When you own your own wedding venue, photos are a must. Clients love to see Professional Photos of the venue and happy couples that have been married there. I don’t mean photos that you take with your phone, even though there is a place for those. I mean professional photos, the kind you find in magazines. Okay, maybe not that perfect, but you get the idea.
Photographers are busy individuals. They promise to send photos and I really think they have every intention too? However, then life happens and the venue is forgotten. Brides are very sweet and give the same response. But, they get busy setting up their household (which they should) and once again, the venue owner is forgotten.
I hand out a business card to make sharing easy and still nothing. Soon months have passed and still no response. What is a venue owner to do, how does a venue get these coveted photos? Over the years, I have learned a few things when it comes to attaining photos. I’ll share my experience and you might have a few of your own to share.
Contact the Photographer
I usually exchange cards with the photographer. Sometimes things happen so fast, there is no opportunity to exchange information. Try to exchange right when the photographer arrives because it’s the best time to chat. Also, if you have the business card, you’ll have the photographer’s information and can email at a later date.
Many times the photographer won’t respond. I’m not sure why that is? It seems like it would be good for their business too. It could be that venue owners don’t give the photographer credit? Or, maybe things are going so well, they don’t need the extra exposure. I’ve also wondered if clients just want their photos to be private.
Contact the Bride
The bride, of course, is a great resource. The only problem is that you need a quality photo. Be sure they send the professional photos. I have sent requests for photos over the years. Don’t be obnoxious, asking once is enough. Sometimes I hear nothing back. And then, out of the blue, I’m contacted and photos are sent my way. On occasion it’s been a year or more, lol. Honestly, I don’t care when they come. I’m always happy to get them.
How and where will photos be used
Many photographers have rules about how they prefer you use their photos. Cropping, using filters or any other form of changing the photo is usually a bad thing. When in doubt ask. If you are sharing on social media of any kind they will want you to use the watermarked version and or give credit in the photo tag or post. When photographers are willing to share photos you need to respect their wishes.
Watermarked or not
I like when the photos are watermarked, then I know the photographer is receiving credit. If I use a photo on social media, I try to add their website too. Now I’ll be the first to admit that on some social media platforms I’m not always sure what I’m doing! However, I try my best to make sure credit is given.
Sometimes if I am working on a special project, I will ask for unmarked photos. On those occasions, I still find a way to give the photographer credit. Giving credit to a photographer only takes a few minutes and should always be done.
Adding the photographer to the vendor page
Some Photographers will go above and beyond to provide me photos. I could hug and kiss these sweet professionals! Okay, that would probably be unprofessional, but really, I’m so excited and thankful.
To me, that is a very deserving person and I will add them to my vendors’ page on my website. I’ll also like their Facebook page and share their specials on my Facebook page. I love giving back.
Photos from the phone
I always walk around on wedding day and take photos with my phone, but I never show these photos on wedding day. The photos I take are of the décor and how the brides use the décor that I have. I rarely take photos of people, except vendors that I want to share on my website or Facebook page.
Photos that are taken with your own phone can be cropped, filtered, written on, etc. I can use these photos in a blog post and on the website. I also take photos of the season changes at the venue and all the projects I do and want to share. Take lots of photos, they come in handy for all sorts of occasions.
I hope I have given some thought provoking ideas in our discussion – how does a venue get these coveted photos?
Whether photos are coming from a professional photographer, the bride or even from your own phone they are an important piece in the success of the venue. Why do the brides make an appointment to visit the venue? I can assure you it was because they saw a beautiful photo first.
If you are just starting out it takes time to get that portfolio in place. Be diligent in the asking and let it go. Most professionals will respond and be happy to help you out.