How to Get Me to Photograph your Wedding
Hiring your wedding photographer is a two way street. Obviously, you want to choose a photographer whose work, style, and personality reflects the kind of photos you want from your day, but your photographer also has to also choose YOU as well. The photographer-client relationship goes both ways. For me, accepting a wedding commission is quite an undertaking. It’s a big investment on my part, in terms of time, energy, creativity, time….. oh yeah, and did I mention? TIME. So basically, if I’m going to spend as much time on your wedding as it deserves, it’s because I WANT to, and I’m excited about it. I actually turn down many more weddings than I accept, because I’m looking for nice, friendly couples who are getting married in unique places with lots of details and personalizations, and I want my clients to have the absolute best experience and the best of my work. Here’s how to make sure yours is one of the weddings I accept.
1. Please complete my contact form with specific details.
The contact form on my website is our very first introduction. You’ve read quite a bit about me on my website…. my style, what kinds of weddings I shoot, how I work…… so here’s your chance to let me know how your wedding will fit into those preferences. I ask for your names, your date, your venue, and a little bit about your wedding. That’s because I want to know all of these pieces of information.
I clearly ask for your venue, location, and its website (if any). You’d be surprised how many people respond with nothing but “NH” or just a town name. Photographers are very excited and inspired by good venues. We squeal when we we get inquiries about venues that we’d be excited about shooting at. Longlook Farm? OMG! A sweet rustic country bed & breakfast? Hell yes! Sooooo….. when you start out our interactions with giving me no kind of idea of the wedding you’re planning, I have sort of a lackluster interest from the start. Answering your venue location with “NH” feels rude and secretive to me. NH is not a venue.
2. Review the information on my website and make sure we are creatively a right fit.
I am a little bit different from other photographers in my area in that I put everything on my website. I put my prices, my style, my policies allll out there so that you can read it all thoroughly before you ever make the decision to contact me. When I have a bride fill out my contact form, and ask for basic information like pricing, I know right away that she hasn’t even looked at my website. Because it’s all right there. I’m not out to waste anybody’s time, so I provide all of that information.
When brides email me and explain that they’re having a church ceremony and a reception to follow at xyz country club, that’s a red flag right there that they haven’t done their homework about the services I provide. I’ve tried to make it abundantly clear in both photos and text that I’m focusing on outdoor weddings, and rustic venues like inns, bed and breakfasts, barns, etc. I kind of think that brides should be looking to hire photographers who frequently work in the types of places that they’re having their wedding, so hiring a natural light outdoorsy photographer to shoot your indoor church wedding doesn’t make a lot of sense.
3. Let me see your personality.
I know, it’s hard to really let your personality shine when all you’re doing is completing the umpteenth vendor contact form this week. You’re just looking for some dang information about some wedding services. Florists, caterers, bakers, yadda yadda yadda…… But I highly suggest that you write in a cordial fashion, something friendly to set yourself apart. Introduce yourself, be friendly, perhaps indicate what about my work caught your eye. I will bend over backwards to work with brides and grooms who are really excited about my work and want to work with me. That’s a win-win relationship. Photographers love that!
One time I met with a couple and asked them “So was there something about my work that you especially liked?” And the bride looked me straight in the eye and goes “Yeah, you were in our price range.” Ouch.
So yeah, the more you can let me know about YOU and your personality, the more I will be excited about it. I will be excited about YOU when I know that you are, in turn, excited about working with me.
Let’s work together!
Hiring a photographer involves some soft skills….. we are not a commodity that you buy off the shelf. We’re people, and we’re artists……. who get emotionally invested in our work. It’s in your best interest to get your photographer creatively excited about your wedding! Start that relationship off on the right foot by
- reading the website thoroughly before you even decide to contact (educate yourself),
- make sure your wedding is creatively a right fit for the photographer and provide specific information,
- and finally, show your personality and enthusiasm when you make that initial contact.
First impressions go a long way. When I choose to work with a couple who are stylistically and personality-wise a good fit, magic will happen. 🙂 Hopefully these tips will help you understand what a photographer is looking for when we try to find couples who are a good match.