As wedding photographers, we have SO much to remember and handle during the craziness of a wedding day. Who has time to think about documenting it all for future content? Me! In today’s episode, I’m sharing everything that I keep in my content tool kit so that you can show up to your next wedding ready to capture essential behind the scenes footage. These tips are key to booking more weddings and increasing the overall value of your business.
On Quianna Marie Weekly, we’re chatting about business growing pains, finding genuine connections, and celebrating wins of all sizes through the lens of a photographer at heart. Sprinkled throughout stories and interviews with past clients, photographers and other business owners this podcast is designed to help you step into your purpose and to truly create a life you’re proud of, a life worth photographing and sharing.
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Today’s episode is brought to you by the FREE Book More Weddings guide. Learn how to easily capture behind the scenes video for organic referrals, local followers, and increased brand awareness. You want to make sure you have this before your next wedding!
Review the Show Notes:
Why You Want To Document Your Weddings (4:25)
You Just Need Your Phone (5:37)
Prompts For Your Next Wedding (15:04)
Mentioned In This Episode:
Review the Transcript:
Do you have dreams about getting a call from a bridesmaid at 12:30pm on a Saturday asking where you are, and you’re walking your dog one hour away from the wedding venue, you know that feeling when you’re overwhelmed before your next wedding, worried about double booking weddings, freaking out about posing and being assertive and in control without being mean and annoying. Double checking your gear and trying to memorize the bridesmaids names Kelsey, Kayla Carly Kylie, Kendall, Chloe Courtney Kim, Kenzie, Christina and Caitlin. Worried about parking details for your second shooter getting them all aligned and prepped and ready to go while you’re actively photographing the bride getting dressed. As wedding photographers, we already have a ton on our minds. While we’re juggling our own worries and our own stresses of the day. We’re also trying to create a stress free environment for our couples and the wedding party. We are being pulled in seven different directions at once, and put on an insane amount of pressure on ourselves to stay organized with a positive attitude, while creating fine art images on a budget during all of this craziness who has time to think about creating content.
You know those moments when the bride is freaking out, the first look just ended. They just had the moment between the two of them. And then guests are starting to arrive and your bride is wanting to go hide. While we still have wedding photos to take the hustle during the reception to sneak away into the sunset and then running for your dear life back to the reception hall. back up the stairs to the getting ready area to grab her veil to slip it back on before the sun drops. Or those moments of peace when we finally get to sit for a breath of fresh air and eat our vendor meal on our lap in the lounge area or standing at the cocktail bar who is thinking about whipping out their phone and capturing content? Me!
I’m your girl during the chaos is the perfect time to document moments of the wedding day. Now, you may be thinking, um, no thanks. There’s already a million things going on. And I’m not creating more work for myself. But what if I told you babe that that’s the point. Legit.
I want to help you book more business. Fill your calendar with Dream couples boost a ton of local and hot referrals and increase your value, not just your prices. Today, I’ll be sharing my content toolkit for your next wedding so you can confidently capture a ton of behind the scenes at your next wedding. It’s really that easy baby. All we have to do is capture video on our iPhone, take some pics, tag vendors and share online. This is a framework I developed over the last 15 years and I’d say since the release of stories on Instagram in 2016. My business really blew up. Want to know my secrets. Let’s get this party started.
Welcome to Quianna Marie weekly, a podcast for creatives who love to celebrate wins big or small by dancing in the kitchen photographers who are excited to serve their clients and friends who are ready to chase really, really big dreams. You can find all of the resources mentioned in this episode at quiannamarie.com/podcast. Join me as I share weekly motivation, chat about growing pains, finding genuine connections and celebrating your wins through the lens of a photographer at heart. Come join me for a dance party ready loves, let’s go!
Today’s episode is sponsored by the free guide Book More Weddings, grab this free download in the show notes or in the shop before your next wedding. If you’re a visual person like me, this podcast will help create a ton of ideas and action items for you. But this guide will help make it all make sense. This is also a great tool to share with your second shooters as well send them the link and have them learn these and like soak up these quick and easy key tips before your next wedding.
This will help amplify your brand. build confidence in your second shooter for like really easy things kind of like a cheat sheet or things to look for. But make sure you grab that guide. Let’s break down the toolkit for easy wedding day content creation. Now before I share all these super easy key tips and tricks I first want to share why? Why it’s important to document your wedding days with as many behind the scenes clips as possible. BTS videos are just behind the scenes videos help add so much value. You can share these clips. Think of them like digital Polaroids with your couples. They’ll love them and be so grateful to have these instant moments of their day to share. They create credibility for your business.
And it’s an incredible, totally free way to market your business. and support other vendors as well. If that all sounds nice, and you know, maybe you’re still on the fence about it, uh, let me sell it to you. With a bank of real wedding day content, you’ll be able to easily stay relevant and show up online simply by sharing the work you’re already doing. I know you’re busy, I know you’re working hard.
But I also know you’re hoping to increase your pricing and looking forward to being a bit more picky and strategic with your clients and not just desperately booking as many weddings that pop up in your inbox. Sounds good. Let’s crack open this toolkit.
The first thing you need is your phone. Many of our cameras have the ability to record video, which I think is really fancy. And honestly, like a whole different world. Like that’s a whole other beast video is crazy. And I give so much props to videographers. But for this content creation, you just need your phone, I suggest grabbing a tripod. But honestly, that’s just one more thing to carry on a wedding day and keep track of my Yeti works great.
So water bottles, wine bottles are great, or even asking a bridesmaid to hold your phone and record works wonders to no need to get fancy. Let’s talk about strategy. So you’re not just recording a whole bunch of random moments throughout the day, I really encourage you to be intentional about it. So what should we be looking for on a wedding day, I’m going to break down for you six different kinds of like types of video to capture. So you have this running list in the back of your mind. So even if you don’t quite have the strategy, or you don’t know the captions, or what type of video or trend you can relate these things to, I think it’s important to just have that Bank of content that you can reference. So number one is the location, highlight the venue and where you offer your services, tag the location and include hashtags to pop up on local searches.
Now, location is really important because a lot of us don’t have brick and mortar shops, right? Like we don’t have our own studios. Some of us do. And that’s incredible. But most of us are working out of our home offices are at our kitchen tables, right? So it’s really important to actually document those wide shots of the venue, or really big landmarks.
So people are familiar with where you are. So for example, when I was in California, I shot a lot of weddings in the Napa Valley and in wine country out in like Morgan Hill area, all the way up to the San Francisco Bay. And then of course, a ton of weddings near Santa Cruz, which is our like local beach and near San Francisco as well. So I was really strategic about sharing, hey, this is where I’m located. This is my territory. And that’s how people can easily identify you.
Then obviously, it’s a great way for people who are searching for those venues to find you as well. Number two is education. So I want you to really think about sprinkling moments throughout the day where you’re thinking, oh my gosh, More Brides need to know about this. Or wouldn’t it be so amazing if all bridesmaids made a playlist for the morning of the wedding. Or gosh, you know, I wish groomsmen would just arrive dressed right?
Whatever you’re thinking in your mind throughout a wedding day. This is something that we should be sharing, right? So sprinkle in tips and tricks and ways that you can be the SuperHero on wedding days and showcase that you’re a pro. Number three emotion. Okay, so this is really easy, because wedding days are so incredibly emotional. But I don’t know about you. But like sometimes when I think of emotion, I always think of sad, right or like very sentimental, but I think it’s really fun to capture the dance moves.
The high vibes, like really just happy moments too. So when I say emotion, don’t just think of like, you know, first liquid dad or you know, like all like the sad and happy tears. I call those like happy tears, right? Don’t just think of those moments think of the high vibes to So pause and capture the emotional moments like dance parties. The first look and dreamy sunsets are wonderful to capture.
Those are all pieces of emotion that are going to add so much value to your behind the scenes clips. Alright, number four promotion. Don’t forget to show off your talents post about your offers and sell yourself online. promote yourself as a local favorite and that your business is in demand. So another reason why I love creating this just think of content is you have the opportunity to share. Hey, guess what? It’s Friday. It’s Saturday, I’m working and I’m busy. And even on those slower months where maybe it is like the thick of wedding season but maybe you have two weekends off where you’re not booked and you kind of wish you were okay without lying and being like totally sneaky. This is totally just marketing your business.
You can share clips of a past wedding, right so you’re not posting online. Look where I am today. You’re not late. I’m deliberately lying that you are somewhere that you’re not. But people are watching, but they’re also not watching that closely. So even the fact that you’re just sharing a clip of a bouquet or a couple walking out of a ceremony or something, right, like, think of those ways that you can create many commercials for yourself with these behind the scenes clips!
Number five, personality, let your goofy self shine online, share your quirks and ways that you go above and beyond for your couples and their families. People are watching post it so when I say people are watching in my heart when I like first wrote this out is like the thought is people are watching in real life. So I want you to think of those moments where you’re opening the door for the florist and helping her pull her cart through Right. Or you’re helping one of the little flower girls tie her tap tap shoes, or you’re just you’re just creating these moments where you’re helpful back again to like educating where you’re showcasing that you’re a pro and that you’re a superhero on those days, like how are you and your personality making an impact on that day.
And I also I have this download to share right now that’s coming through, like if your personality is not super extroverted, and your personality is not like, I’m going to help as many people today and right like you’re you’re wearing so many other hats than just being the photographer and the document or of the day, if your personality is a little bit more shy is a little bit more quiet and reserved.
That’s even more of a reason to share, right? Because you’re going to attract that type of personality. And not always, I mean, you know, I have a lot of incredible clients that I love dearly that have very different personalities than mine. But my point is, is that if you’re hearing this and you’re like, Yeah, but that’s just not me. Like I’m not, I’m not putting myself out there. And I’m not like really sharing my personality like, this is the time to shine and share you like you are the vase and the magic behind your business. So it’s a beautiful way to capture those moments. Another thing that I love too about personality too, is I’ve shared a lot and this is just so silly.
But I’ve shared a lot about how much I love Cheez Its, and I can’t tell you how many times my brides have included those and they’re getting ready like you know boxes, and they’ve gifted me Jesus on the wedding day, right.
So this is just me, I’m sharing my, my, the things I love and your brides and your couples are going to want to be a part of that too. All right, and number six vendors, don’t forget to include video clips of vendors working and their final touches of decor to show off their work to they’ll be beyond thrilled to share it. So okay, this is the perfect thing.
And I left it as number six, like the last idea of you know, moments to look for for behind the scenes. And it’s honestly the easiest, because not only are you just kind of capturing the day, but I want you to think of moments where you can knock out as many vendors as possible. So let’s say you’re stressing, and you’re thinking, oh gosh, this is just too overwhelming, like I can’t do this.
Moments before and you know, we all do this when we’re standing in front of the ceremony and we’re waiting for people to find their seats and I don’t know maybe there’s like an aunt or grandmother that I call them like VIP guests that haven’t arrived yet. So maybe we’re running just a couple minutes behind waiting for those people to arrive like you know that feeling where we’re at the front of the aisle and everybody’s staring This is a great opportunity to kind of walk like into the middle of the aisle or to the side and then grab just a quick little video that kind of pans the entire space.
And I want you to think about that for a second where how many vendors can you knock off your list with that one sweep right so obviously you’re tagging the venue you’re tagging the florist and the wedding planner and you rentals right like the chairs the arbor if there’s any, like trinkets or little flower vases things and candles down the aisle like you can knock out so many vendors and that’s not even including the cake lady or hair and makeup styling team right like even though they’re not directly you know in that clip yet unless of course your couple in the wedding party are in there.
It’s a great opportunity for them to actually share that and and show that they are part of the wedding day as well. It’s just great promotion for everybody. So going back to vendors I suggest capturing as many wide shots of vendors and this is kind of like the go to it’s kind of like that the best way for you like not to fail when it comes to capturing behind the scenes is just default to capturing vendors it makes it so much easier when you have them in mind.
Which is also why like I mentioned before you have to grab this free guide you guys it is packed with so much information and like it’s just a great cheat sheet for you for your next wedding. So make sure to grab that it’s called book more weddings. It’s literally in my bag. On Instagram, it’s on my website, you can find it really easily. And now I kind of want to break down a kind of like a scavenger hunt for you.
Okay, this is a wedding challenge. It’s kind of a way for you to have more prompts without feeling flustered on the wedding day. Okay, so I’m gonna kind of like rapid fire these to you. fun videos of the couple. Okay, so I want you to think about moments that you can either like capture or create. So sneaky first look moments, obviously the vow exchange during the ceremony and dreamy sunset portraits. These are so simple, like you’re literally photographing the wedding. And I know that there are so many stressful moments.
But on a wedding day, there’s also a couple moments that you were kind of waiting around, right, so look for these moments, helpful videos for vendors. Alright, so once again, going back to vendors, a bouquet scan of all the bridesmaids during portraits, a quick video of the cake, and of course, hair and makeup during the glam squad. So I love making a time lapse of My Bride getting ready. Obviously, she’s like, you know, she’s covered up and making sure there’s like no boob slippage coming out of her robe. And, you know, she’s sitting in a flattering pose. And nobody is changing near her right.
So we have to be like extra cautious and careful about what we are not only what we’re capturing, but we’re absolutely putting online right. So like, I love getting time lapse of that, because it’s just a great way to capture a whole bunch of information and like 30 like three seconds, right? It’s so fast. Share your personality, grab a video of you organizing family formals. So I have one of my favorite videos ever. It was at my friend Christina’s wedding at Casa rial. It was in California. And it’s just a shot of me zooming by so it was actually a hyperlapse. And I think my phone was going for a couple minutes.
So the hyperlapse was actually really long. And all you can see is just the wedding party flooding in and out just the guys just the girl’s family. It was just so much chaos going on. But it looked like it went really smooth, right. So that’s a great clip that you can easily turn into a real into a tic toc. Just having not is gonna be huge. share a video of you attaching a veneer. So if you are a boon near attach or like we I feel like we’re pros at that by now. I know we’re like busy in the moment and needs to get done. But as a groomsmen it should just either capture a quick iPhone pic of you doing it or better yet a video like it will go a long way with that. And then of course grab a selfie with you and your couple.
This is so important. I learned this tip from Caitlin James. She’s been doing this for years and I have adopted this a long time ago, I typically will grab those after the first look because the lighting to me is just so much better. Typically it’s during the day before the ceremony. And then of course, if that doesn’t happen, during the first look at then I try to grab a selfie or a cute video behind the scenes after sunset portraits. And if that still doesn’t happen if things get chaotic and we don’t have time, then of course when I’m like giving them a hug goodbye.
That’s when we tried to grab that into the night picture. All right now cocktail hour snaps, signature drink clinks or pouring champagne. That’s like a super easy video clip for you to grab or whether you are grabbing a couple of super cute guests or sometimes I try to find a wedding guest that doesn’t quite match the bridesmaids. But her dress kind of goes with the colors or goes really well with her signature drink. And I’ll ask her and I’m also being crazy, but like I look for nails too. So if a girl doesn’t necessarily she does not have to have her nails done. I’m not trying to say that.
But it does help if she has a cute manicure or her nails look very natural. I’ll ask her to hold it for me and then just do a cute little boomerang or a little clip with her. And you know her wedding guests. That’s really fun. Guests playing long games. Super easy, right? I mean, we’re waiting for cocktail hour to wrap up these are once again these are all things that your second shooter can be grabbing for you as well. But it just shows life and then going on in the wedding day.
Then of course the guests go details. Sometimes those can be so creative and beautiful and they often showcase our work right like from our engagement sessions. So key tip for you. Make sure you sign the guestbook. Okay, so like I have this little saying that I always sign I say something like keep smiling XOXO, Quianna. Or I say, may you always be as happy as you are today. And then like I leave a little signature, but that’s something like obviously it’s not like front and center with all the guests but they kind of sneak it into the back or like maybe if it says board that everybody’s signing or something. I’ll kind of like hide it. But I love that because I feel like it’s my couples can look forward to and it’s just once again, like a timestamp of us being present on their wedding day.
Okay, we’re keep going with this challenge here. I hope you’re still paying attention. You’re still here with me. Yeah. Reception moments, wide scan of the tables. That’s an easy one, close up details of the tablescape.
I always try to think about capturing content like a forensic like crime scene and I know that sounds horrible to, to like relate that to a wedding day. But like that’s how my brain works when it comes to like capturing the scene, right. So think about going really wide. And I’m talking like, walk across the street, get a shot of the venue from, you know, the parking lot or from far away. And then obviously the wide shot of all the tables, the dance floor and all the things and then get really close, like get a really cute closeup of just the florals on the tables or their their number. Their table numbers, right, like those are so easy to capture, and your couples really going to appreciate it.
And then of course, the cake and dessert table. All right, and then dancing details, this will be the last little challenge for you. Don’t forget, of course, the first dance. So once again, I know we’re busy, I know we’re bouncing around. But sometimes first dances can be a little long, I’m not gonna lie, like literally after you have like 10 to 15 photos. And you know that they’re like, they’re good, and they’re clear, and they’re well lit. Sometimes we’re just kind of like walking around and watching them right. So like without your phone, capture a nice little first dance moment.
Don’t forget a night scan of twinkling lights. So this is a great way for, obviously your couples to appreciate their night, but then also for other people who are interested in booking that venue for them to like, get an idea of what it looks like. And then of course, wedding party and guests cutting up the dance floor. This is the time to capture so much fun. And once again, this is my big sister advice. Like if you’re putting this online, be very, very respectful and very like aware of what you’re sharing, right? So if people are like really getting crazy and getting sweaty and like doing some like super provocative like dance move, like that’s not going online, right.
If there’s a clip of the groomsmen being lifted up on a chair with all the groomsmen just like cheering for him, right? Like, those are the moments that capture. So you know, that’s the type of stuff that we should be looking for.
So I hope that this kind of gives you honestly like a breath of fresh air to just remind you that you’re already doing the work baby, you’re showing up, you’re delivering an incredible wedding experience. What’s missing I see for a lot of us photographers is that we’re not sharing it online, we’re relying on this like word of mouth referral system, which is, which is totally working like you could absolutely gain a ton of genuine referrals from the wedding party from wedding guests and other vendors. I mean, this is what I preach. And this is what I live by only this is what built my business.
I will say it wasn’t until I started sharing Instagram Stories, creating those reels, creating really fun and engaging posts online and social media that my business really blew up. I was able to increase my pricing, I was able to book a lot less weddings. So I don’t know about you, but I feel like it’s kind of like cool, right? Like it’s, it once was really cool to have like 40 to 50 Weddings on the calendar as a wedding photographer.
Well, I’m here to tell you that like I’m burnt out like I’m so tired. I am not booking that many weddings, I would say a full calendar for me, realistically. And the last couple years, it’s been about 15 Weddings like 15 to 20 weddings, so half of that. And then for 2023 alone, I’m fully booked. And I only have I think six weddings on the calendar like I’m done. I’ve maxed out my pricing, I’m very happy with where my price point is now. And I’m grateful for the weddings that I’m doing. And I’m making full disclosure, like I wish I had a big cyst that told me this back in the day. I’m making as much as I did not like now, as I did when I was working those 40 to 45 weddings a year. I’m just working way more intentionally, and I want to help you get there too.
Okay, so a quick and fast and efficient way to booking more weddings, increasing your value, which comes with increasing your pricing. Obviously, what’s next is just capturing behind the scenes. Okay, so I hope you find this helpful. Check out the shop, the resource garden. It’s at quiannamarie.com/shop for more education on this. I am so pumped to help you shine online.
All right, babe. I hope you have a beautiful day and cannot wait to see this behind the scenes if you have a wedding coming up. And you’re excited to capture some behind the scenes. Or maybe you have some questions before you are actually going big on that. Like please reach out to me send me an email send me a DM I would love to hear from you. That’s a wrap on another episode of Quianna Marie weekly. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. You can find the resources and show notes for this episode and more at quiannamarie.com/podcast. I’d be honored if you show your support by leaving a review and rating on your favorite podcast app. Until next time, keep on dancing