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how to stand out as a wedding photographer

Value used to be measured by adding more and charging less. This traditional way of thinking has lead us as creatives to believe that including more in what we offer while dictating price by comparison of the competition around us is how we will gain the lead in our market. Unfortunately, that has never been more of a lie than it is today and that belief has left wedding photographers across the world struggling to gain traction and momentum in what is so easily discounted as an “over-saturated industry”.

Today, clients want an experience over a product and when we believe that our images are the product we sell, we limit the value we can truly create for the couples who hire us. By believing this, we unconsciously place our businesses in a world of endless struggle and emulation masked as inspiration that doesn’t promote encouragement or individuality. This leaves us with only one choice. If we desire to have a business that not only brings in the profits we want or need but also provides the fulfillment that we are so wildly chasing, we must do something different. We must stand out.

But how do you really stand out? That question can very easily build a wave of anxiety because when you believe that your images are the primary way you stand out in an industry that is focused around photographs, you may forever be lost searching for the answer. 40 million images a day are uploaded to Instagram and in turn, we are slapped in the face 24/7 with the best of the best. An industry is only ever “saturated” when everyone is doing the same thing and the wedding industry is filled with photographers doing the exact same thing as one another yet trying to get different results. This won’t work. Additionally, we only see the highlights of our peers and very rarely, if ever, hear about the flaws. We all know the failures are there, no matter how many followers someone has, but in never seeing these, we trick ourselves into believing that we aren’t good enough or don’t have what it takes to be good enough.

You are good enough. You have what it takes. Every week, we as photographers are venturing out to beautiful places all over the world yet we still know how to make a couple draw your eyes away from the unbelievable 100-ft waterfall cascading down behind them. You are standing amidst an industry of incredibly talented people but you still have the chance and the choice to be seen. I believe in creatives and in everything I do, I want to see them succeed. I strive every single day to elevate and empower creatives I come in contact with because I’ve seen what life is like when you do reach that point that you dreamed of reaching. It’s intoxicating and there is nothing better than feeling completely in the zone. I want nothing more than to help you get to that point if that is what you desire. Below are a few things that I would encourage you to consider if you feel lost in this industry or if you just feel like you are tired of hustling.

1. Get Into Your Community
I’m not saying go to some meet up just to check a box, I mean seek out other photographers in your area that you connect with and that relate with you. Ask someone out to coffee or grab a beer somewhere. Go on a hike. Start building a relationship with someone who understands where you are and in that share the truth about what you are going through with one another. Talk about your struggles but don’t let your conversation sway towards trashing other people. You have enough problems personally to talk about so there is no point in talking about others. Dream with your friends, share ideas, talk about the struggles and be honest. Support will never come until you are honest about the support you need. For those of you who travel often and aren’t in one specific place enough to get into your own community, fuel yourself by jumping into other communities. Host meetups if you have to. You’ll be amazed at how many amazing people are in this industry doing incredible things.

2. Invest In Your Education.
It feels as if our industry has lost a great deal of trust towards educators and that saddens me deeply. As I’ve watched workshops and boutique conferences explode in recent years, I’ve also watched them fail often, never get off the ground, and in attending them, I’ve personally not walked away with actionable’s that I could apply to my own business to further or grow it. Inspiration is pointless if there is no action around it. This lead me to start a workshop that isn’t focused towards me and what I’ve done or accomplished but instead, the sole intention is to provide you with the tools you need to actually make more in your business and to feel more fulfilled immediately. I’m not going to simply say, you be you, I’m going to share the steps to take to feel the confidence you need to truly be you. It’s an incredibly encouraging and empowering day and if you have any desires to make a massive change in how you go about your business, I’d love for you to join me for one of them. Working Less and Making More is a choice you get to make. It’s not something that comes with time, it starts with a shift of your thoughts and mindset today. My next workshop is coming up in Miami, FL on February 27th and you can click below if you are interested in joining!

3. Ask (and Answer) The Tough Questions
What do you believe? Really. What do you think about the world and everything that is going on in it? What opinions do you have about it? Believing in something and standing up for it is difficult, no doubt, but it is everything that makes us who we are. When we fumble through life just existing and being ok with attaching ourselves to what everyone around us believes, we never find who we really are. In sharing these beliefs, we must have discernment. Some people aren’t ready to hear the things you may have to say because we are all at different points on a path and if we force people to understand our view of life on our timeline, we end up missing out on really making change in their lives or allowing them to have an impact of making change in our own.

4. Seek Understanding
Every single person on the planet, no matter who it is, has something to teach you. Do you approach people believing this or are you so wrapped up in thinking you have it all figured out that you can’t hear what the person in front of you is saying? Slow down and listen. Stop talking. Stop thinking as someone else is talking. Learn empathy. Your world will change when you truly seek to understand the things people are trying to communicate because when you learn more about others, you learn more about your self. This can be a catalyst to standing out. No one is sharing feelings obliviously, they are experiencing something and they are processing life. They may even be fumbling with the confidence to say something bigger than what’s coming out and if you never provide the space for them to break through that, you may in turn just be another reason as to why they haven’t been able to express or process something that could help them and possibly even you. Create space for others to grow and others will create space for you grow.

I want you to get to the point in your business that you thrive. I want to assist you in getting to the point that you are unstoppable in what you do. The momentum starts with a choice. This is my mission. This is my purpose. If questions arise, I’m always an open book, ready to answer. Don’t hesitate to shoot me questions in an Instagram message! Feel encouraged today because no one can be you, and that’s a beautiful thing.