Good Afternoon Everybody,
Things have been pretty calm around here this week even though our plane leaves for New York City in just the next few days. The fact that we just returned from Texas School means that the equipment bags are mostly packed and ready to go. LaDawn completed a few orders, retouched a two volume wedding order and is near completion on designing the albums. She should be able to head to New York City without too many work worries on her plate.
Anyway, you don’t want to hear about our upcoming vacation so, let's get right on with today's post.
The Angel Is In The Details
I know I paraphrased the regular saying, “The Devil is in the Details” but, I think today's post really points to Angels. That is, Angels of profits. There are a lot of great new wedding photographers inundating the market, many of them offering different perspectives, styles and products on wedding photography. But, when I look at wedding photographs, competition albums and web sites I see mostly photographs of brides and grooms, the wedding party, some great candids but little to no photographs of the reception venue. What I want to suggest is that you look for the Angel in the Details and place a little heavier emphasis on the reception venue.
Wedding photography surely has to be about the bride and groom, their families and friends. But remember, you’re not just shooting for the bride and groom, and family members, you're also shooting for yourselves knowing that the images that you capture can be used for sales, marketing, and promotion of your studio.
Here is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Whenever I shoot an event, I always make it a point to take several photographs of the banquet room before all the guests arrive. I may take up to 24 images in the 7 – 10 minute time slot I arrange in advance with the banquet captain timed just before the guests enter the room. These images include overall views of the room and many close up details of the table settings. Now, you may think I'm a little crazy for taking 24 images and say, "Just how many of those photographs do the bride and groom want to buy?"
It's not about the bride and groom purchasing all these photographs or even a few of these two dozen photographs. It's about me having them as a resource I can use to approach the wedding venue and offer them a selections from the extensive ballroom shoot, high-lighting their efforts. The reason for this is pretty obvious. First, it shows that I'm a decent wedding photographer and let’s me showcase my work to the vendors I want to recommend me. And secondly, it’s a great benefit to the reception venue and my business building to get these images in the hands of the sales team at that particular venue. It’s a win-win for both of us.
Over the years we have created small, five to ten page vendor albums, which includes our branding on several of the pages, for most of the wedding vendors we have directly connected. We select about 24 or 25 images showcasing the details from the wedding, assemble them into five to ten 8x10 collage pages, and bind them together into a simple book for presentation to the venue.
What I'm suggesting today is to give a much heavier emphasis to the detail ballroom photographs since that vendor is key to my business building and whom I want to recommend my photographic services as they interview prospective brides and mothers of the bride. In my selection of 25 images, I’ll include a few photographs of the bride and groom, the flowers, and a few activities from the very special day. All in all the mix may split 75% featuring the reception location and table/room detail photographs of the venue. That leaves 25% of my signature images just to add a sense of WOW factor.
We collage images very quickly within LumaPix Fotofusion. With the recent release of LumaPix V5, it is an even a more incredible fast and efficient tool to do this. We print the collage pages up as 8 x 10 size prints, bind them in an inexpensive cover (about $12) and give them to the reception sales staff for their use in their sales room. The sales staff is pleased to receive the samples because it shows a recent event and it's free advertising for them (and for me, too).
With LumaPix you can easily send a follow-up email including your collaged pages to the sales staff that they can forward to out-of-town perspective clients showcasing their location and ballroom. Just be sure you have include your branding within a few pages of the album, so as the sales team forwards the images your logo is included.
So, the next time you head out on your next wedding, especially your larger weddings, I suggest you look for the Angels in the Details. That Angel may just give your profits, those newfound wings, to a more prosperous photographic future.
Hey gang, that's it for me today. We've still got a few loose ends to tie up and then were doing our final pack for NYC trip. How about I see everybody tomorrow for a quick note on four leaf clovers – you’ll have to tune in to see what I’m talking about ;~)
See ya’ then, David