Surprise Wedding Guests with a Reception Slideshow — and Watch the Referrals Roll In

For wedding photographers, one of the most effective marketing tactics to generate word-of-mouth referrals is a slideshow at the reception.

We do a slideshow at nearly every wedding. Unless the couple came to us by referral, it remains a surprise to participants and guests. It’s been so effective for us, another photographer came to a recent wedding just to learn how we do it. So I thought I would share it with you, too.

Here’s how to put together a slideshow of wedding images in 30 minutes or less:

1. During the wedding, shoot raw and small jpg together. The small jpgs you create will enable you to download and edit your images quickly.

2. During your dinner break have an assistant download the jpg images from your cards to a folder on your laptop.

3. Load the jpg images in the editing software of your choice. We use Expressions Media.

4. Quickly tag 50 of your favorite images. We find etail images or scene setters are not nearly as effective as images with lots of people and emotion. Note: We use the screensaver function of our Mac laptop, and vertical images tend not to work as well as horizontal ones.

5. Once you’ve finished your “dirty edit,” transfer only the images you’ve selected to a separate folder that will be used for the slideshow. You may have to rename the images before transfer if there are duplicate file names. That’s OK. You still have your raw images on your cards.

6. In your system preferences, direct your screensaver to display the images from the folder with your edit.

7. For maximum impact, place the laptop in the bar or near the dance floor. If there is a widescreen TV nearby you may be able connect your computer to the screen! (We often have crowds gathering, so we make sure to place it in an area that doesn’t distract from other reception activities.)

You now have my recipe for THE most effective strategy of generating word-of-mouth referrals that I know of. Plus, you will also have a very happy bride and groom who won’t stop talking about the slideshow and your photographs for weeks.

[tags]photography advice[/tags]

2 Responses to “Surprise Wedding Guests with a Reception Slideshow — and Watch the Referrals Roll In”

  1. Did my first on Saturday evening - a great success! Don't even bother shooting RAW small JPEG. A waste of space and time. Use the free Instant JPEG from RAW utility (Win or Mac) to extract the embedded JPEG files in your RAW. It took about 30 seconds to extract 500 jpegs from 1DSII RAWs directly from the card; I didn't even download the RAW - I did the extraction directly from the card and then moved those JPEGs to my computer.

  2. Rob,

    That's fantastic! So how did it go? What was the reaction of the couple and their guests?

    Great tip on the utility too!


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