Long after the cake is eaten and the wedding dress is stored away, the wedding photographs remain. For this reason, your role as a wedding photographer is one of the most important roles at the wedding.
As any good wedding photographer knows, your job begins long before the actual wedding day arrives. One of the most important tasks a wedding photographer has is getting to know his or her clients. The best way to achieve this goal is by asking your clients some key questions early in your relationship.
Ask the questions below at the initial meeting to assure you and your clients have the best experience possible:
1. How Did You Meet?
Asking a couple how they first met is not only a great way to break the ice, it is also a perfect way to gain a little insight about who they are. As the couple shares their story with you, listen for clues that may tell you more about them. For example, a couple who met on a hiking trail may prefer the look of outdoor shots. The hints you gather from listening to a couple’s story may not be absolute rules, but they can be helpful guidelines, and can even help the three of you come up with ideas for a fun theme for their couple’s shoot after the ceremony.
2. What Does Your Perfect Wedding Day Look Like?
Like the question aboove, this question does not relate to photography at first glance. It is still an important question for you to know the answer to early in the relationship with your clients as it helps cue you into the personality, wishes, and dreams of the bride and groom. You will be able to tailor your shots to match the vision of the upcoming wedding day by knowing what the couple imagines as their perfect wedding day.
3. What Are Your Expectations of Me?
Asking your clients this question early helps prevent confusion and disappointment later. Your clients may have some unrealistic expectations that you can help clarify for them. Conversely, they may be pleased to learn of all the services you offer. Either way, providing a concrete outline of what they can expect by hiring you is beneficial for all involved.
They may even be wondering how you intend to capture all the special moments of the day, while still giving them enough space to enjoy themselves. If appropriate, this question may lead to a good opportunity for you and your clients to go over the details of the photography contract and the logistics of how you intend to get your shots.
4. Can You Tell Me About the Logistics of Your Big Day?
Experienced wedding photographers know the importance of knowing the rules and logistics in advance of the wedding day. You will need to find out any photography rules and regulations as well as a few other pieces of information from the engaged couple. Religious preference, ceremony time, venue, and reception location are crucial for photographers to know. It is better to have too much information than not enough when it comes to shooting weddings.
It’s also an opportunity to let the couple know that they should seek the permission of the wedding celebrant to have a photographer present at the ceremony. This is something you will be aware of after attending so many weddings but the couple may not even know it is expected of them.
5. Would You Show Me Some of Your Favorite Wedding Pictures?
You could ask the bride and groom to tell you about their ideal wedding photos, but if you have them show you some pictures they adore it will be more helpful. This is an ideal time to show them your portfolio, and let them show you their favorite shots of yours. Additionally, ask them to find appealing photos on Pinterest or in magazines. This will help you see if the couple favors the look of photojournalism or of more traditional photography.
6. What Is Your Wedding Photography Budget?
According to Moneysmart.gov.au, the average wedding in Australia costs about to $36,200. Costs for wedding photography can account for close to 10 percent of that budget, but these numbers vary for every wedding. Find out how much your potential clients plan to spend to determine whether you have a package that will suit their needs and budget.
7. What Are Some of Your Must-Have Shots?
The purpose of this question is two-fold. First, it gives you more logistical information to help you capture the most important images on the big day. Second, it gives you further insight into the unique tastes and preferences of the couple. Engaged couples who like action shots are more likely to prefer a more relaxed style of photography. A couple who lists portraits at the top of their list is more likely to be pleased with more traditional images, such as the posed group family shots.
Wedding photography is centered on relationships. Couples are inviting you to be an intimate part of the most important day of their lives. Going over these initial questions enhances the photography experience for you all.
What questions do you ask your clients?
Anna-Nicole Del Re is a professional photographer and the Marketing & Operations Manager at Viva Photography, a leading Wedding photographer in Perth Western Australia and Melbourne Victoria. Connect with Anna-Nicole on Google+.
Photo Credit: Viva Photography