Melissa Mannion November 27th, 2008
I find it difficult to believe but I have come to the end of the 2008 wedding season. Thinking back to this time last year I remember looking forward to my 2008 weddings, all of the couples I met were so lovely. I had taken a bit of a gamble and completely changed my wedding package. I went from offering a basic package with the option of adding on additional things after the wedding such as an album. In theory this worked very well but in practice I found that couples would putting off getting an album despite wanting one. So after all my effort to take the very best photos that I could- to process each one individually on the computer to make it look its best the stack of 6×4 photos probably ended up languishing in a cupboard, drawer or (shiver!) cardboard box somewhere.
And to be completely honest, there was another more selfish reason for disliking my previous ‘a la carte’ style of pricing. I had no way of predicting how much income I would have. Perhaps every couple would order an album, perhaps nobody would. In order ot prepare for the latter case I needed to take on more weddings than I felt comfortable with- in 2007 this meant I shot and processed 52 weddings. This was a very heavy workload for someone who is a bit of a perfectionist and I burned the candle at every end possible.
It was a workload that I couldn’t maintain without letting my personal life or my work suffer so I needed to come up with a plan. If I knew that each couple would get an album I could definitely cut down the number of weddings I need to do so I came up with a package that includes an album. Here is where the gamble comes in- I made it my one and only package. I included everything that I could think of that couples would be interested in; including a proof book, an album and all of the printable images on DVD. This was in addition to the online gallery and slideshow that I had previously provided.
The other upshot of this for me was that due to the increased price it ensured that I would be working with couples who really value good photography. When I was starting out I had many many wonderful couples but I did occasionally get couples who would tell me they were ‘not too bothered about the photography.’ Understandably this would take the wind out of my sails a bit!
So, I took the gamble and I can now report that it worked out well both for myself and for my couples. Due to a more manageable workload I can now focus (pardon the pun!) more time, energy and enthusiasm on each wedding. Many of my couples are enjoying their wedding albums with more to follow shortly. I will do a separate post in the future about why I feel the wedding album is such an important keepsake but it is something that I feel strongly about.
I am so sorry for rambling on so much but I am in an end of the wedding season reflective sort of mood! I am a very tough critic of my own photography and am constantly striving to improve my work through online forums and attending workshops. One method of assessing my work that I have found particularly helpful has been putting together an end of the year slideshow as it gives me the opportunity to review the year’s work. I have just finished this year’s show and am very pleased with it. All of the images used were taken by myself- I have had the pleasure of working with two very talented photographers as assistants this year- Mike Patterson and Angelo Mercone and they have each captured many amazing images but I prefer to only use my own work in the end of year slideshow.
If you have managed to read this entire post, bless you, and I would love to hear any comments you might have about my show.
If I photographed your wedding this year thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to capture such a special day for you, it is an unbelievable privilege.
So, without further ado…(there has been far too much ado already I think!)