Does a wedding photographer’s website need copy?

A reader with the enviable name of Arkadiusz writes to ask a question which is common in most visually-oriented industries:

If you were writing copy for wedding photographer’s website, how much of the copy would you write?

A paragraph, two paragraphs or maybe two pages?

I am writing copy for my sister-in-law’s website. It seems that all of her competitors (and pretty much most of the websites in this niche) have little to no copy on the home page. They seem to rely only on showcasing photographs (or presentations) that they shoot.

And she also thinks so, that couples do not want to read anything, when they looking for wedding photographer.

We know that to sell something, there must be copy. But the tricky question – especially in this niche – is how much?

How much copy would I write?

I got a similar question a while back from an architect.

I would write as much copy as I would for any other website—which is enough to answer every question and anxiety a prospect has, and no more.

It does strike me as odd that these questions usually come in industries where anxiety and doubt are especially high in prospects, because they are paying a lot of money for services they don’t understand, in situations which are typically stressful (whether it’s having a wedding or building a house).

That is not the kind of situation you should be spending less time reassuring them. And if your competition is, so much the better for you! Don’t copy the mistakes of everyone else in your industry on the assumption that they know what they’re doing. They don’t. They’re relying on “best practices” which are actually just de facto practices which are actually just pooled ignorance.

In any case, pictures, I hate to say, are not especially able to reassure prospects. Not compared to good copy.

For instance, when a bride-to-be wonders, “Is this photographer going to be friendly and patient, even if I’m having a terrible hair day…or is she going to a judgy bizartch and make my life miserable?” …well, showing a picture of a previous bride looking happy at some other wedding doesn’t have quite the same confidence-bolstering effect as a few lines of copy underneath that tell the story of that wedding, revealing the photographer’s recollections, personality, and attitude to her customers.

Or when the bride-to-be asks herself, “How many weddings has this woman done anyway? I only see five sets of photos here. Is that it? Or did she screw up the other weddings so she can’t show the pictures in public?”…well, needless to say photos are not the answer.

Same for questions like, “Why is this photographer more expensive?” (Or less expensive.) Or, “She seems competent and friendly, but is she going to get how my wedding is different?” (Because every wedding is different…just like every website ;P)

Or when she says, “Look at this one darling,” and shows her fiance, and he says, “Yeah, but why can’t we just get your weird Greek friend who has a crush on your sister to fly in and take the photos for free?”…what is the website gonna say if she wants to please him and save some money for the honeymoon? A picture won’t change his mind.

Btw, this isn’t to say all the copy has to be on the homepage.

Not at all.

Obviously some of it does. But an especially good place for much of the copy you need on a site like this is actually another page entirely.

But that’s another post :)

Until then, if you haven’t picked up an upgrade to Learn Copywriting Backwards, perhaps you’re starting to see why it’s important to learn this stuff. If so, head here:

D Bnonn Tennant
‘The Information Highwayman’

D Bnonn Tennant, ‘The Information Highwayman’, signs his name to this