What a crazy few days.. we have just returned from the Trade Show at SWPP in London. We have never taken Photography Farm to a show before so we really didn’t know what to expect. We had possibly the smallest stand in the entire place but feel that we made the best of it and brought our own quirky style to our little corner ~ with the help of some emergency glitter curtains! We even picked up a runners up award for the highly coveted Stand Of The Year… so we were pretty chuffed. We were there to promote The Barn, our workshops and our Photoshop Actions. Over the three days, Alexa and I spoke to hundreds of lovely photographers who attend the show to see what is on offer from all kinds of industry suppliers. From software specifically aimed at helping photographers to manage their businesses like Light Blue or Black Snow Studios to big giant lighting kits. However, when we chatted to the folk who swung by our stand, the companies that they were most interested in where the album makers and this got me to thinking about the range of what was on offer at the show.
There are the top end options, like the beautiful Queensberry albums from New Zealand; The budget but good choices like Bob Books or Aperture Books and then there is the middle and it was in the middle range that there were the most options, so who at the show stood out? If you attended, it would be interesting to get your opinions on this, but for me it was Folio Albums who really shone. Last year, they brought in an actual VW campervan to the third floor of the Hilton and so we were wondering how they could top this as last year they were the talk of the entire show. This time, they rocked up with lots of chipboard boxes on wheels like the ones roadies use. I was wondering what magic was going to appear out of them but then Stewart from Folio explained that in fact, the boxes were going to make up the stand. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed, no double-decker bus? Stewart went on to point out that this time he brought with him an entire team of the people that work at Folio to demonstrate live the seven stages of making their albums. Ahhh… clever! Once again their stand was really popular and engaged the right kind of person.
So what has this got to do with How Much Wedding Photographers Should Charge? For wedding photographers, I see the lower end of the market as under £1000, the middle is £1000-£3500 and the top is between £3500 and the moon. If a couple has a big budget and big ideas, they will go top end, if they ain’t that fussed, they will look for a budget photographer but most will look in the middle. Now I’m happy in the middle, I get the clients that I really connect with and they care about the photography but if I’m competing with the vast majority of other photographers, what do I do to stand out? Well, I did get to thinking about how Folio had managed to stand out in that middle range with a fairly simple concept. But over and above that, they have an outstanding product to begin with and they present it in a friendly and engaging way. I like to think that I’m trying to do the same. I work hard to push my creativity and present strong images. I also want to come across as friendly and engage folk.
One of the ways that I do this is through the About Me film on my website. Potential clients can see me working and talking about my approach before decide to get in touch. I also keep on top of my online presence. As photographers, we have it easy when it comes to material for our social media. We have our own stock libraries of images that we are free to share. I find Facebook best for posting images and keeping you on the radar for people. Don’t feel that you have to just post when you have a new blog entry or shoot to share. Experiment with more conversational posts or drawing attention to some of your favourite images even if they are a little bit older. Today I put up this image from a couple of years ago with this text ‘Did you know that walking to or from church on your wedding day is meant to be luckier than driving? This is because you will have more chance of seeing a black cat or a rainbow… both omens of good fortune.’
A. I am showing off a cute pic.
B. I am creating a conversation so trying to engage folk.
C. I show that I care about clients and weddings.
Now Stewart is one clever cookie and last year he joined us at Farm Week to present a talk called The Barefoot Business all about stripping it back, keeping it simple and concentrating on what is important.. presenting a good product at a good price and engaging people. By working hard at these three things you could be onto a winning formula. Lots of you have already signed up for classes at the next Farm Week and we kick things off next Wednesday. We still have spots on all the classes listed on the site and would love to welcome you to The Farm.