11 Tips to Bridging the Gap between Photographers and Wedding Coordinators by Debra Gulbas

Debra Gulbas Photography

As a wedding photographer, some of the most important relationships you can build are with wedding coordinators. If you are just getting started in the wedding world, these tips are a fantastic way to make a great impression on wedding coordinators. If you have been in the wedding industry for awhile, these tips will help you strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. This will also help your shoots go much more smoothly!

I recently sat down with two successful wedding coordinators in Austin, Texas, to discuss the relationships between coordinators and photographers. Thank you to Rosa Gibson, of Austin Wedding Planners by Rosa, and Amy Mader, of Amy’s Platinum Weddings Coordinating and Consulting Firm for their help and advice.

1. Send a Welcome Email

Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work …

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Why Workflows Were a Lifesaver for Sara France & Made ShootQ Her First Choice by The Photo Life

Photo: Sara France


Photo: Sara France

Before finding ShootQ, Sara France was drowning in spreadsheets to track tasks, and wanted workflows that enabled her – and her team – to stay organized without passing bulky files back and forth.

Now that she has ShootQ, she’s able to automate almost everything!

Her studio’s workflows are automated. Everything from invoices, emails, to new lead generation is automated and cloud-based.

According to Sara, “I didn’t want to do that work and needed to focus on growing my business. It’s much more efficient and takes less time. I don’t know how anyone has a studio without this program.”

In this case study, we’ll take a look at Sara France’s business and explore the ways that:

• In order to focus on growing your business, it’s important to have a solid management solution in place • Taking the time upfront saves countless hours over the long haul  • Cloud-based services allow photographers to access key …

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Keeping Tabs on Your Leads (and Turning them into Paying Clients!)

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 10.52.30 AM

Have you ever had a sales lead fall through the cracks? Maybe a bride emailed you about her wedding, but her email got pushed down so far in your rapidly-filling inbox that you totally forgot to reply to her? We all know this feeling; it’s frustrating for you AND your prospective clients!

Losing track of leads can cost your business – big time. You may lose jobs when you don’t respond quickly to leads, or when you simply forget to follow up. How can you ensure that you’re keeping tabs on your leads, so you can turn them into paying clients?

I. Centralize your notes

When you get a new lead, enter it into some kind of system (ShootQ, Excel, etc.) ShootQ is ideal because it checks for date conflicts and automatically fills out all the fields for you and creates a contact card for that person.

You can …

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Case Study: Why ShootQ Makes Sense for Anne Almasy


Photo: Anne Almasy

Anne’s search for a solution that would streamline her growing photography business led her to ShootQ. Because of ShootQ, Anne has been able to set up a faster booking process, better contract management, and streamlined business operations.

In this case study we’ll explore:

• Why early investments in your business do make a difference. • How keeping track of your business in one place, with access from anywhere, streamlines operations. • Why it’s important to find the best solution to manage a thriving photography business. • How to quantify the savings ShootQ provides.

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How to Make Everyday Shoots Extraordinary by Jennie Edwards


There I was with Beth and her family at Balboa Park in San Diego, their faces bursting with joy as they ran around being kids, playing games and laughing. But it wasn’t always this way; my early photos often showed people looking nervous, waiting for guidance on what pose to do next, with fake smiles.

Then, I decided to make a change. By encouraging people to make every day a celebration, the “UPA” (Unique Photo Adventure) was born! By taking the time to connect with my clients as they connect with each other, I can create images as if I wasn’t even there.

This is no traditional “portrait studio” appointment. Equipped with a variety of ideas, clients are inspired to make the experience all their own. Unique Photo Adventures allow participants to free themselves from being behind the camera, disconnect from their cell phone or other distractions, and really be present in …

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How to Create a Pre-Shoot Guide for Portrait Shoots by Ashley DuChene

How to Create a Pre-Shoot Guide for Photography Clients

The reality is, no matter what information we send to clients to prepare for their shoot, we can’t make them read every word. As much as we want our photography clients to thoroughly understand (and care about) our creative process, some of them are willing to wing-it. Even if we send them great guidance in advance, they tend to skim it for topics they’re curious about. This is why, in the last eight years, my “Pre-Shoot Guide” has evolved from a clever, colorful 4-page PDF into to a brief, persuasive email with a link to a short-and-sweet six paragraph, bullet-pointed Pre-Shoot Guide page on my website.

Before I book, much of my process is conveyed to clients through my website, during the initial phone consultation and emails. But my Pre-Shoot Guide is reading material intended to set expectations for the actual family portrait photography session.

My Pre-Shoot Guide …

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One Photographer’s Journey from Part-Time to Full-Time by Monika Labbé

CreativeMphoto engagement

When I started my part-time professional photography career, in the days of film photography (2001), I didn’t have higher aspirations to become a full-time photographer. I already had a full-time job in the corporate world, so I was perfectly content photographing on the side, especially since photography income was not paying my bills.

There’s a very different mindset for someone who does something on the side (and makes extra income) versus someone who does photography full-time. It’s not just the obvious things, like more expenses, etc. I think it’s also the way you think about photography – not just as a hobby, but as a business. As a full-time photographer, all the decisions you make affect what you do as a photographer.

The thing is, as a part-time photographer, I wasn’t seeking work. It just came to me. I was working for another studio, assisting with wedding and commercial jobs as well …

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Vacation Portraits – Tap into the Multi-Billion Dollar Travel Industry


When do you have money burning a hole in your pocket? When do you save money just so you can spend it in one short period of time?


I learned how to tap into tourism and capture some of the billions of dollars that flow through the travel industry by treating my photography as a vacation activity instead of a traditional portrait session. Tourism exists in all 50 states and all over the world. Whether you’re in a tropical locale or next to a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon, there is a market for vacation portraits.

When I first moved to Maui and decided to start a photography business, I did an online search to see what was out there, and I found pages upon pages of photographers, almost all of them focused on wedding photography. At first I felt a little discouraged, then I decided to …

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Tips for Booking and Rocking Same-Sex Wedding Shoots

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

Documenting the story of a same-sex wedding is really not that different from documenting the story of any wedding, at least from the perspective of a wedding photojournalist. In both, a photojournalist’s job is to capture the personalities, the emotions, the moments, the context and the details that work together to give viewers a sense of the love shared by the couple, their family and friends on that one special day.

© 2012 Sharon McMahon

So, how do I go about booking same-sex weddings?

1)  Seek this business only if you are truly supportive. If you have any reservations about the right of gays and lesbians to make meaningful, legal and sacred commitments to each other, that uncertainty will likely show when you meet with couples.

2) Make it clear on your website that you’re open to photographing same-sex unions. Show photos of same-sex couples if you have …

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How to Collaborate with Clients to Create Inspiring Images by Sara France


I am living my dream. It’s the truth. I wake up every day and create art. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Beyond the blessings I feel that I have being a photographer, even more important to me is that I am shooting work that inspires me and others. I ask myself all the time, “What am I shooting that not only inspires me, but others as well?”

If you are familiar with my work, you have seen an image of a bride facing a giraffe. It’s my favorite image right now and, admittedly, I’ve put it everywhere! The home page of my website, and on most of my marketing materials. I am asked often how I created this image. How was I able to get a bride and giraffe together for a shoot?

The real question is, what can YOU DO to create images you are proud of? Do you think they just happen on an average wedding day? Perhaps….but not always. My question is: how can YOU create an image that is truly from your heart? How can you create an image that will truly inspire?

It starts with a client who trusts you – totally trusts you. When my client booked a post-wedding shoot, I knew that she would let me do anything I wanted to do. In an opportunity like this, the first thing you should do is delve deep and articulate what inspires you as an artist. How can you create an image that you’ll love, and also something that’s unique and sets you apart from everyone else? You must put your unique stamp on it.

I have always been inspired by Richard Avedon’s photograph of a woman with elephants (you probably know the image I’m talking about). I knew I wanted to do something with animals. Once that was in my head, I started scouring my brain for contacts who would give me access to awesome animals. Then, I remembered a bride from a few years back who worked for Safari Park in San Diego. Because of my relationship with her and the park, we were granted permission to shoot with majestic animals. In exchange, we let the park use the images for their marketing materials.

Next, it was time to assemble a team of trusted vendors. The bride and I collaborated to discuss dress options, accessories, and any detail I could think of. The shoot ended up being an incredible day of shooting all over the park and included experiences with cheetahs, birds, and of course the now infamous giraffe. The end result was an amazing shoot that I was very proud of.

In the end, my bride was equally as proud and inspired by the image. But there’s something else that I needed to create such an inspiring image: TIME. Time to be creative, time to research, time to collaborate with my client.

Time is precious. For me, inspiration is made possible through time. Time to build trust with clients and vendors, and time to be inspired personally. The way I carve out time to create inspiring images is by trusting a specialist with my post-production. As simple as it sounds, that partnership frees up TIME for me to be creative. Trusting a specialist with my post-production is the biggest decision I’ve made in my business to get back time. You can’t expect to be inspired, nor can you expect to grow your photography business, while sitting behind a desk. You know exactly what I’m talking about – the stress of being all things to your business stifles creativity.

So, protect your time. Take steps to share tasks with trusted partners, perhaps in post-production or other key areas of your business. You won’t regret it; you will have more time to collaborate with clients to create inspiring images.




About the Author and her trusted specialist: Sara is the founder and owner of Sara France Photography, Inc, based in San Diego. In business since 2001, they focus on weddings and events in the greater Southern California region. Sara is a passionate Aperture user and a member of the Aperture Advisory Panel for Apple. Alongside her professional wedding photography career, she also developed Aperture training workflow materials for professional photographers and trains them to become more efficient and effective using this awesome tool produced by Apple, Inc.

ShootDotEdit is the first choice post processing partner for the Wedding Pro, and everything they shoot. ShootDotEdit provides custom color correction on your RAW and JPG images, making your images look consistently awesome based on your chosen color profile. With dotPreview, you can be garaunteed that you’ll like each event that you submit. Fast is Best, and no one is faster – ShootDotEdit offers standard turnaround time as fast as 48 hours!

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