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10 Questions Wedding Photographers Need to Ask Their Clients

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Communication is also a huge part of the photography business. It helps you build relations with you clients, as well as helping you to work successfully. However, knowing what to discuss can be tricky since there are many potential issues you didn't know you have to deal with. To minimize D-day complications, you better be prepared with some information. Here are 10 questions directed to the client you might need to help you navigate their event better!

1. How much is the budget?

You've heard us talked about this before but knowing your client's budget is essential. If the client is willing to hire you with any rate, that's great. In case they don't, it's certainly much better to do the negotiation before the event than after. Consider the expected outcome of the work, especially if the client requests something outside the package. No more money talks during the event!

2. How many pictures are expected?

This might dovetail with the previous question, but the bottom line is to never let clients receive anything that's not within their expectation. If you prefer including this question in your package, it's better to have several options of how many copies you can print and how many soft copies can be produced.

3. Who will be the person in charge?

Whether it's the maid-of-honor, best man, or one of the siblings, it's necessary to be in contact with someone other than the bride and groom during the wedding day. These two will be too busy to talk to anyone else other than the hundreds of guests, the wedding planner might also not be available for this. You need someone to reach out to for any possible issues on the D-day.

4. Who are the other vendors?

You will be working with these other vendors and taking documentations of their work, so it's always good to know, for instance, whose appetizers you are taking a picture of. This is will be needed to credit these vendors when you post the wedding pictures in social media, or just in case somebody asks. Besides, it will be beneficial for you to establish your presence in the wedding industry, perhaps one of them might also refer you to other brides.

5. What is the expected outcome?

This can include a lot of things, from what specific details they want you to take a picture of to what nuance do they want to create. There is usually special requests or expectation that your client got from other peoples' wedding. Perhaps, they like pictures of the wedding preparation, or they want solo poses, group poses, or even have a list of poses. This way, the wedding day's picture taking can be done even smoothly!

6. How many guests will there be?

Be prepared for big weddings! Big weddings can require more people than your usual team members, you might need to prepare a second photographer in that case. The size of the wedding will also affect how you distribute your time there, especially if there will be multiple group pictures.

7. How did you two meets?

Aside from building communication and relationship, this also gives a picture of how the wedding pictures are expected. For instance, are they a romantic kind of couple with an emotional proposal story, or are they the simple and humorous kind of couple? This helps you determine the best nuance to create, whether that is elegant, candid, or anything else.

8. Ask for a quick preview of their family

This can get a bit tricky because it sounds like you're asking a personal question. However, it's important for you not to get startled at the amount of people present in the family picture. For instance, some couples have step siblings, some others have lost their family members. Rather than getting caught in an awkward situation, it's good to subtly ask if they want a special family portrait and how they want it.

9. Are there any restrictions from the venue?

When you're taking a picture in a church, they might request that you don't get too close to the altar. Some other venues have their own rules too, such as not allowing the use of flash. Normally, you would be informed about this on the D-day, but it wouldn't hurt to know beforehand. If the client couldn't answer this yet, perhaps you can request them to inform you as soon as possible.

10. How did you find us?

Before or after settling in the wedding day details, you might want to pop this question. This will lead the client to talk about what you're doing right in your business. If they start talking about the quality or of your photographs, then that's the kind of pictures they want to see from your work. If they talk about finding you through a reference or social media, that will give you a hint of how you should conduct your marketing strategy.

if your clients are planning to do a pre-wedding session, add these following questions:

1. Are there any historical places for both of you?

The locations include places where your client first met his partner, where the proposal happened, or other activities that were very memorable for them. Even though it's not necessary to have photo sessions there, these locations can be a nice reference in creating your mood board.

2. What do you two have in common? Are there any hobbies or interests in common?

Usually, partners of clients with the same interests will not refuse if their pre-wedding concept is based on their similarities. For example, if both of them love traveling, they can choose places that show landmarks as the background.

3. What kind of outfits you wish for your pre-wedding?

Some couples want their pre-wedding photo album to truly show their everyday characters, but some want to look different for the sake of a special photo session. If the client plans to wear a type of outfits that they are not familiar with, do inform them about the possible challenges in movements during the photo sessions.

4. Do you have any references?

Commonly, clients reach you out because they like your previous works and are inspired to be photographed in a similar style. Some bring references to make it easier for you to cook up the concept of shooting. When a client have references from other sources, remind them politely that you will need to adjust it with your own of photography.

5. What is the procedure for accommodation and transportation costs?

For sessions outside the city, don't forget to talk about the payment system with the client: whether it is a reimbursement or the client will handle the payments directly to travel agent/accommodations since the beginning of the project. If it only needs intercity land transportation to get to the photo location, you should still consider budget for your team's food and beverages. These fees can be initially mentioned on the quotation or on a separate agreement if the client will handle the fees on the spot.

Although you have build the client's trust, basic business skills is as important as your talents, including asking the right questions. Discussing those things with your clients will add an extra glow to your portfolio, which means that you're certainly the right one for the job!

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