When planning a wedding, many couples are faced with decisions they’ve never had to make before. For a lot of soon-to-be-newlyweds, elements of the planning — like finding a florist or hiring a photographer — are just not something they’re familiar with. Which means that for a lot of couples, even knowing what to ask their potential wedding photographer seems like kind of a stumper. As the photographer, it’s your job to help them feel at home and comfortable with you, and to help guide them toward the photos they’ve always dreamed of.
We asked international wedding photographer Jasmine Star to share with us not only the questions that she always asks — but the questions she wishes clients and potential clients would ask her. Here’s what she said.
What are the questions most couples have when they first meet with you?
So often I see articles in bridal magazines or on wedding planning websites instructing what questions a bride should ask before hiring a wedding photographer. I understand they’re meant to help, but most of them omit truly revealing components to what wedding photographers aspire to achieve. For example, here are a few questions I came across in a recent article regarding meeting with your wedding photographer:
–Is it okay for other people to take photos while you’re taking photos?
–What do you wear to a wedding?
–Do you have my wedding date available?
While important, these questions will likely yield the same answer if a bride interviews three prospective photographers, or 30. If you’re meeting with a wedding photographer, your main objective is get to know her. You’ll be spending the majority of your wedding day together, so knowing what gear she shoots with is important, but it’s not as important as knowing if your photographer is awkward, if you can let go + trust your photographer, and if you share a similar sense of humor.
What are the questions you wish prospective clients would ask?
If you’re a bride looking for a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer, I propose a few more to add to ensure you love the artist just as much as you love her portfolio…
–How do you spend your free time?
–What’s your most favorite memory at a wedding?
–What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on a wedding day?
–What are you most proud of?
–Why did you become a wedding photographer?
These questions yield wildly different answers and yet they offer clear insight into the soul of the person documenting your wedding day. I started as an Orange County Wedding Photographer, but the business has since grown into many areas, with each experience changing my perspective. I’d love to share what makes me unique–as would most photographers–so if you’re a bride looking for the best photographer for your wedding day, the best way is to ask questions that reveal the vision inside the visionary.
What makes for a great client relationship?
The best way to get to know your clients is to (at the risk of sounding trite) get to know your clients. Sure, you can ask questions, but a realistic approach is the treat clients the way you’d treat a new friend.
While you might ask preliminary questions, I suggest leveraging social media as a great place to start.
After booking a client, I send a friend request on Facebook. There I can see a plethora of information that paints a richer picture (for instance, I learned from a recent client where she works out, a movie she recently watched, what she got for Christmas, and recent proposal photos). Taken together, this is valuable information…essentially, she’s outlining her preferences in a way I can connect with her. (Instagram is another powerful vehicle to see how a client spends her time and her style preferences.) Once I learn certain aspects of my bride, I try to find ways to connect in her world, on her terms.
However, if you’re still looking for a way to connect in more traditional terms, here’s a list of questions that’ll offer insight to your client and the wedding planning process:
–What keeps you busy during the week?
–How did you and your fiancé meet?
–How did the proposal take place?
–What’s your favorite thing about your fiancé?
–What are you most looking forward to your wedding?
–What is the theme of your wedding?
–Expected number of guests?
–Fashion magazines and/or blogs you turn to for inspiration?
–Detail any venue/vendors you’ve already booked or are considering
Find our more about the process of wedding photography, and how to become the best wedding photographer in your region with Jasmine Star’s CreativeLive class, Wedding Photography.