Our latest inside perspective into the wedding industry comes from Sean at Dansk Photography, who chatted about what challenges photographers face in the industry, how he works to connect with couples, and what every supplier should be looking at in Google Analytics.
Tell us about Dansk Photography and where you sit in the industry
We’re a photography company in Melbourne who look after medium to higher-end weddings. We find that we pick our clients as much as they pick us, which means that we have the best couples around!
I shoot between 50 and 60 weddings a year and find that couples are usually getting in touch with us once they’ve locked in their date and reception venue.
Being a people-based service, we find that we’re often booked higher up the supplier timeline than other services might be. While you might be able to order a cake from a baker who can do more than one cake that day, there’s just one of me when it comes to shooting the wedding. So we do find that we’re booked higher up in the planning cycle.
One of the biggest misconceptions we get from couples is how far out photographers are booked up. I think the wedding industry works a bit like dog years, it might be 12 months in an actual year but that’s 3 months in the wedding year! We’re a fast-paced industry so we try to let our couples know that booking us straight away or in advance means we’re less likely to book out for that date.
How do you respond to enquiries and the question of price?
We usually get back to a couple within the first 5 to 10 minutes of them enquiring with us. But if that’s not possible because it’s the weekend or late at night, then it’ll be after a few hours or the next day.
If a couple gives us a phone number then we try to give them a call to get that connection. But if that’s not possible and it’s over email we try to get a bit more of an idea of who they are as people and what they want for their wedding.
Even if they ask about the price, it’s really hard for us to give an accurate quote based on something we don’t fully know about yet. We work to get a bit more information about their day not just so we can give them a more accurate package, but also so we can help them out.
At the end of the day we’re there to make the day easier for the couple, so if we can help them a bit more then we’ll have more fun together.
But if they do ask about price, we work back to our experience and show the reviews we’ve had from other couples. Showing them the experience of making a couple feel comfortable in front of the camera is really important to us. Anyone can take a photo but it’s about providing the most comfortable and memorable experience on their wedding day that we’re trying to sell.
What do you ask couples in your first meeting with them that you wouldn’t over email?
We like to ask couples about themselves! When you’re selling your business, service or a product it can easy to talk a bit too much about yourself. I try to ask the couple more about themselves, how did they meet, how did the proposal go, what do they do etc. Not only can this help break the ice but it also gives me an idea of how it all came about so I can show that in their wedding photos.
This is also a good time to see what the couple is like and whether you want to shoot a wedding or spend a holiday with them. You want to be able to connect with a couple, so getting a sense of whether they’re a little bit fun, quirky, or serious is really important in this face-to-face meeting.
Once the fun stuff is out of the way we try to help them a bit more with planning their actual day. We’re able to help them with things they’ve never done before, like getting the logistics and timeline of their wedding planned or giving them an idea about how things might run.
That’s where we try to show our point of difference, in not just taking good photos for their wedding but providing valuable advice and insights as well.
What are some challenges facing wedding photographers at the moment?
Weekend and part-time photographers are posing a problem to the professional industry at the moment. I’ve done reshoots for several weddings where the photographer has stuffed up their wedding day, and unfortunately, this business is actually rising every year.
When we’re talking to couples and they’re quoting us against an amateur or more inexperienced photographer it’s our job to really hone in on that experience factor. Making sure they look at reviews, telling them about business insurance, public liability and professional backing can help us discourage the couple from making what could be a mistake when it comes to booking an amateur on their wedding day.
Unfortunately, you can’t repeat your wedding day so those photos are so important. I mean, I can buy an amazing frying pan but I’m not going to claim to be a chef (or caterer!)
How have you worked to grow your business over the last year?
I’ve really had a look at my digital imprint and my social media. I’ve worked on building followers on Instagram so I have more of a backing, and getting my Facebook page more active and engaging.
I’ve also taken a look at Google Ads and SEO to improve the digital impact of my website and blogs. And I highly value the strong referral connections I make with my couples.
But one big element that shouldn’t be overlooked is Google Analytics. It’s so important to make sure that you can see what your audience is doing and how they’re interacting with different parts of your website.
I’ve found that looking through the flow of my website and how a couple travels through it helps me set the priorities and optimisation of different pages on the site. For instance, are they spending more time on one page and less on another, or am I putting the right amount of effort into a page that couples might not actually be going to?
Looking at how long the page takes to load and how long a couple was spending on a page also helped me work out which pages I should prioritise and work on.
If there’s anything I could pass onto other businesses in the wedding industry, it would be to learn more about their analytics.