uploaded to a PASS gallery, which provides back-up of high-resolution files for my clients for 10 years.

Comment + Talk to Me!

1. Do you have a back-up system in place you can feel confident about? How is it similar or different than mine?

2. Did this post inspire you to update your systems? I’d love to hear!

P.S. Are you struggling with deciding what to charge for your wedding or portrait services?

Did you know 1 in 2 entrepreneurs who start small businesses fail within the first five years? I want continued success to be the story of your photography business. You may have a passion for your work and incredible talent to go alongside… but unless you are confident in the area of knowing your numbers you won’t succeed.

I want to share an incredible resources for photographers called Knowing Your Numbers! KYN is a step-by-step workbook to help you set profitable prices for your photography products and services. Angie shared the following about her experience with the Knowing Your Numbers workbook:

WOW! I don’t even know how but I stumbled across your website last week and was blown away! I purchased the Knowing Your Numbers spreadsheet and OMG it all makes sense now!! You honestly should be charging more for this spreadsheet hahaha! I’m sharing the link with all of my photog friends so hoping more folks take advantage of it. Gosh I wish I would have found you sooner!”

Business

How to Fix Your Mistakes in Business

I’ve never met a business owner who enjoyed making a mistake.

Making mistakes is an awful feeling.

But unfortunately, mistakes are a part of life! As small business owners, how can we ensure customer satisfaction at all times – even after a mistake has taken place?

On my YouTube channel today, I’m discussing “How to Fix Your Mistakes.”

Today’s Take-Aways 

1. We all make mistakes – don’t beat yourself up over them. Just make it right.

2. When fixing a mistake for a customer, the cost is irrelevant. Do whatever you need to do to make that situation right. Leaving a client with a positive experience of your brand is worth hundreds of dollars in future revenue.

Talk to Me!

I’d love to hear a story of how you made a mistake but turned that into a positive experience for your customer! Share below in the comments.

Pay it Forward

Did you enjoy this video? If so, I’d absolutely love if you’d subscribe on YouTube, leave a comment below, share on twitter or facebook and pin to your pinterest board for future reference!

 

Business

How to Handle Weddings That Run Late

Hi wedding photographers! I hope your seasons are going well and you’re creating great work that you can be proud of. I’m headed into August – which is my busiest wedding month of the year, most years and this year is no exception! Seven weddings this month – including three in one weekend. (Gah! I will survive! And thrive!)

Keeping to a schedule and creating a positive experience for my clients are two of my biggest priorities on the wedding day. But what can you do when the wedding is falling behind? And how do you talk about the “awkward” subject of money?

On my YouTube channel today, I’m discussing “How to Handle Weddings That Run Late!”

Today’s Take-Aways 

1. Set appropriate expectations from the start with your brides and grooms. Discuss in the initial client consultation the ability to add extra hours of coverage onto the collection fee a la carte. Be upfront about this fee and allow your clients to customize the collection anytime during booking to add hours as they see fit.

2. With every wedding I photograph, a questionnaire about the timeline is automatically sent out six weeks before the wedding day. I spend at least 20-30 minutes reviewing the timeline, looking at Google Maps to calculate drive times and analyzing potential spots in the timeline that could be a ‘tight squeeze.’

3. If the timeline needs adjusting, be open with your brides and grooms about changing the timing of things! You’re the expert – and if your clients respect your work, which hopefully they do – they hired you – they will appreciate the help so much. (Planning a wedding is a lot of work.) I often preface the final timeline discussion with, “If you do need more time on the wedding day, adding an a la carte hour is always an option. I’m here to photograph your day in the best way possible!”

4. On the actual wedding day, be proactive. If you see the reception timeline is running behind and you won’t cover everything you discussed, speak to the bride and groom at an appropriate time and discuss. “Would you like me to stay another hour to capture _____ like we discussed? Or would you prefer we end the coverage time at 9pm as planned?”

Talk to Me!

1. Do you find “money” awkward to talk about?
2. How much communication do you have with brides before the wedding day in terms of timeline?
3. Was this video helpful for you?

Business

Shooting Your First Wedding

Are you a new photographer looking to get into shooting weddings?

Have you been emailing photographers for second shooter gigs but with no reply?

Booked your first wedding solo but nervous about preparing for ‘the big day?’

Today on my YouTube channel, I’m talking about Shooting Your First Wedding.

Today’s Take-Aways

Make your second shooting request “stand out!” to gain experience.
– Prepare for the wedding: gather timelines, phone numbers, addresses.
– Don’t fly solo: bring an assistant or second shooter!
– Expect the worst; have back-up equipment at all times.
– Location scout at the same time of day for light!
– Pre-visualize poses for portraits before the day.
– Use a shot list to free your mind.

Let’s Hear from You! 

Did you second shoot before shooting your first wedding? Was it a valuable experience? If you have yet to shoot your own wedding “solo” have you found second shooting valuable in gaining experience?

Business

Confident Client Meetings

Have you ever felt nervous preparing for a meeting with a potential client?

A job interview? A first date?

You’re not the only one!

Today on my YouTube channel, I’m teaching How to Confidently Meet with Your Next Client. 

Today’s Take-Aways 

1. Arrive early and allow yourself time to get comfortable.
2. Find a connection point: ask great questions!
3. Every meeting is an opportunity to leave a positive impression of your brand.

Let’s Hear from You!

Do you struggle with nerves when meeting new people? What calms you?