Last Updated: February 14th, 2022
We have learned how to make the
wedding photography booking process
With three years of wedding experience under our belt, we’ve made a lot of refinements to our own workflow that have significantly impacted the number of bookings we are able to make.
The booking process has several cardinal components. Information technology’due south important to keep in mind that even after a client has signed and paid your eolith fee, you yet take a whole lot of work to do. With clients often booking a nuptials a year in advance (or more), it’due south critical to keep wow’ing them every footstep of the way.
In this mail service, nosotros’ll walk yous through a standard wedding photography booking process, and give yous guided tips to help you lot become more than bookings under your chugalug.
1). The Inquiry
Getting a unmarried hymeneals photography inquiry tin can sometimes be the hardest function of this process!
The best things you can do to assist get people interested in your photography service is plant a bang-up make and portfolio. If these are strange ideas to you, we’ll interruption it down quick:
Create your brand.
You may already have an established brand (and that’south groovy!). But, if yous don’t, it’s of import that you get things like your photography business name, logo, so on figured out. In our little world, Hand and Arrow Photography is our make – and yous tin can meet our corresponding logo and designs are created with this in mind. While we did all the design work ourselves, y’all tin can as well outsource this using freelance graphic designers such every bit those institute over on Fiverr.
Constitute an online presence.
You will desire a website designed to attract new clients. You should also showcase your best work here. In addition, get setup on diverse social media platforms. Our experience has shown that Instagram tends to exist a high performer in bringing in new clients for the states.
Through consistent promotion and by showcasing your best work, you will brainstorm to concenter an audition of people who will desire to book you for their weddings.
One time y’all start to receive some inquiries, this is where things get really interested.
Information technology’s worth noting:
not all inquiries are akin!
We’ve started to recognize the difference between depression quality ones that look like they are just being copy/pasted to 100 different photographers and high-quality ones that specifically talk nigh what they like about our photography and how we tin can complement the vision we have for their big day.
Example inquiries nosotros’ve received:
We’ve removed individual and personally identifiable information from these
Can you tell which ones ended up booking with us?
2). The Follow Up
Now that you accept an inquiry sitting in your inbox, how do you respond?
We’ve often puzzled over this question ourselves but have ultimately landed on what is probably the simplest arroyo you can imagine.
Instead of having a canned response that you re-create/paste for each research, take the time to respond to each inquiry on their own terms. Every bit crazy as it can drive united states of america when nosotros spend 30 minutes putting together an email back, we observe that responding in this way allows our prospective client to see that we are really listening.
The 5 staples of our enquiry responses include:
- Answer any-and-all questions they asked
- If they went into detail most their wedding vision, reference how much you like sure elements. Call up: do this authentically, so don’t fabricate liking something just to make a sale, but if y’all similar the look they are going for – mention it!
- Get excited for the prospective client
- Invite them to setup a meeting
- Let them know you are bachelor to answer any boosted questions they may have
If this seems piece of cake, it actually is. We tin can sometimes become caught up in thinking near how a “business organization person” would respond, simply in practice the best concern person tends to be the most relatable.
This seems to be especially true when it comes to booking wedding ceremony photography clients. In truth, nigh 95% of our inquiries come from women (historic period xviii-35). These people tend to exist pretty stressed out from wedding ceremony planning, and very excited because
they are getting married!
We know the experiences first-paw as nosotros went through the process of getting married a few years dorsum – and we try to take this understanding to all the interactions we have with our clients. What we’ve learned through this is a skilful inquiry response helps eliminate stress and shows the prospective client that the decisions they are making are good ones. This is something that tin can be refined and mastered by putting empathy into your business practices.
An Important Affair to Note
Sometimes – even a great response to an inquiry will result in the prospective client never post-obit up.
Ghosting is real.
To put information technology frankly:
But, it comes with the territory as a nuptials photography business owner. You volition need to exist prepared to smile-and-carry it when this happens and learn how to move forward.
For us, a lot of these inquiries are from people who are just cost shopping and getting in touch with many different photographers. Similar we said earlier, it’southward often like shooting fish in a barrel for united states of america to recognize these types of inquiries, and we generally put less try into responding to them than others.
Examples of real life follow ups we’ve sent:
Can you tell which ones led to further conversation and bookings?
3). The Meeting
In our experience, the hardest function of the entire wedding photography booking procedure is getting people to respond and feel excited about moving forrard with us. Ofttimes, if nosotros get a response back to our follow up, nosotros are pretty close to sealing the deal.
We use meetings (whether on the phone, over Skype, or in person) every bit a way to get to know each other more. While email is nifty, it can lack the man element that allows people to feel really comfortable.
If you put yourself in the customer’s shoes, it’s easy to empathize this besides. Nosotros call back of it like this: if we were planning a wedding and nearly to drib thousands of dollars on a photographer, wouldn’t it be nice to at to the lowest degree hear their vocalisation? Maybe it’s merely us but…aye…yes information technology would be nice.
More than than this, a meeting allows both parties to inquire questions and get answers. It actually functions as a two-way interview and is a great way to make sure your working collaboration will exist constructive.
Our Wedding ceremony Photography Booking Process Tips for Having Successful Client Meetings
If meeting in person, but run into at a public location of your choosing.
Nosotros used to let prospective clients cull places that were comfortable for them. When working with clients upwards of 3 hours (or more) away, this becomes really taxing and non a great use of time. We’ve since started to move “real life” meetings to a convenient public location close to u.s.. Nosotros now only tell clients who desire to see in person we consistently encounter at this location, and we’ve never had a problem.
The added bonus?
Serious prospective clients will make the effort to go to this location to meet with you.If in that location is a special request for a different location, we may be accommodating depending on a number of factors such every bit how interested they seem via e-mail, what packet they are looking at, how far they are from us, etc.In our book, it’s important to ready the rules, then bend them merely if yous are approval.
Don’t act similar they are your bodily paying client just nonetheless.
One of the early on mistakes nosotros would make with meetings is sometimes treating them like they take already signed the contract. This comes from a practiced identify every bit we mean well but can occasionally come across every bit brash while we are trying to “make a sale”. It’s easy to fall into this trap especially if your livelihood depends on people paying for your photography services.
But, it’south of import to go on in mind why people want to meet: to vet you as a professional person.
As nosotros’ve said before, aim to be authentic and helpful in your approach to talking with your prospective clients. These things shine through most, and don’t come off every bit beingness a pushy sales-person. Or worse: desperate for clients.
Come prepared with questions for them.
While most of the questioning should come up from the client towards you, it’s important to show off that you are prepared and interested in them, too.
Asking questions helps you to get more than information almost the people you are meeting with, likewise equally more info about their wedding day. A few things we commonly ask again and again include:
These questions allow you to engage with the people yous are meeting on a personal and professional level. Information technology also leaves open up the door for more than discussion almost yourself equally a person and professional wedding photographer.
- How did y’all both meet?
- Tell us how y’all got engaged?
- Are you lot wanting to have an appointment shoot?
- What attracted you to your wedding ceremony venue?
- What attracted you to our mode of photography?
Questions are just conversation starters!
Also set whatsoever online services you employ equally a part of your workflow to show them off.
When meeting in person, we always bring along our laptop, so nosotros can testify off our booking platform and online galleries. This allows us to walk people through what they tin expect when it comes to the contract, payment requirements, and how their photos will be delivered to them.
It’s important that you use services that make things simple and easy.
We highly recommend Honeybook for wedding photography booking needs, too as Movie-Time for gallery delivery.
Don’t pressure, instead explain the value of things.
When walking through your wedding packages and upsell options, it’s important to not pressure people into buying things they don’t want. This mindset does contradict some of the more traditional approaches to in person sales of prints and albums, merely it’s something we firmly believe is in the best involvement of clients in general.
We propose mentioning at least some of the add-ons that are bachelor and provide more than information as information technology’southward asked for. Refine how you explicate these things, and it can serve as a soft sales pitch.
For example, we may mention the ability for a “Twenty-four hour period After” session to be added to a wedding ceremony photography package. We explicate what this is, why information technology’southward cool, and that we’ve actually done 1 ourselves. To wrap it up, we add booking it with a bundle would salve $l. It’due south no pressure level, but an selection. They tin can also volume ane down the line if they are interested.
Sell yourself every bit a unique wedding photography experience.
And finally, selling yourself.
Information technology’s one of the hardest things to exercise.
For united states, it’s come up more than easily through fourth dimension, feel, and a consequent and high quality portfolio of photos nosotros tin refer to. The central to selling your service is by highlighting where information technology differs from other people. You might want to first past writing upwardly a quick one paragraph pitch, and then work to refine it and then you can speak it naturally. Focus on what you offer, what you’re adept at, and what the client would become out of the feel.
Demand some cocky-help and motivation to sell yourself? Give The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life a read.
4). The Service Proposal
Once y’all get that verbal confirmation that the client is set up to movement frontwards with y’all, it’s time to seal the deal. Sometimes this will happen at the end of the coming together, but other times the couple may want to get dwelling and talk things over. That is entirely normal and understandable.
You volition want to set up expectations to motion things along such as:
Set up a timeline for signing.
We’ve had people commit to the states verbally or via email, then sign the contract a month later. We’ll take the business, but it’s also stressful trying to plan for the future with this in the back of our minds. Non to mention, what should be washed if we get another research on the same twenty-four hour period? This is what has led us to setting a borderline for contract signing.
Normally, we give 7 days for the couple to review and enquire questions. If there are no questions or revisions needed, the contract needs to be signed within that calendar week long menstruum. It removes the headache of usa asking ourselves “will they or won’t they?” and requires the customer to make the delivery formally for our service.
Gear up a separate timeline for commencement deposit payment to exist made.
If it makes sense for your photography business, you may ready things up so the deposit isn’t due right at signing. We actually do this as nosotros understand people may not have money
but may take it come the adjacent pay check or two. It’s arbitrary on our end, simply we give people two weeks to brand the deposit payment after signing.
Offer some flexibility if it makes sense.
People are well-nigh attracted to piece of work with professionals who offer flexibility. Nosotros’re past no means advocating to be a push over merely consider simple ways you lot tin be flexible for your customer’s sake.
One way we do this is offer payments plans in 25% installments. Lately, these tend to go most to people booking 1.5-2 years in accelerate. It but makes sense in this example, and nosotros brand our contract articulate that additional payments function as boosted non-refundable retainers for our service.
One of the biggest things we have learned is: zippo is actually final until the contract is signed, and your deposit fee paid.
Your goal as a wedding professional should be to streamline this procedure equally much as possible.
While some photographers however become the road of requiring cash/cheque payments and signing a concrete paper contract, this is really just a way to shoot yourself in the human foot in the modern mean solar day.
We highly recommend a much simpler and easier alternative: Honeybook.
It’south a great platform that allows you to handle sending contracts, signing them, and invoicing for your piece of work. You can read our in depth and helpful review, or head over to Honeybook’s website. They have a gratuitous 30-twenty-four hours trial, and if you decide to upgrade to a paid plan, by using our link y’all tin save 50% off your offset year’s subscription (a HUGE savings!).
v). The Signing
Now that you’ve got that contract in front of your new-clients-to-be…it’s time for them to sign. This normally is straightforward enough: they will review the contract, inquire you any questions they might have, then sign when they are set up.
This is the easiest role of the entire process. Once you get to this phase, you can experience confident and comfy in your skills as a wedding photography and businessman (or adult female). Only recall, in one case you become that signature, and see your eolith roll into your bank account, the piece of work is only beginning.
It’south from this phase on that the nuptials photography booking procedure is technically over, merely (as you will see if you continue), the work you practise for this client will straight translate into your ability to go more work in the future.
As such, the “booking procedure” really never ends entirely –
and that can be a good thing!
6). The Planning
Now, your communications with your clients volition shift towards fulfilling their photography dreams. Some people are open up books and want you to take total creative command, while others may terminate up providing a lot of direction and even Pinterest shot lists.
Managing these expectations is very important.
Every situation is unlike and should be handled instance-by-case, and this is where you lot tin can bear witness your true colors. In everything, our proposition is to aspire to brand your customer happy – no matter the cost. Even so, you likewise need to be existent with them when necessary.
For example, if they provide you a family unit formal shot listing of 100 different groupings (it
happen sometimes), you need to exist prepared to tell them “this is not going to be possible” OR “we will practice what we tin can to make this work, simply we will need to exist able to set bated more fourth dimension than normal to get them all AND it might eat into your personal portrait time.”
1 of the cardinal ways we piece of work to preface these conversations (if they need to be had at all), is by sending out a wedding photography questionnaire and putting together a hymeneals timeline. This is how we collect all of the information we demand in the month leading up to the wedding ceremony – and so we know what to expect, and can set expectations past locking down what time different things will be happening.
Many hymeneals packages volition likewise include an date session. The planning stage can likewise apply to this – though they tend to be less hectic. Our key for getting great east-session photos is to plan effectually Golden 60 minutes and an crawly location. It’s naught crazy, merely gets the job done!
If you need assistance in the planning department, Signature Edit’s has some great resources for purchase that can help you out such equally:
- The Nuptials Timeline Questionnaire
- The Wedding Photographer Blueprint
- Engagement Style Guide Template
- The Couple’s Candid Posing Guide (really beloved this one – read our review)
7). The Shoot
The large solar day has finally come up.
Every bit wedding photographers, we know these events can be pretty anxiety inducing, simply the surroundings is too very fun much of the time!
First and foremost – our goal is to capture photos for the bride & groom. This is why they are paying for us to be at that place.
Along with this, most of the decisions we brand during the mean solar day have them in mind. If we find they are feeling particularly stressed, nosotros won’t e’er push for a certain shot unless we find information technology to exist really essential. Sometimes, merely offering to get out of the reception hall for ten minutes can be a corking mode to give them a break from the partying and visiting with friends & family unit.
Our simple tips for helping the wedding day photography go smoothly:
Arrive on time.
We even suggest coming early if yous can to check out the venue and say “hullo!” to the bride & groom.
Stick to the timeline you lot created.
You made information technology for a reason! Of course, understand sometimes things become out of whack, too. In the words of Helm Barbosa from
Pirates of the Caribbean…” It’south more of a guideline.”
Be prissy to everyone.
Generally, this should be like shooting fish in a barrel enough, but from fourth dimension to time people can be frustrating due to a mixture of personality, stress, and alcohol.
Check in with the helpmate & groom from time to fourth dimension.
Like nosotros say, it’s the simple things that go the furthest. Check in to make sure they are getting the shots they want or if anything new has come up to mind (such as wanting a photo with some afar aunt they forgot would exist at the nuptials). If things are slower, run into if you can take hold of them a drink, and then on.
Take control when you need to, otherwise have candids.
During family unit formals – it’s valuable to exist able to speak up and requite directions. During the reception, information technology’due south easier to take a step back and photo people in their natural land. For portraits, you lot tin can blend these approaches with the bride & groom using simple and great posing prompts.
When the day is over, information technology’s a wrap!
8). The Editing
Our post-processing workflow in one case the wedding day is over looks like this:
- Immediately backup the wedding photos to an external difficult bulldoze
(this is admittedly critical!)
– we volition get abode at 2AM and practise this before going to sleep.
- Cull the photos in Photo Mechanic.
- Move your culled photos into Lightroom for editing.
- Put base edits on all of the photos – this tin can be expedited by using Lightroom presets.
- Continue to choose and refine your photos in Lightroom – you lot want to provide the best of the best!
- When you’re all done, consign the photos.
While getting nifty wedding photos edits comes every bit the result of a lot of determination, artistic way, and practice – we tin can give thanks presets for helping us get to the edit nosotros want quicker. Over the years, we’ve used a number of different preset options. We currently utilise our own custom made presets, but would advise you offset out with finding some presets that match what you’d like your photos to look like.
In instance you didn’t know, presets provide a proficient base for your editing piece of work, only you can still make refinements to make the images await exactly how yous want them to. Some smashing preset options we would recommend are: SleekLens, Mastin Labs, Lightagram, and BeArt, and the Genesis Lightroom Drove from Signature Edit’s.
9). The Delivery
Finally – the day your clients have been waiting for!
We know the thrill of receiving a wedding gallery after waiting weeks for it. Nosotros’ve been in those same shoes. Your clients will be ecstatic to finally get to relive their wedding day in this fashion!
And you’ll probably be happy to exist done editing the photos, too!
While there are different ways photographers deliver their photos, the most modern method comes in the class of an online gallery.
We’ve been experienced with a few unlike options including Pixieset and Picture-Time.
For the outset few years of our business organization, we used Pixieset (and nevertheless would recommend it every bit it is a smashing platform). Currently, in year iii, we take migrated over to Pic-Fourth dimension because of some additional functionality – namely the storefront that enables easier print sales conversions and the ability for clients to put together nuptials albums themselves.
No affair what gallery platform you lot choose, they all tend to have some similar attributes:
- Free trials
- Beautiful (and customizable) layouts
- Security settings
- Download functionality
- Online stores to sell prints, canvas prints, albums, etc.
We’d suggest you give them all a off-white shake and choose the one that suites your needs best where price meetings functionality.
10). The Future
Before, we talked about how the wedding photography booking process ends (but not really) when the contract is signed. In do, it’s short sighted to think of a booking every bit a i-and-done deal.
The longevity of your wedding photography business organisation should really exist about bringing in repeat clients and doing so well that your client’s can wait to pass you along to their friends and family getting married downwardly the road. It’s the “wow” factor we mentioned at the kickoff of this postal service!
While this is a huge area of discussion, a few key things we exercise to help get some recurring and new business after working with an impressed customer include:
Merely check in from time to time.
Experienced wedding photographers like ourselves come abroad from these vendor-client relationships with a fondness for 1 another. While nosotros try to stay away from condign “friends” while we are working together, nosotros absolutely welcome this as life goes on. We’ve met too many great people to just want to disown them entirely after the wedding. Shooting that quick email, posting a comment on something they posted on Facebook, and then on are simply little means to stay in bear on.
Postal service consistently on social media.
In detail, Instagram has been really useful for united states. Those photos you simply delivered? The best shots can go into your portfolio.
Tag your customer(due south) on social media, also.
One of the fun things is tagging our clients on social media platforms that allow this. For sneak peek shots, this is a no brainer. The reason why this is then useful is considering information technology will make the photo more readily appear in front of the customer’s eyes and will also show it off to their friends & family. While you don’t desire to overdo this, doing it from time to time into the futurity can be a great way to reconnect, besides!
Offering discounts on impress merchandise periodically.
Sometimes, people will go into their wedding galleries, download the pictures, so never look at information technology again. One manner to become them dorsum in there and to entice them to purchase some physical appurtenances is past offering discounts. Through Moving picture-Time, you can actually set upwardly email blasts that get out to all (or select) clients. A 20% discount on all orders might but bring in a couple hundred bucks that you weren’t expecting.
Like nosotros said, in that location is so much more than can be done here. It’southward but the tip of the iceberg!
So, what practise you call back?
We hope this detail around the wedding photography booking process gives you some real insight on what you can look. If you have whatever questions or loose thoughts you lot’d similar to conversation about, drop united states of america a line or leave a comment here and we’ll get back to you!
Posted by: Fusiontr.com
Originally posted 2022-02-12 06:46:41.