5 Questions Every Photographer Should Ask His Bride
Weddings are a huge deal. In case you didn’t notice. Nothing will bring a wrath upon you as a photographer quicker than a bride upset (at you) on her wedding day. The good thing for you as a photographer is if you ask the right questions you can identify and avoid problems before they happen. As hard as it may be, the first thing you need to remind yourself is that you don’t HAVE to take every client. If you get a wrong impression from your inquiring bride you need to politely steer her in a direction of someone else who may fit her needs better. The wedding consultation before a contract is signed is important to the process. Here are some essential wedding photography questions every photographer should ask the bride before a contract is agreed on:
Comparing Sunflower Photography Compositions
(1) How did you first meet? –
This may seem like a no brainer, but it is common to overlook this important piece of your first discussion. I put this as my number one to ask because in my first meetings I like to get to know my clients. I want to know about them as a couple, are they shy, outgoing, reserved, eccentric—and I like to know their history because I want both the bride and groom to feel comfortable and relaxed around me later. I think the most awkward moments with wedding photography is when you don’t know your clients well enough. Genuinely show interest in your couple, I will take this question and look for a way to embed something unique about the couple later on…either through a special photograph or a small gift after the wedding. Remember that keeping your bride/groom happy will lead to more referrals for your business.
(2) What style of photography are you looking for? –
I ask this question to make sure my bride understands what she wants. If my style is not what she is looking for then the result may not be what she truly wanted. Find out from your bride her style preferences to make sure you are both on the same page because there is nothing worse than you trying to change your style later to make sure your bride is happy. Show the bride your past work and ask her what some of her favorites are, this will help give you focus for making sure she is happy later. Wedding photography is different for each bride, and with everyone a wedding photographer these days – don’t be afraid to ask.
(3) How have you scheduled the wedding day – from start to finish? –
Find out the timeline of the wedding day to see where you fit in. Every bride has a different plan in her mind, trust me – she has been planning this day for a long time and will be happy to share her plan with you. The earlier you are coordinated with a schedule the better. You do not want your wedding photography getting in the way of your bride’s vision. You want enough time for your portraits and as much as the bride may try and plan the day, as soon as the ceremony is over there will be people getting in the way of her timeline. Go over it with it several times with your bride and don’t be afraid on the wedding day to remind her of the time requirements for your portraits.
(4) How many guests are you anticipating? –
I always like to know this to get a feeling for what type of wedding she is planning. If it is a large wedding there will be more distractions, this doesn’t change my pricing or my quality of work, but I prepare for each wedding individually and I like to know what style of wedding she has planned. More guests will change the dynamic of your wedding photography, not necessarily a bad thing – but you should know. This may need a follow up question about the bride’s intentions for group photos, I have shot weddings where the entire group (all guest, I know) were in one large group photo and others where there weren’t any group photos. Recently I shot a very large wedding – knowing it ahead of time meant I planned for the portraits to be taken as far away from the reception as possible to minimize the distractions.
(5) Who in your family, friends will be good to ask help from during the wedding? –
This is huge. Every wedding requires group photography shots. If you absolutely hate group photos then you might want to reconsider wedding photography. One problem with large groups is finding everyone and keeping them where they should be. I always want to identify 1-2 people that know who is who in these groups and is comfortable telling Uncle Joe to tuck his shirt in and smile. Wedding photography goes A LOT smoother with help from family.
If you are new at weddings, take the time and get to know your bride. Get to know her interests and personality and her expectations, you need her to be comfortable around you during all aspects of the wedding, and you need her to be happy. A happy bride = good word of mouth. And remember that word of mouth is king in the photography business.
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