Aida Glowik – Dealing With Inflation & Decreased Bookings

INTRODUCING AIDA GLOWIK

Aida specialised in European intimate weddings and elopements. She is also the host of My Wedding Season – The Podcast. The podcast is for wedding photographers who are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that come along with doing life, building a brand and running a business.

Hi, I am Aida, host of  My Wedding Season -The Podcast!
If you prefer listening, this blog post is also available in audio format on my podcast: Episode 34

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The aftermath of the pandemic and several additional factors have led to a new level of uncertainty and increased inflation all over the world – this has resulted in some wedding photographers noticing a decrease in bookings. If you are feeling nervous about the future of your business, keep reading – this is a summary of a conversation that Leslie Vega had with Aida Glowik on her new Facebook Group called Photographers on Brand.

Leslie is a brand and web designer who works very closely with wedding photographers. Lately, she has noticed just how much photographers are struggling and is taking action to help by talking about various options that they can take to keep their business alive. Aida feels that it is important for photographers not to solely focus on the fact that they may have a decrease in inquiries and bookings, but to also take a step back and look at the situation from the perspective of couples looking to get married. It is likely that a number of couples either had to postpone their wedding because of the pandemic and are suddenly feeling the negative effects of inflation, not only in their everyday lives but also when they are looking to book various vendors for their wedding. It is fair to conclude that their budget is being stretched thin as a result. Therefore, they are probably feeling stressed out and need to figure out the type of sacrifices that they need to make moving forward.

Aida emphasises that couples want to feel seen and understood – that is what photographers need to keep in mind, particularly in their online communication. e.g. copy on their website. She refers to a very important point that she learned from a very talented copywriter, Rachel Greiman from Green Chair Stories, where she said it is important to consider the state of mind a couple is in when they land on your website – and speak to that. E.g. are they excited? Or at this point in time, they might be feeling a bit anxious? Might it be wise to rework your copy?

Additionally, there seems to be a rush to simply raise prices across the board – and some photographers may feel pressure to keep raising their prices because everyone else seems to be doing so. Aida thinks it is so important to analyse your own business instead of constantly getting side-tracked by what others are doing. Everyone is in a different position, in a different market and has different needs – one cannot give blanket advice.

Leslie wants to remind photographers that there are people out there that are rather wealthy and are prepared to spend money on photography – for example, people looking to get family portraits done for their home. Aida mentions that she has actually noticed an increase in inquiries for pregnancy and newborn sessions (although she does not actively advertise for them). That makes her think that because these moments in ones life are time-sensitive, people cannot wait around until things get better in order to book a photography session. Aida adds that since these sessions are generally short (about 1-2 hours), photographers can consider taking on such jobs in order to compensate for the decrease in their profit margins.

Aida goes to say that sometimes photographers have a tendancy of assuming why someone didn’t book or why they simply got ghosted. Her recommendation is to actually write the couples who didn’t book them and nicely ask them why they didn’t book – this is the only way to get the true reason(s) why they didn’t book. It may provide photographers with something that they may have overseen – it might point them in the direction to something that is worth taking a closer look at and adjusting for the future. Photographers may just find out that the dealbreaker wasn’t price – even during hard financial times. It might be nerve-wracking to do, but it is worth it to save their business!

Aida recognises that it is definitely worth looking at pricing and packages. She feels like at times some photographers have a lack of flexibility when it comes to their packages. She wonders if it would be helpful to provide more flexibility and options when it comes to what is included in their packages. For example, they would include an album or engagement session in their packages and are not willing to take them out or add them in at a later date. Are there any add-ons photographers can provide in order to sweeten the deal? Leslie suggests that if photographers are hesitant about the change in their booking workflow because they are working with a CRM like Dubsado, it is worth sitting with a Dubsado expert to sort it out.

Aida sympathises with the fact that running a small business is challenging and photographers need to decide what changes their are willing to make in order to keep having a business. And if some photographers decide that it is too much and choose to back away, that is also okay. Everyone needs to decide for themselves.

Leslie and Aida also touch upon how social media marketing has been changing over the years. There were days when photographers would post images on to their grid and the inquiries would come flooding in – but now with the algorithim changing and prioritising video, a lot of photographers are feeling lost and not many people are getting in touch. There is significant resistance to creating Reels on Instagram because of various reasons, one of them being that photographers don’t feel like it is the way that they want to present their work or don’t feel comfortable getting infront of the camera. Aida feels like sometimes a separation needs to be made between the creative artist and the business owner. And although less and less of our posts are being shown to our “followers”, it is important to note that Reels provides the distinct advantage of putting our work infront of a new audience – at times in the thousands (or even in the millions for a selected few!). And that was not possible in the past!

Aida wants to remind photographers that what worked in the past is not necessarily what will work in the future. It is important to think about what else photographers can try to increase their visibility online, like paying attention to SEO. The good thing about SEO is that the work that you put into it pays out for years to come. And it is important to note that SEO is not only meant for Google but is also used for Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok (and clearly also YouTube). It is particularly relevant if you are serving your local market – take advantage of those local hashtags!

Vendor relationships should also not be underestimated, according to Aida. Staying in touch with wedding planners, officiants, etc. is super helpful for getting refferals – but be sure you refer them as well. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship.

“It is just worth taking the time for each individual person to analyse: okay, where are the problems in the business? At what point? Is it at the inquiry stage? Is it at the booking stage?… And try to find out “What can I do?” And if you don’t have the knowledge, go out there and find it. And make those changes, because we have to adopt to the times.”

– Aida Glowik

I am so grateful to Leslie for inviting me to speak to her audience and for allowing me to repurpose this conversation.

Episode & show notes: EP 34. Aida Glowik – Dealing with Inflation & Decreased Bookings
Aida’s Website: www.wedding-photography-podcast.com
Aida’s Instagram: @aidaglowik
Leslie’s Website: www.leslievegadesign.com
Leslie’s Instagram: @leslievegadesign

HERE IS A LOOK AT AIDA’S WORK


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AIDA GLOWIK

PHOTOGRAPHER & PODCASTER

I specialise in European intimate weddings & elopements.
I provide overwhelmed wedding photographers with the inspiration, tools and resources needed to build a thriving brand and business.


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