If you have had a bad experience with a wedding couple, you probably ended up thinking to yourself “I wish I had never taken on that booking!”. This is a perfect time to reflect on what went wrong and how you can avoid such a mistake in the future.
None of us want to be in that situation. Therefore, it is important to put systems in place to avoid such unpleasantries. As wedding photographers, we all have our particular styles, approaches to work and unique personalities. In the same token, there are so many different types of couples with varying expectations of what their wedding day should be like and how the photographs should reflect their special day.
At the end of the day, as the professionals, it is our job to communicate what we do and deliver effectively, in order to reach the right people as well as have a good experience and outcome for both parties involved.
Especially in the beginning of your photography career, you may be tempted to take on every booking that comes your way. You are just excited that someone actually wants to book you! That’s great! Nevertheless, here are three points to consider as to what may go wrong if you end up taking on a booking which is not the right fit:
1. The entire process can become stressful
Once the official booking has taken place, you are committed to photographing the wedding (although under certain special circumstances you are able to back out).
The stressful conversations can start already leading up to the wedding day. On the wedding day itself, the couple might have extra requests that were never previously discussed and out of the scope of what you offer.
But usually, the main issues are after the images have been delivered. If you were not clear about what you offer from the get-go, you might find yourself having to accommodate their overboard, unusual demands. This isn’t just time-consuming, but also rather frustrating.
2. It can result in financial loss
At times, the only way to come to an amicable solution is to offer a free photo shoot, a complimentary photo album or a discount (depending on the matter at hand). It is up to you to decide what type of action you would like to take in your business to keep your clients satisfied.
3. You risk your reputation
If the couple is not satisfied with the service that you have provided, it is likely that they will share their grievances with not only friends and family, but also online. And who wants that?
That is why it is really important to meet your couples in person (or at least do a video call) before taking on a booking. Don’t rely on assuming that they have viewed your website and portfolio thoroughly and fully understand what it means to book you. Clarify all the relevant topics and make sure that you have the important points in written format. Keep an eye out for any red flags and if you get the impression that it is not a good fit, it is only fair to you and the couple to be honest. You can politely tell them that you don’t believe that you are a good fit and that you can recommend other photographers that can serve them better on their big day.
By Aida and Tim