The four-strong team can almost always guarantee availability if couples are forced to postpone their big day
This article contains paid-for content created in collaboration with Fern Photography
Coronavirus has cast a gloomy shadow over the wedding industry over the past few months, with many couples facing large-scale disruption as their wedding plans are either cancelled or postponed to a later date.
In such uncertain times, flexibility and security is invaluable for couples preparing to tie the knot and is front and central to Dan, Matt, Sinéad and Romina, the team behind Fern Photography – an Edinburgh-based photography business.
“Putting couples’ needs at the core of our business means being flexible and adapting to whatever comes our way. Weddings in themselves are events that demand flexibility because not everything goes the way you want it to – but you still have to produce amazing results. COVID-19 was just a much bigger problem with a similar solution. We asked ourselves: what do our couples need from us? Accommodating those needs came first, before any questions of business or profit. We needed them to know we were there for them and we would do whatever we could to make that problem as small as possible.
“In these unpredictable times, we can almost guarantee that one of us will be available if you need to postpone your wedding. We’ve also streamlined the process, as now you can book through our website as well as viewing our work. With our availability fully visible online, it takes the weight off our couples when they are forced to make that difficult decision to postpone. We’ve learned that anything we can do to help during this process is greatly appreciated, both by our clients and their other vendors.”
Fern Photography work tirelessly with couples to navigate the rescheduling of dates and have successfully moved almost 60% of their bookings to next year, and the team of four still have lots of available dates for newlyweds-to-be next year.
“At the start of the lockdown we spent weeks developing systems to manage postponements, we worked with our couples to manage payments, dates and plans on a one-to-one basis. Each couple had a different problem and we made sure that we worked with them to find a way through this together. To date, of the 60 weddings we had scheduled for 2020, we have managed to postpone nearly 40 weddings to 2021 with only a couple of cancellations (these were couples travelling to Scotland from abroad and weren’t allowed to travel). I think that’s a testament to our quality of support and our flexibility and the beauty of working in a team.”
In the midst of a global pandemic, the Fern Photography team rooted out the top concerns of couples to ensure a smooth and painless process in the event that things go wrong.
“Most [couples] are concerned if their photographer will be able to attend and if there is a financial penalty for moving to a new date. We decided at the start there would be no financial penalty for moving dates. For attendance, Fern Photography is in a unique position to be able to offer almost any date with continuity because there are four of us. If someone moves to a date and their original Fern photographer is no longer available, then one of the other three almost certainly is. That means that they will still get the fantastic images and wonderful Fern experience without having to research if their choice is right. It’s hard enough for couples to find their photographer without having to do all that work again if their original photographer is booked on a rescheduled date.”
Fern Photography’s team spirit has not only benefited couples who are looking for peace of mind, but the diverse bunch of photographers also provide a unique experience for the clients they work with.
“We would all agree that we have a slightly different approach to photography. We also have different styles of communication, different personalities and approaches to life but at the same time we are very aligned in our collective outlook to weddings and what it means to be a wedding photographer.
“If you visit our website and take a look at our personal portfolios, I think you’re very likely to find something appealing, both personally and aesthetically. That means you can be guaranteed the same customer experience and still have images created by people in line with your vision for your wedding.
“We share our experiences with each other and this helps us to understand our client’s needs even better. We are always all up for a discussion on how to improve, both from a creative and customer service perspective. It also means we have a lot to offer as photographers.
“What sets us apart is our dedication to the customer experience. We’ve all worked hard to see things from our client’s points of view, to learn from our experiences and so preempt any questions or obstacles that we feel our clients might come up against.
And with restrictions still in place, the team at Fern Photography have made the consultation and booking process simple for prospective couples.
“Our process is to reply to the initial enquiry and offer them the option of either booking straight away or meeting with us physically or virtually over video chat. We prefer to meet people first because it’s important that we all gel together to realise the vision of the wedding. It’s important that we feel like friends and we collaborate on creating the wedding images with the couple, rather than impose our photography on the wedding.
“When booking, everything can be done electronically. We’ve worked hard to remove any barriers that would make couples lives more difficult than they need to be. Once a couple is booked in there are various avenues for contacting us (we communicate with whichever medium is preferred by the couple) and we also provide information and meeting slots at key planning points in the lead up to the wedding. That way, we can get all the information we need, collaborate on the perfect plan for the day and make sure that our requests for information are timely to the planning process and not feel overwhelming to couples.”
Fern Photography offers hourly rates at £200 which are best suited for elopements and micro weddings (events less than 7 hrs). For full day, larger weddings, photography packages start at £1499. Pre-wedding sessions are also included in the larger wedding packages. Head over to www.fernphotography.co.uk for more pricing info.