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5 marketing tips every wedding photographer should know

Wedding photographer Sanjay Jogia regularly relies on the 14fps frame rate of the Canon EOS-1D X to capture moments such as this bride throwing confetti. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 70-200m f/2.8L USM lens. © Sanjay Jogia

When Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia gave up a career in architecture in 2007 to become a professional wedding photographer in London, there were relatively few competitors. However, the irresistible rise of the internet and social media has created a justifiable cause of concern for his business. When a consumer types 'wedding photographer' into a web search, more than 400 million results appear in an instant – reflecting how saturated the wedding photography market has become, and how crucial it now is to have a strategic marketing plan.

Sanjay and his wife Roshni have distanced themselves from the competition by establishing a high-end photography business, Eye Jogia - with 30 SWPP and 31 WPPI awards to their name. The couple built their brand with a distinguishable repertoire of candid, colourful and emotional wedding images and notable marketing techniques.

Sanjay, a Canon Ambassador, shares his expertise through lectures and workshops around the world, and here reveals his five marketing tips that every wedding photographer should know.

1. Target your demographic

"You've got to decide which genre within weddings you're targeting. That way, you can focus your marketing more precisely with bridal magazines. If you go to one kind of bridal magazine, you're going to attract that type of bride or demographic. Are you going to do Jewish weddings? Indian weddings? Church weddings? You have to make that decision. If you try to target everyone in your marketing, you're going to fall flat on your face."

A bride is lifted by four men.
Sanjay customises the setup of his Canon EOS-1D X, allowing him to quickly switch focus modes from One-Shot to AI Servo during fast-changing wedding ceremonies, such as this Hindu wedding procession. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens. © Sanjay Jogia

2. Create a presence for your business

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"Most of our weddings are high-end Indian weddings. Therefore, we advertise in Indian bridal magazines. There are a handful of these, but two or three that we've really come into the market with. In these magazines, we either do full-page or two-page spreads to dominate the real estate and have impact. This costs more but if you want to have presence, have presence. It's as simple as that.

"When it comes to advertising, you need to be unique. In order for our adverts to stand out, we are always redesigning them. The best way to do this is by drawing emphasis to particular types of images, mixing up the colour palette, and keeping the colour palette harmonious. The colours must grab people's attention but also be easy on the eye. I've seen ads that can be a bit jarring to look at because the images on the ad don't sit with one another. There's a psychological technique to this – the images must lead the eyes into the page. You want to make it as easy to look at your work as possible."

A bride and groom hold each other's hands as they walk past the Vatican at night.
Sanjay set his Canon EOS-1D X Mark II to manual exposure, relying on the sensor's ability to produce high-quality files at high ISOs, to capture this portrait of newlyweds Pooja and James at St Peter's Basilica in low light. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens. © Sanjay Jogia

3. Engage through social media

"Social media is huge. Using Facebook and Instagram is a massive tool for wedding photographers. The algorithms for those sites have changed, and now live posts and Insta stories are driven straight into people's timelines, making this a great way to market yourself. There is a new generation of people searching for photographers through social media rather than Google because it's instant gratification. Instagram is a quick way for people to look at our body of work, as well as what people are saying about it. This might draw them to our website to have a look at our stuff and fill out an enquiry form.

"There are many ways to get noticed on social media, but engagement is the most important. It's not just a case of waiting for people to come to your page – you've got to engage with new clients and old clients, which makes a huge difference. It's all about creating a buzz around you and your work."

A close-up of the eyes of a bride looking at her husband-to-be.
"I love the moment the bride and groom are revealed to each other in a Hindu wedding. Using a short depth of field on a lens like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens, I can create a dreamy compression in an image and pick out specific details. In this case, the bride's eyes as she sees her groom for the first time." Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens. © Sanjay Jogia

4. Use your website to start conversations

"We don't list pricing on our website. We offer a starting fee to give people an idea of affordability depending on what they need. But we never list pricing because, especially with Indian weddings, it can be very hard to pigeonhole it.

"Listing prices can look quite scary and deter people, whereas if you just list a starting price, it gets the phone to ring. It allows Roshni the chance to establish dialogue with the couple, form some context, and offer advice to the bride and groom about what they need to be doing, where they need to be going and what they should be looking for based on their requirements. Each couple is unique, and requires different pricing to reach their needs."

A group of cheerful men throw their hands in the air; confetti surrounds the photo.
Sanjay used a high frame rate, manual focus point selection and AI Servo to retain focus on the groom and his friends in this low lit celebration. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV with a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens. © Sanjay Jogia

5. The best marketing is word of mouth

"Marketing isn't just about paying for space or using free social media space. It's about doing a really good job and getting people to recommend you. We have solidified relationships with people who feel confident to recommend us because they know we'll do a solid job, keep our word, deliver when we're supposed to, and [produce] what we promise in terms of imagery and quality.

"Ultimately when a bride and groom start to search for a wedding photographer, they're most likely going to look at social media to see whom their circle of friends and family are talking about. They're going to ask for recommendations. Weddings are huge. A lot can go wrong. If you can demonstrate that you can leap through the hurdles of a wedding day and leave a shining impression, that will only work in your favour."

Írta: Kristine Clifford


Sanjay Jogia's kitbag

The key kit pros use to take their photographs

Wedding photographer Sanjay Jogia crouches down low on a beach, holding his Canon camera and long lens to his eye to photograph someone out of shot.

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Lenses

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

This fast aperture wide-angle lens was the first to feature Canon's subwavelength structure lens coating to minimise ghosting and flare, while UD and aspherical elements eliminate distortion and aberrations, for crisp results.

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