1. Business

Wedding Photographers: A Guide for Dealing with the Challenges of Coronavirus: Part Two

Intro by Skip Cohen

What I appreciate most about my good buddy Bryan Caporicci, is the way he always shares the most useful information to help photographers manage their business. How often have we known exactly what we need to do to resolve a problem but can’t find the words?

And this past year has reset all the standards for dealing with challenges in business. Dealing with fears, whether real or irrational, still takes the work of an expert. It’s been new turf for all of us, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and things are getting better. But we’re not going to get back to normal overnight.

You’ve got to walk before you can run, and in Part II, following Bryan’s previous post, he’s giving you the next chapter in the game plan: how to reach out to your couples and what to say! And while this post from Bryan’s archives was written a few months back, it changes nothing in what so many of you are still dealing with.

By Bryan Caporicci

How to reach out to your couples and what to say

Your couples whose wedding is in the short-term (i.e. the next three months or less) are going to be the most stressed. The reality of their wedding taking place as planned is threatened more and more each day. There’s a lot of uncertainty for them, which brings on higher levels of stress.

Here’s the truth – you won’t be able to reassure them that everything will be alright and go as planned, because you don’t know if that’s going to be the case. Don’t mislead them. What you can do is comfort them, though. Be understanding and make sure they are clear on the next steps. You can guide them and give them suggestions.

Here are the three options they have:

  1. Go ahead as planned.
  2. Reschedule the wedding.
  3. Cancel the wedding.

If things are going to end up going ahead as planned, then there’s nothing else to talk about, but at least you’ve been proactive in showing that you care by reaching out. That’s the message you should be sending to those couples whose weddings are further out (i.e. 6-9 months away). For them, they should be ok, but the fact that you reached out and touched base shows that you care and that you’re thinking of them.

If your couple needs to reschedule, there are a few things you should make sure are made clear for them:

  • There is no rebooking fee if they need to reschedule.
  • Dates will be limited for rescheduling – both for you and their other wedding vendors. I’m sure they know, but it needs to be explicitly said – the industry will be flooded with dates being rescheduled, so every couple is not only competing for dates with other couples who are rescheduling, but also with couples who had already booked their wedding for the following year.
  • There is no cancellation fee if they need to cancel (or if they pick a new date you’re not available for), but they will forfeit their deposit. Check this in your contract, first, though – don’t just take my word for it!

You could suggest that if they’re looking to reschedule, they may want to consider a weekday wedding. Honestly, it may be something they had never considered, and it would make having “the same” wedding – with the same vendors they already chose – a lot easier for them.

Otherwise, you should suggest that they check with you before booking a new date to make sure you are available for the new date. This is a great time to remind them of your value as a photographer and why they booked you in the first place. Most likely, they want to keep you as their photographer, so make it easy for them to check.