Adding To Your Wedding Experience

June 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

These images weren't put together in some app. They were all shot on a Fujifilm Instax Camera.  Try it, they are a blast!

     Value-added benefits to wedding photography packages are something every good wedding photographer offers and they vary to some degree. There is one value-added benefit that every photographer can't afford to leave out. It's the experience you give your client. I've seen average photographers whose technical skill needs some polish, but when it comes to giving an experience their couples will never forget, they are on top of their game! 
     I've been really trying to add an an experience for my clients that will have them talking for years to come. My experience with clients starts before they even sign a contract.  I like to take clients out for ice cream on our first consultation. I call this the “First Date Consultation” or the “Blind Date Consultation".  Both are adequately named because forming a relationship with clients is very much similar to forming a relationship with anyone.  How your “date” goes has a lot to do whether you are going to have a second date!  In this case, it's getting hired.  During our "first date" I just talk to them about them. I do give a little bit of background of myself and I find some areas we can connect on but I really want to hear their story. I used to write down a bunch of notes but it never felt right so I stopped. I just listen and carry on a conversation like a normal person. 
     The thing I had to learn the most was to not be like a robot. I would write details down frantically but I didnt really catch all of the emotion from what couples would tell me.  The way I have my client meetings set up now is to get all of the nitty gritty details after their engagement shoot over dinner.  We may not cover everything since some brides and grooms don’t have all of their details down yet but we eventually get them all squared away.
     To give a unique experience you need to do something different. Doing things differently doesn’t mean you have to be super trendy or you have to be something you’re not.  Being different is how you make your clients feel. 
     I have a lot of energy and I am not afraid to let my energy and enthusiasm show but I do so gradually so as to not come off too strong (think of how many first dates are ruined because of this!) I was just complimented recently from my last bride by how much everyone loved my energy.  This is actually a compliment back to my clients because I give what I get.  I feed off of energy, good energy.  I use that good energy to try to make people feel comfortable and good about themselves.  They should, they are beautiful! 
     Here are some tips for ways you can make your wedding clients have a better experience:
  • Give some fun swag!  I am currently and carefully vetting items to put in a gift tote full of swag for future brides. Items that are fun and easy to use and can be used continually typically work well.  It also helps that I'll have my logo on all of it. That’s a tip I actually learned from a friend of mine who actually sold cars. 
  • Bring out something unexpected.  During my "first dates" or engagement sessions, I pull out a Fujifilm Instax camera (think Polaroid) and snap some fun snapshots of my lovely couples.  For one it’s retro or old school (or how ever you see it) and the couple gets to see the results instantly.  It’s something that they can have immediately to remind them of a fun time and conversation.  I am now offering this during wedding day even as I go through about 20-30 or more “Polaroids” as part of my wedding packages.  They are so much fun. I shoot candid shots of people including the bride and groom throughout the wedding day. At the end of the day, I put all of the pics on a table and take one picture of them together. I then give the pics to the bride and groom so they have something tangible on their wedding day.  Are they professional shots, not really but they are real and they are a blast.  Also, I am the only person I know of in my area that does this.  
  • Respond to your client’s needs even when they don’t know what their needs are. The reason people pick you is because they like your style and results.  But doing even the little things during a shoot can make a big difference which helps get the results you are looking for. Whether it's a cool bottle of water on a warm day while shooting or a stool to sit while waiting, helping my brides and grooms to relax and stay comfortable let’s them know you care about how they are doing.  This will most likely reflect in your images of them.  Ask them if they need a break, bring a stool if they are tired of standing.  Do things they wouldn’t normal think of doing to comfort them. 
  • Do something completely different for each couple and not for any other client.  Fair isn’t always equal but doing something different means that you’re creating or doing something exclusive for each client.  Take them to an amusement park, out to a movie or to a fun place to eat.  If clients see you do the same old same old, there is no more “special”.
  • Personalize. I've heard of some wedding photographers signs their prints. Now I include it automatically as part of my wedding package.  It’s art and should be signed as such.  Your signature is as unique as you are.  Make your signature mean something.  
  • Forge a relationship. I want to be friends with my clients.  I enjoy watching them grow as one.  I eventually see them having kids, going through joys, pains, and everything in between. means I care about what they do long after wedding day.  
  • Be energetic and happy to be there. Being hand-picked by a couple means they have placed their trust in you.  What more reason do you need to put a smile on your face?
     There you have it. It's is just a few tips, but remember that you can make up your own rules when it comes to how you run your business.  Don't forget, Your personality, how you carry yourself, and how you make your clients feel all add to a wonderful couple's wedding day experience.  Have fun doing it! 



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