Are you eager to start an elopement photography business?
Elopement is a wedding that is purposefully kept small, personal, significant, and real. It displays a true representation of the bond between the couple, and the day is really all about them.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen such an amazing surge of personal style in wedding planning, which has led to more unique weddings and more elopements… What does this mean for you? Your dream clients are out there and want to make sure they find someone who specialises as an elopement photographer.
This one-of-a-kind wedding experience is being documented through elopement photography and here are my top 5 tips to help you start your own business as an elopement wedding photographer.
First things first, you need to develop a brand that will appeal to couples looking to elope Your ability to draw in elopement-interested couples will depend on how you brand your elopement photography business.
You need to decide why couples will pick you over other local elopement photographers, I challenge you to think about what makes you stand out in a sea of photographers.
Whatever this may be you can decide, but the main thing is that you’re authentic on your website and in all of your marketing communications. Create a solid foundation for your business by having brand mission statements and values clearly defined.
Build a photography business that aligns with your couples’ values. For example, if you want to shoot adventure elopements you should already be a person that loves hiking, camping, backpacking and the outdoors. Couples that are adventurous want to be able to relate to you and your adventures as well – you will meet the right couples thanks to this.
You need to find the marketing plan that works best for your target market, this could be Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, SEO or paid ads.
When I pivoted from traditional weddings to elopements I quickly realised that most of the marketing strategies I had used to book weddings would not work for elopements.
My target market had changed dramatically, so I also needed a new marketing plan. I didn’t want to waste my resources marketing to couples that didn’t want to elope so I created a sales funnel using paid ads to serve my brand up to my target market.
At the time, I couldn’t find any mentors or anyone teaching how to market to eloping couples. It took me some trial and error but I finally cracked the code and I was able to book over 50 elopements for myself and my team in my second year as an elopement photographer.
Find which works best for you and which you feel you have the most knowledge on. Ensure you devote all of your time and effort to focusing on a marketing strategy that you can utilize repeatedly and be consistent with.
It will be important to have systems and workflows in place so that once your marketing takes effect and the leads start pouring in you can convert those leads to bookings.
Having systems in place to nurture your couples through the planning process after the book is equally as important. Your couple’s experience with you starts long before their wedding day. Creating points of contact throughout the planning process.
After booking you can: send a welcome gift, send a questionnaire to get to know them better, research locations and send them guides, vendor recommendations, timelines and packing list to help them plan their elopement.
After the wedding, it is important to create a good experience for your gallery delivery. I always send over an email after their elopement to thank them for the opportunity and remind them when they can expect their gallery.
I try to deliver the gallery earlier than promised and I give them ideas on how to save and preserve their online images and create heirlooms from their images.
This is a time for you to continue your relationship with the couple so that you can continue to work with them in the future and so that they will refer you to family and friends.
Also, ensure you use your social media channels to show couples how beautiful their wedding day can be and how much they deserve an amazing private wedding experience.
Because it is so important, this step should really be the first one you take. To give couples the amazing elopement experience you’ve promised, you need to acquire the knowledge and skills.
You must be able to deliver on your commitments to clients who trust you to capture their day.
When a couple hires you to photograph their elopement their expectations are that you will be able to photograph their day and tell their story but they are also expecting you to be comfortable in the outdoors, be an expert in the location they want to plan their elopement, have knowledge about permits they may need, and have secluded areas so they can have an intimate wedding day.
Identify the people you want to work with and be prepared to offer them an elevated experience. It is the one special day everyone looks forward to, so it’s important you create a day to remember by making their experience unforgettable.
Once you’ve followed all the above steps and ticked all the boxes, you then need to finally decide on where you want to be based/travel for elopements.
You must be knowledgeable about the areas you intend to book. You should have travelled there in order to demonstrate that you are an expert in this field.
If you haven’t already, I advise planning a trip to explore your surroundings and generate content. To establish trust and build a portfolio, you’ll need images of the area you wish to shoot in.
Now you know my top 5 tips to starting your elopement photography business!
If you want firework-level income and dreamy travel plans plus someone to guide you who has already cracked the code on building a thriving elopement photography business… then I would love to chat!
I have created a FREE training video just for you!