(Closed) Do I give up on my business?

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

Patience, grasshopper. You said that you’ve had a few weddings booked; shoot those and get them in your portfolio, and then people will see you have experience shooting weddings. That will make a lot of people feel more comfortable booking you.

Post # 4
Member
4381 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony - First United Methodist Church; Reception - My parents' house!

Could you make friends/contacts with other photogs in your area and go along as a second shooter to beef up your wedding shots?

I think as far as perception of work goes, make sure you have a stellar website AND blog. You’re right, you only need your best images out there, not just fluff/bad stuff. I think though having great marketing will up the number of people contacting you.

Perhaps don’t have prices listed on your website. Maybe have “Packages starting at xxx” and then have a contact for more info?

 

I’m sorry you’re having trouble, and please don’t give up!

Post # 6
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You need to have patience it took me a few years to build my business to what it is today and the first year or two I invested every cent I made right back into the business.

I will say though that you have to have some confidence in yourself and your pricing should be fair and just based on your experience, but should also reflect your time, costs and professionalism. If you truly want to do this, you should increase your prices atleast slightly to a level that demands the level of respect that your deserve. I know you are trying to get started, but I can tell you that I honestly would skate right by any photographer only charging a few hundred bucks for wedding photography when I know what all the others are charging. It would scare me off. It comes across as though perhaps you are not serious, you are not a full time photographer, or perhaps you don’t believe you are worth more. Find out what the going rate is in your area and price yourself on the low end of it, but don’t devalue what your services are worth by charging so little.

Post # 7
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Oh and start offering some engagement shoots and get those photos up on a website for potential clients to see atleast!

See if you can drum up some business doing bar/bat mitzvahs, sweet 16’s, christenings, etc.

And, check around on craigslist for those that are ASKING for services. I see ads where people posting looking for photog’s, dj’s, etc. – answer some of those ads and try to build your portfolio that way.

Post # 8
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

Re: second shooting: have you been contacting other photographers, or brides? There have got to be some sooner weddings going on somewhere where a photographer could use some back-up! In fact, I think the more you do and can add to your portfolio between now and summer (and even after that), the better–I know when I was looking for my photographer if I found one with shots from only one or two weddings, I might be more wary (even if the images were great). Actually, that’s an idea… have you tried marketing yourself for TTD shoots? You don’t need a wedding for those! And if you’ve got pictures of women in wedding dresses, brides will respond ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 9
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Why not get a friend to model as a bride for you and do a bridal session with her. And then ask a couple to do some photos for them as an engagement session but of course just so they’ll have photos on their own. 

I would also widen your business to family portrait sessions.  That’s how I got my photographer. I grew up in the area and their daugther went to school with me. They started out doing just family photos.  I liked their work and them so it was a fit.  Also, on their site they just have packages listed but no prices. That way they can sit down with you and consult with you and build a package based on your needs.  For instance, we are having a destination wedding and instead of doing a bridal portrait session they swaped it for the travel fee.

Good luck and don’t stress like the others said, be patient.  Be creative. I’ve learned as a small business owner you have to do and be both.

Post # 10
Member
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I agree with Spaniel & 50.  Patience and an amazing website are definitely key. 

Do you have any bridal portraits in your portfolio?  If not, that is at least a start in getting wedding images into your portfolio.  Could you have a friend put on her wedding gown & you take some portraits? 

Maybe put a post on the classified here/CL/etc. as a special offer – free 2nd shooter.  I would say just be totally honest and tell people you are a pro photog branching out to weddings now, and you’re trying to build your wedding portfolio and you’re willing to do x hours as a 2nd shooter for free if their wedding is in the next 30 days or however long. 

Good luck!  I’ll keep my fingers x’d for ya!

Post # 12
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

Instead of posting an offer to second shoot, contact a busier photographer directly. More response that way. Try to create a mentor/mentee relationship if you can.

I think that is the last of my ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 13
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Well, then I think you should just keep busy shooting other types of events until you can get those wedding shots up for potential clients to view.

Best of luck, it sounds like you know exactly what you need to do – I think it just may take a little longer than you anticipated. Once you get past that hump of the first full season, I think you’ll see a great increase in your bookings.

Post # 15
Member
143 posts
Blushing bee

Could you show us your website or samples of your ads/promotional copy? It might help people with marketing experience weigh in. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 16
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Just out of curiosity… this is what stuck out to me about your post.

“my images are awesome, and in my legitimately professional opinion better than many photogs who are charging in the thousands, while I’m charging in the low to mid hundreds.”

 

This doesn’t add up?  Is there a reason you only charge hundreds if your better than those who charge thousands?  As a background, I’m also a photographer and came out swinging in my market and in my first year successfully booked and was able to charge in the “thousands.”  I’ve only done 2 weddings in the “hundreds” and one was a favor to a close friend who was really strapped for money.

So, if your worth it, why are you not charging adequately? 

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