Above and Beyond a Wedding Photographer
As a photographer, one of my goals for every session is to make my clients feel comfortable and easy. My photography style is lifestyle portraiture and I pride myself on getting natural and authentic emotion and personality in my shots. For my wedding clients, especially, I like to give a little more than just being an outside eye on their event. In this post I'm going to let you in on a few of my secrets for elevating the wedding photography experience.
1. Get To Know Your Client
I think this is probably the most important step when working with clients, weather it's a half hour portrait session or a 10 hour wedding. Especially if you're trying to capture natural, raw emotion, knowing your couple well is essential when creating a comfortable and friendly environment. I like to book a video call with my clients about a week or two before the big day, not only to go over scheduling, but just to introduce myself and start to build a more personal relationship with them. Asking them personal questions like how they met, or honeymoon plans, or what sort of hobbies they have, are all simple questions that help you to get the vibe of their relationship an their personalities. Sometimes sending out a questionnaire to your clients will also help you to gain insight into their world. This can be a great tool if you're looking to find out where their comfort level lies, especially if you have a more reserved or modest couple. Alternatively, knowing just how silly you can be is a huge plus when your goal is capturing your clients true personality!
2. Be Their Hype-man
While you don't want to be bossy, as the photographer in charge of the shoot, it's your job to take the lead and set the tone. I like to constantly tell my couple how amazing the photos are turning out. I feel like I'm always oo-ing and ah-ing over how cute they look and how gorgeous the lighting is. Make them feel like real models! I also like to show them the photos I'm taking. If there's a pose that turned out really well, or I've just made them do a something that seemed really awkward, I like to spin my camera around and show them how the photos are turning out. I know a lot of photographers are hesitant to show their clients the "unfinished product", but I find it gives them a boost of confidence. This also gives them the opportunity to adjust their hair, facial expression, or pose if they notice something is a bit "off" in the photos.
3. Partial Next Day Delivery
In all of my wedding packages, I like to offer 20 next day delivered photos. There's nothing worse than being really excited about something, and wanting to share it and just not being able to. I am usually equally as excited, so looking through my shots and picking out 20 of my favourites to edit in 24 hours is not hard. I like to give a variety of shots and poses so they can get a feel of what the final delivery will look like. There is a fine line here though. You don't want to give away too much, making the final delivery anti-climatic. Pick a number that is appropriate to your final delivery. If it was a smaller session, maybe consider only 10 photos in the sneak peak. By giving your clients some next day photos, you can also post about the event without feeling guilty that you're sharing photos without your client seeing them first.
4. Little Extras
Finding a little something that sets you apart from others is a great way to build up your perception as a brand and photographer. This can be things like making slideshows for your clients to watch through all their photos set to music. Something I really like doing is making little gifs for my clients. I do a lot of action poses and often shoot in fast motion anyway, so making these gifs is as simple as uploading to an online gif maker and downloading as a gif. These are super cute animations that's capture so much of the real moment. My couples have proven to absolutely adore these extra little snippets of their day! I know of other photographers who make Thank you cards for their clients to send to guests, or provide options like printing photos onto T-shits or mugs. Even if it seems sort of cheesy, I say offer it! Your clients will love that you provide these little extras and that you are so passionate and excited about what you do.