When inquiring to a wedding photographer (or any vendor) for the very first time, it should almost feel like a first date. Why? You like them from afar, it’s new, you like who they are, you like what they’re about, and you like what they can do. It’s a new relationship. I want to thank my girl, Christy Nicole for sparking this post idea.
It should feel like that for you, and it should feel the same for any vendor; finding new clients is an exciting experience for us too, and it’s the perfect comparison. You want to make your vendors feel just as excited for your wedding as you are. And I’m going to say if you’re not on cloud 9 about planning your own wedding, you’re probably not a Nicole Amanda bride ;) When I meet a new potential client for the first time, it’s either a small talk with a stranger, or I have butterflies in my stomach just like I would on a first date.
It IS a first date. You need to be on the same page, have the same excitement & end goal in mind. You have to connect, and if you don’t, there’s rarely a second date in sight. Share details about your relationship and wedding plans, tell them WHY you feel their work will compliment your vision. They want to hear all of these things to see if your wedding will compliment their vision. It should be one in the same.
As a photographer, I understand price is sometimes the only question a couple will feel that matters, but for the most important day of your life, it should be much more, an experience. If you go on an awkward date, even if they’re a good person, you’re unsure about seeing them again because you don’t want to feel like that again. I say it all of the time, there is emotional memory behind everything. If you feel awkward while taking a photo, as beautiful as the image and yourself may be, all you’re going to remember is how awkward you felt at that moment.
I never want anyone to feel that way about their wedding photos, ever. If we’re not a 100% perfect fit, I’m probably not going to accept your wedding – as much of a compliment as it is, I don’t want anyone to possibly get that outcome and I don’t believe you deserve any less. You need someone you can laugh with, joke, trust and feel comfortable in front of to be able to look at your photos and feel the same. I’m not going to leave you hanging, I’ll help you find someone perfect, but I’m not going to take it on myself.
Price is obviously important, and most need to set a budget. If you can’t do it, you can’t do it. But don’t go in looking for the one that can get you the cheapest deal. Find someone within your range, and then find the one who FITS the best. I also want you to know that vendors are often a lot more flexible than you may think. If you fall in love with someone who is out of your budget, they may be firm on price, but may be able to make you a payment plan to make it a possibility.
And the last thing, those “100 things to ask your wedding vendor” type lists drive us crazy ;) Usually because they’re things that any responsible professional would do and are offended when asked. Or things like “what type of equipment do you use?” You’re probably not going to get much use out of an answer like, “I shoot with Nikon FX bodies, SB700 speedlights and only fixed G glass lenses” unless you’re also a professional photographer. I don’t even know what equipment DJs use so I wouldn’t get use of their answer either ;)
Any good vendor just wants your best interest. Ask questions that will help make your decision easier. And feel free to email me questions even if you know we’re not the right fit!
Ps. This post had much mediation by Max ;)