5 Tips For Your First Wedding Consult

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PhotographyTips I am new in the wedding photography ball game, while everything is still fresh in my mind I would like to share with you my experiences as a "newbie" and how to learn from my mistakes with what works and what doesn't! I plan on putting together posts on my "firsts." First wedding consult, first engagement session, first wedding etc.

First in the line up is my very first wedding consult since it's fresh in my mind. Here are some tips to help you with your first consultation as a professional wedding photographer.

1.BE PREPARED. This means get a portfolio together. Get some pictures printed. Create a wedding album. Make/ have a contract created. Include a sample timeline. Have a pricing sheet put together. Feeling frisky with lots of time on your hands? Create a Welcome Wedding Magazine explaining everything you have to offer and how the process will go down if you are hired. You can find awesome Photoshop templates (only $10 a month) or more specifically {the wedding marketing kit} here.

Sure Leanne, this is all fine and dandy, but what if I haven't done a wedding before? What if this is my very first one? How can I provide work to them if I don't have any?

    • BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO. You have zero excuses to not be able to build a makeshift portfolio geared towards wedding photography. Create and shoot a stylized session. Getting men to join in on the fun is the hard part. But asking a girlfriend or your clientele if they would like to hop back into their wedding dress and do a stylized bridal session should be easy. Brides love showing off their dresses they paid hundreds if not thousands for. Have them bring their shoes they wore, anything special. Potential clients love to see detailed shots. Own a pair of fancy shoes? Are you married yourself? Bring out those shoes, use your own wedding ring and get creative.

wedding ring makeshift wedding flowers bridal session bridal sessionwedding shoes

  •  SECOND SHOOT. I cannot stress enough how valuable and necessary second shooting for a wedding is necessary if you are looking to get into wedding photography yourself. I did my first gig for free and I am so thankful I did. Lots of wedding photographers are looking for assistants or second, even third shooters. Get on facebook and say you will work for free! The experience in itself makes it worth your time. Make sure you ask the lead photographer before you agree on helping that you can use your own photos you got from the day as a portfolio builder.

2. CHOOSE A MEETING PLACE. I decided that Starbucks is my go to. It's not informal and its not formal. (Ask them what their favorite coffee is and have it waiting there for them.)

3. DRESS ACCORDINGLY. You're meeting at a Starbucks? Fine. It's okay to show up in a exercising outfit. It's okay to wear a shirt and jeans. It's Starbucks and the clients want to get to know the true you. Are you the type that wears high heels no matter what? Then show up in them. But I guarantee you both will feel more comfortable if you dress casual. No one wants to feel like they are going to an interview (even though we as photographers feel as though it is because we are trying to sell ourselves) Be you. Wear what you would wear to an engagement session. Be casual, but professional.

4. PAINT A PICTURE. Walk them through the timeline of the wedding day. Tell them what you shoot when you first arrive at their home. What you shoot during the arrival or the first look. What you shoot while the ceremony is occurring. Make them want you to be at your wedding and have faith in you that you will capture all those special moments.

5. MAKE IT ABOUT THEM. Ask details about their wedding, their relationship, etc. Ask them if they have any questions for you. Be sure to thank them for their time and consideration of being apart of their big day.

I am hoping this helps give you an idea and confidence to go about your first wedding consultation. This is what I did and it seemed to work for me because I did in fact book my first wedding I did a consultation with! Wishing you all the best of luck!

Have anything to add? Please feel free to add some tips in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!

-Leanne