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What do Couples Look For in Wedding Photographers?

Lesson 22 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

What do Couples Look For in Wedding Photographers?

Lesson 22 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

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Lesson Info

22. What do Couples Look For in Wedding Photographers?


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Define the Goals of Wedding Photographers


The Importance of Wedding Photographers


Shooting Philosophy


How to Build a Shot List - Bride, Groom & Formals


Tye the Wedding Story Together


Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures


Get the Right Exposure


Lesson Info

What do Couples Look For in Wedding Photographers?

Now we touched on this in the previous session. When we talked about shooting and connecting with clients. But this is really so important when we come down to, to interviewing clients and booking the wedding. Beginning once again with you know, reputation, experience, referrals, most importantly again, personality. Your ability to be malleable with your personality from the very first time you meet the bride and groom. And then of course you know, your presentation is so important. And to make sure they have brand awareness which is what we're doing at the moment with Instagram and the website and so on. Yeah, I mean, when we talk about brand awareness it's not that you have to have this brand name for your studio to have brand awareness. You could be your own, you are your own brand. And you should wear your own brand very proudly. And really get that out there because that's you know, that's how you're gonna build all of this client relationships basically so yeah. So all this i...

s done you know, at the meeting and it all ties in together in a nice beautiful bundle and it produces one very important thing. It produces this thing called trust. I alluded to it at the earlier session if people trust you, they will part with their money. Have you ever given money to someone you don't trust? I think the answer to that is pretty obvious. But if they feel connected and they have that trust and they have that confidence, then the money side is just a byproduct of all that. So the minute that the couple walks into, you know, the studio, whether it's Ryan's or whether it's my studio, it's about having tangible cues in place. Now what's a tangible cue? The most obvious tangible cue is you. The way you dress and your appearance and the way you greet your clients, very simple. The second tangible cue is, the environment that you're seeing your clients in you know. Is it clean? Is it respectable? Et cetera, et cetera. One of the classic examples of tangible cues is walking into a really high end store like a, like a Prada or Louis Vuitton or, and just looking at the surroundings. Even before you even look at prices, you look at the beautiful floor, you look at the chandelier, you look at the way that the stock is immaculately placed on the shelves and then the person that greets you, the sales person, immaculately dressed, well spoken and you know within the first 10 seconds that, yep I'm gonna spend a lotta money here. Because all these things tie together to bring you that, that entire picture of who you are and what your brand is. Very, very important. We actually spoke about tangible cues the other night at dinner, of all places. We walked into a restaurant. Yep. Here in Seattle and, walked in, this place was amazingly decked out. You know, very funky concrete walls, floor was really cool, they had amazing chandelier type of lighting. Now remember, we've walked into this restaurant, not getting a referral, not anything, walked in and went, "Oh you know what? "The food's gonna be really good here." Did we know that? No. No it was a big chance. It was a big chance but thankfully, yes it was good but they had all those tangible cues going on that we and automatically thought to each other, it's gonna be a good, they're gonna have nice food and they're gonna have great cocktails as well right? Absolutely. So the tangible cues are important to have in place but then you gotta, you gotta have everything else in place to make it work, As the example of the restaurant, we could've had an amazing decor to walk into and then the food was lousy. No tangible cue's gonna save you 'cause you will never go back. Why, because you've had a really, really bad experience. So tangible cues combined with a really, really good experience equals success yep. So we begin at the most basic level. It's like inviting people to your home. What is the first thing you do when you have guests at home? You be hospitable okay. It's all about hospitality. So whether it's a coffee or whether it's a drink, you know, and it's totally up to you. Specially because of our backgrounds as well. Italian and Maltese people very much, if you come to our house, first thing we wanna do is feed you. Feed you and give you coffee. It's the way it works. But also, I mean, generally at this stage the first time we meet the couple, don't really offer the 'ol alcohol thing 'cause it's culturally, it can work against you 'cause some cultures might think that it's a softening thing to try to pull the wool over their eyes et cetera. So coffees, you know, soft drinks, water, chocolates, chocolates are great. They release beautiful endorphins in your brain and everyone's happy you know. But really good chocolate. Chocolate like Lindt or you know, something like that you know. So we use that to you know, to set the mood for what we're about to do. And it's not about, you know, getting the client to sit down and go, "So, what do you want?" There's certain ways of asking. You know, 'cause a lot of the times, if you're a stranger in an environment, someone ask you, "Do you want a coffee?" You go oh no thanks. I just, I'll give it a miss. But if I sit you down, I'm very friendly, I sit you down, guys thank you so much for coming in. I've had an incredible day. I'm about to have a coffee, what can I get you? All of a sudden, you're he's having a coffee, I really feel like a coffee, let's have a coffee. Or I'm sorry, I don't do coffee, let's have a tea. Sure, fantastic. So you need to be able to break the ice in some way.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Posing Guide Book Chapter

Ratings and Reviews

Jerry Willis

Ryan & Rocco, in my very humble opinion, are THE best wedding photography instructors in the entire industry! I've been watching their work for years now, which just so happens to win a most grand-scaled competitions, and they somehow continue to keep getting better! I first drilled Ryan at WPPI inquiring about what made his workshop different from all the others. His response, me paraphrasing, "If you're looking for tools to learn, come to my workshop. If you're looking for inspiration and smoke blowing, don't come." That's exactly what I needed to hear. Straight tools, no fluff. THE BEST photography workshop I've EVER taken, by far. You want the best photography education, learn from the best. This CreativeLive workshop is the PERFECT complimentary refresher and companion to what I learned! Thank you so much for having them! It's not the same as the workshop, which it shouldn't be, but they ARE reinforcing many things that have slipped my memory! I'm for sure buying this! :-)

Neeraj Arora

WOW!!! I have started a few CL courses but not finished as I got distracted by "life" and it took me a while to get back and finish them. But these guys!! They were simply superb. I finished this course really fast. Amazing artists, they explain things so well, Ryan is such a charmer and engaging teacher, Rocco is a fountain of knowledge. I am an enthusiastic photographer with aspirations to start my own business soon. I learn't so much from this class that will help improve my photography even if I don't become a professional wedding photographer. Great job guys, keep it up. I will need to come back to the lessons and I very much appreciate the key note pdf. All CL courses should include the slides like they did here. Thanks CL.


I am a newborn photographer by trade, but I really want to venture out and photograph more weddings so I decided to purchase a wedding class on creative live. Of course when I typed in wedding, quite a few classes came up. But when I saw the image and title "capture the story" I was definitely intrigued. I've always been touched by the photographs that have emotion and that's what I'm passionate to photograph! Always a little nervous when you purchase a class because you don't want to feel like it was a waste of money, but this knocked it out of the park for me! Thank you to Ryan and Rocco for explaining so much, showing the pull backs, and moving your subject and explaining why! This has opened my eyes so much to how beautiful photographing a wedding can be and not so terrifying as I've been making it out to be. I'm really so thankful to hopefully being a great wedding photographer and making more income for my family, while having fun creating something beautiful

Student Work