Wedding Photography and Working for the Client
As things are about to pick up for DSmithImages Wedding Photography, Portraits, and Events in the coming weeks, I wanted to take a little time and do another advice piece while I still had the opportunity. I hope the last one I did was beneficial, and I do hope this one will be as well. Like the last time, this will focus on the wedding photography side of things, but it can apply across the board to any genre or style.
I wanted to discuss my philosophy on the photographer/client relationship in terms of wedding photography. Ever since I started doing wedding photography, I have operated with one simple notion that I tell all my clients.
"You are getting married. Not me."
What I mean by this statement is that I am not about to tell the client how their wedding day will look. I am not going to dictate anything to them nor will I insist on forcing them to accept a particular approach to their wedding celebration. Sure, I will offer advice and let them know and see the way I cover a wedding, but I will ultimately let them have the final say on how they want their wedding photography covered.
I know some people will find this ridiculous, and, well, more power to you. If you want to do it a different way, go right ahead. This has been successful for me, and I will continue to operate under this method because I believe in giving the client what they want... not what I want.
The only thing I want out of wedding photography is to make the client happy and satisfied with the end results. If the client suggests a new approach that I might not have considered, I am not about to shut them down or flat out reject it. It would be foolish to do that.
This is also why I readily welcome clients to submit Pinterest boards and ideas to me. I will tell them I cannot flat out duplicate a shot because of a variety of reasons, but it will at least give me good reference points to know the style the client is wanting for their wedding. I know some photographers hate Pinterest, but I am definitely not one of them. I welcome it with open arms.
Being rigid and set in one's ways is not a good strategy to have in the wedding photography field. My style and approach have both evolved over the years thanks to the input I get from clients and the suggestions they make. If you cannot operate with the input received from the client, how can you grow as a photographer?
As with all advice, it is up to you to do what is best for your business and style. Some people might scoff at this, but others might find it beneficial. Whatever the case may be, though, do remember that we all work for our clients. It is not the other way around. They are the ones getting married. Not the other way around.
Keep those things in mind as you continue in the wedding photography game. It might just help you in the long run.
If by chance you found this while looking for a wedding photographer, I invite you to check out my wedding photography investment and pricing section to see what I can offer you.
I hope this helps or at least gives you something to think about. If you have any comments, feel free to share them below.