The Cost and Value of Wedding Photography

As wedding photographers we sometimes are accused of charging an excessive amount of money for the work we do. Wedding photography is an extremely demanding profession and until you yourself have photographed a wedding, you have no idea just how difficult it is.

The craft and purely technical end is very difficult under the varied and shifting conditions that occur during most wedding days. The challenge is mastering the craft part to the point it is second nature while concentrating on creating artistic and dynamic photographs. In addition, a professional wedding photographer must constantly be aware of everything that is going on in order to capture every important moment. This all must be done while constantly monitoring the lighting as well as camera settings and operation to insure all the photographs are successful. This is what takes many years of experience to accomplish.

As a photographic artist I have spent decades honing an artistic sensibility and style. In addition to being a professional photographer I have spent a tremendous amount of time and energy creating fine art photographs that have been exhibited in galleries over the past twenty years. This pursuit has greatly improved my artistic abilities and allows me to bring a mature artistic vision to your wedding day.

My friend Zak is a brilliant and prolific artist. He has supported himself as an artist for over forty years with solo and group exhibitions of his artwork all over the country. He related a story to me about a painting he had created. Like all his work, he pours his sweat and blood as well as a slice of his soul into every painting he creates. He was negotiating the sale of one of his paintings with a man who loved the painting but was balking at the price.

The man really wanted to own Zak’s painting and could easily afford to purchase it, but was questioning why it should cost so much. The man said, “Come on, how long did it take you to paint this painting….perhaps forty hours?” As Zak related the story to me, he stood there staring at the man while thinking of the decades of study and work that allowed him to create this painting and yelled back at him, “It didn’t take me forty hours, it took me forty years.” The man purchased the painting for the asking price and hung it in a prominent place in his home. Zak was completely right in what he said and this holds true for photography as well.

I pour my sweat and blood and a little slice of my soul into every wedding, event, and project I photograph. I am unable to feel satisfied with doing only an adequate job and strive to create the best photographs I possibly can.

When selecting a photographer for your wedding or event, remember that you will be viewing those photographs for a lifetime. Make sure you won’t be looking back with regret that you could have spent a little more and gotten a truly professional photographer; someone with a high level of skill and artistic vision.

Two Important Wedding Photography Questions That Wedding Photographers Are Rarely Asked

Any bride would definitely take great care in hiring a professional Grand Rapids wedding photographer for this best part of her life. There are many questions that come naturally to your mind while employing such service. Queries related to the experience, quality and personality of the photographer, his style, contract, delivery and payment mode and so forth are quite common. Consequently, there are also questions about wedding photography as well as other activities associated with wedding, which are generally overlooked but should be asked.

The first question relates to the most important portion of photography. Today most Grand Rapid Michigan wedding photographers prefer to use digital cameras. This means that there is a possibility of loss of data related to computer and other digital problems. Therefore, the question that every bride should ask is about the photographer’s backup strategy. “How do you manage to store and save my wedding pictures?” In other words, “What is your method of protecting my files against data loss and corruption?” Hard drive crash is pretty common which means losing your personal data. That is why maintaining of copies of every wedding, even off site if the studio accidentally burns, until the photos are delivered successfully and archived online, should be the strategy of any professional and genuine Grand Rapids wedding photographer.

The second obvious question which is rarely asked to a wedding photographer is, “How many weddings have you served as a lead shooter?” The bride should not forget to ask about links to browse his impressive and praiseworthy photo gallery. This will ensure that you can get quality services from a recognized wedding photographer. Any wedding photographer will try to impress his customers through a handful of fascinating pictures over his website. But if he has only been a second shooter till then, he will not have a complete wedding gallery. So it is very important to check that aspect while checking the wedding photographer’s online site. As a second shooter, he may not necessarily have experience in selecting locations for the pictures as this is something the lead shooter typically does. He only shoots what his lead shooter asks him or her to shoot.

These two questions are generally not posed by brides because of improper insight into wedding photography. Wedding photography is a complex process which should be well understood before hiring a photographer for best results. Not every wedding photography studio or team is equipped enough to fulfill your myriad wishes. However, as a competent and experienced Grand Rapids Michigan wedding photographer, we promise absolute satisfaction to our every existing and new customer. We offer you excellent, quality, sincere and experienced wedding photography services and other related works at affordable rates. And of course, don’t forget to ask us these two questions which we are sure, we will reply to your full satisfaction.

Professional Wedding Photography

The steady, ongoing work produced from wedding photography generates the majority of new clients for most photography studios and freelance photographers. A wedding photographer will need to comfortable with the following activities & skills:

Candid shots (photojournalistic) and posed shots
Making slides, prints, and slideshows (digital or otherwise)
Traditional albums
Taking shots in the outdoors at a party, beach, or rustic locale
Snapping shots indoors at a temple or church

In the late 1860’s in America, couples started hiring photographers and posing at the wedding. The art form of photography for the wedding was created by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. However, the idea of live action shots and of capturing the event itself came up after the Second World War. Often, the photographers would just show up inconspicuously at a wedding, snap the photos, and venture to sell them later on to the family. This forced studios to start covering the events, lest they be booted out by freelance photographers.

After the wedding is over, a small time lapse is incurred, and, thereafter the photographer shows “proofs” to the couple. The proofs can be in the form of prints, thumbnail galleries, or all of the images on CD-ROM. They may also make separate galleries or slideshows, and they’re sometimes themed.

Photographers may sell additional prints to the couple through a web site with thumbnail galleries and an e-commerce back-end, often in conjunction with a vendor or broker website that charges a commission for each print purchase.

The common types of wedding photography include the photojournalistic realism and spontaneous photographer behavior of some, the classic or traditional posed method, and a hybrid of the two called fashion-based wedding photography.

In big cities, there are often studios devoted to wedding photography because photography for the wedding is such a mammoth market in metropolitan areas. People are always moving in and out and getting married. Take a look at a portfolio of the photographer’s former work for assurance.

The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and, especially, the Wedding Photojournalists Association (WPA) offer training, professional support, and tips to member photographers.

Secrets In Choosing The Right Style Of Wedding Photography On Your Wedding Day

What is Wedding Photography?

For most couples, this may sound an odd question to ask, most would answer that wedding photography is the kind of photography done during weddings. That is partly correct. But that over simplifies the meaning of wedding photography. The art of wedding photography has change tremendously in the past twenty years. Today it may even have a different meaning for each couple.

In the past, wedding photographers are technicians behind a black box almost mystical that very few would even try to operate it. Back then, wedding couples are hiring wedding photographers to produce wedding pictures of their big day. It is to simply record the event. And the one they chose might be doing six weddings a day.

In 2010, almost all wedding guests have their own digital camera that could produce well-exposed pictures at very minimal cost. What it means is that the professional wedding photographers must have something more to offer to their wedding couples. At the same time, the digital revolution also allowed wedding photographers the new technologies to offer something different. This is one of the reasons why wedding photography has improved compared to what it was years ago. It also attracted people who would never venture into wedding photography if not for the new technology of digital photography. Wedding photographers who at their prime offer beautiful and stunning photos that record the wedding in an artistic and narrative, sometimes evocative and most of the time in a flattering manner.

But it also means that being a wedding photographer today; one has to be able to offer something not seen before. True to the complexities of wedding photography today, it would not be true anymore that all wedding photographers are the same and that all wedding couples desire the same kind of photography.

Here is a Guide to Photographic Methods

The good thing about the Internet is it makes it easy to research the work of a big number of wedding photographers. Check some photographers’ website and you will be amazed by the different photographic styles.

Reportage photography is also known as documentary or photojournalism photography; it is best described to have an approach which simply covers and document the event without directing the wedding couple or its guests. Instead it tries to capture the event as it happens in the most natural and creative way possible.

Traditional wedding photography is use to describe the old fashioned way of lining up the wedding couple, their guests and family for traditional photos.

Contemporary wedding photography can be described as glossy which can be trendier than traditional wedding photography.

My humble advice is to look beyond the labels of wedding photography. It can be more confusing than being helpful in deciding which kind of wedding photography suites you as a wedding couple. Another reason is that the style often times is a combination of several photography styles anyway. Third, it implies that wedding photographers offer just one style of photography during their wedding coverage.

In reality, weddings offer a chance for wedding photographers to show different photography styles. Wedding photographers sometimes just can’t ask the couple to move to a spot where there is a better light during the wedding ceremony. Also, it is quite often that couples expect to have formal photographs which show them at their best. Even the most modern weddings will require having traditional and formal family shots.

Many photographers excel in one style of wedding photography and emphasize their skill and it may even be part of their marketing strategy. Some would describe their kind of wedding photography as a mix of classical and modern. It may be a mix of reportage and contemporary. It is quite necessary to have a time with the wedding couple wherein they will be directed to be at their best. It will give them the kind of photographs that can be described as fine art. The limited time of weddings make it important for wedding photographer to be a good director.

Choosing Your Photographer

For couples, the best way would be to decide which wedding photographer is right for you is to decide together what kind of wedding pictures you expect You may want something traditional which means you like a professional account of the wedding day without having too much interruptions.

You may be a photography enthusiast as well, and desire to have a creative set of wedding pictures. You may be looking at high end and contemporary photography style.

Once you both as a couple decide on what type of wedding photographs you desire, you can start examining different galleries of photography for quality. Be warned that galleries represent the best work of photographers, so it is quite important to see a sample of a whole wedding to be sure of consistency.

Awards of excellence can help you decide which photographer could be best suited for your wedding. A membership to well know professional body is also something to consider.

It is of utmost importance that you as a wedding couple can communicate with the photographer and have the rapport to be able to share your wedding photography goals. As much as photography style is an important factor, you and your wedding guests would expect to have a high level of professionalism, organization and experience on your wedding day. Finally you need to consider the wedding packages being offered by the photographer.

Budgeting For Photography

There is no such thing as an appropriate budget for weddings. What can be more helpful is the percentage in terms of value to the total wedding cost.

Wedding Photographer Marketing – The Importance of SEO and Your Wedding Photography Website

Can your wedding photography business be found on the internet easily? 100% of all brides surveyed, reports that they started their research for a wedding photographer online and the average amount spent on a wedding photographer will be right around $2000. Given that there are 2.2 million weddings a year in the United States, it would be a wise move to make sure that your website is optimized for search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), should always be the first step when you decide to better your website. Search Engine Optimization is the means of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website via organic search results for targeted keywords.

Brides are a savvy bunch. They understand how to use the internet. They know how to search for their wedding vendors. They are ready to spend a lot of money on their wedding and for most, the wedding photographer is the one vendor that they will spend the most money on other than their wedding reception. To the bride, finding an excellent wedding photographer is important because the wedding photographer will be the one that captures her memories for eternity.

When a bride is searching for vendors using a search engine such as Google, she will typically go no further than the third page. This means, after she’s browsed through 30 organic searches, she’s done. So, what does this mean for the wedding photographer whose website is not even indexed by Google or is on the fourth page or further? It means that they better be doing some other form of advertising! It means money spent on Pay Per Click campaigns, ads on wedding portals, showing at bridal shows, etc…

The best scenario is to get your website optimized so that brides can find you when they’re looking for you. It doesn’t cost very much to get optimized. Just find an expert to help you along if you don’t want to tackle the job. There are companies and consultants who offer Search Engine Optimization as a standalone service or as part of a larger marketing campaign. To get your site fully indexed by spiders, it could involve restructuring your code, the content on your website, as well as it’s structure. You will also want to build up links from other sites to point directly at your site. Be sure to avoid link farms and keyword stuffing because search engines can remove you completely from their indices.

Improving Your Sales Meeting Conversion Tips for Business

Here are some tips on the topic, “How to successfully turn your sales or lead meetings into more new business.”

• Have a good preparation for the meeting including having a standard question base to do a great needs analysis on the client, this will sell you well as demonstrate you are organised and are asking all the right questions. This should be done so well, the lead will know you know what you are doing.
• Use soft statements, listen by giving them ample opportunity to be heard, address their concerns as well and use all opportunities to introduce to them the ways you can add value to them.
• Rather than give convoluted price options or tables, give them a bottom line fixed quote or price and clearly state, what are their inclusions.

• Have different available options, try to sell your biggest package first, if that is not taken, reduce the sale to lesser packages.
• Get the simple things right, remind them of their appointment, send an agenda, directions where you are, welcome them with a clean professional office, present yourself well, offer drink or coffee, have testimonials in your waiting area.
• Be able to answer common objections – such as, “I want to think about it”. Respond to them by saying, “can I ask some more questions?, Is that the price you expected? Is this what you need as your solution?” Try to uncover more of their genuine reasons for hesitating.
• A good sales meeting should establish a relationship, identify needs, offer the right solutions, close with an offering which fulfils an underlying motivation which is either an inspiration to the client (such as you too can look this good with our product) or remove their fear (such as with our solution you never have to worry about something again).
• Be able to defend yourself against competitor offerings. Say what is good and unique about you such as your quality, additional service, guarantees, testimonials, bonuses.
• Offer bonuses like they do in the ads. It really works. Often you may think something is normal service offered but saying our price includes for example “within 24hr email response”, “free e-book on solving your something problem” or whatever you can offer, there must be something in your business that is an easy giveaway that samples your brilliance. It can be the slight difference on a tight quote that wins you a deal.
• If you do convert your close, a great idea is to follow through on using your needs analysis – start solving those problems they wanted sorted, stick to the price quote you agreed on, send a welcome email which covers your value, quote and solutions you are giving which can overcome buyer remorse (when a client goes home after a conversion and then rings to cancel it all).

Why Pain Should Be a Salesperson’s Best Friend

“So why doesn’t that prospect buy from me?” Short answer: It’s too comfortable for them not to.

There’s always a temptation to stick to what you know. The same breakfast, the same holiday destination, the same terrible broadband supplier. For many prospects, whatever their experience with an unreliable incumbent or an ageing product, they have to take a step into the unknown if they’ve not bought from you before.

That’s right, for you to become their new provider, you must drive success by becoming adept at conjuring up the single most compelling reason that humans do anything-pain. Differentiate yourself. Make NOT buying from you more painful.

‘Stacking the pain’ should always form part of your value proposition.

Be bold-stacking the pain needs to happen way before you start proposing anything at all. No doctor would start explaining a cure for an illness without really diving into what the symptoms are. Use your own natural style to do the same.

As a patient, you buy the quick resolution of pain-not the pharmaceuticals themselves. You can change the world when you realise your prospects are buying the same thing, not your product or service.

So what are the 4 natural skills you need to make your prospects ache from the pain of NOT doing business with you?

1. Questioning. You don’t want questions to sound like an interrogation.

A series of closed questions that don’t build a picture or uncover areas of pain. Using your own warm, personal style, focus on broad, open-ended questions or ‘TED’ questions, which aren’t really questions at all. Try using “Tell me..”, “Explain to me… “, “Describe to me”-use your own instincts to enable the prospect to disclose pain.

If they don’t get talking about their pain soon, then before you know it, they’re twitchy and asking you to get on and explain what you do. Why? Because if their pain isn’t going to be alleviated, what’s the point of listening? Your chances at that stage are twofold-slim and none-and Slim just left town.

2. Listening. Some salespeople really drop the ball here.

What’s the biggest give-away that you’re not really listening? When you ask a question that’s nothing to do with what the prospect just said. Do that twice in a row, and their trust level has all but evaporated. Three strikes and you’re out, you get the idea.

Deep listening means shutting out all other noise, and above all else not to be planning your next question whilst they’re speaking!

3. Probing. This is the third weapon in our armoury.

Probe a remark the prospect makes with questions like “How often does that problem arise?” or “What’s the impact on your business when that goes wrong?” You’ll get right to the heart of their pain. That’s where the sale is, a prospect voicing and dwelling on everything that’s wrong with their status quo. Get this right and their belief in you will increase.

Differentiate yourself here because many salespeople scoot past it-by not listening and being too busy planning their next ‘brilliant’ question.

4. Finesse. When a prospect hears a list of everything that’s causing them pain in their organisation in an articulate summary of all that’s wrong with their world, then who is the salesperson with whom they’ll feel most comfortable about doing business? Will it be the salesperson who asked formulaic questions, pretended to listen and then just pitched their ‘cure’ without understanding the prospect’s pain? No. It will be the salesperson who spent the most time exploring the pain and consequently compelling the prospect to take the far less painful step of moving from their status quo to your solution.

If you learn then use these 4 crucial sales skills-and incorporate them into your own natural style-you’ll connect on a warmer level with your prospects. Let your own innate, down-to-earth, inner salesperson demonstrate value creation, and your prospects will flock to your solution.

Don’t Forget To Train Your Staff

One of the most amazing mistakes many business owners make is not training their staff in the area of customer service. Whilst the owners of the business rely on customers being treated in a way that would want them to return to their business, sometimes the major factor of informing the staff on how exactly they want that experience to be seems to get lost in the process of doing business.

Don’t think for a minute that your staff will naturally be good at servicing your customers just because they said so on their résumés. You have to ensure that you train each and every one of your employees in YOUR desired way of service. Don’t just think that any old way will do with them, as your business is most probably different to others hence you need to have your own brand of service that your customers can distinguish your business from others.

One of my businesses that I am now involved with mentors business owners in assisting them to get their businesses to the next level. As a part of that process I am constantly asked to evaluate every aspect of their particular business. I am constantly amazed when I see how the staff of those businesses are treating their customers. A lot of the time the one thing that is stopping that business to grow any further is the staff’s relationships with the customer.

I have had numerous excuses as to why some staff feels as though they have the right to treat the customer badly. Excuses such as:

• Having a bad day
• The boss doesn’t respect me so why should I do him any favours
• I don’t feel as though that is part of my job description
• No one else does it so why should I?
• It’s not that important is it?

Are just a few examples that constantly floor me and leave me perplexed as to how some of these people have been able to keep a job for as long as they have.

As the owner of the business, it is your responsibility to educate your staff about how important and how much of an integral part of your business customer service is. If you don’t you then only have yourself to blame as to why they may be letting you down.

I remember in my early years of working for a major chain, we would be sent to courses on service. Whilst one would assume that it would be common sense to treat a customer correctly, it was quite evident that due to us going to these courses it wasn’t.

Those courses really proved invaluable to that organisation. They knew that all of their employees would be taught the exact same principles hence ensuring that the culture inside all of their stores were uniform and consistent.

How often do you take time out to notice how your customers are being treated by your staff? If you don’t do this, you may never know what is actually happening in that part of the business. I understand that training does happen within salons these days but that training mostly is around skill based outcomes such as treatments, colours etc.

The salons and businesses that are excelling financially and growth are the ones that devote proper training to their employees.

This isn’t something that you haven’t heard or don’t know, I understand that. It’s just that with the pressure of running a business we tend to put some things to the side not realising the importance of it.

Your staff are there to make you money, do their job AND make sure your clients return.

You want your customers raving not only about their outcomes from sitting with your stylists but also about how they were treated as a customer. The best way to grow a business is by roblox download word of mouth and the easiest way to slow a business is also by word of mouth.

We all need to ensure our customers are receiving exactly what we as business owners expect them to receive.