One of the keynote speaking teams at The Event were the Bebb family, Steve and Jen from Vancouver, Canada. The Bebbs are wedding photographers and whilst they are passionate about their photography, they readily admit to be in business to make money. They are very clear that they run a business first and make 'lovely photos' second. This attitude has ensured a steadily growing business. This alignment of priorities does not mean their work is average. In fact it is some of the best I have seen. They promote that at every wedding they make personal challenge to take a percentage of the time to shoot something they have never shot before. These 'challenge' shots involve the clients in addressing the challenge and most-likely get ordered. There is no down-side to this, work is kept fresh, the couple engage with the idea, take ownership and end up...taking ownership (buying).
The Bebbs also offer a photobooth to their clients. As do many others. Actually I'm sure soon you will have to offer one, possibly just to get the work. What they do different is that it is staffed. If you order their $1200 photobooth, you get Steve too. The booth is lit with full glamour lighting. At the speeches, the couple encourage everyone to head to the booth as the photos taken are for them as a photographic record of who attended. Steve carefully shoots all of the guests with props in a fun/fashion/paparazzi high quality style. Included in the fee, the clients get a small album with every photobooth shot. Steve also shoots the speeches and dancing for the main coverage.
The photobooth images are uploaded for the guests to order prints during the following week. These additional sales regularly nets an additional $1200. That is upwards of $2400 for reception coverage.
The Bebbs have also provided a prints on the night service in conjunction with this photobooth service, giving each guest a personal photo as a gift, and this can be charged for further.
If we are to compete as wedding photographers, and earn what we were earning, we must change it up. Give service and quality.
This extra level of service is nothing new, recently retired Will Street in the 1970s purchased a white Ford Fairlane that he offered as a package where he drove the bride to the church and took the photos!
Here is a link to the Bebb's website: http://www.bebbstudios.com