It’s inevitable to make a few blunders along the way to success. But as the wise saying goes:
“Why only learn from your own mistakes, when you can also learn from those of others?”
As such, we, the team here at ASC, have compiled for you below, a list of typical things that we have seen young wedding photographers do, particularly when they are starting out – that really didn’t help their cause; in hopes that you might be able to garner some insight and possibly avoid making the same types of errors that they have.
#1 – Invest too much time on social media
This is big killer. Why? Because newbies unfortunately believe it actually helps. When in reality, it’s a giant waste of time. If you’re not shooting, you’re not improving. Anyone can create a Facebook page, and spam it with posts, while tagging everyone they know to gain attention. But ultimately, clients book wedding photographers on their quality of work – not how active or pestering they are on social media. So while a little bit of social marketing doesn’t hurt, moderation is key!
#2 – Deliver way too many images
Ever heard the phrase ‘less is more’? This statement is especially pertinent in the wedding photo industry. For instance, you may very well have taken eight snaps of the same pose, just to ensure that you get ‘one’ good one (i.e. where neither the bride nor groom are blinking, or out of focus etc.) And that’s all well and good. But what you should do next, is pick out that ‘one’ best image (…or two maximum), and delete the rest – even if some of them are not half bad. Because essentially, they’re identical. Same composition, same expressions, same lighting, same everything! Okay… but what harm does it do, to give them all to the clients anyway? ‘More is better’ right? . . . I’m afraid not. You see, with more options, clients will themselves begin to compare images, and will find little faults, that aren’t even faults, just because they will naturally gravitate toward personal favorites from a particular pose set. This in turn leaves six or seven images of the same pose that they don’t like as much. And so, a subtle feeling of ‘lesser quality’ starts to creep into the collection; until by the end of it, the clients are quite convinced that they’ve seen more examples of mediocre images than ones they truly love. So please, don’t book clients by selling them inflated numbers! It will end up hurting you in the long run.
#3 – Follow trendy fads
In recent years, a viral rebranding of photography businesses to names in the structure of ‘Something & Something‘ has for some reason, absolutely taken off. To prove my point, I’m honestly just going to spitball some ideas out now, and chances are… they are all going to be photo company names: Light & Heart, Willow & Stone, Ivy & Finch. The problem with this: is that they all start to sound the same after a while, and it becomes very difficult to distinguish between them (which strips away their identities). For example: the following REAL photo brand names are ones I’ve managed to dig up just by typing ‘Willow Photography’ into Google: Wood & Willow, Willow & Co, Salt & Willow, Whim & Willow… Confused yet? How then do these businesses expect to stand out and become a notable provider in their field? Might as well call yourself ‘Blah & Blah.’
#4 – Talk excessively about camera equipment
Look, we get it. You’re the proud owner of some shiny new gear. I mean, it’s quality for sure (or at least you’d want to hope so, considering the money you paid for it), but here’s the deal, your clients don’t really care. They are interested in your work, rather than the logistics behind how you produced it. That includes details like what brand of camera you use, what settings you use, what software you use… all that. Because in the end, they just want to know that you’ll be there on the day, reliably on time, and can expertly serve your purpose. A first-rate photographer knows that gear is hardly the main difference between a good and bad shot anyway. So spare them the details, and again, concentrate on what’s important! Artful creations.