On Saturday, I photographed my last wedding of the season.
No, not just of the wedding season, but for this season of my life.
It’s been something I’ve been wrestling with for quite a bit since Lucy has been born. Last fall when I was getting all my inquiries, I was also spending 99% of my time beside a hospital bed with my daughter. To say I was distracted and uninterested in furthering my business was an understatement. I did my best to respond to potential 2014 clients but in the end I only booked a meagre 3 weddings. I never advertised, my page sat un-updated for quite a while, and I often was late in responding to inquiries. I told Dave that I was done with the stress of the wedding industry and trying to compete in such a flooded market but he encouraged me to at least wait it out one season with Lucy to see how I could handle it.
In the end I decided it wasn’t fair to either my clients, or to Lucy to be doing both. I feel like wedding photography is in a category of crazy that is so different from any other genre of photography. People plan for two years ahead for a one day event, and it’s my job to make sure it looks like the most perfect day that ever happened. No pressure, right? I used to be able to deal with it, but since Lucy’s birth I found myself constantly anxious about things like “how will Lucy be the day of the wedding with someone else?” (she doesn’t eat for anyone but me generally), or “how the heck am I supposed to edit a cohesive wedding story if I can’t sit down at the computer for longer than an hour at a time?” (she doesn’t nap well…at all).
It’s been a difficult decision because I love being a wedding photographer. I love capturing such an important day for people and telling their stories, and it’s always an honour to be trusted with such an important role.
I am not planning on closing my business though. I have a vision for a style of more candid family photography in and around clients homes that I’m hoping to launch in fall. I’ve always had the package for this on my website, but with no examples to go by it hasn’t been something that people have been able to see my vision. This summer I will be working on getting that figured out.
I’m feeling very relaxed about this decision to bow out of the wedding industry. I can’t wait to explore some new avenues of my photography business in the future.
Oh, hi! I’ve been working hard this past little while at finishing this lovely wedding. Hop on over to my Photography site and check out the rest of the shots! It’s a good’n.
Meanwhile…I sit and drink gallons of water in preparation for my ultrasound today. I’ll probably post later on today the results! Stay tuned, fellow internetters.
Folks, I need to chat about wedding photography…and I hope this doesn’t come out as whiny.
A few years ago I was about ready to give up wedding photography completely. I had a terrible (terrible) wedding experience that left me feeling like I was unable (or unwilling?) to deal with rowdy hectic weddings. After that wedding (which was at the end of the season) I made the decision to not advertise for the next season and see what would happen. So last summer I took it easy with weddings, only taking ones that felt right. Suddenly, after doing some amazing weddings for people that appreciated my work (and not just a price point), I had new passion for the industry and was excited to do more.
Of course, fall/winter of 2012 happened (if you are unaware of my goings on of fall/winter 2012, read about it HERE). For that reason, I didn’t advertise, and even turned away work, which was foolish…but there you go.
This all leads up to now…
I really want to be doing more wedding photography, but I am completely stumped as to how to get the word out about my business. I have seen the way some other photographers advertise on facebook with contests and specials. This does not speak to me at all. I would feel like I was selling out if I gave out deals like “Book TODAY and get 25% off your wedding!”
So how does one advertise in a classy way? I tried google ads, paid facebook ads (none of which seemed to yield anything). I hand out business cards whenever I can. In the end though, advertising for myself feels SO uncomfortable. Despite my clients being over the top happy with their pictures and vowing to tell everyone about me, the word of mouth aspect doesn’t seem to travel very far.
What do you think? What get’s you to share someones photography? What kind of advertising would grab your attention?
I just want to take pictures. The end.
Guys. I can’t imagine many things cooler than getting to sing jazz, wear a dress like this…and get paid for it.
Last night Courteney Rodda and the Other Guys had their first wedding gig. I was pretty stoked. It was a small wedding in an old retro hall outside of town. As I was driving out, I passed an old gas station and convenience store (that look like that haven’t been updated since 1948) and felt a little like I went through a time warp. And with our band playing music no older than 1960 (and looking the part too), I hoped the guests also felt like they went through a time warp. ;)
We got a lot of really good feedback from the wedding guests, but more importantly the bride and groom were over the moon delighted with us which, of course, is all that really matters in the end.
Seriously though…I can’t even believe I’m lucky enough to get paid to sing jazz to people. It’s beyond cool. I should also mention (speaking of beyond cool) that our band was recently competed with the addition of our stand up bass player, the super talented Mr. Brent Friesen.
Not to brag (ok…actually I’m totally bragging) but the band is a total class act. If you know someone getting married (or if you are getting married) I (and the rest of the band) would be tickled pink to play music at your event. If you want more info, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org Or take a listen to the tracks we have up online on our (very bare looking) website: www.courteneyrodda.com/andtheotherguys
PS: I have officially fallen in love with this dress. Oh. My. Last night when I came home from the show I was about ready to collapse into bed and I thought…”Must. Photograph. Dress.” So I pretended to look awake while I posed for the camera. I need more occasions to wear this thing. Can someone invite me to a fancy party?
Just popping in quickly to share the link to a wedding that I did recently of some lovely friends of mine. I can’t help but share the joy. It was a perfect day. Check out the pictures (and other weddings if you like) at my photography website here: Courteney Rodda Photographic Services