Wedding Client Interview

 

Posing Masterclass

 

Lesson Info

Wedding Client Interview

I'm going to use you tests to do a really quick demonstration so test you're going to have a seat on the stool and there's a reason for this this demonstration and I think all of this goes back into lighting imposing because it tells you volumes about who you're working with and that will translate into that so let me back up just a little so I'm not in your personal space now have we rehearsed this okay and I didn't rehearse it on purpose because I wanted to be natural and I want it to be real toe to test so test is married but we're gonna pretend that she's engaged and and she's coming to me to interview me with me for her wedding so first of all tests I am so excited about your wedding thank you so much for coming to interview absolutely got to tell me about your dress oh my dress oh my gosh it was totally not what I expected I had I thought I wanted something a little more fitted but I ended up getting something really big and princess hee did you really and did you wear the tiara ...

on your head I had the bird cage fail oh you know what I bet I have the bird cage bill oh but that was a that's amazing so tell me did your bridesmaids yes I do okay and what are they gonna where there's gonna wear a simple grey lay stresses that come with me oh how fun and then where you gonna have your wedding at a church that we go to oh my goodness that is so amazing you know what tests what are your concerns in hiring a photographer well we do live in texas so it's the weather's very crazy so we don't know if it's going to rain it's a spring wedding so it's kind of scary and being able to tackle that if it rains have a backup plan and then look like they were out of a magazine absolutely well and which magazines by the way do you like well I love vogue low am I like I've mainly look on blog's on online than I do on magazines okay now let's stop there for a second first of all there's a reason why I have her on a stool and I have me on a choo hear what reason is that I want her in the seat of power now who did all the talking okay right she did all the talking but who was in charge you see this is the key so many of us this is the way many of us as photographers do here switch seats with me many photographers especially the more experienced photographers do this high test thank you so much for coming to interview me of me about your wedding and I'm so happy let me tell you a little about myself oh you know I've been photographing for over thirty years so I have lots of experience and you see all my wall of trophies over here and you see this one right over here I just got that last month at the big w p p I convention and it's the world's greatest photographer in the universe on then and you see the medals I have hanging around my neck so you can be assured I'm going to do the most amazing job that you've ever ever had so now let me tell you a bit about my coverage is you know I have to tell you that I might coverages are really cheap do you know what I'm so inexpensive I could've for to hire myself and you believe that so here we go we start by you not my eight by tens air only four dollars and ninety five cents and you know that photographer down the street over there you're probably gonna go interview with him later I know because he's you know that he does okay he's got a few awards too but let me tell you he just do all that great a job I don't really like this stuff very much and on top of that he is a man and you know I'm going to do a better job than that anyway right okay now the sad part is is that I mean that maybe we joked a little bit but I'm sorry you would be surprised how many people are doing that you'd be surprised so first of all I'm in the seat of power which is intimidating to your subject it's intimidating to her I don't know squat about her wedding all I know is this enough of me talking about me what do you think of me yeah exactly what do you think of me and so we don't want to be like that it truly says when you're photographing people it's about people let's enjoy them and embrace them and the older way you get to know who she is and get to love who she is is to find out what they're all about so great okay so let's say you could put these chairs back well we're done with that segment now we have something questions from the internet just one second okay um while you're pulling up those questions on the internet I just wanted to one of the other things that we went over yesterday that was really good was well how did you handle someone who's in a wheelchair you know what do you do with that person you know what if they're really uncomfortable about that that experience and being in a chair well the biggest thing is you could see with uncle john here who's in the wheelchair noticed the way that we grouping the family around them we're hiding as much of the wheelchair is possible and because if they're uncomfortable with it then I want to hide it if they're not then you know we're going to use that thing as a prop and we'll build people around it it's all about who what the kind thanks about that experience and and I know there are sometimes I'll have clients who will have like a walker a cane or something and I go I'm so mortified I don't really want to have that thing in picture and if that's the way they feel then I'm going to do whatever I can to understand their comfort and then do what I can to minimize that so this this photograph is in keeping with the person who is a little bit uncomfortable with being and maybe in a wheelchair but notice the warm comfortable nous that comes with the photograph that you get by bringing people all nice and cozy and the same concept triangular shape composition c there's triangle there there's a triangle here there's another triangle there really can be a very nice thing yes okay so we have a question from flow emcee and this goes back teo sort of the beginning interview how does how about people who fake style toe look more fashionable when they're coming to see you is it possible to read between the lines that this one is not as glamorous as her clothes would tell great question yeah you know what that's a really good question but here's the key it doesn't matter whether it's fake style it's or not because it matters if they're wearing it they like that you see that's the key to understand I'm so glad that whoever did that question that is a fabulous question because what that tell us is that you know not just rich people spend a lot of money on their clothes many times people with modest means value fashion not just rich people buy fashion magazines I buy vogue and I'm not rich how many dubai vogue magazine here are you rich know so you can't look at it as you can't look at it from the standpoint will that person wearing that armani suit is rich because they may have gone like me to my favorite resale shop in walnut creek california which is called labels and I love I'm not a bit ashamed to say that I love resale shops because I love really good clothes and I don't want to spend twenty five hundred dollars on a blazer I mean this is black label our money that I have on and I paid like a whole bunch less than twenty five hundred bucks which is what I would have if I bought it in the armani store and I say that I'm not ashamed of that because you know what so what it's the worst thing that I've ever done so we'll not be going to hell for that right it's not a big deal so it's and it's also I want to go one step farther with that comment with that question because a person could go to forever twenty one and by their accessories and forever twenty one or their clothes and for over twenty one and still understand style it's not the price of the clothes that they're wearing it's not the fact that they are carrying that big fancy louis vuitton handbag that just say oh you're rich no it just means I like fashion and I like you know I like this or that my daughter in law has amazing taste but let me tell you that gal can work on a budget like you've never seen she can make she can walk out the door and look like she is like any fashion model you have ever seen in your life and her entire out that may have cost thirty dollars so what it tells you it's the underlying thing that it tells you it tells you if a person's wearing mismatched areas that says I'm uncomfortable with me I'm like being a little bit different it tells me certain things about their personality if someone's wearing if their finger nails are manicured in their toenails or manager that tells me that they're that they kind of take a little bit of pride if that young lady he comes in and she's wearing flip flops and she has never had a pedicure in her whole life that tells me she's a bit more casual you know a question came up a little earlier we were talking about before way had the problem we were talking about clothing and whether you know what if somebody's like fake rich in other ways they like to dress better than they are above their station so speaking of that sounds horrible but that's on you not to put it well I believe that that that it doesn't have anything to do with how much you spend on a garment it has to do with with what that garment tells about you and I was talking about the fact that my daughter in law alethea is she could walk in any vogue magazine and she would look the part if she walked in this room right now you would say oh my lord that girl is way put together and she looks right like she stepped right out of a magazine and she could do that entire look from for over twenty one for for thirty bucks because she understands how to put clothing together and and what and uncertain you know different combinations and such so it's not about how much the person spending on their garment it's the fact that they are putting together the items they are it's whether they're dressed real casually like when you look at brooke look at brooks the fact that she's wearing this beautiful sweater it's a cable knit sweater with how you needed that holy cow but look at the way that she's put together her style come here kitty I want to just compare the person you are you are earthy but look at her turn this way now compare her test come up here for a second honey look at the way that they're the two comes the comparison this has nothing to do with how much they spent but there's no question that there's a difference in these two girls in their personal style and brooke of this beautiful sweater on that she personally needed that and the fact that it's got all this beautiful detail on it it's very earthy look at the shoes are very nondescript they're simple this tells you a lot about their personal style has nothing to do with money at all okay have a seat because and one of the reasons I wanted to bring that point and make that point was because the reason that it's important to ask people like to look at their personal style and then to ask viewpoint questions is critical because if I had just looked at test read her up and down on her wedding day I probably would have missed the boat because did you hear what she said when I was interviewing her what she told me about what her dress looked like that totally blew me out of the water I'm going to say right now I was so surprised I would not have expected you to be wearing a big poofy ball again with the tiara on your head it's just so would not seem that it would work for you but what did she say that's why asking questions like viewpoint questions are important like how do you know ah like what are you gonna wear what are you going to wear for our session what kind of things you know what kind of color tones do you like you know so that you're asking viewpoint questions now for a wedding it's critical in my opinion the first question I want to climb to ask I want to ask a client period ever ever ever ever when they sit down that share my first question is going to be what what what does your dress look like that's the first question okay but come on tell me what is the objection what if the groom is saying you're right you can't ask that what would be the next question that I'm gonna ask what are your bridesmaids wearing because see then that is about fashion it tells me about her taste the kinds of things that are important her you notice and amongst the conversation with test I asked her to tell me about your ceremony I didn't say are you having a church wedding because that's a close ended question I said tell me about your ceremony shut up bambi and letter talk okay so then she said oh well we're going to a church where we're having at the church I grew up to that tells me that there's an element of tradition to this girl that's important so those kinds of questions tell me volumes about who the client is and it translates in not only the way that I photograph them but it also tells me about which album which wedding album which portrait album to show them first when I'm going to interview when I'm interviewing that client for the first time if I'm going to show like for someone if I were showing brook on album a fan the pictures I'm not going to show her this rule trendy cool family that's you know like real hardcore that has all this white glass where I photographed him at their home I'm gonna photograph show her pictures that are earthy that are warm and fuzzy pictures of people maybe a number of quite a bit of black and white might show up in her in her in the imagery that I show her and that way she sees herself in my pictures that's important is to show people something that they want to see does that make sense we have a few more questions wait one question was in regards to where to go when you meet with people there's quite a few people in the in the internet that have this question about when you interview with people a lot of times you're talking about meeting someone in your studio yes what if you're meeting at a coffee shop okay what's a good approach for that okay I can absolutely help you guys with that okay because I want you to know for many years I worked out of my home when my son was in school I got pregnant with my son cameron the year I entered in photography I started in january he was born in september and my first year in photography I'm nine months pregnant you know my first season in the business so I really know how it feels to work out of your home here's the key I will tell you in working out of my home let me tell you about my first home in california we moved I'm from georgia and for yala that it'll come out occasionally someone asked you got me out of my case last night on the internet said baby where's that southern drawl of yours we just hear me for a little while and you'll hear it come in so okay so I am um I've been in california for about twenty five years my husband walked in the door and said hey baby how do you feel about moving to california we sold our house in two weeks and moved now I've never I had at that point had never even been to california up to that point I'd never even been past alabama okay so I had no idea what a unique environment california was going to be the good thing was is that within three months we were completely broke we didn't have a dime to our name and that you know you that's a good thing by the way you know why because if we had money we would have moved back and if we moved back I probably wouldn't be where I'm at in my career because it made me face every fear I've ever had in my whole life you know we didn't have an interstate in columbus georgia at the time so I had to learn to drive on the freeway it took me six months to get the courage to drive on the interstate in california was so terrified that I would wreck the car something and those people drove like maniacs you know especially going through l a so so anyway to make a long story short my first year in business I was working out of my home my home was in martinez california now any veal that letter from california you know martinez this kind of a blue collar area my home was three blocks from the oil refinery ok my next door neighbor parked his car in his yard no not in front of his house not in the driveway but in the yard okay so now at the time I thought okay what am I going to do about this here I'm trying to get business and stuff you know how my gun I'm going to do well I learned pretty quickly that guess what after dark the oil refinery looks a lot like the emerald city it looks pre I'm not joking you it did so I said no to self bam bow we are not gonna have anybody come to my house before dark they have to come after dark and then guess what you couldn't see my neighbor's car parked in the yards so they would come to my house my house was illuminated beautifully I had a beautiful little twinkly lights in the trees and a pretty little walkway and the reason you know I mean it was very expensive it still is extremely expensive to buy a home in california took it was just crazy crazy expensive my first house in california was one hundred seven thousand dollars and this was in nineteen eighty for I mean that's a long that was a very very expensive home so you had to start somewhere so this is what I did though I made sure that on the night that I met with clients that I that there was no cooking smells which was actually pretty easy because everybody knows we know like a book worth a dang so it was really pretty easy so I just made sure that that was the night that my husband took our son off to go to men things so I had a quiet home I also made sure that my home was friendly to business in other words it was not with a bunch of church key and lots of stuff all over every wall I had a certain room in my home that I used for photography and I had on ly a couple of very large portrait's hanging in there I did not hang a brazilian little pictures because hanging a bunch of little pictures is a lot like a smorgasbord and all you can eat buffet there very inexpensive it's very very inexpensive and so I don't want didn't want to create that kind of mentality with clients and so that was where excuse me that's what I did to get started however I will tell you these days if I did it over again I probably would not I have clients come to my home I would meet them but I would not meet them in a coffee shop I think that's not a good move kids I don't think it's a smart move because basically what that is saying is hey I'm I can't afford to go anywhere else that we're gonna meet you in a coffee shop I don't think that shows you is a professional but I'm not saying that you have to spend thousands of dollars to rent a facility I'm very lucky and very grateful that I have a beautiful studio I will I love having my studio out of my house I love it because when I locked that door at five o'clock I go home I go sit on my back in my back porch and I drink a glass of wine er enjoy my family and the quiet that eggs eggs ooze but what I would prefer to see you do is go to the client home do you know professional people go to the client home how about your real estate agent how about your insurance agent would you call those professionals yes they are they're very much professionals if you hire somebody to do to decorate your home home on interior decorator they come very fashionably dressed they come with their portfolio and they come and they do it in the privacy of your home that's what I would do if I were these days if I were going to if I didn't have couldn't afford to have a studio want the responsibility of a studio I would go to the client home I would make my presence very sophisticated I would spend money on my wardrobe if I wasn't good with fashion I would go to north trumps and I would hire the person in north stints teo to design or not designed but two created out pulled announced that together for me that would say hey I'm dressed for success or I'm dressed in a way that is going to to show a professional meeting with that particular client and that way I could give the I could show the professionalism that I absolutely have that's how I would personally do it I just don't think the coffee shop thing is the way to go I think it is a little bit too clicking mom's kind of thing and I'm not degrading and saying anything bad about the organization clicking moms but what I saying is that if you want to be a professional then you've got to be professional and and I think that being in the coffee shop is kind of if you're gonna hire somebody from a coffee shop then you know what you're not gonna pay much for that person and you know what at the end of day I want to be well compensated for my talent but I know that it's all about that it's about the way I present myself whether I will have the ability toe have them want to hire me and spend more money for that that was a great great question are there any other questions about that or about anything I just have a few minutes before break so you can take a few more questions or yeah I love you at least one more or two more questions okay let's see this is a question from isabelle chef who says and I'm not sure where isabelle is joining us from but we don't really have bridesmaids here how should I ask about the dress if the husband is sitting next oh that's a really good question okay well what if she doesn't have brides mates but she can't maybe talk about the dress in real terms then maybe I would say do you tend to like things tell me a little bit about about the about the things that you're going to the next question would be tell me about your wedding is going to be in a you know or you tell me about the ceremony shut up is gonna be in a church why is it in a church because is it traditionally doesn't tell I love tradition we know what made you select a church over maybe ah hotel venue you see all of those things out so I'm gonna go down to the next question on my list that tells me about her viewpoint on things if she's gonna have it in a church well well why did you decide to have it insured chest why did you decide to have your wedding in a church well I wanted it outside but it was again in the spring so I didn't know for weather and we also had the venue for free oh well there you go that tells me a lot so then I might start asking other kinds of questions that are going to be a bit more viewpoint and that's one to me the clothing is still going to get you in the ballpark what she's personally wearing asking them what air your concerns in hiring photographer well what if they say I'm concerned about price what did they say that what in the heck do you say that whoa ah bo bo bo bo I know this is what you say when someone says I'm concerned about price I'm really concerned about that I think that's really important you know what I totally agree with you I understand that you have my family and I are on a budget too but have you ever given thought that maybe it's in your best interest to spend more money to hire me you see what I just said you see I said to her I said instead of trying to just about well you know we use only the finest papers and you see all my trophies on the wall and all that stuff no I said wait a minute have you ever given thought that maybe it's in your best interest to spend more to hire me wait but how could that be in a client's best interest how could it be in a client's best interest to spend more money to hire you yes levi I didn't spend more money and I don't have a single picture hey thank you guess what mean either and you know what and that's exactly how I would how I would proceed so you know I absolutely understand your thought process because you know when my husband and I got married thirty seven years ago thank goodness he's the most patient man in the universe we didn't hire a professional we had a friend photograph our way because we were on a very tight budget and I loved photography and let me tell you there's not a day that goes by that I don't regret that decision do you know why because you're not buying photography for you your photography is for you is your heritage and what you pass down to your children and your grandchildren that's what photography is all about it is the one thing after your wedding that you have that last and it's about the start of your history your fam the history how can you possibly put that in monetary terms and how could you possibly not want to spend more money on that very most important piece of family history and I really believe that I don't think that's a bunch of b s I believe that with every fiber of my being and when my son got married let me tell you I didn't have beautiful pictures of our wedding to show him you know about this is what your grandparents with my grand parents were deceased my parents are deceased so that ends the family history that's gone for them like you know having those people in the pictures uncle john when he when he got married his mother is at his wedding how important do you think it would be to have somebody who would be able to take a beautiful portrait of him and his mom together how priceless is that picture and isn't it funny that whenever there's a natural disaster first thing people cry about is what no they don't cry about their big flat screen tv they cry about their pictures so why not use that and turn this around to people and help them to realize how valuable what is another question uh tom b how do you say no to a client that you know is just going to be oh actually you know what you say in your letter really okay I can tell you I've learned the hard way that the red flags come up with people occasionally and you just learned to say I wish I could and yes I have learned to say two clients if I because I am interviewing that client as much as they're interviewing me and if I've learned through the course of that interview that we're not a good fit I will tell them and I just say to them you know I really I after speaking with you I have to say I'm so delighted you're wedding is gonna be absolutely amazing you know what though I honestly do not think I'm the photographer for you I don't think we're a good fit and I then at that point you know what maybe I would recommend so and so this photography thing would be a fabulous fit for you and I wish you only the very best on your wedding blah blah blah but I will absolutely shut that door because I have learned the hard way that there are people and it's not that they're bridezilla it's just that I'm not the person for them and that they're you know they're just like you know some like it hot some like it cold and that there's sometimes people that they're breathing just irritates you you hold them there we'll have people like that that after being around five minutes with you katie let's see we're not going to be there not going to be right buying a boat together okay so you know that's the way it goes on and then one last question all right bambi this is really exciting for the first time ever in creative I've history someone has faxed in a slash comment so hot off the press a fact for bambi cantrow which says it is from steve smith and steve I don't know who that guy is steve says I'm not in your industry but I have friends who are and friends who appreciate good photography and great teaching across the country I emailed them to tune in the responses from my friend's not in your industry showcases a greatjob creative live in bambi control doesn't is doing tell bambi that thumper says awesome see you tonight in san francisco uh just okay steve smith that's my husband I made him do that what could I say no and I have to tell you I would not be in the industry today if it weren't for him because when I started in my career and I wasn't making any money he was the one who is extremely patient with me and allowed meeting to perfect my craft and still do it and I will be forever grateful to him and on top of that he is the normal one in the family I'm the poodle he's the big labrador you know he just doesn't know go steady and he's just a real trooper wonderful man I love you too sweetie

Class Description

Do you have problems diverse groups of clients? Are you unsure if your lighting and posing are on point? Join award-winning and Nikon Ambassador Bambi Cantrell in this comprehensive class covering all aspects of posing, lighting and developing a successful portrait studio.

In this class, Bambi will:

  • Show you the best lighting for different scenarios
  • Camera angles that flatter
  • How to add creativity to your portrait shoots

You will learn ​Bambi​'s​ secrets of how she continues to innovate in her photography and business​.​

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