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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 22 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 06:16
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What do you cover at your consultation

 
mike_foyle
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Location: Southampton, UK
     
Jan 22, 2014 06:16 |  #1

Hi there,

I'm quite new to Wedding Photography but I've been photographing events and commercial stuff for some time. I have some Wedding consultations booked for prospective clients in the next couple of months. I was just interested to find out a few things about how some of you guys conduct your consultations...

What key subject areas do you discuss?
Do you have any kind of brochure that you give to the bride and groom?
Do you dress very smartly, or smart casual?
Do you prefer to meet at the client's home or in a nearby tea shop?
Do you always show sample albums?

It would just be really helpful for me to get some insight into what you guys do. I hope you don't mind me asking. Any advice would be really helpful.

Thank you!

Mike


www.michaelfoyle.co.uk (external link)

  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 22, 2014 07:16 |  #2

Do you mean prospective client meetings or meetings with couples who have already booked?


Peter

  
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mike_foyle
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Jan 22, 2014 07:23 as a reply to  @ memoriesoftomorrow's post |  #3

Sorry, yes I meant prospective clients who are interested in booking :)

Best,

Mike


www.michaelfoyle.co.uk (external link)

  
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Pixil ­ Studio
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Jan 22, 2014 09:55 |  #4

they always want to see albums and talk $$


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StephenAndrew
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Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
     
Jan 22, 2014 12:03 |  #5

mike_foyle wrote in post #16626427 (external link)
Hi there,

I'm quite new to Wedding Photography but I've been photographing events and commercial stuff for some time. I have some Wedding consultations booked for prospective clients in the next couple of months. I was just interested to find out a few things about how some of you guys conduct your consultations...

What key subject areas do you discuss?
Do you have any kind of brochure that you give to the bride and groom?
Do you dress very smartly, or smart casual?
Do you prefer to meet at the client's home or in a nearby tea shop?
Do you always show sample albums?

It would just be really helpful for me to get some insight into what you guys do. I hope you don't mind me asking. Any advice would be really helpful.

Thank you!

Mike

I try to make non-wedding or photography chit-chat and connect with my couple on a more personal level before jumping into the business talk - it makes them (and me) more relaxed, and makes them feel like real people, not just your next clients. They (the bride, at least) wants to feel an emotional connection to you and your work, and not see you as someone who just takes pictures on their wedding day.

As for what to wear, dress as a projection of your business - i.e., if your work is more traditional and classic, dress like Eddie Bauer - if your work is more punchy with dramatic lighting and funky angles, dress like Ed Hardy (mediocre examples, but you get the idea). Matching your attire with your personality as well as body of work will make your business appear to have a more unified theme.

I don't have a studio or office, so I meet at a local coffee shop/cafe. Rarely do I go to the clients' house. I try to plan meetings during their off-peak hours, so it's not too loud and we can find a place to sit. I always bring sample albums to show a final product of a whole wedding, and not just the 'best of the best' they see on my website. No brochures, but I give them a pricing/packages sheet and a sample contract to take home.

Good luck, hope you book em!


Connecticut Wedding and Portrait Photographer (external link)
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jkdjedi
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Jan 23, 2014 20:59 |  #6

StephenAndrew wrote in post #16627189 (external link)
I try to make non-wedding or photography chit-chat and connect with my couple on a more personal level before jumping into the business talk - it makes them (and me) more relaxed, and makes them feel like real people, not just your next clients. They (the bride, at least) wants to feel an emotional connection to you and your work, and not see you as someone who just takes pictures on their wedding day.

As for what to wear, dress as a projection of your business - i.e., if your work is more traditional and classic, dress like Eddie Bauer - if your work is more punchy with dramatic lighting and funky angles, dress like Ed Hardy (mediocre examples, but you get the idea). Matching your attire with your personality as well as body of work will make your business appear to have a more unified theme.

I don't have a studio or office, so I meet at a local coffee shop/cafe. Rarely do I go to the clients' house. I try to plan meetings during their off-peak hours, so it's not too loud and we can find a place to sit. I always bring sample albums to show a final product of a whole wedding, and not just the 'best of the best' they see on my website. No brochures, but I give them a pricing/packages sheet and a sample contract to take home.

Good luck, hope you book em!

This^!! I'm new as well and just (well almust just) finished w/ my first wedding. Long story short, no contract was made and they want ALL pics taken during their wedding..ALL OF EM. ( I promised 150 photos eneded ginving them 300+) and they still want them ALL !#%$!^%@$ MAKE THE DANG CONTRACT!!!:evil:


http://www.fernandezim​ages.com/ (external link)

  
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dawssvt
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Jan 30, 2014 02:08 |  #7

I find out who they are - how they met, future plans, ect. I always start by getting to know them then we move onto business.


St. Louis, MO Portrait and Wedding Photographer (external link)
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geo35
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Feb 01, 2014 08:19 |  #8

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got in life - and it applies everywhere - was this: "Wear a clean shirt and try to act halfway interested."

I dress "business casual." I ask them to meet at my home studio where I have lots of things on display, but if they so desire, I'll drag albums and things in a couple grocery bags to a coffee shop. But those meetings are rare. I always tell them we should meet "in my comfortable kid-free, pet-free, smoke-free home studio where there's lots to see."

Like Stephen said above, try to connect with the couple on a more personal level before jumping into the business talk - "the bride... wants to feel an emotional connection to you and your work, and not see you as someone who just takes pictures on their wedding day."

I always ask how long they've been engaged and get them to tell me the story of how the proposal itself went. I want to see her ring. If she'll show it with him around, I want her to show me her dress on her iPhone. I don't act all phony-excited for them, but I DO act "interested." From there, I generally wing it, and try to let them drive the conversation. She especially usually has some questions in mind.

But I close the sale by pulling out about 20 of my best shots mounted on 8x12 foam core board. One side of the board shows a 5x7 of the RAW image just the way it came out of camera. The other side shows an 8x12 fully photofinished image. I tell them I'm not so much a photographer any more as I am a pixelographer. I tell them all their wedding portraits are gonna' look "just like this." They're usually amazed... it's a super-big help in closing the deal. I also have four full wedding albums on display that we can look through from front to back, if they've got the time (and they usually do.)

By the way, I find that having nice mounted pictures to show is the better way to go, rather than flipping through digital shots on an iPad. People still like the tactile sense of that kind of a display. Nonetheless, I also have a small digital frame (8x12 size) sitting on a table in a corner, that is running a slow slideshow of all my best work, while we talk.

Good luck!

.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Feb 01, 2014 11:41 |  #9

I would say that for the first half hour or so my meetings with prospective clients are solely spent in conversation having nothing to do with weddings. If there weren't two people sitting across from me the meeting up until this point will resemble two friends getting together. Now, I should mention that I'm a fairly shy dude and a bit of a loner; but I guess I have enough interests (and I'm passionate enough about those interests) that I'm able to find connections to people fairly easily. I also don't hesitate to get 'meta' and to be self-deprecating, something which inevitably results in laughter from the couple and which perhaps not everyone could get away with. If I feel like the meeting is going fairly well and the couple is a little sassy, I might find ways to razz them a bit like old friends would. This isn't tactical, really, it's just who I am, but I think overall it helps solidify a bond. I definitely want clients who are interested in having a photographer they like personally. I consider this meeting a good opportunity to gauge this.

Normally the couple gets into wedding-related questions at this point and if needed I'll explain my overall style--not just in terms of the aesthetic of my photos but in terms of how I actually work on the day, how I think about photography.

We'll often then discuss their chosen venue and play around with possible timelines.

I'll eventually get out the contract/form and go through the contract, going over the major points after they're finished reading.

The couple will often have a series of pointed technical queries (how many photos do we get back, how much retouching do you do ? are the photos watermarked ? etc.) which I'll take up. Often the couple doesn't have enough questions but feel like they're missing points. I'll then make fun of them and provide them a few questions to ask me that I think provide information that they should have.

5% of the time I'll show photos at a meeting. But because of how I set up my marketing and online presence, I generally take requests to see more photos at the meeting as a signal that I'm not a good match for the given couple.

Oh, and I always meet in a neutral location--a cool coffee place down the block. I dress in pin-striped dress pants (or grey wool dress pants), obscenely expensive dress shoes and a well-fitted black or grey button-up with the sleeves rolled up above the elbow. It might be over-dressing, but I've got a massive tangle of long hair that balances everything out :D



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

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What do you cover at your consultation
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