The following is a Guest Post by Sal Cincotta.
Of all the vendors used during a wedding, the bride and groom’s working relationship with their photographer is one of the most intimate. Photographers are invited to witness and trusted to capture the couple’s most private moments –– getting ready before the wedding, the look on their faces after saying “I do” and the post-ceremony portrait session.
Your in-studio consultation might be the only opportunity for a face-to-face Q&A before photographing the most important day of your clients’ lives, so the key is to ask questions that create both a personal and professional working relationship.
1. Put Their Love Story At Center Stage
In order to make your clients more comfortable, get to know their personalities by asking about their love story! Brides and grooms don’t hesitate to gush about their relationship –– especially in the weeks approaching the wedding –– and I suggest asking for the “dirty details” of their romance. Posing specific questions like “When did you know he/she was the one?” will get your clients excited about their wedding, and in turn excited about their wedding photographs.
2. Get The Scoop on Their Proposal
Asking the bride and groom to dish about their proposal will build up enthusiasm about capturing a similarly romantic moment during their portrait session. I suggest questions like “Did you see it coming? How long was it in the planning” and “How did you feel? Nervous, excited, freaking out?” The key is making your clients feel like they’re talking to a friendly professional who can capture their most intimate emotions on film. They’ll know you’re genuinely interested in their relationship, and not just another anonymous vendor they’ve hired.
3. What’s Trending?
Each year brings a whole new set of wedding styles, and it’s important to check in with your bride and groom about what trends (if any) they want to see during their big day. You might not be planning the nuptials, but you’ll definitely need to know what to photograph –– whether it’s small details during an in-vogue rustic wedding (like mason jars full of flowers), or popular personal touches like a hand-embroidered ring pillow.
4. Pinpoint Their Priorities
Any photographer can capture key highlights like a first kiss and vow exchange, but show your bride and groom that you’re willing to go above and beyond by asking about the less-obvious moments planned for their special day. I recommend posing questions like “Besides getting married, what’s the one thing you are looking forward to?’ which will encourage clients to open up about the personal moments they want photographed –– for example, the bride’s mother helping her get ready, a unique cultural tradition, or a surprise for guests during the reception.
5. Nipping It In The Bud
Brides and grooms have high expectations when it comes to their wedding photographs, and it can be hard to anticipate any problems you may run into. One way to get a handle on the happy couple’s quirks is by asking them “What’s the one thing you wish you’d have known earlier in regards to planning?” This question gives the bride and groom carte blanche to open up about the ups and downs of wedding planning, and you may learn a few key insights, clues, and pointers about what to expect from them as clients.
Sal is an award winning photographer, author, wppi platform speaker and frequent instructor on creativeLIVE. Sal is one of the most sought after business consultants in our industry, helping studios and photographers take their businesses to the next level. This July 25-27, Sal is teaching a free Business Fundamentals course for creatives on CreativeLive.
You can visit salcincotta.com to see his photos or just scroll down to see some of our favorites from him!