In all of his years as a photographer, Daniel has never done a trade show. I attended several for different purposes - when I worked as a chef's assistant, I went to a few food service/restaurant shows, and a couple of home-garden expos just for fun. But I never went to a bridal show. When I planned both of my weddings, I knew I didn't have a lot of money to spend on too much frivolity, plus it seemed foolish to spend a small fortune on one day of my life when that money could be put towards paying bills and whatnot. Romantic, I know. I'm also not much of a girly-girl; while I spent hours in my childhood designing and drawing long, flowing gowns on beautiful princesses, that didn't translate to my adulthood. Dreaming and fantasizing about my wedding day was not something I ever did, even as a young girl. When we revamped our photography business this summer and realized that weddings were the key to our financial stability, right away I knew we needed to promote ourselves and get Daniel Fischer Photography's name out into the community. And we needed to start peddling our wares at bridal shows.
This was decided, of course, right at the beginning of the summer, right during peak wedding season. No way we were booking any weddings in June unless somebody procrastinated worse than us. And after our adorable-but-time-sucking baby arrived on November 6th, everything got pushed to the perpetual back burner until Christmas was over. Survival mode doesn't even begin to describe it. So there we found ourselves, the dead week between Christmas and New Year's, and I said "Hey! Let's actually register for THIS show on January 4th!
I had been doing some research on bridal show booths (check out my Pinterest page), so I had a pretty good sense of the supplies we would need, and what would be required to draw people into our booth. One thing I knew right away was that we lacked the space to do anything elaborate (8-foot tables). Being short on time, I also knew that simplicity was key - we needed large, beautiful prints, we needed albums, and we needed signage. This fit our aesthetic nicely - Daniel's style of photography highlights the subject's natural beauty, and he does very little post-production work to enhance his photographs. We were able to put together some of his best wedding samples, and figured out a way to display the prints in a way that I felt was very representative of our style.
String together several late nights, some printer hiccups (I didn't know that UPS considers December 31st to be a holiday; did you?), and a lack of mounting expertise (big shout-out to Dan's cousin Lisa who helped us clean up some of our DIY mountings), and we were pretty nervous on Sunday morning. It was also the first day I'd left the baby for any length of time, too. But I needn't have worried - everything went great, and we left with one contract signed on the spot and several more serious prospective clients. Hopefully the postcards I gave to everybody foolish enough to make eye contact with me will also pan out.
If you are getting married or know somebody who's tying the knot, send them our way!