When professional wedding photographers attend expos, we can do without the free cake samples or complimentary photo booth images – but we should at least get the same caliber of advice we give our brides at expos!
Recently one of my best friends got engaged, and a week later she called me in tears of frustration. She signed up for TheKnot.com and found out about the hundreds of to-do items she needed to check off before she could say “I do” in May, and she had no clue where to start. So I did what each of us wedding photographers do at wedding expos – I explained the order of importance of which vendors to hire, what to look for in photography packages, and helped her plan how she envisions their big day.
If you’ve exhibited at a wedding expo, you have been in this position. You have spoken to the frustrated (and often “clueless”) brides who don’t know where to start. You’ve talked to the mother-of-the-brides and the bridesmaids that share bad photography stories. You know what to say to calm them all down, and hopefully, hire you because you know how to make their experience great.
But who is doing this for YOU?
Where can you chat with leaders in the industry that calm down your frustrations with the photography business? What do you do when you’re trying to get out of the lower-priced packages for budget brides, but have no idea how? Who can help when you’re dealing with a bad review or have an impossible customer that is making business miserable? How do you sell professional wedding albums to the customer who only wants digital images?
This is why wedding photography expos are so important to photographers and business professionals – the expos not only provide amazing vendors that you can talk to about products for your customers, but they also provide education with a large variety of courses to choose from. There are classes for wedding photography, newborns photos, family portraiture, pet photography, budgeting, business, marketing, posing, and so much more!
I’ve been a Pro Photographer for 10+ years and went to ImagingUSA last year for the first time – and my biggest regret is that I didn’t go sooner. The knowledge I obtained about marketing, business, posing, revising our packages, and wedding photography was invaluable. Although the classes were informative, the best part was meeting and interacting with hundreds of photographers who are either starting out, figuring it out or have already figured it out. I was surrounded by professionals who are experiencing similar business challenges and veterans who could give their “tried and true” advice.
Next month I am experiencing WeddingMBA for the first time (although it is definitely not the first time for Zookbinders!), and invite anyone who has the time in October to join me on this educational and fun adventure to improve your business, learn more about your craft, and meet some awesome fellow photographers.
If you can’t come along for the journey in 2019, please check out the Zookbinder’s social media for live videos, fun photos, and updates throughout October 14 – 16.
Additional US Photography Expos:
WPPI in Las Vegas February 23-27, 2020
Clickcon in Chicago August 11-14, 2020
Shutterfest in St. Louis April 14-16, 2020