Post brought to you by: Ashley Durham of Randy & Ashley Studios
How would you feel if you got an inquiry that looked something like this:
“Hi Randy + Ashley,
I’d love more information about your services and prices.
– Bride to Be”
Or, would you rather have an inquiry like this:
“Hi Randy + Ashley!!
My name is _______, and I’m getting married to my best friend _______ at Della Terra Chateau in Estes Park next falI. We’ve been together for two years (we met in college), but we just got engaged a couple of weeks ago – he proposed in front of our family and friends on a camping trip to Yosemite and I know we’re about a year away from our wedding, but we definitely want to get all of our vendors hired ASAP!
I came across your site and it’s everything I’m dreaming of for my wedding. I love unposed and authentic wedding photos, showing the true spirit of a wedding celebration (nothing forced or fake!). I absolutely want to take photos with mountains in the background (maybe even with a little snow? Fingers crossed!), and we’ll also be having our two dogs serve as our wedding party. Our dog _____ looks just like your new puppy!!
We’re looking for about 8 hours of coverage plus an engagement session – maybe we can do it at Maroon Bells?? I’d love to include the dogs in our engagement session too, if possible!
_____ + I can’t wait to hear from you guys!!
– Bride to Be
PS Have you seen the new Spiderman movie yet? Ahhhh! Can’t wait for Thor to come out this fall, too! “
There’s a HUGE difference between the two, right?
The first inquiry? Clearly someone who’s price shopping, copying and pasting an inquiry to a gazillion photographers (because let’s be honest, wedding photographers come a dime a dozen). This is someone who is looking to just hire a wedding photographer, and not looking hiring YOU – their dream photographer.
But the second inquiry? That’s someone looking with intent. This is someone who clearly loves being outdoors, hiking, the mountains and snow, dogs, has a college education, and prefers a more natural style of photography (more authentic and less Vogue); in other words, for us: this would be a dream client.
Now maybe your dream client is someone who loves black + white photos and dreams of a wedding at a historic estate, or maybe it’s someone who is eloping at the beach, or maybe it’s someone who is having a backyard wedding with a taco truck. Whatever the case may be: your dream clients are out there!
So … How do you get inquiries like the second one?
It’s easy! BE YOURSELF!
Now I know that sounds way too easy, but being yourself is literally the best marketing tool you could ever utilize.
Because in the overwhelming number of photographers: there is literally only one you in the entire universe.
With presets and workshops and Pinterest and everything else out there that helps photographers all look the same, there is only one you. What you love, what you gravitate toward, your hobbies and interests and food choices and religion and your way of seeing the world – it’s all uniquely you.
As an artist, that makes you valuable, but as a wedding photographer: that makes you desirable.
So … how do you put yourself out there?
The two easiest ways are through social media and your website/blog! Brides (and grooms) are pouring over websites and searching hashtags. They’re quickly scrolling through feeds and reading captions for photos that pique their interest. They’re looking at their friends’ wedding photos on Instagram and Facebook.
Blog and share about things that interest you, that you stand for, that you value, that brings you joy in your life.
- If you LOVE to travel, blog and post photos of yourself abroad.
- Do you have a passion for rescuing puppies? Share about your local rescue’s adoption event on Facebook.
- Do you have a Taco Tuesday tradition in your house? Share your favorite taco recipe!
- Love to grow your own vegetables? Share a photo of yourself in your garden!
- Are you a hard-core yogi? Share an InstaStory of yourself in a pose!
These are all things that have absolutely nothing to do with wedding photography, and yet – it’s all things that dream clients are unconsciously looking for in a wedding photographer. And the possibilities of what you can share are completely endless.
It’s not just about the photos, friends. It’s about the experience. It’s about surrounding yourself with like-minded people who bring you joy. It’s about not just showing up to weddings and taking photos – but it’s about having these dream clients invest in you. They share your hopes and dreams, they get invested in your family and your goals.
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
Does anyone out there really care about me? And the answer is a resounding yes.
It can be daunting to put yourself out there, and sharing photos of yourself may seem a little daunting or even overwhelming at first. It may feel silly to jump on Instagram and share an InstaStory of yourself in a yoga pose or making your favorite mac n cheese recipe.
You might be afraid to share more than just wedding photos, and that’s okay. Fear is a normal part of growth!
But remember this, friends: you’re more than just a wedding photographer and your dream client? They’re looking for someone exactly like YOU to welcome into their lives, and document one of their most important days!
Ashley Durham is one-half of the husband + wife team behind Randy & Ashley Studios. They are students of The Academy and amazing wedding photographers based out of Colorado, where they live with their four kids and houseful of dogs.