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Hijack : Dos and Don’ts for Editing Your Wedding Website

Dos and Don’ts for Editing Your Wedding Website

When working with consumer photographers (anyone who markets directly to the public), I always like to encourage them to show images that will make their potential clients believe that if they hire them, they’ll create that same MAGICAL moment for them. Those magical moments are why a consumer client hires a photographer. Regardless if it’s to capture their baby’s first year, their family portrait, or especially that bride’s special day, they want to believe you are the person to make that moment happen.

These are my recommendations for putting together a website of your wedding photography, which have helped my wedding photographers increase their bookings from 25-45% to 50-100%.

DOs:

  • Make your galleries quick and easy to look at (15 – 25 clicks per gallery)
  • Tell a story with multiple weddings –- the start of the day to the end of the day. Example: Bride getting ready, father seeing bride, bride walking down aisle, the I Dos, the kiss, the bridal party portraits, reception vignettes (flowers, table cards), the first dance, the father-daughter dance, people having a blast at the reception, the cake cutting, and finally the cliché end of the night moment (holding hands walking off into the night). Yes, you heard it right, that cliché moment gets a bride every time.

DON’Ts

  • Have 10 galleries – each titled: “Joe & Sarah,” “Marc & Beth,” etc. that only show the best photos from each of their weddings
  • Show a bride or anyone at a wedding at their worst moment. Some photographers appreciate a photo for its caught-moment approach. I appreciate that too –- but if it’s on your wedding site, a bride will imagine herself in that photo every time. If a bride looks too heavy or someone is causing trouble, she will think the same will happen to her if she hires you. I know this sounds elementary, but every client I work with has at least one photo that MUST be taken out.

GALLERY IDEAS:

  • Have one gallery showing the entire day from start to finish, drawn from different weddings
  • Have multiple galleries (no more than 3-5) breaking up the categories, such as, Getting Ready, I Do, Group Shots, The Reception, and Bridal Portraits and/or Engagement Photos

Finally, remember you are being hired to help capture that special day (a.k.a. that MAGICAL moment). Everything — including your website, portfolio, and personal presentation — has to convey that you are exactly the right person to do that.

Amanda Sosa Stone, with fellow consultant Suzanne Sease, recently co-authored the book The Photographer’s Survival Guide, which is due out in April 2009. As a full-time consultant, Amanda spends most of her time traveling, speaking at seminars, and consulting with photographers nationwide.

I would add this:

Multimedia is a great way to showcase a full wedding with more images than may appear in a portfolio, which would be your signature images from different weddings.

Using video to relay who you are and also how you shoot is a good idea and new trend.  Video testimonials allow your ambassadors to talk directly to potential clients and give so much authenticity to your testimonials.  Both of these will go far in gaining the trust of a potential client, before they even contact you.

Check out how these techniques have been applied on this Maine Wedding Photography site.

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