No matter where you live, there are a limited number of weddings you can shoot each year. Not only do weddings tend to occur more often during specific times of the year (October, September, and June are particularly popular), more weddings occur over the weekend than during the week. Even if you take on a client every weekend, you can’t be in two places at once—which means there are some serious limits on the number of weddings you can shoot each year.
Not only that, let’s face it: weddings are a lot of work, and more often than not, wedding photographers don’t charge a lot for the amount of work that goes into the process! Wedding photographers, in fact, are some of the hardest-working photographers I know: few breaks, running from early in the morning to late in the evening—and it can be hard to get the value you deserve from all that effort.
What if I told you that you could double your bookings without having to shoot more weddings? In fact, what if I told you that you can substantially increase your revenue without having to spend even more time running around to weddings—or worse, double-booking yourself?
Try some of these strategies to improve your revenue.
Strategy #1: Include a Boudoir Session as Part of Your Wedding Package
Newlyweds are often incredibly excited about the wedding night. Even if they’ve been together for years, the couple will love the idea of a boudoir session. The bride will likely love the idea of sharing such a special session with her new husband—and it makes an incredible gift to share with one another.
Include this session as part of your wedding package. Don’t necessarily sell it as an add-on service; instead, offer it as part of your standard wedding package. Then, use the IPS method to sell!
Do some in-person sales for the boudoir session. Let your customers see exactly what you have to offer. Often, even a bride who planned to turn down the images from the boudoir session, or to only take the ones included in the package, will fall in love with those incredible pictures, substantially increasing your sales for a single wedding. Upsell the collection separately from your package: show off incredible prints, put together an amazing album, and let your images speak to your clients.
During this bridal boudoir session, consider making the most of the bridal aspect. This is a great time to show off what the bride looks like in her wedding lingerie or covered by little more than spectacular lingerie and her veil. A pre-wedding boudoir shoot can help her build confidence for that special night or add a further note of anticipation to the big day, whether she and her future spouse have been waiting patiently for that one special night or have been together for years.
Strategy #2: Book Bridal Shows and Book Boudoir Clients at the Bridal Show
Going to a bridal show is a great way to get in touch with new potential clients. You don’t just have to use bridal shows to book wedding clients! Many times, when prospective brides attend bridal shows, they’ll fall in love with the incredible services offered there, including services that they didn’t realize they needed—like, for example, a boudoir shoot.
Book those boudoir clients. Boudoir sessions are often much less stressful than wedding sessions, especially if you have the skills you need to handle posing and capturing your clients from those incredibly flattering angles. It’s a completely different skillset from the one you use to photograph weddings, but it’s equally rewarding—and many photographers find boudoir sessions are a lot of fun and highly rewarding.
Even better, it’s often much easier to book boudoir sessions at a bridal show. Not only are there fewer boudoir photographers on-site, but you can also often book 10-40 boudoir sessions at a show, while you might struggle to book a handful of weddings.
Got those boudoir clients? Now, make the most of them!
Once you’ve developed a rapport and relationship with a client through a boudoir session, they may be more likely to book you for the wedding or for an engagement session. A lot of clients book a boudoir session long before they’ve booked a wedding photographer or decided how they want to handle engagement photos with that special someone.
During a boudoir session, you have an incredible opportunity to develop that relationship and build an incredible amount of trust. Many clients, when they see what you can do in a boudoir shoot, won’t be able to wait to see what you will do when you take those all-important wedding photos.
Once you have a client in your system and you’ve built that rapport and that trust, it’s far easier to get them to hire you for something else. Send out an email or another message shortly after the boudoir shoot.
- Ask if your client has booked a photographer for their wedding—and offer them an incentive to get you booked an on the schedule fast.
- Suggest that they have an engagement shoot with their future spouse, and offer an incentive for the client to make it you.
- Offer an incentive like an app with the boudoir purchase or an extra print or two. Consider what the client will be most likely to respond to, then offer it!
Strategy #3: Do a Bridal Show and ONLY Book Boudoir Shoots
Head into a bridal show, but don’t even worry about booking weddings. Instead, focus on ONLY booking boudoir sessions.
Most of the time, you’re going to make as much or more from a boudoir session than you would from shooting a wedding anyway, and for a lot less time spent behind your camera (and in editing) than you would if you were shooting a wedding. It’s not unusual to get $2,000 sales, $3,000 sales, or higher from a boudoir shoot.
Can you say the same for your wedding shoots?
Take the time to learn how to do boudoir photography, and do it well. Focus on building those incredible skills. It gives you the same chance to get to know your subject and build an incredible rapport that you get from wedding photography, only on an even more intimate level. Many women get the chance to show a side of themselves in a boudoir shoot than they never have before—and you get to be the one to help them let that out.
Now, I hear a lot of people saying that they just can’t get those high-dollar sales from boudoir shoots. (In fact, it was one of the questions asked during the Facebook Live session on this topic!) Here’s the thing: you can get those great boudoir sales. You just need the right tools in your arsenal.
Get those incredible pictures. To make the most out of your boudoir shoots and get those great high sales, make sure you have at least 65-80 saleable images.
Include a range of poses and outfits. In order to make the most of those sales and get the high-dollar sales you’re hoping for, you have to have some unique saleable images. It’s easy for your clients to turn down one of two images (or four of five images) that are virtually identical. It’s a lot harder for them to choose between five incredible images in a range of different poses.
Charge what you’re worth. Way too many photographers—wedding photographers, newborn photographers, boudoir photographers; it doesn’t matter!—sell themselves way too short. They know that other photographers are making those prices, but they can’t see it happening in their lives. The good news is, we have helped a ton of our photographers find their way to those sales, and we can help you get there, too!
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be accomplishing those sales goals! People spend more when they’re emotionally invested in their images—and boudoir is often an incredibly emotional experience for your clients. Most people will book boudoir sessions around major life events: weddings, a great deal of weight loss, the birth of a new baby, and so on.
As a photographer, you can take advantage of that! Make that emotional connection. Get to know your clients and help them take full advantage of that experience. Not only will they be more likely to buy those images, getting you the high-dollar sales you want, but they’ll also be more likely to book you in the future.
Do you need help meeting your goals as a photographer? Are you struggling with where to find clients or how to make the most out of each one? Join our Facebook group or check out this incredible post on where to find clients to start down the road to making more out of your photography business. You can earn more without shooting more weddings—and we can help you get there.