Two Reasons to Create a VIP List | Transcription

What is a VIP list? It’s a simple document that you will have the clients create that’s going to basically have just a few of their most important people on it with pictures next to names. This is going to help you to do 2 things.

1. It’s going to help you to personalize the experience because here’s what I like to do. On a wedding day, I want to know who the VIPs are. That includes the immediate families on both sides, and also the wedding party. I want to be able to know them by name by halfway through the day. Now, that doesn’t mean that I go and sit there and memorize these names before I go and meet these people, but it means that I get familiar with them so that when I see them it’s far easier to remember who they are, their faces, and their names.

This allows me to once again call these close family members and friends by their names, and guess what? What is the name, or what is that word that we all like hearing the most? Hopefully you guys remember this by now. It’s our own names. So, it personalizes the experience and it makes each and every one of these individuals feel like they are important to you, the photographer, and it’s going to completely change the way they look at you.

2. It helps us in focusing our limited resources. In general, our wedding 100 to 1 ratios. What does that mean? That means for every 100 guests, generally we have 1 photographer, or at least that’s what we would recommend. For a typical, an average wedding is going to be around 150 to 200, we have our lead and our second shooter, and that is sufficient. When a client gets to 300-350 guests at the wedding, we recommend adding on a third shooter. When they get to 450-500 we recommend adding on a fourth shooter.

Do they always add this on? No, they don’t. Sometimes, based on budget, they simply don’t have it in the budget to do so, but even when they do have 100 to 1 for these kind of ratios … We had a wedding recently that was like 1000 people, and they actually had 9 of our team, 9 photographers and 9 cinematographers there covering everything that was going on. It was massive. Even with that, we still need to know where to focus our resources, because here’s the thing. During a wedding, if someone on the dance floor is extremely charismatic and captivating and you’re shooting pictures of them because they just love the camera, they’re like, “Yeah, yeah.” like this photo. This is actually the bride and groom.

Let’s just say that this girl loves the camera, but she’s not really anybody that the bride and groom knows. In fact, she’s just a plus 1 that one of the guest brought, and the photographer walks away with 20 images of her, but leaves these 2 with only 2 images, and those 2 are the parents, that is a problem. So, this helps us to understand where to focus with our limited resources. When we’ve already got the guests and we’ve got a few different shots of each of the guests and we’re trying to get good coverage, and we see the wedding party doing something or we see a close aunt or a grandma doing something, I’m going to move over to that rather than shoot whatever these guys are doing over here at the bar because, again, we want to know where to put our time and these limited resources so that we get the best images for the client, not so that we get the most amount of dance floor shots of this plus 1 person to the wedding.

These are the 2 reasons we want the clients to create a VIP list. We’re going to study it, we’re going to understand it, and we’re going to go into the wedding being able to personalize the experience, and also being able to know where to focus with our limited resources.


The Initial Meeting

Prepping for the Engagement Talk Through

Engagement Shoot Prep & Communication

Prepping for the Wedding Day Talk Through

Wedding Day Preparation & Communication


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