Empower Them: gathering images and videos for your firm’s portfolio

Here’s another quick tip in our EMPOWER THEM series!

Every week, we’ll give you an idea for a quick, easy task that you can delegate to your apprentices during their internship, that’ll help them learn more about what it takes to be an event planner and how to run an event planning business.

photo credit: Christina Carroll Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

photo credit: Christina Carroll Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

When you delegate tasks to your interns, they learn real, hands-on skills in the events industry and you’re empowering your team to be more connected in how your firm operates.    

Are you ready to save time and look like a superhero to your prospective brides?

photo credit: Christina Carroll Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

photo credit: Christina Carroll Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

Raise your hand if you’ve been here:

You’ve just produced an INCREDIBLE wedding this past weekend.  Gorgeous design details, floral and tablescapes to DIE FOR and a bride/groom that should totally be featured in the Real Weddings section of Brides Magazine.

The problem is…you never got the photos from the photographer, post-wedding.

It’s not the photographer’s fault…Just like you, they moved on to the next wedding in their ever-busy calendar.  Things are moving lightning fast and sometimes, we all just forget to update our online event portfolio.

Well, not anymore.

TIP: create a tracking system for your apprentices to gather photos and videos after every wedding, in order to add them to your online event portfolio.

Here’s how to do it in three easy steps:
  1. Create a Google Drive spreadsheet listing out all of your client events, in order of their event date.  Create a tab at bottom for each year (ex: 2014 Events, 2015 Events, so on and so forth).  In this spreadsheet, list the client names, venue, event date, event photographer, lead planner’s name like this: job-code-sheet
  2. Then, add a column to the right that says, “request for photos/video made” and tag the date the request was made on, to keep track of who your team has talked to and when.
  3. Once the photos/videos have been received, create a column that says “media received, yes/no” and tick YES.

Why Google Drive?  It ensures that no matter who is handling the spreadsheet, there is always a current, up-to-date version saved on the cloud.  Also, multiple people can access this spreadsheet at the same time on Google drive.  So, if one apprentice is working on chasing up photos for four weddings, another apprentice could be working on four others.

photo credit: Christina Carroll Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

photo credit: Christina Carroll Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

Word to the wise…

  • When your apprentice is contacting your wedding photographers and videographers, I highly recommend you put together a script for them to use, so they don’t fumble their words in the first few calls/emails.
  • Apprentices: be friendly, positive and courteous to your vendors.  Remind them, vendor relations is KEY as you’ll likely work with these vendors over and over again.  Don’t be demanding or pushy…they are busy folks, just like you.
  • You also want to make sure your photographers/videographers know that your firm will ALWAYS tag these images with the appropriate photo credits whenever you use them, either on your website, blog or elsewhere. Remind your photographers that you take this seriously…and will make sure to tell prospective brides who the photographer/videographer is, so you can refer more clients their way.  If you’ve got a great working relationship with your vendors, this should be a no-brainer for them and they’ll get you the images quickly.
  • If possible, it’s always ideal if they can give you low-res (aka. web ready images) and high-res (aka. great for printing) versions of the images.  Most times, photographers will create folders of the images, editing down to the very best ones…pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, details shots, bride/groom photos, bridal party photos.
  • To make things easy on your photographer, just ask for whatever they’ve supplied to your bride, so it’ll be easy for them to burn another copy of the CD of images…or send you a link to download images from dropbox or smugmug.
  • Check the client’s contract with the photographer/videographer to see what their turnaround time is to get these images/videos to the client.  The client comes FIRST…they ALWAYS get their images first, before you do.  Always.  (most times, photographers have a 8-10 week turnaround…videographers tend to have 3-6 month turnaround.)
  • Ask your photographer/videographer if they’ve got any blogs or magazines in mind that they would like to submit this wedding for publishing…some blogs/magazines require that these images are NOT published anywhere before they are published on their medium first.  So, its important you and your photographer/videographer are on the same page with your publishing strategy so the images aren’t leaked on your blog, risking the chance of it getting published.

Fresh, new images on your website and blog will attract more and more prospective brides to your firm.  Show them the best of the best of your work!

what skills the apprentice learns:

  • vendor relations

  • marketing and importance of having great images in your portfolio

  • organizational skills – keeping track of who they’ve called and when, following up in a timely manner

  • post-wedding marketing strategies – getting weddings published to blogs

Try it out this week…and let us know how it works!

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