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Wedding Clients: The First Meeting

Meeting with a potential client can be nerve wracking. Knowing the right things to say before, during and after your meeting will make you stand out from the other photographers they might be interviewing and land you the business. 

Before the meeting: Establish a rapport, & make sure they have seen a sample of your work.

During the meeting: Take control by knowing what questions to ask. The easiest way to get the appointment in full swing is to start off by asking the following questions:

  1. How did you meet
  2. How did he/you propose?
  3. Who is in your bridal party?

Every bride and groom loves to talk about their relationship! Ask the questions and be quiet.  Let them talk.  Take notes of important details.

  1. Ask questions about the place they are getting married at. Are there any special things they will be doing there? Is there a theme?
  2. How many guests will there be? Sometimes there will only be immediate family at the ceremony and then a large number of guests for the reception. This question will help you guide them in choosing the appropriate package for their wedding at the end of the meeting.
  3. Where are they going on their honeymoon?

These questions will often give you insight into the personalities of the bride and groom. Are they going to Disneyland or biking through Italy? The more you can find out, the more you will have to talk about when you get to selling yourself and telling them what you plan to do to capture their day and make it special.

So now you know about them, it’s time they know about you…Ask them…

  1. What are you looking for in a photographer? They may know exactly what they want or don’t want. For example, they may want someone to run the timing of their wedding, or they may want you to just stay in the background and capture moments as they unfold.  Knowing their expectations will help you figure out how you will work with them going forward.  Are they relaxed and casual about their day or are they specific about how they want everything to go. You will need to adapt your personality and your style in order to work with the varying personalities of brides and grooms.

Now that you know what they want in a photographer, tell them why they should hire you.

Here is what they should know about you:

  1. What makes you different from other photographers?
  2. What happens if things don’t go as planned? What if it rains? What if there are last minute changes? What is your Plan B?
  3. How do you work? Are you going to be posing them throughout the day or will you be in the background taking candids?
  4. Help them understand your packages! This is the time to bring out your price sheet. You should have copies for both the bride and groom. This is where you will sell them on the value of your work.   The beginning of the year is when most of us revamp our wedding packages and prices. Know exactly what your packages include. If you offer packages that have add-on choices, make sure you clearly communicate this so that both bride and groom understand what you are offering and what they are paying for. For example, if your packages include an assistant or another photographer, make sure to explain what the differences are and what the value is to them will be.  Do the packages include a DVD or an album? Make sure this is clear.

More guests usually are better handled with two photographers, however, the bride and groom may not have the budget for that package, or, they may not care about images of all of the guests. In either case, you will need to let them know that regardless of whatever package they choose, they will be getting your best work.

Wrap it up

Always have an album to show them that shows off your best work. Don’t assume that BOTH bride and groom have seen your work before your meeting. Make sure the images show off your creativity, your use of light in different situations. Show posed, group shots and candids.  Include shots that show what some of the “extras” in your packages look like, ie.  a Trash the Dress session or an engagement session.

References!  Giving your potential bride and groom the name of one or two of your past customers to call will allow them to do some selling on your behalf.   Don’t be afraid to ask a past bride and groom if it’s ok to use them as a reference for potential clients. Remember, not only do engaged couples like to talk about their wedding plans, but just married couples like to talk about their spectacular wedding day as well! A reference from a happy client may make the difference between you getting hired, over one of the other three photographers they are interviewing.

Written by Jessica Ford