As a small business owner, I truly value the relationships I have with my clients. From our first email to far beyond their wedding day, I do everything I can to earn their trust while also being aware of what type of relationship my client wants. Sometimes that simply means I’m available via text for some quick questions, and other times it means coffee dates where we end up talking about so much more than their wedding.
In all honesty a very small portion of our job as a wedding photographer actually involves our camera (ironic, right?!) We are responsible for telling the story of our client’s wedding day and doing everything we can to make them feel comfortable and confident throughout our relationship. It only takes a few small gestures and a servant attitude. They come to you expecting someone to snap pictures, and as a photographer we have the opportunity to surprise and delight. Imagine all of the great things that could happen if you were to go above and beyond for each and every one of your clients!
Here are five ways you can go the extra mile for your brides and grooms (without even touching your camera):
1. Be a resource
You have more than likely been to more weddings than them. Share what you know! Make a list of websites, magazines, blogs, etc. that your former brides have found helpful. Keep an excel document of vendors that you have worked with (and enjoyed) and pass along their name. Its a great way to build rapport with vendors as well as your bride. And yes “being a resource” might mean you are the person that bustles the bride’s dress, re-pins the boutonniere, or creates a toss bouquet. Wear your many hats proudly!
2. Ask questions
What is the couple most excited about on their wedding day? Where did the bride get her dress? Where are their families from? What details are they DIYing? Ask questions and actually remember the answers. Not only will this help you build a relationship with your clients, but it will also give you some great things to write about in your blog post about their wedding.
3. Help create a timeline
Other than a wedding planner, a photographer is the only person that understands the proper timing and layout of a wedding day. A month or so before the wedding I send my brides a sample timeline that covers the wrapping up of hair and makeup to the last dance of the reception. (Click here to see the sample I use as a starting point to create timelines for my couples. I customize it based on their ceremony start time, dinner time, and other items they set earlier in the planning process.)
4. Be kind
On a wedding day its easy to become flustered or just 100% “in the zone.” You focus on your bride and groom (which is great!) but forget about the other 100 or so people that are also watching you work. When your camera is down and you have a moment to breath, show some personality: play a little game with the ring bearer, take some time to talk to Grandma, ask the MOB if you can do anything for her. You role and personality should be kind and supportive no matter what crazy things happen!
5. Stay in touch & make yourself available
This is the big one. We’ve all heard the horror stories of photographers “disappearing” after the wedding or taking longer to deliver the photos than what was promised in their contract. Clear communication means so much to a stressed out bride! There are a bunch of little things you can do to make your bride feel comfortable. For example: answer her emails within 24 hours whenever possible, offer to do a walk-through at the venue, and send a congratulatory email or text the day after the wedding with some preview images. Its up to you to take initiative when it comes to communication.
Be open, be honest, and manage expectations, and it will only be the start of a great relationship!
As always, comments and questions are encouraged! If you are interested in learning more from me please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.