Ok so you’ve set your self up as a wedding photographer and you need new business and one door to knock on is wedding fayres. Everyone tells you that’s where the business is you’ll get tonnes of bookings at wedding fayres they all chime.
Enthusiastically you call the wedding venues, twenty calls later you feel like a call centre Jokey with earache from the thundering clap of doors slamming shut.
Wedding fayres are contrary to advice not easy to book for the rookie-wedding photographer, why? Because venues have trusted lists of photographers they book in year in year out and any outsiders will get the cold shoulder unless you guarantee Kate Middleton will relocate her wedding to their venue if they book you.But don’t despair there is a way and as a full time wedding photographer my self the advise I give here is tried and tested.
Step 1 – Set up a prospect list in excel. Google wedding fayres in your region and list them all with the following columns. Venue, key contact, dates of fayre and a yes / no column so you can record if your in or not. Don’t write it down on a piece of paper as the law of writing important bits of info on scraps of paper clearly states –
“Any piece of important data transcribed on a piece of paper shall never be retrievable at the key moment you need it ”
Step 2 - When you call your prospect list don’t go for the Apprentice style TV show approach, just ask for an invite to show your work. (If you haven’t got anything to show get at least a photo book with your best weddings on, I recommend blub photo books, you can knock one up for under £20)
Step 3 – If you get an invite that’s when to ask for any up and coming wedding fayres when you actually meet, resist the temptation to ask this straight away, you may come across as too pushy. But get ready for the “Sorry we have our preferred photographers booked in this year” But do not despair remember your only asking to be put on the reserve list and you are now on there radar.
Getting a slot at a quality venue as a wedding photographer will take perseverance. You may hear how newly qualified teachers find it hard to get jobs in the nice schools because the teachers stay in them until retirement, well getting booked into a top venues wedding fayre is no different. You will come up against the old guard, a collection of your competitors who you look at with envious eyes but they aint budging until they drop dead. I rang Carlton Towers the other day and was told the only chance of a slot coming up at a wedding fayre was when one of the photographers retires, seriously you have to be patient but you will get there.
Whether you like it or not when you decide to set up as a wedding photographer your going to have to learn to be a sales man. This book helped me:
Selling To Win - Richard Denny
And this axiom useful –
“Roll with the punches tomorrow is another day”
Author: The anonymous wedding photographer