If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and worried about your wedding photography business right now, please know… YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In particular, what does COVID-19 mean for all of us wedding photographers?
When the CDC officially recommended canceling or postponing weddings in the United States for next 8 weeks, our hearts just sank. Naturally we kicked into overdrive to help all of our brides. But as we scramble to move dates around, there is a looming realization that our wedding couples won’t be getting married on their original wedding date. I remember talking about this fact with Matthew and just feeling in shock that this is even happening.
Here are the 3 big things that we are doing to keep our wedding photography business going through COVID-19
Communicate with our clients.
Each of our wedding couple’s lives has changed drastically in just a matter of weeks. They had been excitedly counting down the days until they could say “I Do!” at their dream wedding, but now find themselves back at square zero. They are stuck in a really bad dream of having to move or worse yet, cancel, their big day. All of the original vendors were hand-picked to make their dream wedding perfect. Who knows if all of those will be available again in the future? Will the venue even have availability to move their date?
Communication is KEY in helping to settle our couple’s nerves during this constantly changing time. We are doing our best not to keep them waiting for replies from us. We are being proactive in updating everyone as things keep changing. We are listening to their frustrations and are sympathetic to their situation. We desperately want to reassure every couple and let them know that we are here for them as friends as well as wedding photographers. We feel like they need that reassuring, helpful voice during all of the panic.
And as an added layer of support, we are currently putting together a Bella Lumière banded wedding planning guide that we will be emailing to all of our bride’s with dates that fall in the next 8 weeks. This will come as a surprise and hopefully will make them smile. It’s designed to help them to organize their to-do list and navigate all of the changes to their wedding.
Re-evaluate our budget and generate much needed cash-flow.
We are evaluating our current financial status as a business. Certainly, there is comfort in knowing exactly where we stand as a business, good or bad. With this information we have started brainstorming ways to bring in extra money using our talents in photography while adhering to the CDC and WHO COVID-19 recommendations.
Wedding photographers are not the only ones financially suffering from the lack of weddings over the next 8 weeks. It must be remembered, every vendor in the wedding and event industry has been hit hard. In addition, and to make matters worse, some of our wedding couple’s jobs are being negatively affected as other businesses adjust to the COVID-19 changes. We’ve seen some photographers partner with officiants, wedding planners, florists, etc. to offer elopement packages at a significantly reduced rate so wedding couples can still keep their original wedding dates. Others are offering portrait photography to families as they sit on their porch steps or stand in public spaces.
Whether those efforts bring in cash flow immediately or in the future, any effort is good so long as extreme care is taken to keep everyone involved safe. Our efforts are focused more on networking. Since we are all in this together, now is the perfect time to reach out to fellow vendors, get to know them through a video chat or phone call. It doesn’t cost us anything and the relationships will pay off in the future when the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
Fix costly issues within the business.
As photographers, we are guilty of the “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to our online presence. It was painful and time consuming to set them all up, so we haven’t taken time to go back in to update anything. As a result, we are taking a closer look at our website and social media accounts.
What is a potential client’s first impression of our website? Equally important, is the site loading quickly on both mobile and desktop devices? Are all of the pages visually pretty? Do the words on each of our page truly convey the message we were intending? Are there any grammatical errors or typos that need to be fixed? By all means, would updating the photos on our website provide a better user experience?
Do our social media accounts have a following? In particular, are we being social enough to build a larger following? Does our Instagram feed look and feel like our brand? What could growing a larger social media audience do for our business when COVID-19 is over?
In light of COVID-19, we have a chance to really shine as a business to our clients, fellow vendors in the wedding and event industry, and to our community!! How we and other wedding photographers adapt during this time, will determine if our businesses can weather COVID-19 and its effects on the economy, our clients, and our health. Stay safe. Stay positive. Don’t give up and above all, stick together as a community. We are all in this together!!
March 22, 2020