Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:32 AM
Wanna book a wedding? First you gotta convince the bride (yeah, her... the fiance WILL acquiesce to her preferences) that you've got what she wants. Or, teach her what she needs is more like it in most cases. And here's the point of this thread - few people know what to look for in a good wedding photographer - starting with good photography.
I just picked up a copy of Grace Ormonde's Wedding Style 2006 annual magazine to check out the current view of the industry. Cool pub in general, but what struck me, as usual, as a most disappointing facet was the photographers who advertised. I really expected some inspiration from folks who only gave out their phone number. You know what that means. This is for the rich and famous crowd only. Mr. International Wedding Photog flies in from whaerever to wherever you're gonna be and shoots it up. should be good ,eh? Maybe.. maybe not. Their ad photos were pretty slack in creativity - and quality for that matter. You and I can shoot that well... even better!
We very often deal with an uninformed audience in this field of work. It takes more than good photos to sell to a client you barely will ever get to know. Package prices and add-ons no doubt help clinch the deal but good photos aren't always included, if you know what I mean. This amounts to sharkbait for the pros and wannabes whose end product is not always worth much. So talk it up with your next prospect and try a little education and personal trust building, along with super-de-duper samples of your images and see if it works for you.
Business attire is required to make the right impression - not shirt-and-tie necessarily, but a decent office dressup to demonstrate some class and respect for their event. A concise portfolio with large and small prints gives a sufficient visual overview - but spend an equal amount of time settling their personal concerns - this is where the selling takes place, not while you're looking at photographs. Bring contracts to fill out their requirements and your deliverables to move along their decision to use you. Review the contract details to be sure they understand and agree to what was discussed. If your sales pitch covers all their bases and offers as much or more than the rest, you should have no less than a 50/50 shot at securing their business. This should take no more than 30 minutes and head in the direction of a signature and nonrefundable deposit check.
You can do it! Get your selling chops down on these vital areas of business and start networking with business, register online at photographer search sites, and wear a clean shirt for the meeting with your next prospect. Here's to a successful 2006 wedding season!
Brian "Mule" Patterson
Knoxville, Tennessee USAwww.brianrpatterson.comDSLRs
Nikon D300 w/ MB-D10 | Nikon D40DX Optics
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