How to Connect with your Wedding Photographer
Wedding and Portrait photographers go to tremendous lengths to make you feel comfortable with choosing their services. After all, this is the person with whom you are going to spend an entire day. On what will be the most important day of your life up to this point. And this photographer is going to take pictures of you and your surroundings nearly constantly.
I traveled to a friend's wedding (where I was not the photographer) and there was not a level of comfort between the Bride and her wedding photographer. It almost felt like the bride was on her (the photographer's) schedule, and not the other way around. They hadn't met prior to the wedding except to sign a contract. The photos weren't bad, they were actually pretty good, but because the experience with the photographer wasn't great it didn't matter. The bride is a friend and she told me she is NOT recommending that photographer to anyone. She actually referred one of her friends to me the next week even though I lived 5 states away!
Comfort is everything. You are going to invest a serious amount of money into good photography to record this day and create amazing, artistic imagery that captures your spirit.
I actually talk about the true value of good wedding photography in detail in another article. This is the main reason I've been asked to travel to multiple states to shoot weddings.
Having a strong ability to generate a high level of comfort and rapport with the Brides and Grooms I work with is how i consistently get great photos. This is how I walked into my first wedding 8 years ago, cold, having never met the bride, having set up the gig with them through her husband when I was still in the military and wound up with images that to this day she raves about and still posts regularly on social media in addition to the prints they have.
How do you build rapport with your photographer? There are many different ways.
1) It starts with meeting to discuss ideas for the wedding, for engagement photos, for addressing initial questions and concerns. Face to face is key if possible. Looking at somebody in another state or country? Or even just a couple hours up the road? Try a Google Hangout or Skype call. Make sure that your photographer is genuine and enthusiastic about you. That they ask questions about you.
2) Speaking of questions; Ask them. Even if the photographer has a good FAQ page, review any points that need clarification in the face to face. Follow up on any points after you meet.
3) Do a set of photos ahead of time with your photographer. Check for compatibility. Do they make you feel comfortable in front of the camera? Is the photographer directive or relaxed enough for you?
Do it without the pressure of a wedding going on around you. Whether it's a 2nd meeting for 30 minutes of portraits, or a full engagement session. I include an engagement session with all my wedding packages... this is not by accident or because 'that is what other photographers do' because it's not for many of them. I could write a whole article separate from this (in fact I may) on things photographers can do to make Bride's and Grooms feel comfortable, and this would be on the list for sure.