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| p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How close are you to other wedding photographers? |
We are insanely close here locally. Hardly a week goes by that many of us don't have lunch, dinner, drinks after weddings on Saturday night, etc... We routinely lend and borrow gear, cover sick friends, always refer each other, and second shoot constantly. I laughed this morning because I met with a bride and the photographer they met with before me and the one coming in after me are both some of my closest friends. We babysit for each other, heck one of my photographer girl friends called me when she was in labor and had me come to the hospital with her and her hubby to support her, so yeah I was there when she popped out the little guy. We are all really THAT close and it's fantastic. There's a few people on the fringe that we don't know all that well, but for the most part all of us here are each others best friends.
It's hugely beneficial. There's all these great things that come out of it like the fact that we never undercut each other, we have no problem discussing it when several of us meet with the same person, and usually we end up knowing why we didn't book someone. For example three of us met with the same bride a few months ago and I booked it. The two friends of mine who didn't book it, when we were talking about it over wine a few days later I was able to tell them that the bide told me she didn't like the limited colors they had on their KISS books. I mean, that's good to know. Did they change their offerings after that? No, but it's just good to have that kind of info.
Another's neat little thing that's come from it is the planners all knowing the relationships we have. They always mention to the brides how neat it is and how those of us that shoot solo always have amazing backup to step in for emergencies. Having them stand behind us during that conversation is awesome.
It's helped a few times when we've figured out that brides were messing with us too. No one gets far with telling three people verbatim... "I'm *dying* to have you shoot my wedding, but my fiancÚ won't let me spend this much so can you beat the price of the person he wants?".
It's really just great having friends who are like coworkers who understand this market.