Simply put…we know better hahaha. I totally kid ( kind of ).
Today I’m going to go over 5 ways you can maximize your investment with your photographer. First let me get this out of the way, these 5 tips are my opinion and how I view things as a consumer as well as a full time photographer :) So with that said lets get this show rockin!
Tip 1 – Stop being a consumer. Develop a relationship with your photographer ( your hair stylist, gardener, CPA…the list goes on and on ) so that they are able to invest themselves in your end game. Simply paying someone to show up and do their job will work too BUT when that person is able to care about your story and who you are as a person you will most likely get that person to deliver a better service.
It’s really no different from the old “ pay less = less effort / pay more = better effort “ saying. Although a lot of professionals will say that’s bullshit, there is actually a little truth in it. Really look deep down into yourself and think about it. Is your experience ordering food at McDonalds the same as ordering from Ruth Chris? Why not? Minimum wage is the same in both areas, the reason is two fold. 1st reason is because at Ruth Chris they are getting decent to good tips thus they work harder. 2nd reason is because Ruth Chris values their client experience and their employees are expected to uphold that as well as actually want to deliver that great service.
Other businesses are really no different. If you approach them as a consumer they will take your money and give you the service. If you approach them looking to have them as a part of your life decision then not only are they able to provide you the service but they are also able to feel like they are truly appreciated and in turn reciprocate that feeling. See where I’m going with this? If we all get along and kick ass for each other the trust builds and the relationship that was once a consumer one blurs so the output of quality no longer remains a tangible thing, it becomes however awesome we want it to be ( how’s that for a run on sentence ).
Often times I run into a bride or groom who for no particular reason ( that I’m aware of ) distances themselves from those they hired for their wedding. And that’s cool, I’m still going to bust my ass for them. The biggest difference is because of that attitude the delivery of a killer client experience becomes harder and harder. Not only will the bride and groom not feel a connection to those they invested in but with that attitude comes a major lack in communication. So maybe I don’t know mom and dad are divorced, or that your sister was supposed to maid of honor and then got fired over something petty. Communication is key and without it the story becomes harder to piece together and also puts us at risk of coupling good ol mom and dad when they really want to gut punch each other. None of that reflects good on your vendor, so open up and let us in hahaha most of us are pretty fuckin awesome, laid back and want to give you the best possible service we can.
Tip 2 – Let us control how much time we get to spend with you. I know that sounds strange but hear me out. When we have 30min to shoot first look, wedding party pictures and family pictures it is not only a difficult situation to be in but you are actually jipping yourself of why you hired a photographer in the first place. If hours need to be added or activities sacrificed, you own it to yourself to get the most out of your investment.
Lets break this down with a portion of a timeline ( if everything is at one location and modern first look is in play) –
1:00pm – 1:30pm – Bridal details
1:30pm – 2:00pm – Bridal portraits
2:00pm – 2:30pm – Groom portraits
2:30pm – 2:40pm – First look
2:40pm – 3:40pm – Wedding Party pictures / Romantics
3:40pm – 4:00pm – Family pictures
4:00pm – 4:30pm – Ceremony
4:30pm – 5:30pm – Cocktail Hour / Bride and Groom sunset pictures
Now this is just an example but things look pretty awesome here! Plenty of time to maximize how much fun we get to have with each other right? Now imagine that entire slot from 1pm – 4pm condensed into 45min… I’ve had it happen and it won’t be the last time but it makes things very very difficult. That’s not even touching on the stress a bride will feel because they need to be rushed ( I have a future blog post on timelines and stress in the works ).
There are some kick ass coordinators out there that understand for example Natalie Sofer or Tricia Dahlgren who when they put together a timeline they allow for us to work our magic and give you the best we can offer. Other times there is no one in the drivers seat and it’s in these times when that car is going 80mph on a two lane road cliffside that we need to make sure we are all getting the most out of each other that someone needs to grab the wheel.
I do timeline consultations with all of my brides to make sure they get my best. Though there are sometimes I don’t get what’s optimal it’s up to you and I to brainstorm ( use that awesome relationship we built ) and come up with a plan that will rock.
Tip 3 – Traditional First Look VS Modern First look. If photography is a 6 out of 10 or above on your list of important aspects of your wedding day then lets roll with the Modern First Look. I have an entire blog detailing the pros and cons of each but the short and sweet of it is this – More time for pictures of you and your wedding party VS less time for pictures of you and your wedding party.
Tip 4 – The day before the wedding –
Brides – If there is one thing you deserve it’s some rest and relaxation after all the hard work you go through to plan a wedding. Get to your happy place the day before and take a deep breath. Have fun with your girls or just sleep hahaha. Whatever it is you do that takes you to that far away island in your head, do it. You’ll never regret it. Also eat fresh, try to stay away from super salty foods the day before. When our bodies consume too much salt we tend to bloat due to excess fluid we retain. You want to feel your best on your wedding day and by eating fresh food like greens, fruits and good stuff like that you’ll be feeling great.
Grooms – Same as above hahaha with the addition of one small thing…don’t get wasted the day before your wedding bwhaha. I know you’re going to be chilling with the guys and having fun but a hangover you do not want on a day where you will be in the spotlight. On average you’ll be on your feet for about 8 hours. My advice to grooms is always the same, let your guys drink and then join them after the family pictures.
Lastly, stay hydrated.
Tip 5 – Have fun! On your wedding day remember that whatever happens will happen, let others worry about it. It’s your day to celebrate so make the most of it. You’ve spent countless hours lining everything up to the best of your abilities and now it’s time for it to play out. Close your eyes, throw your hands up and scream because the one sitting next to you…that’s the only one that matters.