by Clwyd Probert Published 01/11/2008
When we were booked for our first Asian wedding we were very conscious that we were attempting to do something a little different from our regular work, so we set out to make sure that everything was covered. Here were our priorities:
Do a great job for the client. We understood that the Asian community works by referrals, so the effort that we put into this event should be paid back again and again.
Do a great job for ourselves. We were looking to build a website, demonstration album and DVD slideshow from this wedding.
How did we achieve this?:
Preparation, lots of research so that nothing would come as a surprise. Overkill: We had three photographers working on the day (although we only charged for two). We started earlier and finished later than the client originally asked. This allowed us to deliver beyond the client's expectations and provided a full set of images for our portfolio.
Post production. Much more time than normal was spent on the post-production work, both in editing the event and analysing the results.
Client management and setting expectations. Our client understood that this was our first Asian wedding and we worked with her to make sure that we understood everything that would happen on the day and covered all the important events that she wanted.
The resulting shoot and demo album has lasted for over two years and has been the basis of virtually all our sales into this market.
Talking of sales!
Selling a wedding photography package to the Asian community is more like making a sales pitch to a committee than the traditional discussions with the bride and groom. Many Asian weddings are paid for jointly by the two families and each family needs to be consulted before a purchase is made. It is not unusual to have five or six people arrive at the house for a presentation. The bride, groom, parents and siblings are often involved and it is very rare that a decision and signature is obtained in one sitting. Be prepared to hear lots of differing opinions, the younger generation will be looking for a more modern reportage approach and the parents, aunties and uncles will be looking for more traditional groups and portraits. Try to keep both camps happy and you will get the order.
vExpect to have to negotiate on price. It is expected that your price list is a guideline to be discussed and form the starting point for a discussion. As long as you are reasonable and patient, you will be able to sell your premier package into this sector again and again. Cost your time sensibly and do not give things away.
Asian wedding photography can be incredibly hard work, long hours, multiple days and very large weddings. It can also be very rewarding both creatively and financially. It really helps to keep you on your toes and the lessons learnt can be passed back to your traditional work.
Pixcellence now spend about 60% of their time working on Asian weddings. We have locations in London and mid-Wales and from here we can cover the whole of the UK.
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