Okay, I have to admit, I booked our wedding photographer in a very unconventional way. Sight unseen. Online. That’s what happens with long distance planning. However, knowing what I know now, I would have loved to have these tips when going through the booking process.
1. Make sure you are interested in the photographer you are contacting — and not just shopping for pricing.
Everyone is busy, wedding photographers included. I definitely appreciate it that if you’re contacting me because you also potentially want to meet with me. Many wedding photographers post a price range on their websites to give you an idea of how much most clients spend, myself included. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you can spend anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 (and beyond) on wedding photography.
2. If you are interested in meeting, let’s set up it up. If you need more information, just ask.
I’m happy to answer questions prior to setting up a meeting. Email is a quick way to get through those preliminary questions. I really like to meet with potential clients, unless, of course, you’re totally ready to book me. Another way to meeting without ever leaving your home is Skype. I’m totally up for a Skype meeting – it’s like in between a phone call and a face-to-face meeting, convenience of a call and interaction with video.
3. Attend the meeting and get to know your potential photographer. They are doing the same thing — getting to know YOU.
I like to set up casual client consultations. We’ll meet at a convenient location and hang out. Really. I want to get to know you and your fiancé on a more personal level. How did you meet? How is wedding planning going? I’ll answer any other questions you have about how I run engagement sessions or the flow of the wedding day. Most of all, I want you to walk away with the feeling that you’d love to have me with you on your wedding day for eight (or more) hours. Nothing is worse than spending an incredibly special and important day with someone you don’t get along with.
4. Follow up with your decision, even if you are not booking them.
If you want to book me, AWESOME! Let’s do it. However, if you’ve decided to go with someone else, that’s totally fine, too. But please let me know. We all know that rejection sucks. It’s kind of like breaking up without the relationship. But in the long run, it saves both of us time. I’ll know that you’re taken care of and I can re-open the date for another bride & groom to be. It’s a win-win. So please, follow up.
5. Don’t try to bargain.
If you’ve made it all the way to the point of contacting and/or meeting with me, you know what my prices are. Be upfront and honest if you cannot afford my services. It’s okay. Let me (or your potential photographer) know. I can refer you to someone you can afford and who will give you the level of service that I would give. If you really, really, really, genuinely want to book me, specifically, let me know, too. I may be able to work something out with you, at my discretion. But please, don’t try and bargain me down. That tells me that you don’t really respect me or my work.
I was once in a meeting with a bride, we had a conversation going and she seemed to be interested. At the end of the meeting, she pulled out a slip of paper from another photographer and said, “X Photographer can do X at X price. Can you match it?” I don’t know about others, but I’m not Walmart or Best Buy. I don’t price match. This tells me that you don’t really care about my services, and you just want to get a good deal. I can understand that, but that also means that I’m not the photographer for you.
Above all, I want to help you find someone who is right for you, even if it’s not me.
Someone once framed it in this context, would you walk into a Louis Vuitton or Gucci boutique and ask for a $500 discount on a purse?
I hope this was helpful as you plan your wedding! If you have other questions you’d like to know from a wedding photographer, leave them in the comments!
A new series I’m participating in: Thursday Tips! Check out these posts for photography advice and be sure to visit Lauren at Every Last Detail, Jenna & Elizabeth at Little Bit Heart, Becky at Bowties and Bliss, Lauren at Love Milk and Honey, Mel at The Oceanside Bride, Colleen at Soundtrack To I Do, Shay Cochrane Photography, and Stremel Photography for more great wedding planning tips + more.
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