Faith West is the owner and main photographer of Faith West Photography. Her high-end photography studio, in business for nearly two decades, has earned local and national accolades for the ability of its photographers to capture beautifully composed candid and formal shots at weddings and other life events.
(Photo courtesy of Faith West)
Over the past several years, advances in digital cameras and smart phones put the ability to record events in everyone’s pocket. At the same time, social media took a prominent place in the lives of young adults, the brides and grooms that are the foundation of West’s photography business. “Sales were slumping,” says West, “due to young people getting married who don’t really want a fancy album and don’t value professional photography as much. Instead, they are sometimes just as happy with iPhone and prosumer camera photos seen only digitally and never printed out.”
West also noted a trend towards photographing the fun of an event rather than the “pomp and circumstance” of the ceremony. “It became all about posting images of how much fun you were having on social media and wanting boasting rights to having the most fun wedding.” West found the solution to lagging sales at a 2012 party hosted by a family friend. The party host had set up an amateur photo booth in her backyard. “I thought, if people are doing this at backyard picnics, it’s something I need to be doing professionally for weddings. It was one of the best sales decisions I ever made.” She was able to turn the new trends in photography to her favor.
Faith West Photography now includes, free of charge, a photo booth at wedding receptions. She does not charge for the booth or prints. Wedding guests line up to take fun photos in the 10-foot booth that can accommodate individual and group photos. The studio backdrop and lighting make it possible for wedding guests to get professional-looking shots. “We’ve had several families get a photo without the props to use for their holiday cards or engaged couples to use for their save-the-date cards.”
Every print that leaves the booth has a Faith West Photography label on the back, providing a little marketing for the studio. The cost for providing the service is minimal. The booth is manned by an assistant photographer after the formal wedding photographs are completed. While West doesn’t advertise this free service on her web site as she wants the focus of her site to be on her beautiful photography, she does include the photo booth on her pricing brochure. “I’ve been told by many brides and grooms that the free photo booth was the thing in my wedding photography package that pushed their decision towards hiring me. It’s created a real demand for my services and kept me on top of a very competitive marketplace.”
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse