he flurry of weddings in August is now a distant memory, well, as distant as my computer screen as I try to catch up on my editing! This month was a time to slow down, and take a break with a much needed week away in the South of France. Great weather but not enough rest and gone far too quickly, as always.
The month consisted of one wedding of my own and second shooting on two others, with the addition of quite a few football matches in between our week away. The weather has still been decent apart from my most recent second shooting experience which had the mother of all downpours as we got to the church and continued throughout the afternoon.
One thing you cannot guarantee in this country is the weather. It's a shame when it hits especially after such a lovely summer but you cannot change it, you just have to adapt. It's worse when you have a beautiful church like we did on Saturday but you just had to move everything indoors or wait for a break in the weather. The photos you get provide different memories, including brides under brollies avoiding the weather rushing into the church. It's still your day and these photos will bring back memories you can hopefully laugh about in years to come. In fact so much went wrong at this wedding, they will really see the funny side when they look back on it. This is why you cannot stress on the day, you cannot change what will happen, you've done everything you can to ensure the day runs smoothly but events are completely out of your control on the day so you just have to smile and ensure you continue to enjoy your day whatever happens. On Saturday, the bride got to the church half an hour late due to traffic, her charms then fell off her bouquet before entering the church, distraught daughter forgot her reading, a river appeared outside the church after the ceremony, windy and rainy dash to the cars, dj over an hour late turning up, but they were both still smiling and enjoying themselves throughout. A real lesson on how to deal with adversity.
I now have three weddings left this year. When things start to slow down you start to look at catching up and thinking ahead to next year. My accounts are now up to date but marketing is a constant job. Fortunately now we have time to focus a little more and ensure during this time you are getting bookings for the future and the deposits that go with it to carry you through the slower times. I've recently signed up to Hitched which is the UK's biggest wedding planning app. It has to be done to bring in new bookings and you hope the monthly outlay you put into something like this is repaid in bookings. It's never guaranteed in such a competitive market, but I know my prices are competitive, the service I give, and the photos I deliver are worthy of a higher value. At this time you also look to diversify a little, I'm now looking at getting a couple of Xmas backdrops and trying to book a few shoots in my studio at home over the next couple of months. I do have a couple of family shoots as well in the coming months so there is still plenty going on.
I currently have 23 weddings booked in for next year which is a little less than I'd like but it's still a decent number considering that a lot of my bookings are coming in currently at quite short notice. I can't wait really as some of the locations are truly amazing and the photos are going to be beautiful. So I'm just looking now at enhancing the business and ensuring I'm ready for busier times. I need to look at a new customer relationship manager software which handles all the contracts, calendar management and invoicing etc. in one place rather than having to manage this manually and costing me time I could spend editing next year. I also subscribe to other sites and use facebook and google for advertising but this all has a cost that has to be balanced to generating income.
These things you don't really consider when you are thinking about being self employed but it almost becomes bigger than doing the job itself so anything that can make it easier is worth investment. I've put a link here to my Hitched listing and you can see some lovely reviews there from some of my past clients which I really appreciate. It's so important to know you are happy with what I've done and also advice on any ways to improve will always be taken on board constructively.
OK two more pre weds and 3 weddings to see the year out, I do have availability so if anyone needs anything just get in touch.