Over the past 25 years as a wedding photographer I have had the opportunity to speak with well over a thousand engaged couples. I am always surprised by some of the criteria many of them use to choose their wedding photographer. Here are 7 tips I can offer to wedding photographers to help them book a wedding.
1. DON’T CREATE YOUR PORTFOLIO ALBUMS BASED SOLELY ON YOUR “GREATEST HITS.” There is nothing more misleading regarding a photographer’s talent than looking at a sample wedding album that is a compilation of their best shots at 50 different weddings. An album such as this may be useful in understanding just how great an image you are capable of producing, but that’s really all it tells your client. Show albums that display one entire wedding from start to finish. A good wedding photographer should be able to produce a number of complete albums to show the client. Be sure and explain to your client why this is such a better way to assess your skill. Use this to separate yourself from your competitors! Tell your client that virtually anybody with a decent camera can get one great shot per wedding.
2. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS DURING THE SALES PITCH. Every photographer can tell their clients great things about themselves and so they should. But in your initial wedding consultation with the couple, show your interest in what they want by asking questions. Ask them the types of photography styles they are interested in and what they are looking for in a wedding photographer. Don’t make the initial meeting just one long boring lecture about how wonderful you are. Turn it into a 2-way conversation. Show them you care!
3. SHOW THEM YOUR SPARKLING PERSONALITY! This is a biggie. Your clients understand that they will spend the entire day with the photographer. If you can’t get along, it can ruin what should be the happiest day of their lives. The bride and groom are looking for someone they can build rapport with. Be that person!
4. AVOID TALKING ABOUT YOUR EQUIPMENT. Want to put the bride and groom to sleep? Start giving them the technical details about how wonderful your equipment is. Keep in mind that your client is ASSUMING you have great equipment. That is a given to them. Focus on why YOU are the best wedding photographer for them, not why Nikon is better than Canon.
5. KEEP THE PRICING SIMPLE. If your clients can’t understand the pricing or packages, they will probably keep looking. Package pricing, if flexible, is the best way to go. It allows your client to have a better idea of what their final bill will be. Ala carte pricing can confuse and be misleading. You don’t want to surprise the couple when presenting the the final bill. Allow your clients to design their own package, be flexible.
6. TELL THE BRIDE AND GROOM YOU WANT TO SHOOT THEIR WEDDING! Don’t assume they know that. Tell them, it will make them feel wanted.