At first, the idea of marketing to people at a wedding seems tacky and unprofessional. After all, you're being hired by the Bride + Groom to photograph their wedding, not to try to drum up more business for yourself. That is why "intent" is so important when marketing at a wedding. You should be doing everything possible to ensure your Bride & Groom enjoy their day and feel great about themselves, and in turn, about you!
The same-day edit slideshow is not groundbreaking innovation anymore; in fact many brides are expecting that you do that at their reception and think of it as a downside if you don't offer it. This same-day edit can be your biggest marketing tool EVER if you utilize it correctly. Again, thinking of intent, you are not doing this just to market yourself to their friends and family by showing them your pictures...they will see those later anyways, hopefully. You are doing this so that while the Bride is mingling with some guests at the candy table, she has dozens of people rushing up to her, OOZING compliments all over her like the chocolate fountain on her strawberries!
“YOU LOOK AMAZING IN THOSE PHOTOS!!”
“OH MY GOODNESS! YOU GUYS ARE THE CUTEST COUPLE EVER!!”
“DID YOU SEE THE TEARS ON YOUR DAD'S FACE WHEN HE WAS WALKING YOU DOWN THE AISLE?!?!?! YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!”
Now what Bride wouldn't want to hear that on their wedding day, and how much more of a service did you just provide for her? That's better service than offering her another canvas for free! That's service that hits her at an emotional level and encourages her on the biggest day of her life! That is your intent!
Now that your intent is solidified, let's discuss how this can be beneficial for your business.
While you are working hard at the wedding, your target market is actually watching you! You don't have to spend money on advertising with Google to people who don't know you from a hole in the ground. You get to show your potential clients what you can do, while you're doing it! Now you have the chance to go even further and blow their minds when they get to see the photos you just took, displayed at the reception, and to go even a step further, on their own iPhone's!
Displaying the photos at the reception should be done in at least two ways. First, on your laptop as a slideshow at the bar, candy table, guest book table, or wherever people will be able to stand close by and watch. I recommend the bar...that way as the night goes on, your photos just get better and BETTER!
The second way, and probably the more effective way, is on an iPad (or two) that you send around the reception. You do need to take necessary precaution and set restrictions on the iPad and have "find my iPad" loaded and running, but at the same time you need to show that you trust the people at the reception, they appreciate it!
If you’re not sure how to set restrictions on your iPad, it’s very easy. Go to the settings and tap on “General”, then “Accesibility”, and then go down to “Guided Access” and turn it on. You’ll have to set a 4-digit passcode to get back out of the restricted mode when you’re done. To enable guided access, simply triple tap the home button on your iPad and then select the areas you want to disable by circling them with your finger. I suggest using the standard photos app for viewing the images, and in that case I circle the top portion of the screen so the “edit” and “albums” buttons are disabled. Using this function will allow the guests to move the photos around and look through the album you’ve selected, but they won’t be able to challenge each other on Angry Birds!
I suggest you first show the Bride + Groom the photos on the iPad, and while they're starting to view them, go and get the Mother's of both and tell them what's happening. They will turn into your biggest fans immediately, and you can just sit back and take pictures of the tears that flow.
And now the real marketing comes in, allowing the guests to see the photos right on their own devices!
The program that allows you to do this flawlessly and instantly is called PASS, and it integrates with facebook, iPhone's, iPad's and iPod Touch's incredibly. Once you've edited your photos for the same day slideshow, all you have to do is upload them to the wedding gallery and tell the guests where to find them. For uploading, it is best if you are connected to a wifi router from the venue you are at so you can upload the high-resolution files. If you don’t have Internet access there, then the next alternative is to use your cell phones wireless hot spot (most smart phones have this capability). If you don’t have one, then go get one! Depending on your data plan, I would suggest uploading smaller web-sized files with this connection so you’re not taking up too much data, and then re-upload the full size files when you get home.
Another way I let the guests know where to find the photos is by making personalized cards for the wedding. You can design small cards with an engagement photo from the couple and the link URL for their gallery. You can hand these out at the reception, letting people know that they are already up there. You can also share the gallery on the Bride + Groom's facebook pages and anyone who sees the link will be able to view the photos as well. Now you have a discussion point with the guests at the wedding that WILL lead to you booking their weddings and their friends weddings because you went above and beyond! Your couple will also be amazed and thankful that you gave them this amazing service completely for free, yes, do it for free!
Remember that referrals take time to come through, so don't be discouraged if you don't hear from anyone right after the wedding you just shot, this method of marketing works and if you continue to do it effectively you will see the benefits of your efforts.
Forgot to put an excerpt? lol
Well, I think it's overstating doing a slideshow at the wedding has become standard and expected in the wedding industry. I do happen to give a slideshow at the reception using a big screen and projector which is MUCH better than handing around a couple of iPods. I am the ONLY photographer in my region that does it. Using a projector to give a huge slideshow, everyone groups around and chats about how amazing the photography looks and how beautiful the bride is. It makes it much more social. I have not come across any other photographer around, even in neighboring large cities that does it. I will say, it is always a huge success and the couples and guests looooove it! It isn't a new concept, but it does take work. You also have to be confident in your photography enough to be able to show them without a bunch of photoshopping done to them, so you have to make sure they look good when you take them! Of course, as a professional, that should be the case. ;o)
To be honest, I would have hated if you did that at my wedding without my knowledge. I don't want you taking up space with a projector and screen. I really hope you discuss that with couples.
I'm sure that would have been discussed at the consultation.
The projector doesn't take up space. It's mounted to the ceiling and the screen also comes down from the ceiling and is against the wall. Most halls have this. Your assistant does the uploading while you keep shooting.
Of course our clients know fully in advance and we work in into everything according to their wishes. It never interferes with the party. Quite the opposite, it's a highlight of the evening. We don't do it to advertise, as this article tends to focus on. It's about giving our couples another cool way to share their memories with their loved ones. It usually is off to the side and plays out of the way for a while. Guests who want to take a break from dancing or whatever come over and check it out. They always love it. I've never had a couple say to me, "show photos from my wedding right then the same day, no way! How rude!" Never.
Great article Matt!
Pass is trash - No need to feed David Jay's ego. You can do great slideshows with Lightroom, and free downloads for clients with DropBox!
So you burn an hour at the wedding doing the edit. Then there's the cost of PASS. Isn't that like $25 per gallery. You then send a couple $500 devices out into the wild, or maybe a $1000 laptop. All this is all to get referrals?
No thanks (especially to PASS). If I were going to do this, I can certainly think of more cost effective choices than PASS (that also don't have the well earned negative stigma). More importantly, I'm not going to waste my clients time at their wedding doing editing. I'm going to dutifully keep shooting and produce a better end result because of it. I've done the slideshow thing before and found it to be a headache.
The best way to get referrals is to be great at your craft. I can't imaging photographers like Villa, Messisa, Ascough, or the like wasting their time with gimmicks (film issue aside). I'll save my marketing for when I'm at home and not working on my client's dime.
A great alternative to PASS (for this application and likely many others) would be PhotoShelter's new Beam platform. Plus, you're not charged per gallery. Just by total storage.
$25 for letting your customers see their gallery online and download all their photos? That is too much of a cost for delivery photos to clients? What kind of business do you run?
Same thing is possible with Zenfolio (and I'm sure most other services - I just use Zenfolio myself) - without the $25 per gallery cost.
Have assistant do a quick edit and upload of iPad friendly files during dinner. Once about 100 are online you start the slideshow and display a QR code on the lower edge of the projector so people can get to the slideshow on their own devices. You have 2 or 3 iPads being passed around with the pics sync'd so guests can see while enjoying post dinner drinks. You continue shooting while the assistant keeps adding images to the gallery as the night goes on. Replace the low res iPad shots with better images later.
If you find yourself in a venue with terrible wifi / net connection, you can run a local webserver off a laptop and a wifi access point. This is something you check when doing your site visit - and also doesn't cost per gallery.
Hmm... I got 50 GB of Dropbox free. 100GB is only $99 a year. Pass is a one trick pony, with Dropbox you can share non-photo (as in video) files too. So Dropbox can be free too. And you can share links to dropbox with everyone at the wedding, how is that any different?
Because sharing a link to Dropbox looks cheap. As a guest I would be WAY more impressed being sent a link to a PASS gellery then I would a dropbox link. And if you raise your package price by 30 bucks YOU aren't paying for the gallery.
Or for lest than the cost of one event you could use Pixieset - and not feed David Jays ego - But really Dropbox works fine - I show the images on my web site or a proofing site and the Download link just pops up the dropbox folder to grab stuff from - they don't "View" the images there.
Same-day slideshows can an be amazing and powerful marketing tool if you feel confident enough in your work. I do it at most of my weddings and my brides and grooms love it!
However I don't understand what Pass has to do with all this… Why Pass? Why not another proofing/gallery service? Pass doesn't make the process much easier or better than some other alternatives out there (SmugMug, ZenFolio, PhotoDeck, PhotoProofPro, etc.). Pass has nothing extraordinary you can't find anywhere else… the only feature it has others don't have is cheap prices for prints that you can't change (haters gonna hate).
I'm sorry but this post looks to me like like a product placement more than anything else. The idea isn't bad but I don't understand why you make it about Pass.
Because the author is the owner of Pass. This is an advertisement, and I really think it's unethical for them to not disclose as much when they continually post these types of things.
Actually Jaek that is not true. The author is a successful Canadian Photog who has figured out a way to use PASS to increase his income, so what is the problem with making more money?
Why not save all your jpegs to SmugMug and away you go. Sale you picts from there.
Or do it from PS Bridge.
I think that's tacky. I take my time and shoot , edit do corrections, the present to bride & groom, in the form off an online gallery. The couple can give access to whoever they want after that. I would hate to be in a rush to get the images up while at the wedding just to maximize my profits.
I feel like I just read a really bad infomercial. What does a same day slide show have to do with PASS?! I didn't realize that fstoppers was a place for salesmen to sell their wares and author commercials. Sure products and services are discussed here, but usually in a less bias, non invested type of way. (Maybe a disclaimer is in order?) lmbo thanks for the giggles. Maybe at a later date an actual article about the many numerous slide show softwares, and online hosting/viewing services will be written, allowing people to research all the best choices out there, and make a decision that's best for them. Not everyone can afford to pay to give their finished work away for free and not sell prints for any sort of profit, like PASS limits it's users to doing. I think if you were to do an honest comparison with similar services, PASS would fall pretty short for most. Not to mention all the negative stigma and bad karma that's attached PASS and those that pimp it out as something revolutionary. Quite a few photographers will pass on PASS just out of shear principle at this point.
Melinda you are sooooo misinformed. No one give the images away for free that's just silly talk. The only negative stigma is from those that wanted to use it, but were mad that the compnay wouldn't give in to making changes they wanted them to make. Giving away images for free that is just hilarious. Really thank you for the laugh I needed it.
Not misinformed. Do clients get charged to download their high res images for printing where and when they chose? No. Are they able to purchase prints through the app? Yes, at set prices, that pay the finisher, and pass, and give the photographer PASS credits, if I remember correctly up to a dollar if they sell an 8x10. There was also a promotional/informative video stating that soon more print sizes and finished products would be available at set prices as well. Therefor limiting potential profit for the photographer. The negative stigma isn't from people who don't want to use PASS, but rather photographers that don't care for the way it was marketed along side "the system" and coupled with very bad business advice, and a marketing tactic that pins "grumpy old schoolers" against vulnerable new bees that fall for the self serving garbage that comes out of David Jay's mouth. Yes, I may be opinionated, but I am not misinformed.
Wow. That post was so full of misinformation I don't even know where to begin. 1st the clients are charged to download the files on the front end of the photogs session prices. PASS just replaces the DVD that photgs CHERGED their clients for. Yes they are able to purchase prints through the gallery IF the photog enables that option, (it can be turned off allowing the photog to continue self-fulfilling at their own prices). The pricing scheme was what photogs USING PASS requested not something he arbitrarily decided. PASS actually receives less than the photog does from prints are sold and the photog can keep the sales as credits if they CHOOSE to or they can cash out the balance when it reaches 50.00. This was actually not marketed alongside the system. They are only goin to make some large prints available IF and ONLY IF photgs start requesting them. So yes actually everything you said was wrong and misinformed.
PASS was all over the system along with show it and show it's web design services. I know they are now trying to separate the connection, but... O.k. So you're right, PASS is perfection, and nothing like any other service out there. I really don't have it in me to argue about how it limits earning potential. You can only pad that front end so much, without having to eventually start making money on the back end, if you want to support yourself and your family with your photography. It will suit part timers and hobbyists just fine, and full time pros as well as long as all the added features are turned off, and it's only used to show images quickly along social media. Gee I can't think of any other way to do that without it costing an arm and a leg. (Sarcasm)
All of this does not take away from the fact that the author is invested in PASS. It also doesn't take away that PASS is associated with David Jay, and that he has left a bad taste in many photographers mouths, that isn't easily washed away with a product that allows you to upload images quickly to be shared on social media. Take away all the "features" (which is what you just suggested people can do if they want to be more in charge of their profit margins) and you have what millions already do daily for free.
And PASS (and other similar products/services just like it) has nothing to do with same day slide shows. It was like the author tried really hard to find a way to throw it in there. If you can't see why that made me giggle... Well I guess we just have different funny bones
Wait, you can cash out when a balance reaches $50? Sadly, that's what like 100 8x10's or something? I make more than $50 on one print and I think that's the biggest piece of crap that PASS puts out there... this whole notion that a $50 8x10 is over priced. All I can do is hope that new photographers learn the business end fast enough NOT to waste their money on this as it will only put them out of business in no time. Why are so few not calling out this junk for what it is. NO photographer can make a living if PASS is the program they use and believe it or not I do think that photographers who go pro actually WANT to make a living with it, or is my kind of thinking too old school? LOL.
P.S. I'm with you Melinda!
Jake Engel the author actually is NOT the owner. I find it hilarious that all the people hating on PASS. Photogs are making a ton of money using this.
Perhaps "owner" was an overstatement, it's not clear. But what exactly is the author's relationship with pass? "Enthusiastic customer" doesn't add up. These posts don't read as reviews, they read as gospel. Argue as you wish, but it's hurting this blog more than it is helping PASS.
One link to a tog that isn't paid to promote PASS or affiliated in anyway, that doesn't make their living selling to other togs, MAKES A LIVING with their photography only, uses it exactly in the way it is intended/marketed/advertised and built to be used, and has been in the photography business full time for at least five years (regardless how long they have been using PASS regularly) You provide just one link with these requirements and/or someone honestly willing to talk openly about their bottom line, and I will never post negative feedback on anything PASS related ever again, and I will admit that I am completely wrong about the shoot and share with PASS business model.
- I make a living shooting weddings full time. I've been doing weddings for about 5 years now.
- I am not affiliated with PASS
- I use PASS to deliver my images. Makes my job easier and I don't have to go to the post office ;)
- get over yourself. you may run your business differently, such as selling prints after the session to make a profit. Nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong with charging the client for wedding coverage + their images in a gallery. I also have higher packages that include custom-designed flushmount albums. (as a current bride planning my own wedding, digital files are what I want. If I'm going to pay a photographer to spend the whole day shooting my wedding, family, and friends, I want to actually HAVE those images :) Not sure why this makes people so mad... it's like a disc of images from a wedding. You could do this with dropbox, pixieset, PASS, smugmug, etc. Again, I'm really not sure what's so maddening about professionals delivering products over the internet... haha.
I just cannot figure out the math of PASS that enable photographers to make a "ton of money" on this... well except the photographers who created it. But please, do share a photographers story who IS using PASS solely and can share their bottom line. Again, with business overhead the math of making $.50 on a print is just not adding up to a profitable business.
In the "question and answer" videos bellow Matt Kennedy says he's a "shoot and share" photographer exclusively. Assures the viewers that it's very viable, that you just put the money you would make selling prints on the front end. Then later goes on to say that he only uploads files large enough to print to 11x14 and anything larger or finished/mounted they have to order through him, "and they pay for it". He says that they are paying for his expertise, time, and effort he puts into making the product. Hmmmmmmmm. He says he gets lots of orders for his large canvases, and even shows a finished piece. When someone asks how well PASS gallery files print, He talks about how well files print from PASS galleries and that he tested it out, and printed large, and they come out incredible. I can't remember if this is why he showed us the large canvas or...
He also says he knows lots of photographers who use smugmug or like services to fullfill their print orders, and he feels marking up prints isnt justified in that case for him, unless they are self fullfilled, it just isnt right to mark up, not when clients know how much it really costs. theres more gems, but, im not going to sit through the dribble again. I barely made it through the first go round, but I didnt want to be "misinformed". In essence HE can't even fully support the shoot and share with PASS business model. He doesnt supply his clients with high res large printable files. His clients are charged on the front end for their prints and finished peices, and charged again for their prints on the back end. Yep, he figured out a way to use PASS to increase his income. Kudos to him. The ONLY way it works, is to not use it fully as it is marketed and intended to be used PERIOD
It seems like people don't really understand that there are multiple ways of doing business. There are two main ones that I know of for photography:
1. Product based: while you may have a "session fee", you make your money selling prints, albums, and other products after the session. For example: you have a $150 session fee and then you sell $250 in prints for a total of $400.
2. Service based: you may or may not offer products, but you make your money when someone pays you to photograph them or their wedding. This means your session fee actually covers the total that you want to make. For example: you charge $400 for your session + images. For a portrait photographer, I can see how this might not be profitable. However, many wedding/event photographers include the images now (whether it's on a cd, smugmug, etc) rather than making 500 proofs and having an ordering session for a wedding. For example: charging $4000 for wedding coverage + images. The main product cost being the $29 gallery and any albums or other products included. Then of course there are the overhead costs, taxes, time, etc. But I don't think $29 is too much to pay to deliver (and back up) wedding images.
Hi Matt and Fstoppers, what's your affiliation with PASS? Is the an advertisement? Is PASS paying for this review?
I know I'm very "misinformed" but, maybe these links will help you with your question.
Matt may not own PASS but he is one of the admins for the PASS Facebook group along with David Jay so I think that sort of answers the question of where his loyalties lie.
I am disappointed with fstoppers for posting this blatant bit of advertising. As stated before, PASS is not the only system out there for doing same day edits, so to have an article so biased to one system does you a huge disservice.
I have always enjoyed reading your articles as I have always considered you to be impartial and a great source of information for your readers but I this just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
and before you know it......everyone at the reception is looking at their electronic devices! yay!!!
Yeah, seems a little lame...I would NOT have been happy to have something like this at my wedding!
Justin & Mary Marantz use PASS and push it heavily. Last I checked, they are a leader in their market. Another: Zach and Jody Gray. Far from newbies.
I think a lot of the negative cloud and noise that comes with this discussion is the David Jay name and his controversial reputation going back to the days of his conflicts with Pictage. Look at the service for what it is. Your clients will never know who David Jay is even though it may be tough for you as a photographer to overlook. Many folks entered the Apple eco-sphere because of the charisma and controversy of its founder. They then learned to love the product.
Let's be honest: In this industry, PASS is a smart move. Why? Do a reality check and see who the vast majority of vendors are catering to: the beginners and weekend warriors. They are the ones that are hungry for this kind of stuff and are showing it with their dollars. Just do a simple photography "how to" search on YouTube. You'll never get through the amount of videos geared towards the beginner.
The only service I can think of that caters (and talks the talk) to professionals is PhotoShelter. It seems everything they do is done with the assumption that you as a photographer already know how to shoot. They focus primarily on the business side of things.
I think PASS has its place in this industry. And in 30 years, we'll all know which vendor guessed the right approach in this saturated market. Time will tell and the internet will self heal.
Did you actually just compare David Jay to Steve Jobs????
And there are plenty of other solutions that do a much better job than PASS, especially allowing the photographer to be more profitable.
So you're telling me the showmanship of a company's founder has zero effect on getting newbies to sign up? Come on. Every CEO should be striving for this. You should to. And no, David Jay is no Steve Jobs. Hilarious you even read into that but glad it gave you something to talk about.
Now you say the same garbage everyone says: "there are plenty of other solutions." Like what? Seriously, I've tried just about all of them and must say, the interface of PASS is the best I've seen for mobile devices. Please give some signal to this discussion and provide examples of what you think is better.
Pixieset, for one, has a great interface and is showing a promising future. Key thing with them is that they are open to photographers feedback, and not just the feedback they want to hear.
Steve Jobs revolutionized the world as we know it, while not attacking potential customers. David Jay is a smart business man, albeit not very ethical, he takes every opportunity to continue to try and divide the photography industry.
The fact that so many people bow at DJs feet is truly appalling, considering the fact that he is looking out for his own best interest, while pigeon holing a lot of photographers.
I personally have nothing against PASS (it's a great looking, mediocre product), my issue is with the marketing of it and his constant need to pick fights with photographers that do not solely shoot and share.
Pixieset...will definitely check that out. It's this type of contribution to the discussion that this industry needs more of. Agree about how David Jay is perceived. Much of it was self inflicting, some, just others judging someone they've never even met. I know I've got plenty to work on in my own life.
Appreciate the civility. You really should check Pixieset out, it looks promising (though still very young). I feel like the key to running a successful business of any kind is NOT being married to any product/solution, as there are many out there, and more popping up every day.
As far as DJ, he may very be a very nice person, hell he seems like a great guy when not subtly bashing shoot to sell photogs; but I don't honestly believe that one must be met in person to be judged.