Bride with gold chair

9 tips for photographers on how to book more high-end weddings

Wedding season is nearly upon us, and as a wedding photographer, you know that weddings come in all shapes and sizes. To be successful, you need to focus on the type of wedding that you want to book regularly.

Would you rather book more, low budget, affordable wedding photography, or would you rather book a few higher end, higher budget weddings, that you can put all of your energy and creativity into, and deliver a really high quality product that you’re proud to show off?   If the answer is higher budget weddings, then you need to do what you can to position yourself as the best quality, most trust-worthy product in the market. People with lots of money have it because they’re very careful about what they do spend it on. Make sure your product is the thing that they value and are willing to pay for.

bride wearing large gold dress

  • You need to make sure that you’re found in the best places, so think about where these people might go to, and then be there. Country clubs, golf clubs, country houses. Find a way to work with the top venues in your area, and make sure people know who did the photography for them.
  • If you live in a small town, you may need to cast your net wider if you want to attract really high end clients. Think about the cost of getting to the big city, against the cost of not attracting these clients.
  • Be prepared to travel. Highest end clients may actually want a destination wedding. Check out our tips on being a destination wedding photographer.
  • Advertise in the media that your anticipated clients will read. You need to be in the luxury wedding magazine, or travel magazine, not so much in the local paper, though it’s always good to have a good local reputation too.
  • Make sure your high end clients will talk about what a great person you were to work with. Often discretion is the key, so you may be disappointed, but you won’t be able to advertise your work with your highest end clients, but hopefully, they will pass on your details to their friends.
  • Offer only high quality, high cost packages, but be sure the cost represents the very highest quality work and materials.
  • Position yourself as an authority on quality. Perhaps writing about other high quality vendors, wedding planners, venues, caterers, complimentary high end products that your clients will also want to use, on your blog.
  • Don’t forget the power of networking, getting to know all these other vendors is well worth it so that they might recommend you to their clients too.
  • Use the best quality photo editing software you can buy, which doesn’t have to mean the most expensive. PortraitPro portrait editing software has a huge range of photo editing tools to help you achieve the best possible portrait photo.

Try out PortraitPro today and see how great quality portrait editing software can help you achieve a look your higher end clients will want to see.

 

 

Wedding couple on the beach

PortraitPro Portrait Editing for Professional Photographers at Destination Weddings.

Portrait editing for destination wedding photography can be tricky. You need to be prepared for different situations and scenarios.  Photo editing can take a long time, but it doesn’t need to.

With a destination wedding you’ve got a much longer trip than usual. You need to think carefully about what equipment you will take with you. You might be travelling for a long time to get to the destination, and you will probably be away on the job for a much longer time than just the wedding. You can take PortraitPro with you anywhere you take your laptop.

People who are having a wedding weekend might want to have the professional photographer around for more than just the wedding day.  They might want the rehearsal dinner and perhaps also the day-before preparations to be covered by the official photographer.  They might also want have the post wedding brunch covered too.  Even with a very informal post wedding brunch, it can be nice to have some professional images too. People will be much more informal, but it can offer the chance for some great candid shots.

It’s important to remember that you might also pick up clients who are having their destination wedding in your city.

This will reduce your costs in traveling to the location, but you might again pick up a weekend long shoot.  As a professional photographer, you need your to be prepared for both types of destination wedding.

Speed up your professional portrait photography workflow

It’s important to get your images to your wedding clients reasonably quickly. If you can manage to get their wedding photos back to them by the time they get back from their honeymoon, then you’ll catch them while they’re still at their most excited about the big day.  You can greatly speed up your portrait editing process with PortraitPro Studio Max, and therefore get their wedding photos back to them quicker.

You can create presets and set the batch processing to use that preset in the batch you upload. For more information on creating your own presets check out our earlier blog post here.

Tell us about your recent destination wedding photo shoots on our Facebook page and check out some more ideas on our Pinterest page.

Try PortraitPro for yourself today!

Woman in red dress

People who buy often buy more

When booking a studio session with you, your standard deal will include the client receiving some images, but it’s a good idea to start with just a basic package, and allow for additional purchases.

It’s easier to get people to make more purchases, once they’ve decided to make one. People have a need to justify their original decision. Making more purchases makes it better, makes it more valuable, and it validates the original decision. If it is wise to buy more, then it is wise to buy in the first place.

So if they book a studio portrait, you may want to offer them one standard image from the session, and then a series of upgrades they can add on after:

  • The services of a makeup artist and stylist during the shoot, so they look their very best.
  • The portrait retouching with PortraitPro you do with their images after the shoot. You can now adjust the makeup in PortraitPro too, meaning they can get even more looks with just one session.
  • The digital copies of their edited images. – You don’t want to put out anything less than your best work, so only give them the edited images.
  • A range of different prints offers, a variety of sizes for different purposes, but it helps to define (for yourself) what purpose they would serve for the customer. (A wedding package, a senior’s package, graduation package, large families, small families, etc.)

You can start the process of turning people in to repeat customers by thanking them with a small gift, or extra.

A small handwritten thank you note after the customer has made their purchase will help to keep their purchase valuable, reminding them of what a great person you were to work with, and that their time with you was well spent.

You can offer special extra items to your service for repeat customers, or those you’d like to become repeat customers.

model  photo shoot

For instance, the portrait retouching could be the thing that you decide to “throw in for free”, because although it’s valuable to them to have retouched portraits, and you’d never want to give your clients a completely unretouched image,  your portrait editing can now be so easy and fast, that you can afford to offer it as a “free” extra.

PortraitPro will pay for itself in just a few sessions. Try it out today, and see how easy your portrait editing can be. 

Father and Son photo shoot potrait

People don’t buy what you sell.

You’re a great photographer, you have your own clear sense of style, you get regular bookings and plenty of referrals. And you sell lots of studio portraits, book several weddings per year, and always sell an album or 2. Sounds great right?

So how can it be better? Maybe you don’t realize that people don’t buy what you sell. They don’t come to you for a canvas to fill their wall space, they come to you for that warm fuzzy feeling when they see their whole family having a great time, and it’s there to greet them when they walk through the door after a tough day.

They don’t buy the album from you to have it gather dust in a drawer for 20 years, they’re buying something that will stand the test of time, and remind them how they felt on that special day. And it will be there for their children and grandchildren too. It will be a reminder of all the people who cared for them and wanted to be a part of that special day in their lives.

People who come to you for a family photoshoot don’t just want the images you provide. They’re coming to you for a great time, to enjoy some quality family time, doing something all together. It’s up to you to deliver them a fantastic experience as well as great quality images.

You’re not just a photographer, you’re a problem solver. Their problem is how they will record the moments in their life that they want to remember forever.

You are the solution to their problems. Sure they’re hiring you because they like your style, but you have to make sure that you’re answering their problems. How to portray their family in the best light, how to keep the kids entertained so they’ll sit still and smile for the photos. No one wants a grumpy child in a photo forever, or a long term reminder of a fractious teenager.

You need to be organized and know what you’re doing, be focused and clear in your instructions.

Not that there’s no time for messing around, having fun is what it’s all about, but as the professional, you need to know what you’re doing, and keep your mind on the end product. If it’s a wedding day, your time is very limited, so you have to make sure you’re capturing every necessary shot. Part of what they’re paying for is your professionalism.

Mother and Daughters portrait

When they come back to view your images, remind them that it’s not just a canvas for their living room wall, it’s a reminder of the great memories they made that day together, whether it was in the studio with you, or on their wedding day, or other special event.

It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling over and over again. It’s worth far more than what you’re charging, it’s priceless.

Your time is valuable too, and you also don’t want to spend hours locked in the editing room, you want to be out there photographing clients, or spending your own quality time with your family.

Portrait editing can now take you minutes not hours, leaving you plenty of time to spend making your own memories too.

PortraitPro Studio Max has the automatic tools needed to retouch lots of images at once, so you can let it do the hard work, and leave you more time to spend on other things.

Try PortraitPro for free today.

Woman street fashion

Fashion Week – Opportunities to get some great images for your portfolio

Everyone who comes to town for Fashion Week, whether it’s New York, London, Paris or Milan, are likely to be making a statement with their fashion.

It’s a great way to get some fresh and interesting images for your portfolio. The locations of the events are listed online, so you can catch people arriving on the street. They’re all expecting to see photographers, so they’re very willing to be photographed. Plus, everyone has made an effort, and dressed in their most interesting outfits.

In fashion it can seem like anything goes, so feel free to be really creative.  Doing something out of the ordinary can help you develop your creativity. As many of our professional photographers have told us, it’s often your personal creative work that people will see and hire you for, especially if you’re aiming to find work as a commercial photographer.

If you’re lucky enough to get in to a catwalk event then you’ll get even more opportunity to capture the latest fashions, but it’s the candids you’ll capture on the street.

If you’re not yet ready to brave the crowds at fashion week, but you’d still like to get some images for your portfolio, and experience the fashion show atmosphere, try looking for a smaller event you could get in to first.

Catwalk fashion

Try searching for free events you can attend during fashion week, or try going to an event out of Fashion Week first, when the crowds, and the atmosphere won’t be so intense.

Check out the free fashion show every Friday afternoon at Galeries Lafayette, in Paris.

We love fashion portraits, check out what we like on Pinterest. 

Get magazine-quality portrait editing software here!

Young engaged couple on beach

Valentine’s day and engagement shoots.

Valentine’s Day: quite possibly the start of your busiest season. It could be the start of your engagement photoshoot season. There’s still time for a few winter weddings, possibly with snow, before the weather warms up, and wedding season gets underway, but in February, engagement shoots are the event on every pro photographers’ mind.

Posing engagement portraits can be tricky; there are lots of things to consider.

  • Think about your location: If you know your town well, there should be plenty of different locations and backdrops, so that each of your couples gets something unique to them.
  • If you’re travelling with a couple on a destination photoshoot, and you don’t know much about the town you’re going to, do your research. Ask them what they’d like; they’re probably familiar with the place if they picked it. Read the guide book, or just do a search for other engagement shoots in that place.
  • Before the shoot, advise your couple on what to wear. Choose complementary rather than clashing colors, unless it’s absolutely their personality to wear clashing outfits.
  • Choose classic pieces rather than current fashions, so that the images will stand the test of time. It’s better to have something that will still be pleasant in 30 years’ time, than something that was so much of its time.
  • Choose poses that suit the couple. Just as the locations should suit their style, the poses shouldn’t be too far from their natural ways. The key element for an engagement pose is closeness, and smiles! It’s a joyous occasion, so make sure you get images that capture that emotion.
  • Be prepared. If the couple want to use one or more of your images for their save the date cards, then take along a few props that could help you add the date element to your photo.
  • Have a collection of small items in your kit. Letter tiles, number tiles, marker pens and balloons, even some card to write a message. The couple’s personalities should help you decide what fits for them.

Young couple in the snow

It’s mostly about having lots of creative ideas, and allowing the couple the space to choose what works for them and their personalities. It’s about capturing a few memorable moments that the couple will want to share with their friends to celebrate now, and will want to keep for a lifetime.

PortraitPro saves you time in photo editing, so you can send them their precious memories as soon as possible. Check it out here. 

 

Crocheted Camera

Gifts you can make for a photographer you love this Valentine’s Day.

(Don’t worry if you’re a little last minute!)

If you’re looking for something personal and special to give the photographer in your life this Valentine’s Day, then we have some great ideas to inspire you.

If you think you haven’t got time to make one of these bigger projects, then a smaller project such as a crocheted case for a compact camera or phone, or tablet can take just a couple of hours.

  • Choose a nice chunky yarn to give plenty of protection.
  • Start by crocheting (or knitting) in a strong stitch like half double crochet – Make chains the width of the item, and if it’s something very thin, like a phone, then don’t make it too much longer.
  • Continue stitching in the same stitch until the piece is exactly double the length of the item, and then join up the sides and you will have a lovely, plain, but well protected phone case, camera case, or tablet case. You can even do a matching set, which looks great!

Knitted square

Making something personal, and by hand is a great way to show you care. Any photographer will be thrilled to receive something that beautifully protects their equipment.

We’re also in love with the many different knitted, crocheted, and stitched accessories that you can make, (or buy) for baby photography, and we’ve collected some of our favorites over on Pinterest.

Got any great ideas?  Share them with us on Facebook.

Don’t have any time at all to make a gift?  Give them the gift of time, with time saving, portrait editing software, PortraitPro.

 

PortraitPro Tutorials – Learn to use your software with Dustin Meyer

In our previous post, we interviewed internationally acclaimed wedding and portrait photographer, Dustin Meyer

As well as creating stunning images, Dustin also makes tutorials about shooting and editing photographs. Here are some of his top tutorials for getting great results with PortraitPro 15. 

PortraitPro Studio Max with Lightroom Review & Tutorial


Facial Retouching with PortraitPro Studio Max

Facial Retouching for Guys

PortraitPro Facial Retouching for Headshots Tutorial 

To get more tutorials and inspiration from Dustin Meyer, be sure to check out his blog and follow him on Facebook and Twitter

Dustin Meyer headshot

Interview with a Pro – Dustin Meyer

This week, PortraitPro was lucky enough to get an interview with internationally acclaimed wedding and portrait photographer, Dustin Meyer. Dustin is sponsored by Nikon and has been featured in a range of publications including USA Today and Rangefinder Magazine.  We asked him to share his story with us.

PortraitPro: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Dustin Meyer: I actually started out in the music industry. I was a singer since age 8 and it was supposed to be my life endeavor. I was an opera singer at SMU for several years and was about to relocate to NYC to go into the music industry. However, I had a sort of creative awakening when I bought my first manual SLR. A Minolta SRT-202. A piece of crap honestly, but a workhorse of a camera. I had to teach myself every aspect of shooting because of that beast. After I entered in a few images to a photo contest at Southern Methodist University, I won 1st and 2nd place in two categories, so I figured it was something I was good at. That’s when I realized that singing was always a part of me, but was I doing it because I loved it, or because it was expected of me? There was no doubt in my mind that it was actually photography that I loved. Making a career from it was only secondary.

PortraitPro: How did you come to photography and how did you come to make it your career?

Dustin Meyer: I’ve always had an interest in photography, but it really didn’t come to light until I got my degree in photography in college. The program covered every area imaginable, from studio to lighting, business, history of photography, fine art, darkroom and printing, to digital and film. Ultimately, my passion is working with people to understand their background and personality. I’m mainly a people person I guess, and my photography just sort of evolved around that. My career took off right after I graduated. Mainly because we just started our family and I needed to bring in some income. Fortunately, I landed a job as a wedding photography assistant with a former professor of mine, catering to politicians and celebrity weddings. Needless to say, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Over time, I started offering senior portraits, headshots, and other commercial work to my clientele. It took a while to get here, but eventually it became my full-time job and passion.

PortraitPro: Who are your inspirations?

Dustin Meyer: I get a lot of inspiration from other photographers. I’m always looking for new ideas and techniques when it comes to shooting. I think that’s true for a lot of professionals out there. One of my favorite wedding photographers is Jose Villa. I just love the look he gets from shooting film, the soft colors, the simple composition, everything about it. It’s not the exact kind of style I try to replicate, but it’s always refreshing to look at work that’s different from my own. Some of my favorite iconic commercial photographers are Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Mark Seliger, David LaChapelle, and my all-time favorite is Dan Winters.

PortraitPro: You take only a few clients a year and specialize in creating entirely personal experiences for your wedding couples; working closely with them to come up with ideas. Why is this so important to you?

Dustin Meyer: I think collaborating with clients is key when it comes to creating unique images. I can’t be the only one to come up with all the ideas. Couples have a particular look in mind when they come to me, so I do my best to make that come to life. It allows me to look into their personalities and create something different from every other shoot I’ve done. I love new experiences and testing my knowledge every time I pick up my camera.

PortraitPro: Which of your photographs is your favorite and why?

Dustin Meyer: Oh boy, this is a tough one! I guess perhaps my favorite wedding photo of all time would be this one:

Houston Wedding - Hotel Zaza

(click to view bigger image)

Over the years, I realized that a lot of my music background had come to influence my photography. Lighting, posing, staging, environment… all of it. This image was taken at a wedding in Houston, TX next door to the Hotel Zaza. The couple was truly amazing, with so many ideas but open to suggestions. Their wedding day portraits were the most important part of their wedding day, carving out an entire hour and a half dedicated to just pictures of the two of them. They really gave me a lot of latitude for their photos, so I pushed my limits accordingly. I was really happy with the results, but not as much as they were.

PortraitPro: What is your most treasured memory from shooting weddings?

Dustin Meyer: My favorite part of the wedding day is the portrait session. Especially if they opt to do a First Look before the ceremony. Getting to witness their first glimpse of one another is truly unforgettable. It’s charged with so much emotion, that I can’t help but get caught up in the moment. It’s a good thing my face is hidden behind my camera, otherwise they would probably see me crying right along with them!

PortraitPro: What is the most challenging part of being a wedding photographer?

Dustin Meyer: Timing. So much is going on during the wedding day, and they’re depending on me to get the best images possible. All while meeting multiple deadlines in the same day. Sticking to a timeline is tough, but essential for shooting weddings. My advice is to go in with a solid outline of the day, and literally make every second count. Visualizing ahead of time the kind of images to take is extremely important. Scouting the location and knowing your camera settings before the big day is a huge help to staying in the zone while shooting. I always tell photographers to get their head out of their gear and into the moment happening right in front of them. Otherwise, you’ll miss some of the best shots.

PortraitPro: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring wedding photographers, what would it be?

Dustin Meyer: Another tough one! My best piece of advice to aspiring wedding photographers would be to always remember what you’re passionate about when it comes to shooting weddings. Whatever it may be, whether it’s working with people, shooting beautiful details, creating dramatic shots, or playing around with gorgeous lighting. Keep your passion going. Protect it. Don’t let your business make you forget why you love taking pictures. Your business should support your passion, not the other way around.

PortraitPro: As well as being a busy professional photographer, you also create photography and photo-editing tutorials. How do you find the time and why do you think tutorials are important?

Dustin Meyer: I wish I had an easy answer for that one. I’ve always had a passion for teaching. Everything I’ve learned along with way was either taught to me, or I had to figure it out on my own. Either way, it takes a lot of time to learn and keep up to date with the photography industry. I guess my goal is to teach others from the mistakes I’ve made over the years as well as pass on what others have share with me. When it comes to the videos, my ideas come from issues or problems I face in my own career. Having time for my personal life is my ultimate goal, so I think solutions that help me save time are my biggest lessons to pass along. As far as finding the time to record and edit the videos, part of it comes from my filming training in college. It’s a fun alternative to just doing the same thing day in and day out. It’s a chance for me to show what I’ve learned, as well as get some feedback from others about their experiences and solutions. Honestly, I have no idea where I find the time to actually record and put together my instructional videos. But when I’m done publishing a new one, it’s just as gratifying as shooting pictures, but in a very different way.

PortraitPro: What’s in your camera bag right now?

Dustin Meyer: My must-have gear is a consists of my Nikon D810, three Nikon SB-910 flashes, and radio transmitter/receivers. My lenses consist of a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, a 14-24mm f/2.8, a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8. Plus a ton of memory cards.

Professional wedding photographer Dustin Meyer is based in Austin, TX. To get more tips for improving your own photography, be sure to subscribe to his Youtube channel.  

Self confidence is key to your success

Self-confident people don’t just make resolutions; they have goals, because they know that they will achieve them.

We’ve talked previously about goal setting for success, but you have to have self-belief to have self-confidence, and it’s also hugely important to your success. You have to believe that you can achieve something, because if not, then why are you doing it?

You need to set goals, to know where you’re going, because, if you don’t, then how will you know when you’ve reached your destination?

It sounds incredibly simple, but thousands of people don’t have the self-belief they need to achieve their ambitions in life. It’s been said, many times, in many ways that whatever you believe, you can achieve.

Think you can, Henry Ford Quote

If you want to be a top quality, world leading professional wedding photographer, shooting high end weddings, you need to believe that you can put everything into your ambition, because you believe that you can achieve it.  When you believe that you can achieve something, then you will use all the resources available to you to make it happen.

Open your planner, and start writing down what you want to achieve, and then break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and then, schedule when you’re actually going to carry out each step.

One of the first ways you can achieve great, high quality portrait images is to use the best quality portrait retouching software so all your images are the best that they can be.

You’ve seen how some of the leading photographers use PortraitPro in their photo editing work, you can also learn to incorporate it in to your workflow and see how much time it can save you, whilst giving you high quality portrait touch up.

Try out PortraitPro today, and start the beginning of your new path.