The funny thing about people is that often times we know within the first 2 minutes if the other person we are meeting is someone that we will want to invest time into getting to know more. It isn’t a bad or a selfish thing, it’s reality. And the reality is, while we have the ability to be kind to everyone we meet and even impact their lives, we do not have the ability to foster deep, life long meaningful relationships with everyone.
Something I have learned in being a wedding photographer is the importance of taking those 2 minutes and making the most of them. No, I don’t mean shoving a contract in your face and getting you to sign. I don’t even bring contracts to my client consultations because I want you to have the time you need to make sure we are a good fit; that I am someone you would want to be apart of your wedding day. What I mean is taking my two minutes to give you the best impression of who I am as a person. We all know the importance of a good first impression but more than a good impression, I want you to get the RIGHT impression of who I am just as I want to get the RIGHT impression of who you are.
I don’t know about you but for me, I would rather my clients know exactly who they are getting before they invest thousands of dollars into my business just like I would like to know exactly what I am getting before I invest thousands of dollars into new camera equipment. My point- understand your investment and take the time to make sure it’s right. Dave Ramsey, money guru and finance expert says after they have all their answers even he and his wife go home and sleep on any major money decision before they make any final decisions. Y’all, this is a million dollar man who will not make a money decision without research and sleep! If this practice is good enough for Dave, and has proven to be beyond beneficial for my husband and I, this I believe it is my responsibility to give my clients the same opportunity as I would hope was given me.
For Kendra, as always I came with no contract in hand. I would rather chat over a Starbucks hot chocolate or Chick-fil-A french fries and lemonade than over legal documents. What initially drew her to inquire was a single image on my website. That’s all I knew. When I first met Kendra and her mom at Starbucks, she was quiet. We started talking plans and mock time lines and what a wedding day realistically looks like. By the end of the conversation, even though it was a great conversation and filled with fun moments, I wasn’t sure if she liked me.
Guys, I am not quiet. I am bold. I am direct, have a plan, and am brutally honest about certain things on wedding days because I know what the reality of a wedding day in many, many situations looks like. I know how to help direct a wedding day in order to get the images my clients love. I know how to handle difficult situations and put a plan in place for situations my clients are worried about like phones at ceremonies and drunk Uncle Joe’s. I want to not only educate but prepare my clients. Stress doesn’t have to be apart of your wedding day- I am a firm believer of that. What seems to surprise me is that while I think I may scare away the 50% of brides that book with me because they are more quiet and timid compared to myself, that is exactly what draws them to me! When Kendra said she was booking me and the contract came through, I was so excited I hadn’t scared her away!
During Kendra and Tyler’s engagement session, she was worried about posing and looking natural. Y’all, I don’t have all the answers but I am confident in two things: the answers I do know and how to help my clients feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of a camera. I never want a client to go away from a session thinking “she had NO clue” or “that was an AWFUL experience with that lady”. That’s not serving my clients well. When I ask my clients what they are worried about, if they are honest and open up to me, I can serve them well. It’s why I believe that trust is one of the most important aspects of any business relationship. Kendra and Tyler trusted me and that is one of the greatest compliments I can receive from any client. Trust comes through in their responses to moving a hand when I ask so a pose look more natural, to a tentative smile going into genuine laughter, and to a client becoming a friend and taking your advice on a restaurant to enjoy on a hot date after their session is complete.
Y’all, this engagement session, although FREEZING and at 7 a.m. in the morning, was an utter blast. I love getting to know my clients beforehand and getting to see first hand the joy and bond they share.
Kendra and Tyler, thank you for being the wonderful people you are and so willing to have some fun despite none of the local, close coffee shops being open yet. I am so excited for June to come and get to participate in your wedding! Until then…