Dustin Meyer is an internationally acclaimed wedding and portrait photographer with clients across the country. WPPI speaker, owner of MpactPhoto Blog, Collages.net CLASS leader, and contributor to the Pay It Forward Blog, Dustin is all about giving it back when it comes to marketing, social media, Lightroom, and sales techniques.
You’re nervous. As the barista brings you your latte, you glance at the clock in apprehension. The sound of your heartbeat fills your ears as you inspect your outfit yet again. Questions like “What if she doesn’t like me?” and “What if I sound like an idiot?” race through your mind as the door to the café opens and in walks the woman you came to meet.
Take a deep breath. You’re not on a date. You’re meeting with a potential bride. However, many times as we get prepared to meet with clients for the first time, it can feel just like your first date. Except, in the dating world, booking brides would be the same as competing on the Bachelorette. You’re not the only one hoping to shoot this wedding and therefore being yourself is more important than ever.
In most major cities, the wedding photography industry is pretty oversaturated. Everyone is grabbing a camera and calling themselves photographers. The frustration builds as the photo community begins to collapse on itself as we all try to compete with each other on pricing, style, and products.
In the beginning, our studio had booths at bridal shows and advertised in local wedding magazines. However, I couldn’t help but feel like a number as the overwhelming sea of brides passed our booth again and again. Identity can get lost as the crucible of marketing boils everything we have down to the numbers game. “How many images do you shoot per wedding” and “The guy three booths down can shoot my wedding for X dollars, how good can you do on that price” are questions that become so common it makes you want to just put down your camera and walk away.
But you’re not a number. You’re a photographer. Pricing and even photographic style don’t have a face attached to them. This is why it’s most important to get your personality out there.
Your personality is the one thing that other studios cannot copy. It’s who you are, along with the style and portfolio you’ve developed over the years. By letting go of the copycat game (mimicking another photographer’s Photoshop effects or stealing someone’s price sheet at a wedding expo) you free yourself to just be you. And that’s exactly what brides are looking for.
It’s easy to feel like the guy next to you must be doing it better than you, hence why so many people are doing the same thing. However, it’s far easier to just stand out by being yourself. By putting as much of your personality on your site, in your work, or in your presentation, you’ll find that the quality of your clients will increase dramatically.
As we all probably know, it was much better to be yourself back when you were dating. It’s the same when it comes to booking brides. The more you just act like you, the more compatible you are with your clients. So relax, have another sip of your latte, and be a pro at being you.
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