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Weddings…how to market is such a struggle….{Loudoun Wedding Photographer}

So I thought marketing weddings was really, really hard.   You wouldn’t think so, would you?  I mean, people get married every day and photographers are all over the place, right?  On the photographer side, I thought I had some ideas…but now as the future mother in law trying to help my son and his fiance find a photographer for their own wedding, I can say officially…THIS IS HARD.  And the process is making me second guess my own marketing for my wedding photography business too.

So how do you find a good wedding photographer???

So far I’ve been able to meet one of their prospective photographers with them, and have researched countless others online for them.  I have ideas of what I want, that is a given.  And I have some details I’d like to be sure are considered – and of course, I also have to remind myself that it is not MY WEDDING.  So take all that into account and as a parent, I’m overwhelmed.  As a wedding photographer myself, since going through this with them, I’m re-engineering my own marketing for sure, LOL!

Here’s my biggest rant right now – I understand that putting pricing online is hard for some business folks – but in this very competitive world I feel if you’ve put a good portfolio of your work online and given a prospective client the right first impression, now tell them the ball park they have to play in before they contact you and ten others.  There are so many details floating around with a wedding budget and since the photographer is typically selected right after the venue, everyone knows it’s an important detail and one that has a big price tag.  I just don’t get the photographers that won’t put even basic pricing on their web sites.  The couples at this stage are price shopping mostly – because they have to be until they get more specifics.  And not all couples want to pick up the phone and talk to someone in the beginning.  They want DETAILS to weigh and consider BEFORE they set up meetings.  So for the photographers who won’t put the pricing online – I question you – do you just NEED to convince people in person?  If your prices are higher, it won’t scare off the real clients shopping for your services who have that budget.  For those that you are out of consideration for – it’s not like you are going to cut your prices in half, so if they are what they are, just put them online already.   This much I know, even if my pricing eliminates me from the narrowed down list for being too high – or too low – I will put ball park pricing online so couples can know before they call.

And that brings my next rant up.  What’s up with some of the websites?  I mean, I KNOW some photographers are really, really busy.  But come on folks – be sure your site is able to be seen on mobile devices too.  And please…update it frequently.  Take out old images that aren’t your best work.  If you show me images that are underexposed, or overexposed, I’m going to form an opinion right then and there.  So put your BEST work up there…and be sure it can be seen.  If I can’t find you, I can’t consider you.  And too, if your first impression isn’t great, I’m not sticking around.  Show me your best first and wow me.

How do you even FIND a photographer to consider?  Wedding Wire, google, Bing, The Knot…personal recommendation…venue list of vendors…all a good start I suppose.  The struggle is in knowing there are about a gazillion folks out there who say they are wedding photographers, and how do you eliminate the ones that just started last week, or don’t have full equipment arsenals, or even those who have been in business for years but you didn’t fall off your chair when you first saw their website?   As a wedding photographer myself, how do I get into your list of folks to “talk to in person” before I get cut from the possibles?  Are you looking on price alone?  Or is there another strong trigger in your mind when finalizing the ones to select from?

What would you want in a photographer if you were planning YOUR wedding today?  Is price the most important thing?  Do you think a more expensive photographer is the better photographer by default?

I know – a senseless post without details.  But I’m in this kind of a mood today…just questions in my mind and if you have answers, feel free to send them my way.

 

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