5 Things to Prep for Your First Phone Calls with Wedding Photographers

And the search for your perfect wedding photographer begins!!! This can be a very exciting time but it can also be a little overwhelming. And if you’re someone who’s planning a wedding for the first time, it’s easy to feel a little lost. What should you look for?? Where do you start?? And what can I expect as I search for a photographer??

Lucky for you, I’m here to help relieve some of that stress. Before any couple books me for their wedding day, I hop on the phone with them for an initial consultation. Sounds fancy, I know. 😅 But essentially this is just a phone call where we are able to go through all the details, get to know each other a little better, and figure out if we’re a good fit for each other. But in true millennial fashion, phone calls can seem intimidating when you don’t know what to expect.

While the photographer you’re talking with will most likely have a list of questions and discussion points to guide you through the phone call, you’ll want to make sure that you know the important things to bring up and mention during the discussion.

Sit down and have a chat with your partner before you hop on the phone call. Make sure that you guys are on the same page and everyone’s concern are being addressed. This will reduce any feeling of awkwardness or stepping on people’s toes during the actual call. But what should you guys even talk about and prepare during this time?? Luckily, I have a list of things that are important to nail down so that you know exactly what to bring up to the photographer.

One thing I want to mention before we get into it though. If I had to bet, I’d say you are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding when you are chatting with photographers. Maybe you’re not even engaged yet but it’s just right around the corner. A lot of people may feel like they have to have everything nailed down or know more specifics like timelines, decorations, vendors, etc. I may ask a lot of specific questions, but that’s definitely not the case. Most everything we will be discussing will be about your vision overall pertaining to the feeling of the day and what kind of moments are special to you. These are the things that probably won’t change but it will give us a better idea of the things you value most.

List All the Things You’re Looking for in a Photographer

Start with a master list of everything that comes to your mind. Then, star all of the must haves and most important. This part might require you to do a bit of research but thankfully we have Pinterest for that. There really are so many different types and styles of photography out there so, you’ll want to make sure your photographer matches your interests.

Some questions to ask yourself to help figure this part out…

  • what kind of shooting style do I like the most? (ex. editorial, candid, traditional, vintage, etc.)
  • what kind of editing style do I like the most? (ex. light + airy, true to life, dark + moody, cinematic, warm + earthy, etc.)
  • what parts of my personality do I want to come through the most in the photos? (ex. goofy + playful, romantic, happy, stoic, etc.)

Then once you figure out the photography style you’re after, consider what traits you want in your photographer. Your photographer is going to be with you for the majority of your wedding day. It’s super important that you guys get along and they are easy for you to work with.

Some things to consider for this…

  • How do you want your interactions with your photographer to feel?? (ex. professional, like a best friend, more like a fly on the wall, etc)
  • What kind of help are you hoping a photographer can give you?? (ex. lots of direction, create a comfortable environment, structured wedding day plan, more laid back approach, etc.)
  • what kind of personalities do you work with well?? (funny + outgoing, someone who can be quieter + intentional, etc)
  • what type of business person are you hoping for?? (will they communicate with you 24/7, do they have more work/life boundaries, are they super involved in the planning process, etc.)

So first, figure out what traits are most important to you and then, think of how those traits will influence your experience and final gallery.

Figure Out Your Budget

Figuring out your budget is so important. As photographers, we don’t want you to spend more than you’re comfortable with; because, this can sometimes ruin your experience. We all fall into certain price ranges and want people to be realistic about what they can afford.

Think of your budget more as a range than a specific number. Is photography super important to you?? You may want to extend the range a little higher. Are there other places you would prefer to spend your money?? Consider lowering your budget a little. Overall, you will want to try to make sure you mostly consider photographers in your budget range to make the search a bit easier.

So once you’ve decided that budget, don’t be afraid to share it with people you’re considering hiring. We want to make sure we can provide good services within a price range you’re comfortable with. Also consider, is your budget a bit flexible?? Are you willing to splurge for the perfect person?? Don’t be afraid to communicate where your head is at during your consultation calls; transparency will really make sure everyone is happy.

Envision Your Wedding Day

One thing I always ask couples on that first call is “tell me about your vision for your wedding day”. I’ve noticed that everyone’s mind immediately goes to what it looks like. “We want these colors with this decoration and those flowers…” This is great and I do love hearing about all these things but that’s not all there is to it. Let’s shift our mindset so we’re thinking more about the feeling of the vision than the exact look of it.

One thing I really believe in is that my “style” and my “couples” don’t fit a specific look. I work with couples whose wedding days look completely different from each other. Instead, as photographers, we want to make sure that the emotional vision you have for wedding day matches the style we love to capture. This is how we find the couples that truly work great for us.

So what does this mean? Let’s start by asking yourselves these questions…

  • How do you feel when you think about your wedding day??
  • What is your vibe?? Will your wedding day reflect your personalities??
  • How do you want your friends and family to feel about your wedding day??
  • What are you most looking forward to/ your biggest hopes for your day??
  • What things do you want to add to your wedding day to enhance this feeling?? (think of the 5 senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, hear)

Diving deep into your vision like this is going to help you throughout the entire planning process. Knowing your vision will guide you to make the right decisions and make sure that every vendor you choose will work to make your vision come to life. That’s what us photographers really want; to feel confident that we can deliver exactly what the couples we serve are looking for. If we understand your vision then we can better know if we are able deliver on the promise of capturing your memories and recreating the emotions you experienced on your wedding day.

Goals for Your Final Gallery

Your final gallery will be so much more than just a few pretty pictures documenting things that happened on your wedding day. Your wedding photos represent a day you spent with your partner celebrating your love and declaring that love to the world. It is one day filled with countless small moments all strung together to create a larger story. That’s a really big and important job for your photographer. Your memories are held in our hands and we want to make sure we do those memories justice with the photographs we deliver.

Since your final gallery is the main product you will be receiving from us, we will definitely need to talk about it during that initial phone call. There’s absolutely no way to know all of the specific photos you want to have in your gallery when we are 1+ years out from your wedding day. But similar to the point above, you probably have an idea of how you want to feel about them.

So, think about your wedding gallery in this way…

  • How do you want to feel about your photos?? How do you want your family and friends to feel about them too??
  • What parts of the day do you think will be most important for you??
  • When you look through other people’s wedding photos (whether that’s family, friends or strangers) what do you think about?? What stands out to you??
  • If you had to describe what you want the photos collectively to portray, what would you say??

Since every photographer has a different style and way they photograph, it’s important that we hear what you’re hoping for so we can know if our work matches up with your vision. If you haven’t realized this by now… that is the whole purpose of these initial consulations. To figure out if we’re a good match on all sides. So your final gallery is another important piece of that puzzle to know beforehand.

Q + A

There should always be time for a good Q + A at the end of every discovery call. If you’re anything like me, the second you hear the phrase “Do you have any more questions for me?” your brain turns into a blank snow storm and you forget every logical thought you ever had. So to save yourself the trouble of that, try to come prepared with a list of questions before hand. Hopefully all your questions will get answered during the call naturally, but if not then this is the time to bring them up.

Think of any question you may want to know. It doesn’t even have to be related to your wedding day or photography. Maybe you want to get to know more about who you’re talking to, maybe you’re curious about more of the technical stuff, maybe you’re interested in an engagement session and want to chat through some ideas. Whatever may be on your mind, there’s no wrong questions out there, so bring it all up. And if you really don’t have anything that’s totally fine too.

If you’re trying to figure out what might be important things to know, ask your friends who have gotten married. What has their experience been like? What do they wish they knew before they hired their photographer?

It’s important to make sure that when you end the phone call you walk away with nothing lingering in the back of your mind. Having all the information is crucial to make the right decisions for your wedding, and since your photographer is one of the first big decisions you’ll make, it’s good to be prepared. Don’t stress yourself out and put too much pressure on any of this. In the end it’s just a phone call. But hopefully this is able to provide you with some good information to think about as you begin your search for your perfect photographer.

February 28, 2023


share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *