As a full time photographer, photographing is actually a small percentage of what I am doing during the week. Running a successful business means marketing, accounting, social media posting, education…the list goes on. One task that I find myself doing on a regular basis is meeting with prospective clients; working with them to decide if we are a good fit for their wedding. To put it simply, client consultations. When I meet with prospective clients I try to get to know them early in the conversation. There is nothing worse than meeting someone and instantly talking business. Not only will this make the rest of the meeting dry and awkward but it also doesn’t allow both client and photographer a chance to get to know each other’s personalities, — the most important part of hiring your photographer. I have compiled a list of “top things to know for your wedding consultation”.
1. Wedding Details
Talking about your wedding details is a great way to start your consultation. Before meeting your photographer, think about what you have planned so far, the number of guests, color schemes, where both the bride and groom will be getting ready, special places for your portraits, etc… This will help determine how much time you will need on your big day as well as get conversation momentum, enabling you to get a feel for each other’s personalities.
2. Will you be doing a first look or traditional wedding?
I cant count how many times I have spoken with clients that have never given this any thought, and rightfully so. Most likely this will be your first time getting married and many times brides are unaware of the differences. This decision will make a drastic difference in how your day pans out. The timeline on a traditional wedding will be completely different than a first look since when choosing a first look you will be doing all of your pictures before the ceremony. Ask your photographer the differences and the pros and cons of both.
3. How much coverage will you need?
Before going into your consultation, briefly think about how much time you want your photographer at your wedding. Some things to consider will be: do you want photos of bride and groom getting ready? How long is the ceremony? Is there travel time between locations? How long do you want your photographer at the reception? Talk to the wedding venues and find out what they have planned for your night, what time entrances start and what time the last major event end (i.e. cake cutting, garter toss, last dance, etc…)
4. Do you want an engagement session?
This is something we believe is an important part of your wedding experience which is why we include it in every collection. (view our engagement portfolio) Decide whether or not this is something you’re interested in before heading into that consultation. An engagement session gives you a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera before your big day as well as get a chance to know your photographer. Additionally, by having an engagement session, you will have a much more dynamic wedding portfolio. In most cases, this will be one of few times you will hire a professional photographer (until you have kids of course) so take advantage of it while you can!
5. Is the album important to you?
Again, since this is most likely your first wedding, you may have not thought of your wedding album. Depending how important this is to you will drastically change the wedding collection you choose (at least with us). Keep in mind this will be your first family heirloom. Even though it may be more expensive up front, you don’t want to regret having a cheap album down the road that holds all of your wedding memories. We offer a wide spread of album choices — everything from a coffee table style, thin paged book, to a massive heirloom quality art book. Here is some more information on our luxury wedding albums.
6. What are the turn around times for your photographer?
This may be the most important question to ask your wedding photographer. I can’t tell you how often I meet with brides that say their friend didn’t see their wedding images for months after the actual wedding date. To me, this is insane which is why we promise to have your wedding images ready for you to view in 2-3 weeks as well as have a preview of your wedding on our blog within 1-2 days of the wedding. Ask your wedding photographer when you will see your images and what the process is. Will there be a password protected web gallery? How does the album design process work? When and how will you receive your digital files?