How to Inquire About Wedding Photography
The Wedding Inquiry
In the past couple of months, I have been making some changes and upgrades to my website. Those of you who frequent this space a lot have probably noticed, and if you have – you’re awesome. Thanks for being here!
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is my inquiry form, it can often be the first introduction I get to a potential new couple. Which means: what you say (or don’t say) actually does matter. If you are already married just pass this post on the a newly engaged friend…I’m dishing out some good advice here!
I understand the excitement of planning a wedding – I understand the urge to get all the details hammered out as soon as possible. It is that urge which often drives couples to send out multiple inquiries at once, not just to photographers, but also to caterers, florists and venues as well.
We live in an internet age that has taught us to expect information in an instant. Unfortunately wedding planning is not the same as clicking a button and having a song instantly delivered to your phone. Planning a wedding is typically a very custom, one-of-a-kind experience. Much like having a wedding dress custom made for you, its a process. When it comes to getting the information you want from a potential wedding photographer (or the actual photos for that matter), what you give really does play a part into what you will receive.
Understandably, many couples are pretty price-focused right off the bat. They want everyone’s prices before they even know what their own plans are. The problem with price collecting however, is that pricing isn’t a one size fits all deal. Not when it comes to wedding photography or any custom photography really. There are so many factors involved, and my packages are completely dependent upon, and relevant to, the event itself and the needs of you as the couple. I won’t just throw out numbers without knowing more about what is needed.
- Will I need to travel for your wedding?
- How many people will be in attendance?
- How many people in the combined bridal parties?
- Do you want me there for just the ceremony, or for the moments leading up to it as well?
- Do I even have availability on the day you will be saying “I Do”?
- How many locations will we move to throughout the day
- How many assistant photographers will I need?
- Engagement session? Albums? Wall prints?
All of these questions, and many more, need to be answered before I can give you an accurate quote. So instead of haphazardly sending out inquiries, make sure you are first researching photographers and finding styles you are drawn to. Only send those inquiries to the photographers you already know you would want at your wedding, because otherwise you are going to be wasting your time and theirs in the necessary exchange of details that will follow.
The more information you can give in that initial inquiry, the better. Your wants, needs, likes and dislikes are all relevant to this process. And if you are able to correspond freely from there, fantastic! Having an e-mail address and phone number from you ensures I will be able to get in touch, and that my response won’t be lost in your spam folder leaving you with the impression I never responded.
To me, the most important part of what I do is the relationships formed in the process. I love my work, and that love comes from working with clients I truly enjoy getting to know. This isn’t about becoming you new BFF, not to worry. But building a good working relationship starts at the very beginning, with those first e-mails or phone calls back and forth. The relationships matter, you have to spend all day with me right? So keep this in mind as you approach all the potential vendors you would like to be working with in the months to come.
Hiring a wedding photographer is not like hiring someone to mow your lawn. This is one of those situations where “good enough” really isn’t good enough.
You will want so much more than someone who can simply get the job done. You may not know that now, but after the wedding you will understand completely… especially if your needs weren’t met. Photography, if valued, should not be thought of as an instant commodity. This is art, and you want an artist who gets you. Someone who sees your vision and is committed to capturing it for you. I can’t do that as a photographer though, unless you are willing to share that vision with me. The more insight you can grant into who you are, the more priceless the end results will be.
So when you are making that inquiry, don’t ever worry about sharing too much. Because the more you give me, the more I can give back in return.