Although many of you may not have the opportunity to take part in
my consulting services due to the waiting list, I thought it would be
helpful if I shared some tidbits from the different observations I have
had in the event it will be able to translate to anything you are
struggling with. Feedback, comments are always welcome!
One of the three recent consulting clients I had in January is a destination wedding and portrait photographer, located in a beautiful resort area with a lot of fast successes and a busy business in which both her and her husband work. Her husband is an artist and over time it would be nice for him to pursue his creative endeavors but in the meantime is assisting his wife to get things moving along. She has a strong average sale history, but wanted to think more about how to be more effective in her sales process when catering to people from a distance.
Destination portraits and weddings are always a challenge - for my own studio many of our clients are not in Delaware and we have to adjust to that with different ways of letting people know what is available. Depending on the product line, we offer multimedia demonstrations, online galleries and print pieces that we mail out giving people new ideas of what they can do with the photos. Overall, it's really important to let people know what you have to offer well in advance. For weddings, many people spend their budget and if they know that there is this fantastic canvas or bridesmaid's gift they want to order - letting them know way ahead of time is a great way for the client to think about the product and have time to prioritize it in the budget.
'Destination: destination' also had encountered a little bit of trickiness that I can relate to very well - she feels fairly un-welcomed by the photographers in her town, particularly those who have been established for a while and are feeling territorial. I love this industry for many reasons, but one of it's downsides is there is a lot of judging between photographers. Some examples might be who think those who rise to a quick success in weddings haven't 'paid their dues,' while traditional wedding photographers who have been in business for a while might call a young talent inexperienced and under skilled. Young photographers may look at long-standing traditional studios as stodgy and elitist artist type photographers look at good marketers and business people as not true artists (what bs!). I have seen it, heard it, and even experienced it both while speaking as well as running my studio here in Delaware. I just ignore the negativity of it all.
The reality is that the only person who is a position to judge is the customer. They have to buy the photography, and they have to like it! If a photographer has paying customers, they are clearly doing something right. So if this is you - kudos! If you are feeling judged or attacked, just know that is fairly normal, don't take it too personally... the attacker is jealous and isn't someone you'd want to spend time with anyways.
There were many other aspects to the conversations I shared with "Destination: destinations?" but here are just a few that I thought might be helpful to you in your journeys. Consulting services are available on a wait-list basis and have limited availability per month.