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April 2nd, 2009

Do you need more than one website?

Posted by Luke Edmonson

After receiving his film degree, Luke Edmonson moved home to Dallas and started a photography business with his father, David, a professional photographer. As the two of them learned how to work together and decided to focus on wedding photography, they realized that the best way to target specific high-end clients was through separate websites linked together. They started up with four sites — high-end weddings, high-end India weddings, Luke’s site, and David’s site — and now have 11, including ones for their commercial work and other family members. In this and upcoming posts, Luke explains why they decided on multiple websites instead of subdividing one.
©Edmonson Wedding

An image from the Edmonson's Indian wedding site. ©Edmonson Wedding

When we started working together, my father’s business was primarily commercial photography: magazines, books, CD covers, annual reports. So one week I got sent to the West Coast for an assignment, and he got sent to the East Coast for an assignment. And I said to my father, I came back here so that we could shoot together, but I don’t feel like we’re doing that. This is the commercial world, and that’s the way it’s going be; but we have our Saturdays, and wedding photography has changed. Have you ever considered doing weddings? I showed him that wedding photography today is little bit more lifestyle, more photojournalistic. I also showed him how the coffee table wedding books now are more of a magazine layout, which he could relate to.

So we kind of put our sign up in the world to do weddings. The first year, we did everything wrong. We did 120 weddings at $1,000 each, which was way too much. But you learn from your mistakes. So we changed our prices and we ended up doing more weddings the next year. We almost burned ourselves out because we were just all about volume — that’s what we thought success was.

So we learned from our mistakes again and changed our business model. One of the big ways we did that was with our websites. I have background working with websites, so when I very first started, I started off doing it all by myself, ’cause I thought nobody can do it as good as I could. But then I ended up realizing that the only way to grow your business is if you free yourself up to do what you’re best at, which is getting  business, running your business, being a photographer. So we started out with four sites. Those first four were a site tailored to our American weddings, a site tailored to our Indian clients for Indian weddings, a website for David Edmonson, and a website for Luke Edmonson. One of the reasons we had our two individual sites was because some of the organizations that we are part of, for instance WPJA, have specific parameters for the type of images that you show, and if you can identify who the photographer is. For us it was much simpler just to say, let’s take our consistent look and feel from our wedding sites, and we’ll make separate sites dedicated to each target audience.

The second reason we wanted separate sites was that, when we looked at our client, we saw that our most profitable clients are either our high-end Indian clients and our high-end American clients. We’re not making much profit on the in-between, middle-ground clients. But if we were only going after one group or the other, then we would be limiting ourselves. So we said, let’s go ahead and invest in completely separate websites.

Then number one, we could choose a domain name that meant something special to our Indian clients. That’s why our domain for that site is EdmonsonShaadi. “Shaadi” means matrimony in the Hindi language. And the messaging, the tone of what we wanted to say to clients was different, simply because culturally Indians are Hindus, Muslims, and Christians and have 10 thousand different languages and dialects. So rather than presenting ourselves in English, we wanted to be able to talk to say thanks to them in their own languages -– the different greetings that they would expect from other people who understand their culture. We were blessed to shoot a wedding in New Delhi, India, and we had the ability to see things first-hand. For us, when we’re looking at how to divide up the website, it was really important to be able to show our Indian clients things that relate specifically to their expectations. And then, vice-versa, for our American clients we could do the same.

©Edmonson Photography

©Edmonson Photography

Another thing that was important to us was that our separate sites link to one another, to allow people to navigate to the different types of photography we do. So for our wedding sites, at the bottom you’ll see that it says “Wedding,” “Indian,” “David,” and “Luke.” That is simply because we want our Indian clients who maybe know somebody who is non-Indian, to realize that we do work other than just Indian weddings, and hopefully recommend a new client. And likewise for our American clients, who could see we do Indian weddings and might tell a friend.

The same thing goes for our commercial and portraits and other related businesses. One of the things my father taught me long ago was that it’s very hard to be profitable the first time you do business. Profitability comes from a lifetime relationship working with someone. So we start out showing clients that we put an emphasis of the type of photography that we’re doing for them, but then we expand to their other needs.

For instance, someone might start out as a wedding client; then, of course, they’re going to have portrait needs. Maybe that starts with babies, maternity photos, and eventually those become senior portraits, family portraits, and so forth. Perhaps the dad has a business, so it’s awesome if he can see that we do commercial work as well. There are an infinite number of ways to grow your business by just putting it out there. One of the things that we found was that whenever we were initially introduced to a client, they wanted to be able to see that we focused on them. If it’s a commercial client, they didn’t want to see any portraits. They didn’t want to see any wedding photos. They wanted to see commercial photos. Likewise a bride who is looking for wedding photos, that’s all she wants to see. It’s only later in the relationship, when they started to explore some of our other offerings, and once they’ve already gotten connected to you and liked you, all of a sudden they start thinking of you and other ways that they can use you in their life.


  1. April 2nd, 2009 at 10:33 am

    RESOLVE — the liveBooks photo blog » Do you need more than one website? | The Click

    […] Check it out here. […]

  2. April 2nd, 2009 at 10:36 am

    RESOLVE posts blog from Dallas Photographer, Luke Edmonson «

    […] events, and industry information. We were excited to see that they published a story today about DFW’s own professional photographers, Luke and David Edmonson. […]

  3. March 16th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    - Does your website make you look like a jack-of-all-trades, master of none?

    […] a pretty good case for the strategy he and his dad, David, have for EDMONSON Photographers — create individual sites for each kind of photography you do because high-end clients want to think you eat, breath, and live the one kind of photography […]

  4. August 26th, 2012 at 4:09 pm


    Love the album OMG that coat and hat on Syd is just adorable. love it love it love it. you all look like you enjoy wtnier far more than we do. LOL and the pix of the dog and boy, love them too. they look like they have great fun together!

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