If you’ve been reading this blog for a few months, you understand that our whole marketing strategy is about getting ‘wows’ and ‘raves’ from the client. Go back to the April posts and read the 4-part series on how to get your photography business online, for an overview. The foundation of this philosophy is routed in world-famous photographer Gary Fong’s Getting Rich as a Photographer, 2-DVD set.
Gary was a trendsetter, and unique in his approach to the business of photography. He recognized that photography is a competitive business, and new ideas are necessary to keep one step ahead of that competition.
Today, I’d like to make you aware of an idea that can do three things for your wedding photography business:
1. Book more jobs
2. Make more money
3. Create more “wow”.
Before I ‘reveal’ the idea, let me tell you what I have been doing for several years. Anytime someone books me (pays a deposit) for a wedding, I offer them a FREE engagement session.
There are several reasons for this, but, primarily, it is to allow us to get to know each other. I’ve always thought that it is better to photograph a wedding as a friend, than as some hired gun shooter from the internet. (I also encourage you to go to rehearsals, if possible).
Now, since I don’t ‘include’ the engagement session in my wedding ‘package’, I present it as my gift to them. We spend about 90 minutes, usually on a Sunday morning in Laguna Beach, CA. I provide them with an 11x14 inch print, that they can have framed in a signature mat, for display that the reception. Since this is a FREE gift, I never have to worry about scheduling, travel to locations, etc. It’s a gift and they need to come to me. Of course, after the shoot, I do offer them a chance to have a Guest Book made from the engagement session images. Normally, I place 1 or 2 images on the right page, and leave the left side black, for guests to write little notes. An inexpensive way to do this is through mypublisher.com. I charge about $250 for these.
Here the BIG IDEA. I’m sure that other photographers are doing it, but I first heard about a photographer in Santa Barbara, CA – Damian Langere --. He does Fashion Engagement Sessions. Rather than just a few wardrobe changes at the beach, Damian puts his couples through a complete ‘make-over’. He hooks his bride and groom up with a style consultant, who helps them pick the wardrobe. Then he schedules them for a ‘hair and makeup’ session. When the couple is ready, he does a fashion style photo shoot using multiple locations in the Santa Barbara area. Here’s a video that explains it all.