Wedding photography involves two key parties: the couple getting married and the wedding photographer(s). Many photographers approach their relationships with clients as strictly a business relationship but a good wedding photographer will always personalize the relationships that he has with the couples they work with. This is important because a strong relationship establishes trust and allows the bride and groom to be themselves in front of the photographer, but more importantly, in front of the camera. This is key to capturing the couple in their natural moments during their special occasion. Which is why it is important that the photographer must be friendly, jovial and pleasing. If he is stiff and unfriendly chances are that the couple will also not be able to relax when he is taking the pictures.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER
The importance of wedding photography is emphasized by the fact that most weddings seem to pass by very quickly for brides and grooms. If you ask most married couples to describe their special day, they will tell you it went by in a blink of an eye. This is the main reason wedding photography is so immensely important; it captures in sharp focus the moments of a day that requires months of planning and then so often passes by as blur for the bride and groom.
Wedding Photography is An Art best left to professionals
The Internet has changed the way people shop for everything, including wedding photographers. Most often the first impression someone receives of a photographer’s work is what he or she sees on his Web site/ blog. But I think there is a more important impression to consider: the impression that the photographer leaves with his past clients. If the newlyweds are happy with the images that the photographer captured of their special day, then they are much more likely to recommend his work to friends and family who are now looking for a photographer. When a photographer is working at a wedding, every person who is in attendance should leave with the feeling that he did a great job and wasn’t intrusive. Yet, they should recognize that he always appeared to capture each of the key moments. And most importantly, the bride and groom need to be blown away by the images when they see them!
For a majority of wedding photographers, their clients find them through referrals of former clients, friends or they were guests at a wedding that the photographer shot previously.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
The most important part of wedding photography is the relationship that the photographer builds with his clients. That relationship begins with the first meeting and continues to grow with each step of the wedding planning through the presentation of final photographs. In fact, great wedding photographers continue the relationship with past clients long after the couple has received their final product. Someone might be the best photographer and technically brilliant, but to be a great wedding photographer also requires the right kind of personality. A wedding photographer needs to sincerely want to be friends with your clients and fully gain their trust. No scope for grumpiness or a pompous attitude here!
INITIAL MEETING WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER
An initial meeting can take place on the phone if the photographer lives in another city. When meeting by phone or email, it is really important to clearly convey your thoughts and information. Unfortunately, it’s entirely too easy to have miscommunications and misunderstandings when only communicating by phone and email. A good wedding photographer will always ask questions. When you are meeting a photographer pick an elegant location - one that isn’t very busy so that you can talk with little interruption. Skip the CCD’s and Costas. Good locations include nice hotel lobbies or even a quiet restaurant. Inviting the photographer to your house is also good because it lets the photographer get a strong sense of who the couple is and assess their personal style. Meeting at your home also allows the photographer to meet the couple where they are most comfortable and often helps him to understand what direction they may be leaning in regards to their budget and style of photography. Try and talk about your personalities and interests to start off with.
At this initial meeting, the photographer will usually bring a couple of wedding albums so prospective clients can see more detailed examples of his work – either on a physical album or on an Ipad. It is important to see samples that cover the entire wedding day. For most couples, choosing a wedding photographer is a new experience. Often, they don’t realize the depth of services the photographer can provide, so this is a great opportunity to see how he can fully capture the couple’s special day. Most photographers don’t ask for a deposit or expect the couple to make a decision immediately. Ask for a pricing guide but do not ask for discounts – not yet.
Choosing a wedding photographer is an important decision to make and there is no need to rush it or be pressured into making a decision. I recommend that you go home, discuss the meeting, look over the images again, and contact the photographer with any additional questions you might have. The initial meeting is not just about a business negotiation, but it is a chance to get to know the photographer and vice versa – to let him see how you as a couple interact and to give him details of your wedding day. The choice of wedding location and reception are usually significant choices for you as a couple and the photographer must know why. Perhaps you picked the historic old Nandi Bull temple because you love the architecture or the art gallery reception location because you are lovers of art. Knowing these elements would be beneficial for the photographer to know and possibly incorporate in the shots.
Initial Meeting Checklist
- Meet in person when possible
- You choose the location
- Dress appropriately for the occasion
- Pick up the photographer’s tab for coffee or drinks
- Ask for sample photo albums
- Ask for a price list to take home
- Discuss expectations, both yours and the photographer’s
- Take a laptop or tablet for notes
- Don’t make an immediate decision. Meet two or three photographers before taking a call.
Tania Verma is the Head of Operations at Alliance One’s Mumbai Head Office. A mechanical engineer by education, she has a wide variety of experience in various fields such as manufacturing, consumer products and services and the Retail Sector. A strong operational person Tania gets the job done however tight the deadlines and however tough and arduous the task. She excels under pressure and maintains excellent relationships with our corporate clients as well as high networth individuals all over India who have used the company’s services in the past and continue to do so. Having married recently she feels strongly about untruthful people taking advantage of others and has taken a deep and abiding interest in our marriage detectives in India service and leads our able team from the front.