The First 3-5 Minutes | Part 3 | Transcription

Now the first 3-5 minutes part 3. I actually labeled this incorrectly. When I was thinking about it, this is really part 4 because, well, we have the first 15 minutes in the initial meeting and then we have the first 15 minutes … well not 15 minutes, during … we have the first 3-5 minutes during the actual engagement talk through and we have the first 15 minutes during the engagement session so this is our fourth time where we have an opportunity to strengthen and build our relationship. Here’s the thing though. This talk through generally will happen around a week to 2 weeks prior to the wedding. Do you think the clients are probably very busy? Mm-hmm (affirmative). Do you think they want to talk about gibberish for 15 minutes on the phone? Uh uh. Okay, so we labeled to the first 3-5 minutes because while it’s an opportunity for us to catch up and to strengthen our relationship and begin the conversation where we left off, we don’t want to take up too much time. We want to be kind of appreciative that the fact that these clients are so busy and they’re preparing for the wedding.

In that first few minutes we want to, again, catch up. We going to ask relevant questions. How have you both been? How’s work? How’s the wedding planning coming along? Remember you guys need to take time for a date night and so forth. As always, be present and be interested. Presence is extremely noticeable even when on the phone. Whether you’re doing this via phone, whether you’re doing via video conference, whether you’re doing it in person, be present. Now of course with Dane and Jessica we are doing this is in person but in general more often than not, we’re doing it via phone, then via video conference, and finally, every now and then a client will come in and do this in person.

Don’t ask once again things that you should know. Very common mistakes, things that our associate photographers asked our clients during this phase when you should understand what’s on the itinerary, when you should have all the information that you need. They ask things like, “Where’s the wedding again?”, “Did you send me the mood board? I wasn’t sure, did I get the mood board?”, “How many hours did you guys contract?” Pull up the information prior, be knowledgeable. Okay, when you go into this, again, having that knowledge and understanding who the clients are is what’s going to make them feel like they are your one and only priority.

Start off with a vision by discussing, basically, their e-session. Okay, so what I would like to do is say, “So how did you all like the engagement photos? Didn’t they turn out awesome? I loved it.” They give you kind of their whole thing, “Oh I loved that you did such a fantastic job. All of my friends raved about it. They’re absolutely incredible.” Then I ask this question, “is there anything that you would do differently?” Now, again this is one of those kinds of questions that we ask to show that we want their feedback, we’re humble. We’re willing to take constructive criticism. More often than not, 9 out of 10 times clients say, “No, they were perfect. We love them.” That gives me the opportunity to say, “Okay, well, fantastic. So are you cool with us going into the wedding with kind of that same vision and style?” And they go, “Yes, that’s absolutely awesome.” They might say, “Yes, we loved everything. There were a few shots” and I would say, “Well, yeah tell me, are there any images that you weren’t in love with?” Then once again, they feel like that I’m being open with them. They can explain these things to me and that I will take things into consideration as we go into the wedding so that they have a firm understanding that I know what their vision is, and I know what they’re wants and needs are.

Okay, once we get through this first 3-5 minutes, that’s when we kind of start with the wedding mood boards so we start the conversation with, “All right, let’s jump into that wedding mood board.” Now again, this catching up phase is a short period of time during that phone call. If you’re meeting in person, it might be a little bit longer but what I’m going to say here is just to use your judgement. If your clients sound like their busy and like they just want to jump in and get started, then jump in and get started. Use your judgement in this phase of building that kind of trust or continuing to build the trust and relationship during the first few minutes of your talk through for the wedding.


The Initial Meeting

Prepping for the Engagement Talk Through

Engagement Shoot Prep & Communication

Prepping for the Wedding Day Talk Through

Wedding Day Preparation & Communication


Let SLR Lounge guide you in your photography journey with the best photography education and resources. Browse our complete, comprehensive solutions and take the next step in your photography.