Slowly but surely, the Indian wedding photography industry is recognizing the need to be more customer-centric. To give you an idea about how things were a decade ago…hiring a wedding photographer was mostly through word-of-mouth and references. The booking process included financial negotiations, advance fee payments, and of course a verbal agreement about being present on the big day.
That was it—no friendly chats over coffee, no Facebook befriending!
So, you might ask, why is the evolution necessary to be a successful wedding photographer?
5 key business advantages to pre-wedding customer meetings
Do you make it a point to meet your customers/couples long before you shoot the wedding? You must.
Breaking the ice
If you’re meeting your customers and getting acquainted on the day of the wedding, you pretty much have no time to break the ice. Even if you are a friendly, outspoken guy, there are chances that your clients take more than a single meeting to let down their defences.
A pre-wedding customer meeting will give your couples the time they need to build trust. And be more comfortable in front of the camera when you’re making pictures of them on their big day.
It will not take long for you to realize that if you befriend your customers/couples, you’ll end up with better pictures. Beyond being comfortable, your couples will also invest more time and effort to make sure you get the best shots.
At Indian weddings, it’s a common practice to hire more than one photography team to capture the events of the day. From experience, you’ll know that it is challenging to get good angles and perspectives when you have multiple photographers fighting for the best shot. Especially during the portrait and getting-ready sessions.
So, it goes without saying that there is an obvious advantage in befriending the couple. You will be their “priority” photographer and they will make sure you get more time and better space to make the best shots.
Making sure the client is on the same page
There have been times when the customer hoped to get certain shots from their photographer and the photographer failed to deliver. You can suffer the short end of the stick even when you make good images—simply because there is a mismatch between expectations and delivery.
You can avoid this through pre-wedding customer meetings. Discuss with your customers what their expectations are, and you’ll know for sure they will be happy with the images.
Getting the dope to invest more effort to capture special moments
Getting to know the couple beforehand will help you understand what matters most to them. Like the special equation that the groom shares with his grandma. Making a beautiful picture of the grandma is going to win you extra brownie points.
So, spend some time listening to your customers’ stories about how they met, what’s special about their lives, and so on.
Post-event references and reviews
A happy customer doesn’t always equate to references and good recorded reviews. But if your customer is happy and you’ve built a long-lasting friendship that extends beyond the wedding day, you can be sure to receive good references. And reviews too.
Wedding photography isn’t only about making good images. It is also about the people you shoot and showing them what they mean to you. That will go a long way in making you a better and more successful photographer than your peers.