We probably know a bit too much about the couples we photograph. Everything from how they met, what their animals are called to how they take their tea and their favourite kind of cake. Why? We just know these details make a difference when we’re photographing their wedding. Weddings matter, every one of them.
This is what I wanted to take to my talk at the first WEDx event, a new series of seminars for the UK wedding industry. Hosted by Tracey Butterfield of Appleby Events, these seminars are designed to inspire wedding industry professionals with talks from a wedding expert, while sharing practical knowledge to grow your brand and provide the best to your couples. For the inaugural event on the 8 May I was invited to talk alongside a host of successful names in the wedding industry, such as Kat from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride and luxury florist Amie Bone, as well as our magician favourite Lee Smith. Tom was there to photograph the day. My slot centred on building your brand, finding the right clients and why weddings truly matter.
“I found Lina’s talk at WEDx extremely inspiring and took a lot away to work with. Since then I have made a conscious effort to show the people behind the brand and ensure our personality shines through. One of the comments she made ‘You are only as good as the worse thing you show’ really resonated and I have been extremely proactive in making sure that the studio and all the display cakes are of a standard that I want to have reflecting my company.’
Shelly Shulman, La Belle Cake Company
Caring for your clients
We’re so fortunate to work in the wedding industry, we’re helping people create the best day of their lives, and we absolutely love that. But it’s hard work. It’s early mornings and long days, its hours of editing into the night and lots of travelling. If you’re not careful you can forget how important the work you do is. This is why, when building your brand, you need to structure it so that your client is always at the centre of what you do.
Our approach is quality over quantity. We like to take as much time as we need for each couple, before, during and after. We absolutely insist on meeting our couples face to face before we shoot their wedding (and engagement). We want to learn all about them – their personalities, how they met, their quirks and their likes and dislikes. It’s part of our brand. It’s important to us that they know who we are too. Our photography is moment-driven and we can’t do that unless we know the special moments to look out for.
This means we have to shape and build Lina and Tom in a way that allows for this. Remember, weddings matter. They bring people together, sometimes for the first time, sometimes for the last. The memories of a wedding last, the images, for a lifetime and beyond. That is what I implored other wedding industry folk to do in my talk; your work should be the best it truly can be for every client.
“One of the moments I felt most inspired this year was going home after hearing Lina talk at WEDx. Her talk on branding and finding your ideal customer was so insightful and jam-packed with useful takeaways that I could quickly and easily apply to my own business. I’m so excited to say that with Lina’s encouragement at WEDx I’ve put my prices up and through my marketing am connecting with my couples on a deeper level. I can’t wait for next year!’
Finding the right clients
By identifying your ideal client and investing in quality – and in yourself – you’ll find that the right clients come to you. Whatever you do – whether you’re a wedding cake designer or you run a venue – my advice applies to you all. Find an angle that makes your work stand out to your ideal customer then perfect your offer, your customer service, invest in your yourself and your team, and deliver the best.
And let’s not forget the elephant in the room – pricing! Do you work justice and always price correctly, and don’t be afraid to charge more if you know your work demands it. Never undercut your competitors for the sake of it, if we all regulate pricing across our sector, we can all charge the fees we deserve as the client will expect to pay a certain rate.
When you invest in your brand, the quality of your work and price to do your work justice you will find that the right clients come to you. Couples that know weddings matter and see the value in what you do will want to work with you to create their perfect wedding.
WEDX round two – November 6
Feeling inspired? The next WEDx event is at Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire on the 6 November. The line up includes some fabulous speakers covering everything from marketing your wedding business to getting press coverage. Register on the WEDx site – you will love it! As well as the talks, there are some great opportunities for networking too and chatting with a wedding expert. WEDx is also potentially coming to Bristol in 2018, so look out for that if you’re in the South West.
If you’re running an event I’d love to come and speak. I often give talks and seminars on wedding photography and the wedding industry, so I’d love to help. Get in touch for a chat!