Sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach. No, not fluttering butterflies but more like butterflies on a rampage…. and dizziness. Definitely felt some dizziness.
The above symptoms were brought on with just the slightest thought of trying to book weddings of my own. I was now 8 months into my photography business and ready to actually begin my business. I had a camera…. I had the capability of renting amazing equipment…. I had taken the time to 2nd Shoot weddings and learn and experience as much as possible…. I had Googled, You-Tubed and Binged until the wee hours of the morning. I mean, in the words of Chandler Bing….. Could I BE anymore ready?! The problem was, where to begin? How would I get my name and work out there for engaged couples to see? Even more, how would I get them to contact me among the hundreds of photographers in my area?
Enter Facebook, Word of Mouth & Blogging.
Every business is different and the methods that work for some may not work for others. And that’s okay, business owners should definitely use what works for them. Speaking for myself, these are the 3 ways through which I have been able to book 10 weddings during my first year as a lead Wedding Photographer.
1. Facebook- I’m at the point where I feel like I need to buy Facebook dinner at a swanky restaurant for being oh so good to me. Sure, you can tell people that you are a photographer but there is nothing quite like the power of being able to show them. Facebook allows you to do just that, show your work…. and takes it one step further. It allows others to see the positive feedback and your total viewer reach expands with every tag, comment and “Like.” Not only do your friends see the photos you post but now their friends can see them….. and their friends… and their friends…. and so on. That right there explains how I was booked by my friend’s, friend’s, friend from high school
2. Word Of Mouth- I wouldn’t really consider myself a shy person (because I don’t think a shy person would openly admit their lack of cooking skills and of having spent the last two Valentine’s Day watching Twilight movies at home) but when it comes to asking someone if I could be their wedding photographer I choke up and the entire English language escapes me. Like, a 2yr old could communicate better at that point! So being referred by others is a gift from above. I put my heart into my photography and there is no greater compliment than someone acknowledging that and deeming you worthy of telling their family and friends about you. To the amazing friends that sent the fabulous couples I will be working with this year…. trust that they are in good hands and I plan on making their Wedding day sparkle
3. Blogging- Asking me to express myself through a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter status gives me anxiety. As an avid comma, exclamation point, dot dot dot user truly I can’t be expected to narrow down my thoughts into two sentences or less, ergo the blogging. This was the answer to the “how would I get them to contact me among the hundreds of photographers in my area?” question. The only card I have that distinguishes me from any other photographer is my personality card. There’s no escaping the incredible photography talent that is out there and I am years behind most of them…. but the one thing I can own like no one else can is me. The Crystal-ness (that’s totally a thing, ask my friends ). Being able to give a glimpse of what a wedding day would be like with me and who I am outside of photography through blogging has helped give the couples I work with that warm fuzzy feeling. And who doesn’t like to feel that spark? Exactly.
There are plenty of other ways to network and hopefully gain new clients; working with other photographers, connecting with Wedding Coordinators, paying for advertisement, participating in Bridal Shows, etc. I have tried a few of these as well but so far none have been as effective. Again, totally a personal thing as I am sure that many photographers have successfully booked weddings through all of these methods.
Facebook and blogging is not everyone’s cup of tea and I completely get that…. but I do highly recommend being opened to trying it out. Give your clients and future clients a chance to get to know you on a personal level and really just let your fabulousness shine! Believe me, if this shoe-obsessed, Chipotle burrito bowl loving, Twilight addicted, random thought girl can do it….. so can you