One of the questions that you’re asked often as a wedding photographer is “How many weddings do you shoot each year?”
We usually get confused looks when we say that we cap the number of weddings we take on each year. To anyone who’s not a wedding photographer it’s probably quite a foreign concept. Capping means turning away work when in some cases you could accommodate the booking. That’s a big business no no in many respects.
For us, we don’t cap at a fixed number. We base our decision on many factors. These factors include things like how our current bookings are spaced out. For example, this year we had every Saturday and Sunday in August booked. This meant that by the time we got to the end of the month we had a large (for us) editing backlog. This isn’t something we’re comfortable with. As a result we stopped accepting any more bookings for September. This allowed us to catch up on work.
Turning away work
If our bookings are nicely spaced it’s a different matter. Sometimes it works out that we only have one wedding per week, every week. When it works out that way we are able to stay on top of editing easily. Therefore we can continue to accept bookings without creating a backlog. Usually around 30 is our happy number.
It’s a tough call turning away work when you’re self employed though. There’s never any guarantee that more work will come in.
Therefore, for us, capping is not necessarily about the number of bookings, but how they fall. Some years we have shot 35 seamlessly, nicely spaced throughout the year. Other times we’ve shot 27 tightly condensed over a few months.
Why do we cap then?
The reason we take this approach to capping our work is so that we can deliver what we feel is a good all round service. Being so backed up with editing that we’re unable to respond to emails or schedule meetings efficiently isn’t necessarily great service to us. We want to have enough time and flexibility on our schedule to allow us to offer our couples good service. We all know how frustrating it is to have a simple question only to have to wait 2-3 days for a response.
Good service creates a long and lasting impression. Alongside great photos we hope this will leave our couples with happy memories of an excellent experience all round. There’s a great quote from Maya Angelou which we live by when it comes to business.
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” We always aim to make our couples feel valued and important. We hope that memories of the service we provide will last long beyond the day itself and in turn lead to recommendations and referrals for other work.
We cap the number of bookings we accept for wedding each year because we feel that it allows us to provide a better service over all. In turn we hope this will lead to more future work and recommendations.