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How to Book More Weddings

How to Increase Your Bookings as a Wedding Photographer

So you opened shop as a wedding photographer, and now you’re wondering, “How do I book more weddings?“. Let’s talk about seven ways to book more weddings. Now, keep in mind this is much easier said than done, but I wanna make sure that I give you ideas to help you book weddings in the future, and hopefully you’ll get something from this.

So the first thing you can do is work on your brand. Having a consistent and clear brand is the main thing you can do for yourself to book more weddings. While you might think thismight not matter at all, trust me, this is the cornerstone of your whole business. Your brand lets your couples know what they’re getting.

Your brand lets your couples know what you’re about, and it makes it easier for them to really understand everything and want to actually purchase into your business. Making things confusing, or just having too many options, is the first thing that will deter people from booking with you. So make sure you have a beautiful and clean logo. Make sure this logo is in line with your own photography style. Make sure you have a clear motto for your business, but it should also line up with your photography style.

Everything about your brand, from the way your photos look to the way you talk on your website, to the way you present yourself as a person, should all line up. And by doing this, people will have an easier time booking with you. 

website

Website and Communication

Speaking of brand, the second thing you can do is work on your website. Having a clear brand is extremely important, and one of the easiest ways to display that is by having a beautiful website. And after you’ve done that, here are a couple of things you need to make sure are on your website which will help you book more clients. Definitely make sure to set up a pricing page. I’m a huge fan of showing the pricing on your website. 

But basically, if you have someone coming to your website, trying to figure out what you do, you need to make sure you have at least a starting price on there. Unless you’re an  extremely high end photographer, just go ahead and show them what they’re gonna be paying, or about what they’re gonna be paying so that they’ll have an idea and have an easier time getting in contact with you.

Also, by doing this, when they hit you up, the first question is, “What are your pricings?”. Like, you can do more than that. You can talk about more than that. So go ahead and just show them what the price is so you can talk about other things. Also, make sure that you show where you are located. A lot of photographers actually don’t do this. You’ll go to the website, you’ll see the front main page, and be like, “But are they in my city? Can I even book them?”. Make sure you have where you’re located. Do this right now if it’s not on your website.

Make sure that you have an FAQ page that lines out a lot of the common questions that you get. This way, when people get in contact with you, you’re not answering these common questions. They already know the lay of the land. Generally, the best practice for this is putting your FAQ on the pricing page as well.

So basically, the pricing page gives them everything that they would want to know. And also make sure you have a nice contact page with a contact form that is not too long. Just ask them a couple of questions so that you know what they’re about, you know when they wanna get married, and then from there, you all can go ahead and start talking. Make sure to put these on your website.

Third is working on your communication. Communication is hands down one of the biggest deterrents for couples. If you’re not quick with your communication, if you’re not clear with your communication, and if it’s not fast and smooth, they’re not going to book with you. One thing I do that helped me out with my communication is use a client management system. This way, it’s easier for me to track. And also on top of that, I can add workflows and automations to those threads so I don’t have to send emails all the time. This way, I can have things like prep for your engagement session emails go out without me having to send them, or let’s meet before your wedding. All that stuff is automated so I can focus on other things.

Also, make sure that when your clients are getting in touch with you, you get back to them as soon as possible. This is something else you can add to your website. On your contact page, let them know how long it’ll possibly take you to get back to them. If usually you respond in a day, put on your site that, hey, once you get in contact with me, I’ll be back in touch with you in a day or so. Again, setting expectations at all points in time is the most important thing you can do, and that’s a huge part of communication. So the speed and frequency of your communication definitely matters, and how smooth it is for your client as well helps also.

communication

Advertising

Fourth is working on organic advertising. This is something we all know about and are probably already trying to do, but things like Instagram, or Twitter, or TikTok, or anything of that sort are all gonna be organic advertising. Also, this includes word of mouth with your couples. 

Now, I still think Instagram is one of the best places to do organic advertising. You might not think that because they don’t really wanna show photos as much, but again, as a  photographer, we do need to step out of our comfort zones a little bit and start doing more video. Video really helps people get to know you personally so you feel like you’re sitting right here with me, and you can do that with your couples as well. You don’t have to jump on YouTube, but getting comfortable in front of a camera and being able to make reels on Instagram will go a long way for your business.

Surprisingly enough, it’s actually worked out for me, because most of the inquiries I get at this point all come from YouTube. So again, the more you put yourself out there, the more people get to see you, the more it lines up with your brand, and the more they’ll want to book with you. So add some reels into your Instagram. Honestly, it could just be slideshows. Put some slideshow to some cool music and you’ll be good to go. You don’t have to be like an influencer or anything crazy like that.

Also, with all the stuff we talked about before, if you pull that off smoothly, you should also get word of mouth advertising as well. Your couples should love you so much, because your communication is awesome, your brand is on point, your website looks good, your portfolio is absolutely amazing. And once you have all that, your couples are just gonna be like, “This person is super awesome. I have to tell all my friends about them.”

And really, you don’t have to try too hard for organic advertising. Just make sure you’re doing something to get the wheels turning. And yeah, you might not get as much traction as you want all the time, but as long as the wheel is turning, you’re gonna start getting traction somewhere.

social media advertising

Fifth up is paid advertising. Obviously, this one everyone knows, but just make sure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket and spending all of your money. I’ve talked about this many times before, but things like The Knot, or WeddingWire, or now they’re what? WeddingPro? I guess they fully merged at this point. I don’t know what’s happening with them anymore. But pretty much signing up for something like The Knot can work out for you.

I know you may have heard a bunch of horror stories, but again, if you’re not paying all of your money, really, the ROI on it is not so bad. Also, if you’re starting out, services like Thumbtack or GigSalad are actually not so bad, but again, just make sure you’re not putting all your money in there, expecting too much from them. 

At the end of the day, these advertising services want your money. So what you have to do is temper how much money you’re gonna give them based on what you’re gonna get from them as well. So don’t just be like, “I paid them so much money and I booked nothing.” Don’t pay them so much then. Pay them a little bit and see how it works and try and work it from there. But don’t just go in and start throwing money to the wind and being like, “Well, I advertised it and it didn’t work, John. What happened?”.

So again, maybe advertise a little bit on Instagram, a little bit on Facebook, and some on The Knot. Spread it out a bit and just make sure the percentage of money you’re putting into this is not gonna hurt your ROI. Basically, what I like to do is a gamble where it’s like, hey, I paid this much, and all I have to do is book one wedding to make my money back. Everything after that is just extra. And pretty much that’s how I do paid advertising.

styled shoot

Styled shots

Sixth is gonna be features and styled shoots. Styled shoots are a great way to build some of your portfolio, not all of it, ’cause styled shoots are pretty obvious and everyone knows them at this point. So don’t make your whole portfolio styled shoots. But it’s a great way to get some practice in, to get some beautiful photos in and to show what you can do.

Also on top of that is a great way to get to know venues and planners in your area, which can also lead to more organic advertising. I myself have been made a preferred vendor multiple times because of styled shoots I’ve done and also being featured in different magazines. When you’re doing this and putting your best foot forward, it’s easier to get into their mouths and into their couple’s heads because they’re talking about you more often.

So really, when you’re doing a styled shoot, it’s not for your portfolio and it’s not for just showing off, it’s for other vendors to get to know you, so you get that organic advertising. Features are also the same way. Basically, getting into a magazine is not really gonna get you booked as much. It might, but at the end of the day, the biggest thing it’s gonna do for you is get you in the mind of other vendors and get you more of that organic advertising. I highly recommend doing style shoots in your area at new venues that you’d wanna shoot at. All of this type of stuff is highly important, again, not for your portfolio, but for being able to book more clients. 

And that leads right into the seventh thing you can do to book more weddings, which is always putting your best foot forward. Again, the type of energy you give out is what you’re gonna get back. And if you’re always so concerned about the price of everything and how much money you’re wasting, or how much time it takes, you’re not gonna be booking weddings. 

Trust me, if you just get out there and do what you absolutely love, you will book weddings. I cannot tell you how many couples I have impressed, how many of their friends have  absolutely loved me, how many vendors have tried to put me on their preferred list or want me for styled shoots, just because I always put my best foot forward, no matter what I do. 

I show up to a styled shoot and they can’t pay the models. Well, you know what? I paid outta my own pocket. I come to a wedding an hour, an hour and a half early. Why? Maybe so we can start early and the day’s not stressful, or just to be there and make sure everyone’s doing well. These things go a long way and your couples will see them. Your vendors will see them. Everybody will see it and it will end up paying off.

Trust me, the time is worth what you’re getting. ‘Cause it’s all those stingy people who wanna nickel and dime everything because they’re not getting paid for it who don’t go far. So trust me, sometimes step outta your comfort zone, do things that you think don’t really matter, and they will go a long way. Just having a great time with everyone has really paid off in the long term for me, but upfront, no, it didn’t make sense.

Make sure you have an amazing wedding season and I wish you the best on booking more couples.

John Branch