Who are you? What do you do? What does your relationship mean to each other? How do you describe your relationship? The answers to all of these questions will undoubtedly help us do our job in a more efficient and meaningful way, while at the same time allowing for a greater level of trust and comfort.
Given how difficult it is to produce a photograph of a stranger that is meaningful and truly representative of them, no wedding photographer should attempt to document such a special day without knowing the couple, their story, and their love. In order to make the photography process easier for both of us, we need to get to know each other. Don't be strangers. Share our lives with each other. Heck, we will even become friends!
There are many different ways you can do this. Questionnaires are an easy way to get inside info about a couple. Once you complete the booking process with us, you will receive a questionnaire in which I ask you to grab a glass of wine, cuddle up on the couch, and complete the questionnaire together. The questionnaire asks about how you met, your proposal story, a one-word description of each other and your relationship, your idea of a perfect date, how you like to spend time together, meaningful locations, as well as details about the wedding itself. It's quite detailed and very intimate, so it allows us an inside look at the couple.
We also “friend” all of our couples on Facebook, follow them on Instagram and Snapchat, and become an active part of their life. The key here, though, is to not just friend and forget. Once we become social media friends, we comment on your posts, share things with you, ENGAGE. This is a great way to share our lives with couples and to get a glimpse into theirs.
The more we know about you, the less we stress.
We strongly advise couples to do an engagement session. We get to know you even more and get the opportunity to see how you act in front of your camera.
We talk about you and your wedding plans. Talk about your honeymoon plans, your families, your jobs, anything that will allow us to connect with you on a deeper level. We Also, talk about ourselves. So you get comfortable with us as people and not just as another wedding vendor.
Perhaps more importantly, we take this time to gauge your interactions with each other and their actions in front of the camera. Do you get embarrassed when hugging in public? We make notes of it so that we don't waste time trying to get good shots of you snuggling on a city street on your wedding day! Do you need posing direction or are you naturally photogenic? Also good to know so that we have a better idea of how much time we'll need to allow for photos on the wedding day. We pay close attention to you during the engagement session so that we can adequately prepare ourself for the portrait portion of your wedding day.
The engagement session is a free trial, our chance to practice with you before the pressure of the wedding day is upon you.
This is one of those “kill two birds with one stone” scenarios.
By meeting with you as much as possible, we're giving ourselves even more opportunities to get to know you. The more we get to know each other, the less you'll have to worry about “stranger stress” on the day of the wedding.
On the other hand, these meetings are crucial for organization and planning. This is where we plan out the timeline, plan out the details of the day, organize “must have shots” lists, etc. We always have AT MINIMUM three formal meetings with clients.
The first meeting is what we call the potential client meeting, which is when we meet after they inquire to go through details about us, our collections and pricing, our contract, etc. We give them all of the info they need to make the decision to hire us. We also use this time to get to know you a bit – We ask about how you met, how you got engaged, etc.
The second meeting is the timeline meeting. During this meeting, we work out the details of the timeline of your wedding day.
The third meeting is the pre-wedding consultation, which is generally the longest and most important meeting of the three. It's essentially a Q&A session, with us asking approximately 1 million questions about the wedding day. We can never be too prepared! In this meeting we:
Again, this third meeting is very detailed and can easily take an hour out of your day, but I PROMISE it will make everything much easier in the long run. You can never be over-prepared on a wedding day!
From there we will be highly prepared. We will then proceed in checking out your vendors (dress makers, caterers etc.), scouting locations and most importantly interacting with the mother of the bride unless a stronger candidate is available on the wedding day. She will be the one we will disturb (if needed) instead of the couple. And it helps her feel important and useful on the day. Our wedding shoot normally consists of two photographers and one assistant, however we may recruit another assistant from the family.