BE THE EXPERT AND SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR COUPLES.
Don’t forget, these people are coming to you fresh to the wedding scene (usually). They’ve never done this before, so what you find to be second nature and almost “duh”-worthy is completely new to your couples. You do this every weekend for a living, and they are leaning on you to provide your expertise to make their day go off without a hitch (as much as possible). Once a couple signs a contract and pays their deposit to lock their date with us, we send a welcome packet with tips to look your best in photos, a copy of all of their paperwork, a welcome letter, timeline sheets, and cards from local vendors we recommend. Take that extra step and show your couples that you know what you’re doing. When you take the initiative on something like this so early in the game, they will continue to look to you for guidance throughout their planning process (and you want this so you can control the outcome of what photos you’re able to capture for them). Always be upfront and honest. If a client wants photos at location A, and also at location B that’s an hour and a half away, but they only have two hours for creatives in their timeline or are already over by an hour or two... DO NOT just say OK.
Level set with them:
“We are more than happy to get you images at both of these locations, just know we’re already over in time and this is eating into your timeline with empty drive time. Is there somewhere closer to location A that looks similar to location B that we could compromise on? This will give us more time for creatives, which means more images for you, and will allow us to get you back to your reception on time.” You can say everything you need to say without being rude, condescending or anything negative. Just be confident in your approach and bend where you need to. As long as they understand they might not get the images they hired you for, OR they might have to pay for extra hours of coverage, do what they want.
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