We had the opportunity to host world-renowned wedding photographer, Jose Villa, for our final Maroo webinar of the year. Jose joined us for a webinar earlier in the spring and the response from our Maroo members was so positive – we invited him back for round 2! If you know Jose, you know he’s an open book. Refreshingly, he doesn’t hold back. Having been in the business for over 20 years, Jose has extensive wisdom and experience to share (and really this webinar could have easily been 2 hours long!). If you missed this one, here are 5 takeaways for you!
Jose shared that he personally responds to every lead that comes his way. He doesn’t use any type of CRM or management system to keep track of the leads and after an inquiry comes through. Instead of automating the process, he immediately replies back and shares his availability and pricing. “Sometimes even one-liner inquiries have been some of my biggest and best clients!” While 90% of the time he doesn’t hear back once he shares his pricing, he told us that he never takes any inquiry for granted––giving every lead the attention it deserves.
Money can be a sensitive topic for many clients (no matter the price point). In his case, Jose will talk about pricing during the negotiations process. That typically involves guiding his clients on booking the right number of hours and photographers, as well as sharing cost estimates on travel and per diem. That said, after the contract is signed, there is no additional money talk. To his mind, it doesn’t create a very luxurious experience when a wedding professional attempts to talk about “overtime” or any other costs after the contract has been signed. Instead, he makes certain that these conversations always happen prior to the event and the signing of the contract.
At least 15% of Jose’s overall business comes from album sales. “Once we shoot the wedding, that’s when our job actually starts,” he says. After a wedding, Jose and his team will spend over two years working on photo selects, prints, and albums. He then uses his seasonal downtime between January and March to remind his clients to purchase and put together their albums. If the client is local, he’ll even work with them in person on album selections.
Jose is inarguably one of the most coveted sought-after wedding photographers in the world. That said, he shared that sometimes even he loses out on jobs and that the FOMO he experiences is a normal, human feeling. Recognize that it’s a normal feeling but keep your head in the game!
As Jose put it, consistency is key to growth. In other words, as a wedding pro looking to level up, you need to have an incredible track record of delivering quality work, having a great personality, and communicating in a way that makes your clients feel special. Do it this way and every planner, designer, and couple will know what to expect out of you (and will pay for it as well). What would he do if he were just starting out again? Create content as often as possible! Whether it be styled shoots, second shooting, or taking a camera on a walk, staying focused on creating content is a must to perfecting the art.
> 6 Takeaways from Jose’s webinar in the Spring of 2022
> 8 Wow-Worthy Inspiration Ideas from Engage!