Rates, Referrals and Reviews, the 3 R’s to Controlling the Cost of your Wedding Photography Business
Wedding photography is not a growing industry, but the amount of people wanting to be a wedding photographer is. The lowering prices of digital SLR and a soft economy has brought a rise in the amount of amateur and professional wedding shooters. Because of this, there is a wide range of prices and packages. As a professional wedding photographer I did not want my prices to be so low to group me in with the amateur weekend photographers, and I did not want my prices to be so high to be too high for the lowering budgets of most couples.
An average wedding for me is 1-2 hours prep time with meetings, paperwork and phone calls. Add an additional 10 to 12 hours the wedding day with about 10 – 15 hours post wedding work, and that does not even count a couples wedding album. Next lets talk about equipment, as a professional I need more than a camera and lens. I carry backups of all equipment, lens, flashes, cards and miscellaneous stuff. The last part of my expenses is advertising, needed just to get the word out that I am available for a wedding.
Most of my clients are from word of mouth or Google. With online referrals and some Internet marketing I have become highly ranked on Google for wedding photography in Columbus as well as a Wedding Photographer in Ohio. Because of this you don’t see many paid ads I have placed online. You will also not see me at area bridal shows, these shows can cost as much as $500- $1000 and there is one just about every month.
So How have I Lowered the Cost of Your Wedding Package While Maintaining my Profit Margin (And increase Sales)?
Advertising is very expensive, any advertising I do I look to get the best price and targeted leads to couples looking for my services. I also look at the online benefit to those ads. My ads must help raise my rankings in google search engines. I do not place ads in some of the online wedding sites just because they are popular or the buzz. Did you know some of the well known wedding sites charge close to $300 a month just to have an ad on there site. Then one lead is shared between all photographers, also their website does not even rank well enough to get maximum online traffic. You will not see me with a paid listing there.
When is comes to bridal shows you can attract some business. The problem is at what cost. An average bridal show costs about $500 to $1000 each event. Then at least $1500 for a pop up booth and $200 to update those photos. Then don’t forget the brochures and handouts you will need. Don’t get me wrong you can book weddings with this, just have to add the cost into booking the wedding.
This is not a new concept to wedding photographers, here are the basics. I want to do my best to make your wedding a memorable experience, so much so you tell your friends and show them your pictures. Then when they get married they call me. Simple.
Google and Facebook have become a huge asset to my wedding business. By asking clients to place good reviews on a few sites it helps my rankings on the search engines and also helps future wedding couples feel comfortable I have done work that has been enjoyed by other wedding couples.
The Best Wedding Photography Prices
By working smart on my marketing and advertising I have dramatically lowered my cost per wedding while also doubling my wedding photography business and my profit margin has remained the same. With this reduction in cost I have passed this saving on to every wedding photography package to have a affordable budget range for wedding. By placing my rate into a more affordable range I have increased the amount of couples I can effectively market too and book.
Curtis Wallis is owner of a successful and growing photography business located in Columbus Ohio.
“Cost might get them in the door, but creative quality and style is what will always set you apart”