Can you believe how much the industry has changed since COVID began? What we thought might be weeks of disruption has in fact become long term. I’ll bet that you hadn’t even heard the term micro wedding this time last year, let alone managed to book one. But let’s face it, anything like a ‘normal wedding’ is almost a distant memory as month after month of regulations has come and gone.
So what can we do now? Sit around and wait for things to get back to how they were? Or could we seize the opportunities that these strange, new times bring? When possible, weddings are still happening and the good news is that they are still being photographed. There is an opportunity to shift your position in the market and ensure that you book Micro Weddings.
If you are an established wedding photographer, you will certainly have had postponements and now double postponements. I know some wedding photographers have decided to throw in the towel, that this is all far too unpredictable and stressful. But if you think about it, Boris’s announcement was actually a positive thing. It’s a relief to have some kind of structure and some kind of certainty – well the 2021 version of certainty.
Now that we know what we are likely to be working with for the next six months, let’s get on with targeting the couples who are either coming at this fresh or deciding to make the most of the current terms. Let’s not show our disappointment, let’s get on board with the smaller weddings, the micro weddings, the elopements. There’s so much to love about them!
No big list of group shots
No waiting for ages for the first dance
No pack of Uncle Bobs shooting over your shoulder
Amazing, am I right?
So how do we reposition ourselves to attract these fresh bookings?
You can’t just sit at home waiting for the enquiries to rain down on you, be proactive. Lay out your stall. Shout it from the rooftops that you are still operating and that you bloody love a smaller wedding or an elopement and that you have space for new bookings.
POST ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
This is an easy win, start to post about how much you love all the elements of smaller weddings and elopements on all of your channels. For instance, I devoted a week on my Instagram grid to posting nothing but brides in short dresses. Short coverage, often means short hemlines! One of my most popular recent posts was of a table set up at a wedding for 15 people. I talked about how you can now book your favourite restaurant for your reception. There are so many conversations that you can start around this topic or post some relevant testimonials from past clients.
REVISE YOUR PRICING
Your old pricing may well just not be flexible enough for these smaller weddings. Think about creating a special package that accommodates reduced hours spent at the wedding, or do what I do and offer an hourly rate. I’ve been doing this for several years now and it’s perfect for the foreseeable future.
CREATE A PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE
It’s no good saying on your social media that you wish to shoot more of these weddings and then when people head to your website, it’s all grand weddings in fancy venues. My advice is either dig out some existing images taken at small weddings or elopements and showcase those or actively go out and create some suitable content. Collate the images together on a special page devoted to micro weddings and elopements and make sure it’s easy to find on your home page or link to it from your social bios.
VENUES AND OTHER SUPPLIERS
The normal rules don’t apply right now, so get creative with your marketing. I strongly believe that nothing is better than real life connections. So instead of doing all the work in a digital world, get out and meet planners and event managers at venues. They’ve also had the worst year possible and they also want to come out the other side of this stronger. So reach out and offer to help them with some content for their websites and social media that specifically attracts couples looking for a last minute wedding venue. You help them and you will be top of their list when it comes to recommending photographers.
Hopefully this gives you plenty to be getting on with. It’s been lovely to see all the good news being shared with the Top 50 Wedding Photographers list coming out, so let’s keep the optimism going. As photographers we are much more likely to be booked for a wedding in the coming few months above all the other suppliers – people will want the photos more than ever to share with the friends and family that couldn’t be invited – so we should be leading the way with smaller weddings. We can do this!