Top 30 Secrets from Govindarumi
A week ago, I had insightful sharing session by Govindarumi in Third Eye Space. Govinda is one of well-known wedding photographer based in Bali. With his company, Terralogical, I can say they are the inspiration of most wedding photographer in Indonesia. He started shooting a wedding in 2010, when he was still in college. As the time goes by, his shoots were being improved without leaving his signature style.
The reason he loves wedding, because personally he is really into street photography. Like street photography, wedding photography is full of spontaneous and unposed moment. He loves to combine his street style and experience into his wedding shots.
Personally, Govinda is a nice guy to talk with. He didn’t neglect all of the question even some question are repeated. As long as, it wasn’t about the “secret” such as how much the salary of your photographer? or how much are you getting paid”? He was willing to answer all of question, even you forgot some questions, just personally talk to him and he’ll answer.
I got sooooo much insight from him. So, I guess, it would be better to write those insight straight to the point. Here it is:
1. We need to have clear goal by being a wedding photographer. Do you want to be super rich by being wedding photographer? Or do you want to be just pleasuring yourself as an artist? Govinda stated that he wants to have extra money for his travelling pleasure.
2. For Govinda, prewedding and wedding is his playground. It makes him always excited in every project. Eventhough, as a human he also got boring in some periods.
3. If we just want to shot the wedding that we love, we must willing for not being the best-selling vendor. Terralogical might be one of the popular wedding vendor photography in Bali or even Indonesia, but they are not the best-selling vendor. There are some vendor who shots more frequently than them.
4. Do not just use social media as a place to put our portfolio. Sort your portfolio. It can be your “client-filter”. If you post more about intimate outdoor wedding, some clients who want to have that kind of wedding, will choose you. However, if you post every single pictures, without having signature or “red-line”, client will easily forget and not being attached by you.
5. If you want to get more client for engagement shots in beach, make it first. Ask your friends as your model. Govinda did it. He captured his friends, his friends who are even not in relationship and made them look so romantic in the pictures.
6. If you want to be stand out of other local photographer, do not refer their pictures as reference. Your pictures will similar to them. Use other medium as reference. For instance, painting, film, etc. Govinda loves to refer his street photos into his wedding photogaphy works.
7. How to shoot wedding by combining decisive moment and artistic style? He said, he knows where he needs to stand in every single rundown. For instance, when bride and groom step down from wedding car, he already stand in the proper spots and having the final image in his mind. However, it takes time to practice it. Experiences win!
8. Do not just use your eyes in wedding. Utilize your ear as sensitive as possible. Govinda often listens for audience conversation, waiting them laughing and capturing through his lens.
9. Join paid workshop if you can. He said, workshop is the best investment he made in wedding industry. He already spent a few thousand dollars for joining paid workshop. He suggested to join workshop not only about technical photography, but also how to make clients feeling more intimate, and that kind of thing.
10. Client’s mood is more important than our mood. Avoid debate when doing photoshoot. If the clients do not willing to do specific pose, move to the next pose. Keep their emotion as excited as possible. It will make your pictures more genuine.
11. Govinda has a rule “one for you, one for me”. He has his signature style in photography, yet not every client loves exactly every frames he took. So, he always take pictures which he thinks clients will love it (for instance the brighter one) then he shot the one that he love (for instance the darker one, just small pieces of couple in wide scenery, etc)
12. He often asks his clients to walk from one spot to another spot instead of taking car to famous landmark, having a shot, taking car again to other landmark. By walking, he found many interesting spots which he never seen before and it happens unexpectedly
13. Govinda thinks that Terralogical pictures are still their own signature which has idealism. Meanwhile, people still love it. So we need to find our “sweetspot”, where idealism combines with commercial. So, we don’t just pleasing ourselves as an artist, but we give to clients pictures that they liked.
14. When he does destination wedding/prewedding, sometimes he scouts the spots first. However, in several times he just “go show” by relied on research through internet. In this case, his street photography skiils is so useful. Where he can get great pictures spontaneously without knowing the location in detail before he shot.
15. When he does travelling for doing photoshoot, he rarely asks for assistant, because he loves to travel light, just bring two cameras and two until three lenses. He almost never uses flash, that’s why he doesn’t need an assistant.
16. For promoting our brand, do not endorse celebrity without research about their followers. Eventhough, they got tons of followers, are they similar to our potential clients? For instance, if we endorse drama tv series celebrity who has C-class followers, if our brand is on A-class, their followers won’t hire us as well.
17. If we got client who is not photogenic, we can try to ignite their mood and emotion. It will be make great pictures too.
20. Showing pictures to client while doing photoshoot can be good and bad. The good things, when they see our pictures are amazing, their confidence will increase. In other side, when they see they are fat in pictures for instance, they want to see every single pictures before moving to the next shoot. It will decrease the trust from client to us.
21. Asking the clients for filling the questionnare can be a great tool to know deeper about our client. It can make our photoshoot easier.
22. You want to know which timeless photo means? Googling photo which produced in 20’s or 30’s. Which ones still speak to you, meaning that is kind of timeless photo. Every person should has has different point of view.
23. There is a thing that photographer forget many times. CAPTION!!! You need to optimize caption as medium to tell our personality deeper. For instance, if we want to get “hipster” potential client, writting indie band’s lyric will be more attractive than writting just an ordinary love quote.
24. People skill is important. In Terralogical, there is one photographer (Tutdeisme). Govinda thinks that Tutde doesn’t not capture the pictures using more creative angle compared to other photographer. However, Tutde is one of the best-selling photographer in Terralogical. Since, he is extrovert and easily makes clients, family and bridesmaid happy all the time.
25. Do you think that joining wedding fair festival will be beneficial? It depends on your goals. Since Terralogical focuses on their online presence. Then, they never join for wedding fair.
26. If we regularly give discount to client. Our client will refer us to their friends. Yet, their friends will ask for discount and it will be happened in turn endlessly.
27. It would be better for having straight SOP (standard operating procedure) which shots that need to be taken by main photographer and which ones need to be shot by second shooter. It will ease our job. They won’t be overlapping pictures.
28. Try to evaluate our old pictures a few days/ weeks before doing photoshoot. It will make great improvement for our next shoot.
29. You have to choose, do you want to be photographer or businessman? Because both of them are different. Govinda owns Terralogical but he hires a business manager for running his company while he focuses by being a photographer.
That’s all. Actually, there are more insights than what I wrote. However, I just took notes for those insights above. If you thinks the insights are so helpful, please kindly spread this article to your photographer mates. Then we can grow together 🙂
All photos are taken by: max_willy