Good Morning Everybody,
As you could tell from yesterday's very short and late post, it was quite a day around my studio. The night before last, I was on a Skype call with legendary wedding photographer, Jerry Ghionis, for well over an hour talking about all things connected with weddings. It was a great phone visit and in the end, Jerry agreed to come to our PhotoPro Expo next year and give a wedding program - more later.
Yesterday we were going through major changes converting to a new service provider for our phone and Internet service. I was hanging over the tech's shoulder till everything was up and working properly. I'm hoping this resolves our ISP issues we've been having lately.
Next we wrapped my newsletter and sent it mid-afternoon. I hope you got your copy because we have one fantastic Spring Cleaning Sale going on - see the post following this one for additional information. And I spent the rest of the day wrapping things up for our PhotoPro Network Summer School that is quickly approaching on July 9-12, 2011 in Lexington, KY. By 7:00 p.m. I called it a day and poured myself an adult beverage ;~)
Anyway, I didn't want to miss today's post because I’m sharing a few good ideas with you that I think will help raise the profile of your business just a bit higher. I's a simple idea, fun to execute, and produces a great result. Let's get right to it.
How To Make Yourself A Wedding Album "Buzz Factor"
How many of you have second shooters on your events? For those of you that do, how many times are you in one of the photographs taken by your second shooter? If you are inadvertently included you may want to crop yourself out of the image. But, let's say your second shooter nabbed a photo of you talking with say the bride and groom or perhaps the mother of the bride? These are probably the most prominent people at the wedding, right?
First, Show Wedding Slide Shows
Here is the scenario - At my weddings, I always plan to bring along my iPad with the intent of setting up a slide show of the event so the bride and groom can share the events of the day with their guests.
Back in the mid-eighties - yes, the film days, we did the same thing in a much more complicated way with something call Polacolor Slide film. We shot many of the days events on Polacolor slide film, processed it on the spot at the reception, mounted the images into slide mounts, and presented a show of the bride and groom growing up, their engagement session and I included a few images of the ceremony and formals during the reception! Yes Virginia, some us were doing "same day" slide shows at weddings more than 25 years ago!
You guys and girls have no idea how easy you have it today to create the same wedding day sizzle for your clients ;~) I'm still utterly amazed that so many photographers who don't take advantage of today's technology to accomplish so easily the same thing today that we worked our butts off accomplishing so many years ago.
Anyway, I digress. It's so easy to shoot the wedding and then easily transfer a collection of 80-100 images to an iPad and set up the show at the reception. Heck, with the HDMI or VGA output adapters for the iPads, it's also easy to set up a large monitor somewhere at the wedding reception where the guests can conveniently watch the show during the reception.
Anyway, this could all be part of another blog post one day. Let's get back to what I want to discuss today - making yourself a "buzz factor" for the event. I said above that I bring an iPad to all my wedding so I can quickly, like in 12 minutes, set up a slide show of the day's festivities which then I let the bride and groom and parents share with their guests.
I love walking around the reception with iPad in tow showing the wedding show I just put together. Here is an image taken by my assistant at a recent wedding showing the wedding slide show to the mother of the bride. She was "blown away" when she saw the short presentation.
OK, enough said, IPad wedding slide shows create quite a buzz and are good for business but how do you make yourself part of that "buzz"? The secret is getting photographs of you engaging with the client in some way. In this case, it was with me showing the iPad slide show to my client but there are several ways to do the same thing. How about just having someone take a photo of you with the bride and groom with your camera at some point during the reception?
The First Step To Creating The Wedding Album “Buzz”
OK, your wondering where all this is leading - hang in here with me. At the end of the evening we pack all of our gear, say our good-byes to the bride and groom, mom's and dad's and maybe a few special guests - all a good time to get a few more photographs of you with the key folks at the wedding - and head back home.
In post production we'll complete the edit of all the images and get them online for our client review. After the client has had a chance to select their favorites, we have them visit the studio in order to help them make their final album decisions as I've blogged about so many times here at DPT.
Let The Fun and the “Buzz” Begin
This is where the fun begins. They love seeing their images up on the 9-foot BIG screen in my studio and it makes it really easy for them to fine tune their final selection. But here is where the fun begins. As we're reviewing the images a photo of me engaging with the couple or the parents pops up every now and then.
In the past the client may or may not select that image for their album - now they select it every time. Why, because once the image hits the screen, they may comment telling me how much they like me but they don't want to buy a photo of me for their album. No problem, I quickly point out that we have a studio policy that any photo in which I'm included is no charge. The client giggles and says, "Why sure, we'll take it then."
Getting Famous – Or Least Better Known
This all started out rarely innocently a few years ago but it's been so much fun interacting with my clients when I tell them the photographs are complimentary, I've just continued the policy. Then I got thinking about it even more and it struck me - it's a good thing. Now when the client shows their album to family and friends, when they come to the photograph(s) of me, they can now point out who their photographer was in effect putting the name with the face. The client receives a few complimentary image or two and I get some nice free advertising.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not on some ego trip to get my photo in the bridal album. What I think is important is that in the course of our long interaction with our clients we really do become friends at some level. Heck, even now I socialize with several of our clients that have become treasured friends over the years. Wouldn't it be cool if your client could point out their wedding photograph and friend, The photographer, in their wedding album? I think so - I think it's fun, sometimes funny, but always good for future business. Oh, by the way, if any of my assistants are in the photo we still give 20% discount ;~)
Hey gang, that's it for me today. Stop back tomorrow - I plan to have a shot post off for you as we all head into the weekend.
See ya' then, David