Making the first contact
Follow a personal & collaborative approach while reaching out to candid wedding photographers and you will be able to get a lot of value from them even before you spend a penny on hiring them.
Hi, this is Manas from Based On A True Story.
Hope you liked our last video and using the “30 second style check technique”, you’ve been able to shortlist a few wedding photographers who seem like a good fit. You’ve seen their portfolios, liked their pictures. So what do you do next? Ask for their quotes and packages? Sounds simple, right?
Well, it doesn’t work that way!
Engaging with new age wedding photographers requires a completely different approach.
In this video, I will talk about the key mistakes people make while contacting wedding photographers and also share the best way to make that first contact. Do it right and you will be able to get a whole lot of value without even spending a penny.
There was a time when wedding photographers were hired for only two reasons - people needed a documentary evidence of their wedding and a record of attendance.
But now things are very different. New age wedding photographers or candid photographers as some people call them, have raised that bar very high and shown us how beautiful and valuable wedding photography can be.
These photographers take their time to know you, understand you and connect with you at a personal level. That is how they make pictures that you would value. Think of them as friends with cameras.
The best wedding photographers today don’t work for you. They work “with” you!
Also, these are artists with a personal vision and a belief system - Some believe in making magazine like stylized pictures while some keep it honest and real. Some focus on love and romance while some bring out the quirks and humor in a wedding. Choosing one photographer over another will completely change the output.
Most people see a few pictures on a website and then rush into quotes and packages without fully understanding if the photographer is even the right fit for them ...and that is a big mistake!
The best photographer for one couple could easily be the worst for another.
Exactly for this reason, we insist on meeting every one who inquires with us. If they are in a different city or country, we meet them on a video conference. Sometimes we’ve even turned down assignments when we felt that our style of photography was not a good fit for the couple.
Good photographers can not be hired over email. You need to meet them or at least have a detailed conversation over the phone to be able to understand their work and see if they are the right fit for you.
So here’s approach you should try -
When you reach out to a wedding photographer the first time, you should be asking for a meeting and not a quote. If you want to be sure that the photographer will suit your budget, then you could perhaps ask for a rough estimate.
Remember, You want start a conversation, not end it.
To make your first message a little more personal, here’s what you should consider adding -
Backstory - Adding a little detail about yourself and the story so far is a sure shot way of breaking the ice even before you meet them.
Views on the photographer’s work - Let the photographer know what you like about their work. Feel free to refer to specific pictures if you want. This tells the photographer exactly what you’re looking for and if their work is the right fit for you.
Contact details - Name, email, phone number and your location or timezone if you’re reaching out to a photographer in country.
The itinerary - Your list of events with dates, timings, venues or locations. This helps the photographer confirm their availability.
Call To Action - Then you ask them to schedule a meeting or consultation to discuss your requirements in detail.
Photographers love stories & conversations ...and would be more than happy to meet you. While this is a great opportunity to discuss your requirements and expectations in detail, It also helps the photographer tailor their services and pricing to your specific needs.
They can give you the best advice on how your wedding should be shot, the number of photographers required, lighting, decoration and a lot of other things that impact photography. They may even bring your attention to things you might have missed ...and you get to leverage their experience and professional opinion for free!
In one of our meetings, the couple mentioned that for a 500 people reception, they were not planning on having a formal stage. We immediately pointed out that with so many guests, it will get chaotic as multiple people would try to meet them at the same time. They understood the problem, got the stage done and thanked us later.
Let’s do a quick recap -
Candid Wedding Photographers have a personal & collaborative approach
When you contact them, make your first message a little personal and instead of a quote, ask for a meeting
In this meeting, discuss your requirements in detail and try to understand their personal style
In the next video, we’ll talk about the questions you should ask your photographer to get the best out of that meeting.
Thanks for watching this. Do share it with your friends who might be looking for wedding photographers.