Go to any bridal show, and it seems like every other booth is a wedding photographer. “Have camera, will shoot” seems to be the credo these days as more and more photographers are coming onto the scene.
Experienced or not, the wedding photography competition is fierce, and we brides can feel it!
For every time you wonder how you are going to book the next couple, the couple, in turn, is wondering how they are going to choose from so many options.
Hiring our photographer was not only the first decision we made, but the easiest one, as well.
Want to know why? It was very simple.
#1 – The photography spoke for itself.
Stephanie wrote a great article on tips the wealthiest photographers know, and the No. 1 reason she mentioned is the photographer caters to a niche audience.
Niches come in all shapes and sizes. We weren’t the “Rock n’ Roll” type couple or the couple that had a very specific theme.
We were, however, the couple who knew we wanted something a little more artsy and different. We wanted photography that was going to make a statement and convey emotions – through different lenses, filters, poses and settings.
Not that there is anything wrong with traditional portraiture; in fact, I recommend you tell all brides to have some done because people in their family might want more traditional photos. We, however, were looking for something not just anyone could do.
Our photographer showcased his most unique shots, which we immediately saw across the crowded bridal show ballroom, and we were drawn right to him.
That’s all it took.
Photographers have a very unique position in the wedding market: you create emotion. If a couple connects with your photos on an emotional level, then you’ve done 80% of the work without even saying a word.
If you find this isn’t happening, you might want to step back and reevaluate your product or technique.
#2 – No gimmicks.
I know, you’re probably thinking about price right about now. Am I priced too high? Am I priced too low?
Let’s face it: there are always going to be couples who are on a tight budget and go for the cheapest alternative.
That’s just the way it is. You never know what they can be facing at home – medical bills, loss of a job – and whatever the case, there are always going to be couples who need to shop around for the best price, even if it means lacking quality product.
That being said, psychologically, there is perceived value that comes with price. Jeff and Steph have spoken about this time and again. Own it!
Don’t dismiss the work you are doing as something transactional. You are the one that will provide tangible memories for generations to come.
The one thing that turned us off right away were photographers who pushed the “Bridal Show Special.”
“Book with us today and receive (insert amount) percent off!” or “Free parent album when you book today!” Shoving pamphlets in our face.
I get it: you need to “Book More Brides.” You wouldn’t be reading this if it weren’t true.
But let price come second to forming a connection.
Talk to the couple; get to know them on a personal level, as Dawna mentions in her article on what works in sales. Ask questions not everyone asks.
If a couple really likes you and your work, one of two things will happen: they will pay the price you ask, or they may push back a little, take time to think about it.
If you can sense this is going to happen from the conversation you have at your booth, be flexible. Work with them.
The last thing a couple wants to hear is that prices are final.
Don’t discredit your work by going crazy on the discounts; know your bottom line price, but maybe tweak packages a bit to fit their needs. Maybe they don’t need a photographer and an assistant. Maybe they only want six hours of coverage instead of eight. Maybe they just want photos and not videos.
Could this mean you may not make as much money? Sure.
But what you have done instead is form a connection that goes far beyond the wedding.
You are now building repeat customers, because when that couple decides to start a family and wants photos taken, they are going to go to you first because they remembered how well you treated them and how you made them feel. They are going to start referring you to their friends and family.
Most importantly, if you compromise well enough, neither you nor the couple will feel ripped off.
What do you think?