Choosing your wedding photographer is a big commitment because they’re the only vendor who will be present with you for the bulk of your wedding day. You don’t want to feel like strangers to one another when they show up. By building a trusting relationship with couples, I’ve found that I make them feel known and cared for. Building trust with your wedding photographer is everything.
All the reasons you need to build trust with your wedding photographer come down to three main ideas.
If you and your wedding photographer build a trusting relationship, your images will be higher quality. As an experienced photographer, I help couples with all kinds of decisions. I can advise them on their timeline, how to optimize lighting, and where to do portraits.
The quality of a photo isn’t limited to the actual composition or aesthetic. In my eyes, how you feel when you look at them determines their quality. Did you feel cared for and known during our time together? Maybe you mentioned how important it was to you that your grandma could attend your wedding, and I captured a loving exchange between the two of you. Because we built trust and you let me in, I was able to capture a moment you’ll cherish forever.
If you and your wedding photographer trust each other, there’s room for feedback from both of you. You may be unsure about what you want in which case your photographer can give suggestions. On the other hand, you may have some hard boundaries. You should be able to assert them and trust your wedding photographer to respect them while you’re working together.
Once you and your photographer have established a rapport, they may make suggestions about your timeline or some other aspect of your wedding day. Because you trust them, you’ll be more open to their ideas with the understanding that they’re on your side. The suggestion comes out of a desire for you to have the best experience possible rather than to make things more convenient for them.
On your wedding day, you should be able to show up with absolutely no reservations about your wedding photographer or the experience you’ll have being photographed. You should be able to stay present in your day with the full confidence that your photographer will work hard to capture who you are and what really matters throughout your day. I pour out so much creativity and care when photographing couples. Because we build trust first, they don’t spend any energy worrying over their photos.
I use four strategies to build trust with couples before their wedding days arrive. By the time their wedding day rolls around, a couple and I feel like we know each other.
I send couples at least three questionnaires from the time they book until their wedding day. The first questionnaire asks basic onboarding questions about preferred communication style, what support looks like to you, big picture ideas about your wedding, and what you value in your photography. Later on I send a more in-depth questionnaire asking people about themselves as individuals and a couple.
The final questionnaire gets the wedding day details. About six weeks before the wedding, I ask you for specific information about the timeline but also contextual information that will help me better support you as your wedding photographer. I ask what’s stressing you out, what you’re looking forward to, and which moments and details are important for your photography.
Doing an engagement session prior to the wedding has a lot of perks beyond save the dates. It allows a couple to get to know me before the wedding day. Having a relative stranger show up on one of the most important days of their lives would hardly be comfortable. This way couples can feel what it’s like to be photographed and get comfortable with it. We always leave feeling excited for the wedding day.
Open and clear communication is the cornerstone of trust. I offer couples opportunities for phone or video calls. Many couples find they want to have conversations around building their timelines and finalizing their day-of details. While these calls aren’t required, they offer that much more space for us to build rapport while I support couples in a way that is useful to them.
This might seem trivial, but it really makes a difference. I follow the couples I work with on social media, and I encourage them to follow me as well. It gives us both access into each other’s day to day lives and humanizes us for each other.
Are you interested in having me be your wedding photographer? I would love to get to know you and make you feel seen in your photos. Reach out today!