Recently I've been asked how I book so many weddings every year. Yes, my prices aren't in the high range and yes I know that higher prices means less weddings. This post is truly catered to people who are in their first 5 years of their wedding photography careers and how to find and book more clients.
I've heard alot from other photographers that they've used Wedding Wire, The Knot, Facebook Ads, flyers, promotions through instagram, and so many other things but somehow they're not getting close to the 30 weddings a year that I am consistently booking. The first thing I can say about how to get your schedule booked, is to work your ass off. Seriously.
In early 2014 I booked and did as many weddings as I could. I tried not to do tons of "discount" weddings but I was able to get my hands on abou 28 weddings in my first year as a "full time" photographer. I never really intended to do this many weddings, but I knew that I needed the experience and the only way to get that is through booking weddings. At that time, I received most of my wedding bookings thru Wedding Wire, which steadly decreased and I began booking more thru referalls in 2015. The 2015 wedding season I had 31 weddings booked and second shot multiple times as well. This season was really my "defining" season so I could fine tune everything for my 2016 year. Now, it's 2016 and I'm booked solid with weddings that I am so confident in that are going to be amazing.
I get a little errked when I hear from so many photographers that they have problems booking when they've only done 10 or 15 weddings and are beginning to charge in a range that is not meant for them. You really NEED to work around the concept of gaining experience. Your photos may be wonderful and beautiful as well as your styled shoots, but having true wedding experience is such an important thing because unless you can fine tune and react to anything and everything that weddings can and WILL throw at you, you shouldn't be doing them, or worse charging as much as the ones who do have the experience.
Why is experience, any and ALL experience, so important?