Small Talk with Sydney Marie Photography
Small Talk is a blog series giving you inside access to small businesses and makers throughout Michigan! Today we’re featuring Sydney Marie Photography who specializes in Michigan wedding photography and is giving us insight into picking the right wedding vendors, as a new bride-to-be herself!
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do!
My name is Sydney and I am the owner and lead photographer of Sydney Marie Photography.
We hear you’re getting married, congrats!
YES! Thank you! I’m so excited. We are both from West Michigan, so figuring out where to get married and what vendors to use has been challenging. Even as a wedding photographer, weddings are so unique that you can really go any way with them (which is why I love them so much!)
My biggest piece of advice for any bride is just plan the wedding you want. At the end of the day, it’s not your mom’s wedding or your uncle Bill’s wedding, it’s YOUR wedding. My fiancé and I aren’t into big weddings so we chose to only invite the family and friends that we are close to.
How did you determine one vendor was right for you over another?
With all my vendors, I really took some time to look at my options. I first made a list of what vendors were most important and spent more time researching and contacting them. When it came to choosing between vendors I looked at price, quality of the product/service and how they communicated with me. I wanted someone who wanted to work with me and was excited for me getting married. I never like to be pushy with my business, but when there is a weak disconnect with a vendor I’ve already lost interest in them and have moved on. It’s also about the content given too, even in an email you can just tell if it’s a generic email or if the vendor spent a little extra time making it personal.
I did search The Knot/Wedding Wire (and not just the paid listings) as well as a few smaller sites that had listings. I looked at Facebook and any reviews I could find. I did go to a few wedding shows, but they aren’t really the place for me to find a vendor. I feel like most of the vendors there are either pushy or are more interested in the money and top dollar vs your story. I want vendors that want to connect with me, like I said before I want them to be just as excited as I am.
And now you’re starting up a new blog, correct?
Yes. I have a side project I’m working on for brides along the Great Lakes to connect with vendors and see real weddings in their area. Being a wedding photographer and a bride has really opened my eyes to how the Midwest, especially MI, WI and OH really get looked at when it comes to wedding blogs. I want to showcase that these areas are beautiful and that there are some amazing vendors here!
Do you wrestle with finding time, space and courage to pursue your creative dream?
Yes, but I’ve been working on managing it. Pursuing a creative dream is much like a marriage. You have to put a lot and time and effort into it, times get tough but you have to keep going and make things happen. I’ve been 100% self-employed for almost a year now and I’ve really tried to work on setting specific work hours in my office and spending time with my fiancé while still managing to keep the house looking decent. It’s a work in progress but that’s part of being self-employed.
As a small business yourself, what advice would you give to other Michigan businesses?
Don’t give up your dream when things get tough. I see so many small business owners that give up after a year or two. Invest in any education you can; business classes, creative classes that can relate to your business or even just doing something out of your comfort zone. Also, try to find a friend or two in your area of business, even if they are your competition community is more important.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I do offer a referral program for wedding photography. If you refer someone who books their wedding with me, you’ll receive a $50 Visa gift card and the couple will receive an 8x8 wedding album.
Popping Up Near You:
Interested In Becoming A Vendor?
Like this post? Share It!
VISIT HER WEBSITE
FOLLOW SYDNEY MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY ON INSTAGRAM
Want to be Featured On Our Small Talk Series?
We’re showcasing the amazing stories of small business owners and thriving makers throughout Michigan on our new blog series, Small Talk.