Friendly Vendors

As a photographer, I get plenty of work even though everyone has a mobile phone, mp3 player, laptop, and tablet. They are all cameras of sorts, but I won’t let them out me out of business. If people try to capture the great moments of life on their own, I tell them, “but are they good?” I know they aren’t. There will always be a place for the true artist with a trained eye. When it comes to her wedding, in particularly, the bride will never skimp. It is a once-in-a-lifetime milestone and she doesn’t want it ruined. The guests can take all the candid pix they want and post them on Facebook. No matter. I do the final wedding album for posterity. I know the traditional poses of the couple alone, during the ceremony, and with the cake, and of course the entire wedding party. Then there are all the shots of the reception with people dining, dancing, and rejoicing.

I have many stories about these wedding, mostly good. Occasionally something goes wrong but my photographs never show it—only happy smiling faces. That’s all people will remember twenty years from now. I greet old friends at the weddings in my area of Albany and I make new ones. We often know the same people. It is a wonderful opportunity to socialize. Recently, I ran into a florist I have known for some time and it was fun to catch up after my work was done and in the can, so to speak. She was making sure that I had captured her beautiful decorations when I noticed her cool backpack. It’s something I’ve been looking at getting for myself, so I instantly recognized the style from It was a business tote given that she was at work. I have a leather zippered camera bag and another all-purpose tote for accessories and odds and ends. While I was admiring her choice, we started talking about how important it is to have relationships with other wedding vendors for cross-referrals. Thus, she always brings a stack of business cards.

“It is part of marketing yourself,” she said. “Self-promotion doesn’t have to be offensive or obvious.” I can see that. People often come up to you and ask for the card before you even approach them. I always have a few on hand. “Bridesmaids are your target market,” she added. “Introduce yourself and talk about their future plans. Every woman dreams of the perfect wedding. But don’t pull out your sample book as it would be tacky. Give your website out for sure.” We agreed that exchanging phone numbers is acceptable but not if it takes too much time. After all, this is the bride and groom’s event.

Weddings are good business now and they always will be. No matter how the world turns and how modern life becomes, couples consider their marriage day to be a major event. Whether you design the flowers, cater the food, take the photos, or provide the entertainment, it is a day for you to shine.