Intro by Skip Cohen
I'm still amazed at how many photographers don't understand the pure genius of an engagement shoot. While it can represent additional revenue and an opportunity to do more with the images, the real benefit is building trust with your clients. This is about walking in on what's often the most hectic and stressful day in a couple's life and being more than just a familiar face, you're already a friend! It's about building a relationship that in turn yields better more natural expressions and images.
William Innes is an outstanding wedding photographer from California and in this special Luminary Corner post talks about the benefits of an engagement session. He hits it hard right off the bat in his guest post with two sentences...
"How do I achieve such a great relationship status with most wedding clients? Easy, I make sure they have an engagement session with me."
Interested in learning more about William? Check out his website. I can promise you won't be disappointed!
I have just arrived at the hotel where my bride is getting ready with her bridesmaids and family. It’s time to start capturing the wedding day. I knock on the hotel room door and it opens with an excitement and buzz of people getting ready. Make-up artists and hair stylist everywhere – but through all the chaos I hear “hey William is that you”? It’s the bride reaching out like a longtime friend. I approach and give her a hug and tell her how wonderful she looks. This is going to be an awesome day!
How do I achieve such a great relationship status with most wedding clients? Easy, I make sure they have an engagement session with me. The benefits of spending casual time with clients before their wedding day are plenty fold. Lets take a look and see what you can expect.
The first perk you will gain is an awesome relationship with the bride and groom. Slowly letting the engagement session unfold will give you plenty of time to ask questions and listen to their life story. Be sure to share a few of your own experiences as well. This process will help you reach “friend’ status. When the wedding day arrives both the bride and groom will feel very comfortable hanging out with you – resulting in images that are relaxed and honest. Don’t forget to make the engagement session fun and interesting – nobody wants to spend time with a bore!
Spending causal time photographing your couple will also tune you into any special situations you need to know about on their big day, such as do they blink a lot or maybe they have a side that looks better. Be sure to note this for further reference.
Another great thing about these types of sessions – they can produce income for your studio. Charging for sessions is a great way to increase sales as well as offering some cool products such as canvases or my favorite – a customized sign-in guest book for their wedding that contains engagement images. I also find these sessions can also be a great valued added product Use them in negotiations during the sales process to help book more weddings. It’s a “win-win”. Your clients get a session and you get an opportunity to develop a relationship.
All of these images are from a session I photographed three weeks ago. I now shoot these sessions using my Lumix Micro M43 GH3 camera. The size and weight of the gear enables me to bring a body and 4 or 5 lenses and not be bogged down. (All I use is a small Vanguard messenger bag). Moving quickly and easily (flowing) is the secret to great engagement sessions.
Images copyright William Innes. All rights reserved.
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.