Talking with Clients
Part of good business practice is to be able to interact and speak well with your clients. Now, I want to go over some tips on not only how to interact with your clients before and after your wedding or before you even book them, but some things later on what you can say to help build them up to help keep them positive and to make sure that you are coming across professionally courteous and uh just a really overall great photographer. So let's talk about the things on how you should be interacting with your clients. Now, a lot of this stuff is sort of manners, but it's good to remember that you're representing a business, you're asking for money to be paid for yourself and you are also going to be using your technical skills. So you want to not only uh ensure that you are worth what you're saying, you want to be polite, but you also want to be able to express to them uh your ability to be a good vendor at one of the most important days in their life because you will be all up in their ...
entire family, in their business. Around them all day. Uh And you want to make sure that they are comfortable with you being there, being in front of the camera is a very vulnerable and intimate thing. They wanna make sure that the person behind camera is going to make them feel the best that they can feel. They may not know that that's what they want, but that is what they want. You're not there just to take photos, you're there to record and be a part of an entire event in their timeline of life. So here we go, be welcoming and calming. This is something that I sort of have done naturally, but being calm is going to be very advantageous to you, especially on the day of the wedding, things can always go awry and things can always be behind bad things can happen on the wedding. And as long as the photographer is staying calm, your clients will be calm. I think a lot of times if they're anxious and they see that you're anxious or you're worried when you're taking their photos that will come across through the lens and you wanna make sure that they feel comfortable with you because that's gonna make the best photos for you. And it's also gonna just be more pleasant, know what you're saying and be confident. I can't tell you how many times when I was starting out where I was like, uh I don't know. And the look on the client's face was not good. You want to make sure that, you know, the day of your wedding, you know, your equipment and you feel it and you exude that to your clients who are paying you thousands of dollars, it will make things so much easier. And again, it's going to have the effect of making your subjects and your clients feel calm, confident and that will come across in the photos because that is what it's all about. A thing that I've learned over time. And I don't think I started doing this until maybe halfway through my wedding. Photography career is actually sitting down and talking to the couple about what you want their vibe to be or what is most important to them. A lot of couples are very interested in having a specific look that that maybe they saw on Pinterest or Instagram. Some couples are terrified of being in front of the camera and they hate posed shots and they just want you to be a fly on the wall and journalistically capture their day. I think understanding where they're coming from will help you in deciding how creative you want to be, how interactive you want to be, how much you'll need to know if they need to be posed or how much they'll, you'll know that they don't want to be posed just talking to them and asking what vibe and feeling are you as far as being in front of the camera will open up a whole window of creativity for you and will also teach you on how best to interact with your couple. This is one of my biggest tips that I think I've discovered over time. It's a little different because I feel like, you know, you're not necessarily selling a product, you're selling a service and that's great. But you don't, you don't wanna forget that you don't want to forget that the couple in front of you is not, you're not creating photographs for product. You want to treat them like friends. And I think treating them like friends and treating them like people that you're photographing is very important. And at the very end of the day, the camera doesn't matter, the people do and that will come across in your photos as well. But you don't want to treat them like products or like the image is the thing that's going to push your career off into the future. And you need to make sure that you get that image. You need to remember that this is more important for them than it will ever be for you. And that is huge. And as soon as you can start to wrap your head around that, that the most important thing is their day and their comfort level, you will start to feel that and it will come across in your photos again, everything I'm saying are things that are going to be reflected in the photography and it's really gonna be helpful not sticking your camera in their face during a very important thing is very important thing to remember deciding when to pick up the camera or when to slowly decide to pick up the camera, to take a photo, to make sure that they're calm with it. Getting to know them, talking to them, understanding how they're feeling before you start seeing a camera in their face is very important. They are humans just like you. And you got to remember how you would feel if you were in their situation. Now that we've talked about how to talk to them and interact with them. Let's think about before you book them. What are some things that you can talk about and say about your photography and how important photography is and these sort of things are gonna help you hopefully book your client um more so than impress them. We wanna make sure that they feel comfortable with you and they know that you have a great appreciation for wedding photography and photography and them. The first thing I always talk about is how important photography is to a wedding. Uh There are a lot of questions I get like, hey, do you also do a video or do you recommend having video? And a lot of times I say, you know, if you really want, you feel like you're gonna show that, but videos can't be on your wall videos are hard to share and showcase and evoke as much memory as often. Photography is so important and it has been around for over years at this point and it lasts generations and I'm not talking about just the digital files. I mean that eventually someone will print a photo and put it on a wall and it will be inspiring to the household as people walk by all the time, my friend Phil, who I shot his wedding for he has those photos plastered all over his house. And I can't tell you how much, how much feeling it gives me when I walk through his house and know that his kids are gonna grow up looking at those photos and that is gonna build something in those Children. Photography is that important? That moment is so important. And I can't even tell you how many times I've looked at my parents uh wedding photos and my grandparents' wedding photos. My family in the downstairs room has a picture of uh their wedding. And then above that is uh each of their parents' weddings and the next is my sister's wedding. And it's just so wonderful to see the generational photographers, but not only that my family in these unions because they have built the structure of our family. And I've been looking at those since I was a kid. Photos are so important and they will last generations. And I love telling a couple that and I also like telling a couple how lucky I feel to be a part of their day at the end of the wedding being a part of, you know, something that special to them is a, is an intimate and it is a lot because you are with them all day more than their parents, their family, their kids, you are there with them all day and you are sharing in that experience and that is such a special thing in humanity. Another thing as a photographer that you can be talking about in your initial meeting is talking about how you can give recommendations for the day of their wedding if they are, you know, not sure how to organize things because often people are gonna be booking photographers way more advanced than anything else other than their location. So by the time they talk to you, they may not know the order of the day. And so offering your expertise in, I think we should shoot here. I think we should shoot then I think we should do. This is reassuring to the couple. Now you may not be making those decisions right away when you meet them, but just them knowing that you have the confidence in knowing the day of the wedding, knowing when you should be shooting is great. And we will get into that later in a lecture on how to plan that out and how to know that and having a she a cheat sheet to get you there. But telling them that you're aware of these things and you have a plan is, is huge for couples. I've seen couples light up when they know that I know what process and what should happen after what, during a wedding. Finally, the last thing that I tell a couple is that I want to cause them as little stress as possible. At the very end of the day, I wanna be the last person that they're even thinking about because this day is wild for you. It's gonna be very difficult shooting a wedding. I get it. But for them, they have family there, they've spent a lot of money, they have multiple vendors there. They're on a timetable. Uh There may be drinking involved, there is just a lot going on. So reminding them that you as a photographer will be the last person on their mind is usually very reassuring to them. And I think that that's really helpful with a lot of couples because they will be overwhelmed. It is a big day with a lot of things going on.