Wedding photographers – do this to save your career in this crisis
We’re amidst a pandemic, and that can never be easy. 2020 has hit the world with unprecedented challenges and thrown us all into uncharted waters where the only way out is forward. Gone is the time when we were hoping everything will be okay and will go back to normal. There is a new normal now and it requires us to be tougher than before. The quicker we accept it, the faster we’ll be able to adapt to it. We humans are smart, we evolve with turning times. This time is no different.
So get out of that bed, pick yourself up and push yourself out in the virtual world, because thats the one you need to focus on now. At the same time, what we desperately need is emotional support. We need love, relationships, friends, family, empathy.
Photographers, especially wedding photographers have been majorly hit during this time. But its time to revive your business. You have spent the past 3 months wondering what will happen to your bookings. You might even have spoken to your clients and not got a definite answer, and thats quite understandable. Its now time to be the professional and pick up that phone and talk to them one on one. Pay attention to their needs, the issues they’re facing regarding wedding planning.
The questions you need to ask them are:
• Are they postponing the wedding, cancelling it or having it on the same day as planned?
• If rescheduling, what date is it on now? Let them know about your availability.
If they’re cancelling the wedding, understand the reason and try and work a way around it if possible. The important thing is –
• You build a positive relationship with your clients.
• You give them solutions rather than adding to their stress.
• You provide incentives they won’t be able to resist.
• Give them payment plans that go easy on their pockets. Maybe offer a monthly payment system. You’re going through a tough phase, so are they.
We spoke about evolution, but what does that mean for wedding photographers?
The industry will never shut down, but it will change. And those who change along with it will survive to see a double inflow of weddings next year.
What must you do to adapt?
• Accept that weddings will be intimate affairs from now on. Pay attention to small moments between the bride and her mother, the parents, the bride and groom, the friends and cousins planning to steal the groom’s shoes. Capture the essence of it, because grandeur is no longer important, nor will it exist in most cases.
• Change the packages you offer, update them. Provide step-payment options. A deposit, then a fixed amount each month till the wedding, the balance upon receiving the deliverables. Suggest packages according to the client’s needs and their ability to pay your fees. Make packages to cater to all rings.
• If you were a photographer who just too big assignments, well its time to dip your toes a little further off your comfort, into smaller events, because they’re going to increase in volume. Adjust your prices accordingly. Don’t under-sell yourself, but try to be compliant with the client’s budget restrictions.
• Be the very best of what you are. New photographers are flowing in like anything, but the amount of work available in the market is not increasing proportionately. To survive and grow, you cannot lose focus. You cannot procrastinate. You have to be competitive, even more so now.
• Give your website a new look, share your latest portfolio on it, let go of the old one. Make sure your website is iPhone/Android compatible, since most of your clientele will be viewing your page on their phones.
Its a new world we’ll be stepping into now, but baby steps is not how we’ll succeed. Go all in or get all out. The road is tough, the choice is yours. May the force be with you.
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