Communication is the key! It’s better to say too much than too little when it comes to setting client expectations. In most cases, wedding couples are getting married for the first time, so they actually are not aware of the process of booking a wedding photographer and what to consider in order to get great images. It is our responsibility to inform them thoroughly about our area of expertise.
If you have had the misfortune of dealing with unsatisfied clients or you aim to avoid it in the future, consider integrating the following suggestions into your workflow:
1. Enhance Your Online Presence
Your website provides you with ample opportunity to communicate your style and vision through not only images, but also words. Your portfolio showcases your work and acts as an indicator to the type of photos clients can expect: illustrating the mood, editing and overall style. On the other hand, writing out what kind of weddings you enjoy photographing and explaining your philosophy provides deeper insight and can help potential clients better assess if you are a good fit.
II. Social Media
You can use social media (be it Instagram or Facebook) to further communicate your photographic style and approach. For instance, giving a behind-the-scenes look on Stories is a good way to show your process.
2. Revamp Your Initial Contact
Use your first response to an inquiry to proactively set the tone and expectations regarding the booking process and the follow-up steps. Set-up email templates (that you can adjust and make personal) in order to make sure that you never forget to include important and relevant information – do your best to keep consistent with all your client communication.
II. Client Consultation
Honestly discuss all the key and relevant points of what working with you entails. Clearly explain the things that you do and do not do. Invite them to ask questions and address their concerns. Go through your portfolio together to ensure that they are truly in love with your images. And take this opportunity to see if there are any red flags. This is a crucial stage to make sure that you are a good match.
Pro tip: Never take a booking without talking to your couples face-to-face in person or via video call.
III. Contract / Agreement
Outlining important points in writing keeps clarity throughout the process. It can be used as a frame of reference if any sort of misunderstanding arises. Have a lawyer look over it to make sure that everything is legally correct.
IV. Informational Brochure
Provide your couples with an informational brochure full of helpful tips and a recommended timeline for their wedding that will help improve the results of the photos. Let them know
if they need to make any preparations to make your job easier. For example, when you go to photograph the bride getting ready, she already has the details (e.g. jewelry) ready for you.
3. Keep Up the Clear Communication
A couple of weeks before the wedding, get in touch with your couple and verify the wedding timeline and locations. Let them know when you will arrive on the wedding day.
Remind your clients when they can expect to receive their images and how they will be delivered. Optimally you should give yourself more than enough time to edit and deliver your images. If unforeseen circumstances arise, be sure to openly communicate with your clients instead of keeping them in the dark. You don’t want to have them guessing, frustrated and confused.
It takes time and effort to make sure that clients are happy, but it is well worth it. It is in your best interest to under promise and over deliver when it comes to the client experience that you provide. Aim to deliver more images than as stated in the agreement, and sooner. Think of other add-ons that will delight them. Remember, when you treat your clients well, they will rave about you to all their friends.