You may already have a particular photographer on your mind you really want. You have seen their work. Love their style. They photographed a friend’s wedding and you loved their pictures. However, you haven’t yet met them and have no idea who they really are and what kind of personality they have. So before you email them and ask what the next step is to book them, perhaps you should meet with them first. What if you loved everything about their photography, hire them and on your wedding day you meet for the first time and you do not connect with them at all. Then what? I feel like this would completely bring a huge amount of stress to your wedding day. I mean, to begin with, your wedding photographer spends nearly an ENTIRE day with you! From getting ready pictures, family formals to pictures with your wedding party. They are around you more than any other wedding vendor! Think about this for a second!
If you have not talked on the phone, Skyped, or met in person prior to your wedding day you might be in for a big surprise. When I first began photographing weddings I learned quickly the importance of communication with my couples AND meeting in person. Connecting and getting to know one another plays such a huge role in how you will all get along on your wedding day. When someone inquires about my wedding photography services, I encourage us to meet. Oftentimes couples already know they want to book me, which is quite flattering. But how do I know our personalities may conflict? My job is to serve my couples and give them 110% from the moment we meet, on their wedding day and even long after their wedding. The minute a bride reaches out to me to see my availability she is already putting her trust in me to take beautiful wedding pictures for her, her husband to be, their families and friends! To me, photographing a wedding day is a huge honor and one I do not take for granted.
Brides, when you are researching photographers, be sure they number 1) respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. Any longer and you begin to feel like they just don’t care about you. 2) Ask to see more of their work, other than what they share on their Facebook or Instagram feeds. Do they have a website? (It’s 2019, they should have one and it better be up to date!). And speaking of websites, let’s back up for a minute. Websites are vital tools while researching wedding vendors, especially photographers. They should be full of pretty pictures of their best work showing their style and the type of bride they cater to. But they should also have a page in their website describing who they are as a person other than the one behind the camera. It’s their personal resume they are putting out there and one that clearly describes what makes them tick. What type of hobbies do they have outside of photography? What are their favorite parts of being a photographer? How did they became one? What is their WHY? Can you relate to them and are they someone you might want to hang out with?
My website has an “about me” page and so many of my couples tell me they feel like they already know me even before we meet! They learned on my website I love skinny jeans, specifically American Eagle. I love red wine. I’m a huge animal lover! My home is full of fur babies! I love to travel, especially out west to the Rocky Mountains. We have connected even before we have met in person! How awesome is that?
My last suggestion is 3) ask if they can have a Skype session with you or make time to meet up at a local coffee shop. Meeting in person should seal the deal on whether you want to book them or not. If you feel like they’re giving you a huge sales pitch and want your money to take pictures of you over treating you like someone who wants to be your bff, take a step back and rethink whether you want to hire them or not. If you feel at all uneasy after meeting, realizing you aren’t connecting, it might be a sign they aren’t going to be a right fit as your wedding photographer. And that’s completely okay! Hiring a wedding photographer is a big decision and an even bigger investment! It’s definitely a decision you can’t take lightly. If you can take anything away from reading this, perhaps it is this. Any vendor who is a part of your wedding day, is there by their reputable service but most importantly because you chose them for making you feel number one, important to them and well taken care of from the moment you contacted them and all throughout your wedding day.