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Bridal Expo-What to bring?

edited October 2013 in wedding photography
Trying to go to my first expo in Ohio and would like to know what to bring.
What are brides looking for?
Do you bring contracts and sign them up right away?
Tell me everything :)



  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited October 2013
    Here is my list when doing them. I attend 2-3 per year.

    Preparation: I do this in around 200-250 bundles for each show just to make sure I have enough to hand out.

    1: First, I get some 'show bags' to hand out to prospective brides.

    Here is where I get mine [Australia] but you'd need to get something similar in where you live:

    2: I get some 6x4 'Business Cards' printed on photographic paper with website/phone details and have 3-4 images on it. Print in full gloss paper, looks/feels much better. I have about 10 'sets' of these, in other words 10 different 6x4 with different images on each, then I put 10 of each in the bag. Getting them printed 200 times x 10 is 2000 6x4 prints but I can generally get them printed at 6-8 cents per print so cheap as chips.

    3: Have a brochure or something outlining basic pricing, FAQ's, details, and anything else you may send to clients normally.

    The cheapest way to do this is generally photocopying in color. I have a place I go to, 6 pages printed back to back in full color on a fantastic color photocopier which is around $300 for 400 sets [I get a discount doing it that way so 1 lot of printing will cover 2 shows]

    4: Obviously I fold the brochures [printed in A4 format] and along with the 'Business Card' prints put them into the bag.

    5: Take along the following:

    a) Albums

    b) Canvas Prints

    c) But most importantly I take 3-4 dozen loose 10x8's and some 12x18's not framed, but loose and spread them out on the table. People like to feel, look at them so they pick them up and look closely at them.

    d) IF you are able to have a backdrop with a ledge on top I take some garden hanging pot hooks to hang my canvas prints on in the background.

    e) Take some contracts in case you may sign someone up on the day. Generally that does not happen as they get info from different photographers, but 1 year I was really really lucky, show limited to 2 photographers, and he was a no-show on the day and I actually signed up on the day 9 weddings, could have done more but I was already booked.

    f) Important: Don't forget your Diary, to make sure you can check dates if they inquire.

    g) If supplied table/s, bring along a nice black/dark color rich fabric cloth to cover the table, much more appealing than nothing or a plain white tablecloth. I have both a deep silky black/maroon sets to choose from

    h) Bottled water, can get long/dry.

    i) Hint: Don't sit on chair even if provided behind the table, stand out to side or behind the table and as people pass by don't be afraid to say something like: "May I interest you in some photography information". Oh, avoid the words, "Would you like to see my package", lol.

    j) Once you get the people to accept make sure you state the obvious, "Please, do pick up the photos and have a look, that's what they are there for". I generally get around 4-5 bookings per show, sometimes it may not happen straight away and even a couple of months will go by and they email/phone and say 'Oh, I saw your work at the Expo/Bridal Fair/Wedding Showcase whatever they call the event, and I would like to ...... yada'

    k) Be dressed like you would for a wedding, generally long black trousers, dark long-sleeved shirt, shoes shiny, haircut. Appearance is everything. Smile, and *talk*, don't just sit back.

    l) Have fun.

    oh, the brochures/pricing, make sure they are current year for shows at beginning of year and halfway, any shows towards end of year like August on, I would prepare the next year's lists but state to the clients that they are next year and if their wedding happens to be this year the price will be less but basic outlines are the same.

  • outstanding! Thanks Trev...might just go see the one on the 20th of October and then be ready for the next one. Lots to get ready in just a few days...
  • Oh...I will also wear a shirt that reads "Passion for Photography"...no really, I won't :)
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    travelintrevor said: Oh...I will also wear a shirt that reads "Passion for Photography"...no really, I won't :)
    Go for it! Also have one with: 'The World's Best Photographer is in The House'. Guaranteed to get you bookings. Not!

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Trev said: sometimes it may not happen straight away and even a couple of months will go by and they email/phone and say 'Oh, I saw you work at the Expo/Bridal Fair/Wedding Showcase whatever they call the event, and I would like to ...... yada'
    How's that for coincidence. Just got off the phone to a girl whose opening words were: 'I saw you at the Bridal Show in August, do you remember me' :)

    Had a chat, going to meet up but she did say she's spoken to a lot of photographers who were willing to shoot her wedding for $600 and get the images on disc the next day, 'what do I do'. Told her the truth, avoid the shoot & burn crowd, etc. Actually could not get her off the phone for around 40 minutes, so that's a very good sign.

  • TrevTrev Moderator

    If you are interested in a 6x4 PSD Template, just message me above with your email address, and I will send you one.

    Here is a tongue in cheek shot of how mine is laid out.

  • Trev, what do you put in your show bags? Is it just a brochure and a 6x4 business card?
  • I think I need to hold off. Just received the e-mail from the coordinator and it is $600+ for a booth. No table is supplied...can rent those for more $. Are they all this expensive?
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited October 2013
    Holy smoke. I am at $350-$440 with Power/Backboard to stick photos to and rail on top to hang hooks from, 2 tables, 2 chairs, and supplied sandwiches for lunch sometimes, depends on which function I am at.

    'Booth' is around 3m x 3m [10ft x 10ft].

    But, in Melbourne one photographer I know paid $10,000 for a booth in a very high end upscale event, Melbourne Crown Casino.

    I think the entry fee for people was like $30. They wanted the 'high-end brides' only apparently. There's 2 camera bodies.

    He once did a wedding of Indian couple, and bride's mum paid him $75,000 for a set of 4 Volumes of Wedding Album, over 800 images, 60 page albums. That was the cheapest part of the wedding apparently.

    Dress: $200,000
    Flowers: $168,000
    Photos: $75,000
    Reception, top full floor of Melbourne Crown Casino, 500+ guests: $1,000,000

    Obviously that's an extreme, but it happens.

    @ cakencamera: Yes, just that when you say 'Business Card' it's 10 'Cards' or one set of Cards as there are 10 individual cards, each with different photos on them with name, website and contact phone.

    I thought of doing it that way since just the normal one business card most would put in seemed pretty 'so/so' and could easily get stuck in bottom of bag.

    Also, the thinking here is that once people leave and they are later on going through each photographer's information, when they see mine with actual photos, and 10 different cards, they then reconnect to me with my images on the day, or so the rationale in theory works.

    They then get to look/feel the actual images instead of small cards and it may help to persuade them to come to me.

  • thanks Trev,

    I will send you a message about the template as soon as I can.

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