Wedding photographers take on an enormous responsibility when they sign a contract with an engaged couple.
Memories are precious, and as one of the providers of those recollections, the wedding photographer must ensure that many things happen before, during and after a couples’ wedding day.
I started photographing weddings in 2000, sometimes with the assistance of my wife, Jennifer, who is also a photographer, but predominantly on my own. Since we photographed a family friend’s classy wedding day in Indianapolis together, I have photographed about 100 weddings.
So, with that in mind, here is what I’ve learned since that beautiful day in 2000.
- A photographer can never be prepared enough. From the time of the first meeting with potential clients, to the post-processing of the digital files, it is imperative to know what your clients want, both in terms of shooting style and final products. It is also a must for a photographer to double-check equipment, and make sure everything is accounted for and working properly prior to the big day. The wedding day should flow exactly as the couple has planned it, and that means that a wedding photographer (or photographers) must make that happen. The style of the wedding photographs (classic, artistic, lifestyle, dramatic, documentary) should be talked about with couples, and realized during visualization and post-processing.
- Make sure that your clients understand what they are purchasing, and that you, as a wedding photographer, understand the value of the work that you put into a job. I’ve photographed four-hour wedding days, and I’ve photographed 10-11 hour wedding days. The longer the day is, the more images there will be, and thus, the more post-processing there will be. There are endless options as to how wedding photos can be presented as a package or product. A couple may be content with a 4″x6″ slip-in album, they may not be interested in an album at all (as it is a digital and social media world in which we live), or they may want a custom wedding photo album.
- Wedding memories should grow with time, so a photographer should stay in touch with his clients, as there is nothing better than a good rapport. Many things get better with time, and so over the years I’ve revisited clients’ digital negatives, and have applied new acquired knowledge and actions, so as to create completely new and/or remastered images. You can make your clients very happy when you post special memories on Facebook.
- Word of mouth is a great way to gain more clients. In this age of Google, SEM, and SEO, wedding photographers must prove themselves as being at the top of their craft. When couples and their families are happy with their wedding photos, and they start spreading the good word, wedding photographers must know how to use that to their advantage, and that means branding themselves in that good light on social media and the internet.
- Being a wedding photographer can give you sore feet. Make sure that you are very comfortable in your shoes, both literally and figuratively.