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Ready to Say Goodbye to Weddings? - PPA Today

Ready to Say Goodbye to Weddings?

Jerry BorwickHas working weddings become more of a chore than a passion for you? Jerry Borwick knows the lure of wedding photography...and he knows the pitfalls. And if you, like Borwick, think that wedding photography may not be for you after all, come and listen to some firsthand advice in his webinar: "Say Goodbye to Weddings: Making a Successful Switch to Portraiture" (August 26, 2:00pm ET).

"Several years ago, I realized I would be happier shooting portraits instead of weddings because I could spend more time with my four boys on the weekends," recalls Borwick. "Another good reason is less work but more money. Plain and simple, I can photograph more portraits than I can weddings because there are only 52 weekends in a year, but there are 240 weekdays!"
Borwick was able to successfully switch his business from photographing 80 percent weddings in 2008 to photographing 100 percent portraits in 2010. But it didn't happen without challenges. For example, the change in cash flow was hard to manage at first.

"We got paid for weddings up to a year in advance, and we were fully paid before photographing the wedding. In the portrait world, you get paid after you shoot," Borwick notes. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how that could really affect a business. Looking back, I would have accumulated capitol of at least six months of living/business expenses--a year's worth or more if I had the patience."

Having a tried and true marketing campaign ready to go would also help alleviate the change of no long relying on pre-paid sessions and the "easier-to-find" wedding clients, as Borwick says. He has found that creating buzz through a fundraiser is a great way to start marketing your portraiture. Your company can show it cares about community organizations, and if you have people selling fundraising certificates, they can become like your outside sales force

"Marketing for portrait photography becomes more spread out because the ocean is bigger. It can take years to establish a profitable studio," Borwick explains. "But with fundraising, your marketing 'ocean' becomes more like a pond. A fundraising certificate is like a huge fishing net that can capture lots of clients in a small area."

Cashing in on fundraising buzz and excitement--and putting in lots of hard work--helped Borwick make a quick switch to portraiture. He loves the fact that his new work schedule allows him to see his family more...and eliminates the wedding photography stress that may not be for everyone (from shooting fast and creatively to dealing with the multitude of emotional clients).

"My last wedding was actually in June 2009--it was 98 degrees and humid outside," says Borwick. "I worked 10 hours on the wedding day, and I cried when I was done. Tears of joy."

Now, some photographers thrive on the emotion and quick action required during weddings. But, as Borwick found out the hard way, it's not for everyone. Are you feeling burned out? Wondering if a change to portraiture might be what you need? Join Jerry Borwick on August 26th to learn more about this option: "Say Goodbye to Weddings: Making a Successful Switch to Portraiture" (August 26, 2:00pm ET).

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on August 10, 2010 1:32 PM.

PPA Charities Raises $30,000 at "Chicks Who Click" Conference was the previous entry in this blog.

Super Monday Instructors: Kimberli Smith Connects with Communities to Grow is the next entry in this blog.

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