Consultations make all the difference in the world!

I’m going to do something a bit different with this post:  this will be a post with no photos!

Normally, for a photographer to put a post on their blog without any photos would seem like a waste of time.  But stay with me here, because I have a point in all this!

Later on today I have a consultation with a wedding couple who is getting married in July.  I am so grateful that this couple has taken the time to come to Tahoe and schedule a visit with me!

Why?

Because photography isn’t about just picking up a camera and aiming it.  There is a lot of preparation that goes into the creation of an image.  I won’t go into the personal prep that any photographer worth his or her salt does before a shoot.  This post is about the preparation between the photographer and the couple.

While a consultation is not totally necessary, I think it really helps.  Most of the time my couples prefer to connect via email only.  While I understand the pros of this method (everything is in writing and there is a record of correspondence) it really leaves out a very important personal piece that is necessary to a successful relationship between photographer and couple:  communication!  At some point between initial contact and the wedding, preferably sooner rather than later, at least one conversation is necessary.  It can be done on the phone, and phone works quite well, but face to face consultations are even better.

Think about it:  during the consult I get to see my bride and groom in the flesh!  I get to look at their faces and do what is called a facial analysis.  This is old school stuff, but basically it tells me whether they would look better photographed from the left, or from the right.  During the consultation I get to see how they react to the questions I ask of them, and just get a feel for how they will be when I point the camera at them.  This is all valuable stuff.

I’m not the only one who benefits from a consultation either!  The couple gets to see my face as well, and during the give and take of the conversation we get to know each other.  Photography is a personal thing, and the better they know me, the more comfortable they will feel when I’m taking the photos.  They also get to ask questions as they come up in the conversation, and get answers in real time (as opposed to the delay of email) and we get to brainstorm ideas together.

By the end of the consultation, I have a very good idea of how I’m going to approach the photography at their wedding (with notes!) and they know about my approach, have contributed to it, and are comfortable with it and me.

If you are planning a wedding, I highly recommend investing in at least a phone call with your photographer!  Face to face is even better!

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