When brides-to-be meet with their potential wedding photographer, it is often advised that they come with a list of “vendor questions.” General questions such as, “How many weddings have you shot?” and even more specific questions such as, “What type of equipment do you use?” may be brought up during this initial meeting. However, sticking to a scripted list of questions may hinder your ability to really determine if your photographer is a good fit for you! Read on as our Coterie member, photographer Elle Danielle, gives her advice on how to approach your initial meeting with a potential wedding photographer:
I meet with every bride before booking her wedding. Every. Single. Bride… usually over coffee (my treat!) When an in-person meeting isn’t possible, we Skype or talk on the phone. Even if I already know the bride or groom, we still meet to discuss their vision for their wedding and my philosophy on capturing it. Here’s the thing… my ideal clients aren’t looking for the cheapest photographer, or someone who will just take pictures at their wedding. They are looking for a photographer who will invest their creative energy into documenting their love and capturing the type of images that will make you cry happy tears, as you relive every moment of that special day… Images that will make those who weren’t present, feel like they were.
Capturing images that tell your love story requires a healthy, trusting relationship between you and I. You have to be comfortable being yourself around me and in front of my camera. You have to be able to be silly, loving… vulnerable. Building the relationship that will allow me to capture those images starts at our very first meeting.
So you may be wondering, what any of this have to do with a wedding questionnaire. I met with a couple recently and the bride had a questionnaire. Suddenly, our meeting to get to know one another and to talk about their love and their wedding felt more like a job interview. Each time our conversation started to have a flow, it would be abruptly interrupted by the next question on the sheet of paper in front of her.
Don’t get me wrong, questions are important. Questions are very important. Every one of your questions should be answered by the end of your meeting with any possible wedding vendor. It’s your wedding, a day you have been planning for months and possibly dreaming about for years. Any money you or your parents are paying a company or vendor for their service is an investment. The better approach to any meeting about your wedding day: leave the questionnaire at home. Instead, jot down a list of the topics you want to make sure you discuss, and check that list at the end of your meeting when the inevitable question is presented, “do you have any other questions?” Ask then ask, about anything that wasn’t already discussed. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get to know the person who will be a part of your wedding story.
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All photos by Elle Danielle