Benefits of Membership

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My Eight years of experience in the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry

I started out in wedding photography as an apprentice about 8 years ago by working with two different local Santa Barbara wedding photographers. The first photographer I apprenticed with was completely self-taught, and the second photographer I worked for was a top graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography. Just before I went on to pursue my own photography business, I was an associate photographer for a studio that they started and operated together. So while learning and developing my own craft, I had the benefit of experiencing the approach and methods of two photographers from opposite ends of the learning spectrum. I’ve lived in Santa Barbara since I was 18 years-old and have been photographing weddings and growing my network for the last 8 of those years – As a member of Head & Heart Photography you will have access to the benefits of years of my own networking and working with Santa Barbara wedding venues and vendors.

Visibility + Exposure

One of the most difficult things to create as a photographer in Santa Barbara is a strong web presence whereby your website/business shows up on the first page for relevant searches. This is an aspect of my business that I’ve invested a lot of time, effort (and money!) into over the past 8 years, and at this point Kiel Rucker Photography shows up organically on the first page for the most relevant photography searches on Google in Santa Barbara. H&H photography already has it’s own Yelp and a Wedding Wire accounts that will bring you paid exposure as part of your membership fee, and I will continue to seek out and form other partnerships that will increase exposure and generate leads for H&H Photography.

Access to high quality leads

Thanks again to the strong web presence of my own wedding photography site, and to the connections I have with local Santa Barbara venues and vendors, I currently generate more leads than I can book on my own. And I also receive many leads from couples with budgets that are not sufficient to book one my packages. So in addition leads generated organically via relevant searches and social media campaigns (H&H photography is also live on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest), I will also funnel the leads that I can’t take to member photographers of H&H Photography. The primary benefit of these leads being that I’ve likely already had contact with, and a developed, a good rapport with them before confidently and strongly referring them to H&H.

Opportunity to hone your craft while building your business

As I became more and more confident in my ability to photograph weddings, one of the most frustrating parts was not being able to photograph higher end weddings to improve the quality of my portfolio and body of work.  The best way to do this while you’re still working on building your reputation and booking higher quality leads is to second-shoot with photographers who are booking these weddings.  I personally have a good number of second shooting opportunities for qualified and experienced photographers, and I also receive requests from other local photographer friends of mine who need second photographers from time to time.  You will also have the opportunity to second shoot for other H&H photographers if you like, assuming you are available and willing.

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