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The wedding season is just gearing up here in the states, so I’ve been seeing a lot of commentary about wedding photographers. One being this video put out by PPA.
In the video was this quote:
“An amateur photographer may get the shot right sometimes. A professional photographer is paid to get it right every time.” Mark Campbell, Professional Photographer
You get one shot at getting it right. The guests will only be together one day. The formalities and details will only be available one time. Get it wrong and its disaster.
If you are a wedding photographer, two things should be at the top of the list of priorities.
1. Being the best wedding photographer you can be.
2. Marketing your wedding services to your prospects, and educating them on what is truly important.
Being The Best
The first task is the easiest. You have to educate yourself not just on photography, but also on every aspect of wedding photography. There is a big difference. Learning how to shoot is straightforward. If you’re standing in front of a waterfall, you can keep adjusting until you get it right – the waterfall isn’t going anywhere.
But that changes with a wedding. You have dozens of subjects moving and changing every second. You have a variety of shooting experiences – bright sunlight for formal images, and dark reception halls with mere candlelight as your light source.
Study with other photographers. Be an assistant to some of the top names in your community. Take their classes and week long training courses. By their books and posing guides. Do everything you can to become a little better every day.
Marketing and Educating
The second task is a lifelong challenge. Once you’ve achieved a professional status with your wedding photography, you have to prove it to the world.
This video is a great help. Why not incorporate videos like this into your own marketing – YouTube embed feature means you can easily put it onto your blog. And if you’ve joined organizations like PPA, you can also use that as a motivator that you are taking the next step to prove your experience and commitment to the photographic industry.
Not everyone will “get it”. Some people only care about price. And if that’s the case, let them go to another photographer, and take the chance of not getting the best results.
But in many cases it only takes a little education. Don’t stop with one liners and showcasing your gallery of images.
Tell people what they need to look for, and watch out for. Most people have never thought about the dangers of hiring a friend until its too late. Fear works in marketing – if you hear a horror story, you’re more likely going to try and avoid the same situation.