“How did you DO this?!” I remember watching her exclaim with her jaw on the floor shortly before turning to her bridesmaid standing next to her and saying, “Can you believe this?!” She was holding her wedding pictures, in her hand, before the wedding reception had come to a close and I was her hero, even if for just that moment.
The truth of it is, your photography can't be the only thing that sets you apart from your colleagues. Brides and Grooms typically don't know better vs best when it comes to photography and usually can't tell a huge difference between creative esthetic either. Where you can be different is with your customer service and client experience. If you're just giving your couples what they're paying for, that's boring, and they're not going to be overly thrilled. Give them more than what they expect; now that's something they'll tell all their family and friends about. Here's how I do exactly that.
You’ve probably heard the term Same Day Edit before. Typically, it refers to wedding photographers presenting a slide show of images from the wedding day during the reception. It is that; but it can be so much more.
The first time I printed a mini-album for my bride and groom during their wedding, I did it all alone. No assistant, just an extra photographer to take my place while I worked for an hour or so. Since then, I’ve realized I’m more valuable behind the camera than behind the computer, and now my assistant does most of the work. Thanks to this process, I’ve been able to get done during wedding reception what most photographers spend doing all the following week.
Check out the video for some visual how-to, but here’s the list version of what I do the night of the wedding:
- Slideshow presented at the reception
- Same Day Album given at the reception - branded with Miller's Lab Stickers
- Photos uploaded and tagged on Facebook
- Favorite photo posted and hashtagged on Instagram
- Client SmugMug Gallery created
- Animoto Slideshow created
- Blog post 95% finished
- Photos ready for submission to blogs/magazines
- 2nd Photographer’s photos acquired
I know. It’s a ton of stuff, but it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s almost easy. During the reception what do you have your assistant doing anyway? I taught a full day course on the how-to that you can see here on creativeLIVE. Or you can check out the video above for the crash course.
Feel free to copycat. Same Day Edits are the best thing I’ve done for my business, ever. If SDE's just aren't for you, find another way to wow your clients. Maybe it's by giving little surprise gifts, or perhaps you like to continually under-promise and over deliver. Whatever it is, make it something out of the ordinary and beyond what they're expecting and you can't go wrong.
P.S. If you don’t have an assistant, get one. But that's for another story...