Ready to make the most of your photography business? Today Alyssa Lund is sharing ways she utilizes Wedding Fairs, IPS and Design Aglow products to reach success in her business.
As a wedding and boudoir photographer, wedding fairs and expos can be a great opportunity for me to meet new clients who are excited about finding a photographer. Expos are a ton of work to prepare for and it’s always exhausting to set up my booth, but then I’m rewarded with an incredible experience - I get to spend a day talking about photography with lovely, excited couples. It’s exhilarating and has been a great way to continue building my business.
Wedding fairs have been just as helpful when I started photographing boudoir portraits and I could advertise my bridal boudoir work at wedding fairs as well. If I connect with a bride who already had booked a photographer, or have a great conversation with a bridesmaid or mom-of-the-bride at the expo, I can offer them a boudoir session.
One of the most useful things that I do at expos and fairs is to give prospective clients my printed wedding photography magazine (which sets me apart amidst the stack of business cards they collect from other vendors) and I ask if I may send additional information later in the week. I collect email address, and beginning the day after the expo, I send a series of emails through my online e-newsletter system. The newsletters me, my portfolio, and what makes me different - it easy for them to learn more about me away from the frenzy of the wedding fair!
My wedding fair planning process begins two to six months before the event, with finding and signing up for a wedding fair. It’s important to me to find the “right” wedding fairs for my business, and for me that means seeking out smaller, creative options. I’m based in Minneapolis, where we have large wedding expos at nearby convention centers (think hundreds of vendors and thousands of overwhelmed brides…) and those have never appealed to me because they are so different from my brand, which is all about authentic human connection.
I’ve had great luck with cozier, smaller-scale wedding fairs through local wedding associations and my favorite local wedding venues. With just a handful of photographers at each of these events, we are all able to set ourselves apart. The smaller-scale fairs have a much more comfortable, conversational atmosphere which makes it easier to foster a connection with couples and brides.
As the wedding fair or expo gets closer, usually one to three months ahead of time, I start considering my display and whether I’ll need to alter it for the particular expo. I use the same general setup for my booth each time. I use light stands, backdrop poles, and curtains to create the frame of my booth, bringing in tables and portable walls to hang frame and canvas samples, and to display wedding albums and stacks of my printed magazine.
In order to attract clients to my booth, I want every element of my display to reflect my brand. My goal as a photographer is to create real, tangible art (I work with my clients to create heirloom wedding albums and design collections of framed portraits for the wall.) In my booth, I want to showcase tangible art, because it’s truly what sets me apart among Twin Cities wedding photographers. I bring in as many wall gallery samples as I can and I include a variety of canvas wraps and my favorite Design Aglow Frames. Having a variety of art samples on the walls makes it really easy for me to talk about my specialty and allows for potential clients to see what makes me different.
I’m also careful about the images that I choose and how I display them in my booth. I want them to reflect my natural, emotional photography style and I also need them to be especially engaging images to draw attention to my booth. I usually choose wedding pictures that are colorful and vibrant. I also like the pictures I show in my booth to reflect the upcoming season. For example, if I’m going to a wedding fair in the summer I show a lot of pictures from late summer and fall weddings. I’m careful to choose images with a lot of variety in their posing and composition so that I can show off my portfolio.
About two weeks before the fair or expo, I set up my booth in my living room for a trial run to make sure everything looks perfect. It’s a tight fit in my small apartment, but as a visual person it’s really helpful for me to see it all together (and it gives me time to alter whatever I need to before the event). As soon as I have all the pieces I need for the expo, I pack everything up in advance.
The night before an expo I load everything into my car and chat with whoever is going to be assisting me the next day - my partner, Tyler, and my sister, Kaelie, usually join me in my booth so we can talk to as many people as possible. I like to chat with them in advance to go over details about my work and what information I want to be sure they share with potential clients! I even make them a cheat sheet with important details about my business so they can keep that handy throughout the day.
The morning of a wedding fair I eat a giant breakfast, drink lots of coffee, and arrive early to set up and meet other vendors!
All of my wedding couples choose to create tangible art with their wedding images, and I love offering Design Aglow frames.
I’m super particular about the wall art products that I choose to offer to my clients. The Design Aglow frames are beautifully made and I really appreciate that they are constructed here in the USA. I display a trio of gold frames (Grab & Go Collection #1) in my office where I conduct my in-person sales. The metallic color, subtle texture, and thick white mats really elevate my colorful images of outdoor weddings. Having a sample wall collection in my office has also made couples excited about putting their wedding portraits on the wall (even if they had no idea what “wall art” meant before they came to me).
I also love being able to talk about how flexible and modular frame collections can be. Couples appreciate that if they move to a new home, these frame collections can easily adapt to any wall size and they can even swap photographs out over time. Knowing the frames are so flexible makes it easier for my couples to invest in framed art.
I also use a-la-carte frames as an upsell for my boudoir portraits. I’ve found that a 10x20” frame holding a trio of 5x7” matted images is an elegant way to celebrate three lovely moments from a boudoir session.
I’ve used a number of Design Aglow templates - most notably, the Luxe Boudoir and Wedding Studio Magazine templates. Combining these two templates, I’ve created 30-page magazine that I offer online to potential clients and have printed to distribute at wedding fairs. The templates are easy to use and look really professional. I could have never created a magazine on my own without the help of Design Aglow’s templates. It makes such an impact when someone asks if I have a business card and I hand them a beautiful magazine!
Alyssa Lund-Kyrola is a Minneapolis-based wedding and boudoir photographer. Inspired by nature, she captures images that are elegant and emotional, creating tangible albums and framed portraits for her clients.
See her wedding work at www.alyssalundphotography.com and explore her boudoir portraits at www.illuminateboudoir.com.