Wedding Don’ts and Don’ts

As a wedding photographer (or wedding vendor) what would you say is one of the most powerful ways you market yourself?

Some would say their website, blog or maybe Facebook…

Have you ever thought that maybe one of the most powerful ways you market yourself (speaking to mainly wedding photographers here) is at the wedding itself?

The wedding is where the magic happens and is when you are put in front of hundreds of people watching you work – many of whom are single, engaged, or at least know someone getting engaged. People are watching you, and how you represent yourself can either draw so much business to you that you have to turn away clients, or you can turn away clients right there at the wedding unintentionally. How you represent yoursef on the wedding day will be key to your success!

We have a few tips below that will help you put your best foot forward as you showcase yourself in front of hundreds of potential clients.

1) Dress for the Part

Do you love wearing PJ’s all day when you work? Us too! But don’t wear them at your weddings. When I (Jody) was in college taking a career class, I was told by a professor, “Dress for the job you want.” You want to shoot 10,000 weddings? Well you better dress like a $10,000 photographer. If you look sharp, professional, and put together then that is how you and your business will be percieved.

2) Gear, Gear Everywhere

Have lots of bags? Or maybe even just one bag? The last thing you want to do is irritate the bride, or worse, the planner and/or venue coordinator. Money has been spent to make the church/reception look great. Don’t ruin the aesthetic by having your stuff spread out everywhere creating a visual sore spot in the room. One of the best places we have found to stash our stuff is inconspicuously behind a bush, pew, the DJ table or where the band has placed their not needed items. Nothing is more tacky than having your gear become part of their wedding day story.

3) Dying in Secret

Tired, sore, worn out? Sometimes you just want to sit down and rest your feet. People see you with your camera, know you’re on the job and expect to see you working. The last thing you want to be perceived as is lazy. Avoid taking your breaks in public areas. If you’re the only shooter, stay close enough to action so you can know when an event is about to happen so you can easily jump in and cover it, or tell the planner you are taking a little break and if she (or he) is cool, she can let you know when the action is about to start up.

4) You’re Not the Paparazzi

It is your job as a photographer or videographer to capture the moments and tell the story without becoming a part of the story; so don’t block the guests’ view of the action. If you are a team of two, pick one shooter to be more close in on the action, and have the other shoot from further away. If you have a team of photographers and a team of videographers, the shooting area can become a little cramped so make sure you’re working together to capture what you need to and at the same time avoiding blocking everyone’s view. Also, when you’re not shooting, especially during bigger reception events (cake cutting, first dances, toasts, etc.) – SQUAT DOWN. Try not to not stand and block others from enjoying the moments that are going on. If your thighs are not sore the next day, maybe you’re not ducking down and getting yourself out of the way enough to be inconspicuous :) Respect each other and respect the wedding guests – Don’t get in the way!

5) A Hankering for Cake

We all need to eat – no doubt about it, or we will pass out in the middle of the dance floor, which we don’t recommend. :) A few tips on how and when to eat: If a buffet, make sure all the guests have gone through the line before you step in (and do so only if you have been invited to!). Even if it is a buffet, try to avoid going through the food line yourself if you can. When was the last time you were at a classy five star restaurant and saw the waitstaff eating in front of you? Refer to rule 3 as to where you should eat your dinner.

6) The Secret of

6) Looking Professional

Want to take your professional look up a notch? Get a secret service ear piece. It will bring your coolness to a whole new level instantaneously :) Seriously though, as a side note, if you have more than one shooter it’s AWESOME to be able to communicate with each other via two-way radios. Not only does it look cool but people no longer think you are slacking by texting/talking to your friends when you “should” be working.

Hope these have helped! If you have your own Don’ts and Don’ts to add, feel free to share with the rest of us.

Next week will be sharing about THE most powerful marketing tool that we use at weddings, so stay tuned! :) :)