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Networking With Other Wedding Freelancers

A big part of getting new business when you are first starting out as a wedding photographer, or really any freelance business person, is to network with other freelancers in your circle of influence. The easiest way to do this is to talk to the other "work" at the next wedding you shoot and be sure to have some business cards on hand to pass out (don't be stingy!). Some good candidates for wedding networking are going to be freelancers or businesses that you can "trade out" services for:

  • Cake makers / bakers - These guys/gals need you! They need professional photos of their cakes and baked goodies for their portfolios. Offer to take some free high resolution, well lit shots of their next wedding cake for free as an incentive for their good word to the next bride or MOB/FOB about how AMAZING your wedding photography is. This is a win-win because you can use these shots for your portfolio as well as getting some great word of mouth recommendations.
  • Caterers - same as cake people, caterers have portfolios that usually look like crap and would love to have some pro photos done of their "spreads".
  • Flower Shops / Arrangers - these people work with their bride's artistic and creative side and will be willing to suggest you if your style is compatible with the bride's flower and color scheme.
  • Wedding planners - getting in with a few high profile wedding planners is HUGE. You will always be booked up, because these people make all the important decisions for the wedding that the parents or couple don't want to make. The wedding planner will have a huge influence on these type of weddings and if you're really that good, the planner will always suggest you. Examples of trade-outs with a planner can be things like professional head shots for their public image and wide shots of the final put together reception hall or auditorium for their portfolios.
  • Musicians - do a few artsy shots of the band next time and forward them on to the leader with a hopeful note that they would recommend you or link to your pictures on the band's website.
  • Officiants / Pastors - Don't ever tick off a pastor. Do the opposite. Make sure the pastor's wishes are followed to the T and if you have time offer to do a free head shot or two and some great look exterior shots of the church for the church's website with a nicely worded request for a link to you. The trick is to get your name floating around and be the first choice in the pastor's head when he thinks of "photographer".
Anytime you talk with another wedding business person or freelancer, hand them at least 2 business cards and tell them to feel free to pass the others along to potential clients. Soon you'll have clients calling like crazy to meet with you. Put your name out whenever and wherever you can!

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