As a wedding photographer, you have to be both the artistic talent behind the brand name – and the CFO (along with the other thousand business-related hats you have to wear).
When it comes to what you offer your clients, your Chief Financial Officer hat has to be front and center. Otherwise? You can’t build and price your services according to your financial goals. But, you have to balance that with offering your potential clients a service they will swoon over (in the best way possible).
So, what should a wedding photography package include to make it 100% irresistible to them? We’re breaking that down here:
Our biggest take on this topic? Don’t offer something you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do it, and if you’re not excited about doing it for a client, then you’ll end up with less-than-spectacular results.
That can leave your clients feeling jilted. And it can potentially harm your reputation, since they may not leave you glowing remarks.
We know it’s going to be easy and tempting to check out other destination wedding photographers’ sites to see what they’re offering. But just know that what they’re offering might not align with your business goals. And if that’s the case, no law or rule says your wedding photography packages must include those deliverables.
So, some of our best advice (by the way, which we share practically all of in our Ticket to Destination Wedding Photography course), is to create photo packages that offer services that make you excited to deliver them.
With our opinion in mind, how about we talk about the services that are most often seen included in wedding packages?
In the grand scheme of things, the deliverables are usually the same. There are some variations here and there. For the most part, though, we’re serving one major thing – wedding day photo coverage!
The essentials come down to two parts of the “one major thing” –
But whether they’re shooting locally or in epic destinations, everyone will have their own twists and styles on how they button up their offers. For some, that looks like 8-hour wedding photography packages. For others that might be a 10 or a 6-hour service.
So, you’ll need to figure out what you want to offer as the essentials, and then put together a full service that way.
When you create your packages, you want to balance what you want to do and what your client wants you to do. Where you meet in the middle is where you’ll find your packages.
It goes deeper than telling them “I’ll cover 8 hours of your wedding day,” because that’s usually what other destination wedding photographers also offer. And if that’s all you offer them, then they’ll be forced to “price shop,” which means they’re going to try and find the photographer with the lowest price.
Instead of causing that scenario, you can create a wedding photography package that makes them feel as if it’s a no-brainer to book with you! Now, that doesn’t have to mean that you offer exorbitant services for the cheapest cost. But it does mean you create value in your packages.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Add-ons are extras that your clients can opt into to customize their packages. The reason we suggest having these as add-ons is that not every client of yours will want these.
For example, we have many clients who plan a multi-day experience for them and their guests in their destination wedding location. So, we offer additional coverage to capture all of those experiences.
But not every client of ours plans to have multiple days that they need captured. That’s exactly why we offer it as an additional service instead of tying it in with our standard packages.
Other wedding photography add-ons include:
Whatever you feel will get you excited to work and what your clients will love – you can offer it as an add-on.
Sometimes, when it comes to what a wedding photography package should include to make it 100% irresistible, it’s not about adding more value.
It’s about showcasing the value that’s already there.
So, when you’re thinking about what a wedding photography package includes, don’t get caught up in thinking that you have to keep offering more. Chances are, what you’re offering is already enough!
Now, it’s a matter of presenting it in a way that makes your clients give a resounding, “YES. This is what I want!”
Once you know what services you want to offer your potential clients, you’ll want to “dress them up” so to speak.
Here’s the thing. Imagine ordering a brand new Apple iPhone. And it arrives in a plain white, flimsy box. No branding. No clue or blatant statement about what it is. Nothing. Just a plain. White. Box. And yet, you dropped over a thousand on the phone!
Now, imagine you sitting down with your clients. And you’ve already had a great chat. You know they’re your ideal clients, and they seem like they’re so thrilled to work with you. Of course, they know you’re going to cost thousands of dollars to cover their wedding, they’re just trying to figure out exactly how much.
And then you hand them a white, printed-out Google Doc with the services typed up.
While it seems like a small portion of the overall process, it’s actually a major part of the entire client experience. For someone who’s investing money into having their wedding day captured, they want to be wowed from start to finish!
So, take a little bit of time and put effort and creativity into how you present your wedding photography collections! Dress them up in a Canva template or an InDesign template. There are plenty you can purchase for relatively inexpensive prices on Etsy and Creative Market.
Your words go a long way. Copywriting is not just part of selling your wedding photography packages, it’s a major element of it. Whenever you’re not talking directly (like out loud!) to your potential clients, your copy should be doing so in some way.
We’re not necessarily saying you should consider naming your photography packages. Sometimes that can do you more harm than good because unless it flows very well, it can lessen the “wow” factor you’re going for.
But choosing the right words to convey the experience can create perceived value in your clients’ minds. For example, if you’re offering luxury, romantic wedding photography services, then maybe you don’t use the word “packages.” Instead, you do say:
View Our Wedding Photography Collections
For Vic and I at Lilly Red, we’re catering to bold, fashionable couples who want to experience the world around them. Not only that, but these couples want to create an experience for themselves and their guests at their wedding.
So, naturally, we use that word when we talk about our wedding photography packages. You won’t see the word “package” on our site. Instead, you’ll see “experiences.”
This really does depend on your ideal client and what’s going to resonate with them. That’s why knowing your ideal client inside and out is so important!
And once again, words are taking us further when it comes to showcasing the value of your wedding photography collections.
Since they’re so powerful, they can take your client from thinking, “Okay, 8 hours of coverage,” to “Oh wow, this photographer is going to capture these memories that we’ll get to have for a lifetime.”
You can do that by painting a picture for your client, instead of just telling them what they’re getting.
Tell me this! What sounds better to you:
When you paint the picture so your client truly envisions and understands what they’re getting out of your services, you’ve immediately made your expertise completely worth it!
The tiered service approach involves creating three photography packages – a minimum viable option, your middle ground, and your high-end offer.
To start this, create your minimum viable option. This is the package that includes the bare minimum that you’d be willing to get out of bed to shoot.
Then, create your high-end offer. This is the package that you’d love to shoot, but you know that you can’t do too many of them in a year because it’ll leave you completely exhausted. Plus, it’s an offer that’s usually a stretched budget for your couples. But, if you don’t offer it at all then you definitely won’t sell it.
Finally, build your middle ground offer. This one is the sweet spot. It has just the right amount of coverage and deliverables that your client loves, you love the time involved, and you’re happy with the price of it.
The key here is to place this middle ground offer right next to your high end offer (preferably on the right hand side because people read left to right). This is a type of price anchoring. After all, the best way to sell a $5K watch is to put it right next to a $50K watch. Someone knows the $50K watch is out of budget. But the price of the $5K watch, which does most of the same things, doesn’t look so bad when compared to the $50K next to it.
So some wedding photography packages examples could look like:
Basic Wedding Photography Package:
Signature Wedding Photography Package:
Luxury Wedding Photography Package:
Then, the key is to then present the three options in a way that makes the middle package the most enticing. Because, in reality, that is the most enticing for the majority of your ideal clients!
It’s one of the most asked questions for any destination wedding photographer that’s getting their foot in the door.
So many just take a look at what others are charging, and adapt that same pricing structure.
But the truth is, pricing your wedding photography packages has a lot to do with your own financial goals. And that’s something you have to consider for yourself, instead of looking at what everyone else is doing.
It’s not as simple as “charging what you’re worth,” as many business mentors, coaches, or other photographers would have you believe. There is a lot that goes into determining your pricing, including the cost of doing business (such as equipment and repairs), psychology of pricing and strategies to help you sell your services, your experience, and your signature style (or what makes you different and therefore a commodity). That combined with your financial goals is all on top of your value as a destination wedding photographer.
We dive deeper into how to create and price wedding photography packages in our Ticket to Destination Wedding Photography course. So, if you’re struggling with either figuring out what your wedding photography package should include or finding the right number that makes sense to you (or both), then you won’t want to miss this!