Home Page Link to Product Shows Brides She Cares
Makeup Enhances Wedding Day Look
by Robin Buckley
I have always been a great believer in marketing. In fact, I haven’t had to advertise in many years because of my marketing strategies. My current marketing program involves a product with a strong tie-in to my photographic services. It has helped to establish me as a photographer who knows how to ensure that brides and their bridal parties look their best in wedding day images.
The product, Naked Minerals, is an all-natural makeup that can only be distributed through independent businesses, such as photo studios. This makeup has a flawless finish and is made of 100 percent natural minerals, including zinc, which catches the light and gives a radiant glow. The product is pressed to avoid any accidents on the white wedding gown.
A link on my home page takes you to “Robin’s Choice in Makeup,” where I explain the benefits of using this makeup for wedding photos. I also suggest that even if a bride doesn’t book my services, she will want to consider this product whether she applies her own makeup or hires a makeup artist. There’s a reduced price if a bride becomes an ongoing customer, since it is a consumable product.
I figure, who better to recommend a “how to look better” product than a photographer! I offer a free sample to each bride who books my services. By adding value in this way for clients, I have enhanced my credibility and brought in another source of revenue—a consumable, unlike prints and a wedding album.
By adding value to our services in this way and distributing our won press releases, we will generate even more publicity.
Robin Buckley, of Robin Buckley Photography (www.robinbuckley.com), in Grass Valley, California, has been a professional photographer for more than 20 years. Specializing in corporate events and wedding photography for a national clientele, she has been published in Brides and The Knot. Her early work as a still photographer on movie and stage productions in Los Angeles led her to blend corporate and theatrical styles for clients such as the late Betty Ford, former President George Bush, and Steve Forbes. She is currently working on a new book, First Dance, to be released later this year. Her honors include PPA’s Annie Award.
Satisfy Internet-Savvy Clients on Your Website
WED-Sites Offer Clients Fast Access to Images and Much More
by Lauren Hillary
With prospective clients becoming increasingly Internet savvy, I realized last year that to continue to thrive as a wedding photographer, I would have to make the Web a cornerstone of my business. Nine months later, my studio has become a leader in Web-based wedding photography, offering clients and their loved ones almost-instant access to their photos, downloadable pictures on everything from iPods to cell phones, and customized wedding websites that contain everything from video interviews to directions to the church.
By integrating the Web into my business, I’m able to offer my clients so much more. And because I get to know them more intimately, I can shoot more meaningful images for them. Using multiple templates from my website designers at BluDomain, I design a “WED-Site” for each client. The WED-Sites can include images, slide shows, and interviews (for instance, the couple talking about how they first met), fun facts about the couple, and information about the wedding and the events leading up to it.
Because it is a template, a WED-Site can be up and running in less than a day. It can also be recycled after a month or two and customized for the next couple. My clients are sharing this site with everyone they know, and my name and website are all over it. It has led to jobs nationwide—and out of the country. With email, family and friends can be notified of the website and updates, while we gain the ability to sell more images and have a type of viral marketing that wasn’t available before.
The WED-Sites allow for a continued narrative of the couple’s life, from engagement to wedding to children. I can envision staying with a client for many years and documenting the various benchmarks of their life. So far, the response has been great. Kimberly and David Flatt, a young couple who were just married, loved the WED-Site I created for their March 23 wedding. It included images from their engagement session, along with a fun interview and other wedding information for their guests to create pages rich in content. From their wedding alone, I have booked two more weddings for 2008.
One of the best things about incorporating the Web into my wedding photography business is how inexpensive and easy it is. I use Pictage, an online photo lab and hosting company, to collect the money and process our incoming orders so I can focus shooting and marketing. It’s easy, inexpensive, and provides great returns—a great advance for our business.
I also write a monthly newsletter through Constant Contact and a daily blog through Apple’s iWeb, updating clients and fans about my latest photo shoots and innovations such as the WED-Sites. It’s a great way to generate excitement, attract new business, and give a little something extra to clients. I’m always flattered when I talk to someone in the industry—a wedding planner, hotel catering director, or florist—who mentions an article from my newsletter or blog.
My assignments come mainly from referrals of past clients, hotels, and wedding planners, so it’s important to keep everyone in the know and keep my name fresh in their minds. It is great to know that people are reading and interested in what I am doing. I try to add tidbits from outside the photography and wedding worlds to help everyone think of me outside the business side of life and know that we share interests outside of work.
Lauren Hillary, owner of Lauren Hillary Photography (www.laurenhillary.com), in Costa Mesa, California, shoots about 30 weddings and is commissioned for 30-40 portraits a year. Her work has appeared in Inside Weddings, The Knot Weddings Southern California, The Knot Weddings Texas, Brides New Jersey, Bride and Bloom magazine, and online at Greer’s OC. She was featured in Brides Southern California Spring/Summer 2007 issue for being chosen to cover a $150,000 wedding at the St. Regis in Monarch Beach, California. For a sample WED-Site, visit www.laurenHillary.com/1. For her blog, visit http://web.mac.com/laurenhillary/iWeb/laurenhillary/Blog/Blog.html.
Website Becoming a Top Resource for Brides-to-Be
Mynantucketwedding.com Connects Studio with Prospects & Vendors
by Claudia Kronenberg
Two years ago, I started my new wedding website, www.mynantucketwedding.com, to communicate with brides planning their weddings online. Since we are located on Nantucket Island, many of our clients are planning a destination wedding from their homes or offices. We wanted to provide all the information they would need to find the finest vendors for their big day.
The site serves two functions. First, it connects us to the brides planning their Nantucket weddings. They are our potential clients, and we wanted them to find us online in several venues that were savvy and well designed. Second, it keeps us in touch with all the vendors working here on the island on a regular basis. We contact them about site membership updates and hold a variety of networking gatherings to connect and keep up to date with what we are all doing.
This has kept us high on the list when it comes to direct vendor referrals. Since we stay in touch with them, we are the first studio vendors mentioned when they’re asked who they would recommend. Vendors we might not see at events, such as florists, have an opportunity to see our albums, slide shows, and the finished photos from weddings we worked on together. They are excited by the value of what we offer and spread the word.
The site has also established that Claudia Kronenberg Photography is a major part of the wedding industry here on the island. We are not just great photographers—we are working to better the industry on Nantucket as a whole, which helps us all.
When you do a Google search for “Nantucket wedding,” our site is in the top 10, and we’re moving up every day. The buzz about the site has spread. We are drawing vendors who aren’t even based on Nantucket but want to be part of the site.
We also produced our third annual Bridal Fashion Shoot earlier this year. These shoots have become extremely effective marketing tools. This year’s was smoother than ever because we’ve learned how to stay on schedule and map out the day. We also incorporated vendors from Boston and Providence to help us continue our push into new markets.
Claudia Kronenberg, of Claudia Kronenberg Photography (www.claudiak.com) in Nantucket, MA, has been in the business for 14 years. She and her associates shoot weddings and portraits throughout New England and beyond.