In the past couple of wedding Wednesday posts we broke down the types of studios and what to tell a photographer in the initial inquiry. You’ve narrowed down the choices and are ready to meet with prospective photographers. Now what?
Your first impressions are important. Did the photographer respond to your inquiry within a timely manner? During the week it should be within 24 hours and if you inquire on a Friday to Sunday evening expect on average 48 hours. I say this because as you know most weddings take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays! I really do want to respond to you but as a photographer my focus is on the client who’s special day it is right now! Also many studios take Sundays and Mondays as their weekends since they work most Saturdays.
Next where are you meeting? I had a studio for years but the overhead and the fact that I worked almost completely on location meant it made no sense financially! In today’s digital world many reputable photographers meet their clients in everything from home offices and on skype, to coffee shops and lounges to a client’s home. Yes some still have office spaces but you will probably find those are the studios with multiple photographers and separate office staff from day of wedding staff! Many clients opt to simply speak with photographers on the phone or over Skype because of their busy schedules or simply location. This is where referrals, past reviews and the quality of a photographers work really are important.
Depending on where you’re meeting the photographer and your wish list will sometimes depend on what a photographer shows you but they should show you something!
As a professional photographer I have a variety of albums and enlargements that I show clients. If I’m meeting them somewhere I usually try and bring albums that will speak to a particular couple and this is where that phone consultation is very important. As a photographer I want to thrill you and have you envisioning your wedding day! Photography is an intangible because I can show you how gorgeous another couple looked and you have to trust that I’ll do the same for you! The great thing about an album though is that the quality you see is the quality of all the albums I produce!
Although albums aren’t in every clients budgets I believe that if you simply ask a photographer to give you a USB of images it’s akin to going to a restaurant and asking the chef to simply put the ingredients in a bag and you’ll go home and put the meal together! Albums tell your story!
When speaking with a photographer you should be at least somewhat prepared to sign a contract and pay a deposit if you fall in love with them and their work, they won’t hold a date while you shop around. This is where your gut comes into play, if you feel comfortable with a vendor (be it photographer, cake designer, florist or wedding planner) when you’re meeting with them it’s often the right fit! I’ve had clients love what I do but want to talk to a couple more photographers just to be sure. By the time they get back to me I’ve booked another client for that day!
As with most businesses I have many ways for clients to make their payments including Visa, Mastercard and Debit. I find that until our relationship grows, by us seeing and speaking to each other several times before the wedding, this helps to build trust. And the reality is the relationship between you and your photographer is based on trust! We become a team with the same goal in mind. Capturing and preserving your wedding day memories in a beautiful, timeless and artistic manner!
I hope this helps a bit in finding the perfect photographer for you!