How To Contact A Prospective Photographer Effectively.

Approach your first contact with the photographer as you would an interview. Remember, you are hiring a professional to do a job that cannot be repeated. Therefore, it is important to get to know the photographer as much as possible over the phone to determine if you would like to make an appointment.

Also, since there are more photographers out there than you could possibly meet in a year, it is important to limit your appointments to your top 3-5 photographers. You may want to allocate up to an hour and a half for each meeting. Always take into account additional time for travel. In all truthfulness the search for your photographer will most likely resemble a part-time job. Protecting your valuable time throughout this process will help you keep your sanity. Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind when you call a potential photographer for the first time.

Calling the Photographer

Let the photographer know that you have seen their website and that you are impressed with their work. However, you would like to ask a few additional questions that were not covered on the website. The focus of this contact is to learn if you like the photographer’s personality.

  • When the photographer answers the phone, notice their tone. Do they sound happy, annoyed or glad to speak with you? Remember, you are calling the photographer’s business phone number. The photographer knows that you are calling for a business reason. There is no excuse for the photographer to answer any other way than graciously.
  • Ask about date availability and the location of the wedding and reception.
  • Ask open-ended questions such as: What do you like about photographing weddings? How long have you photographed weddings? Do you photograph other genres? Ask any questions you can think of that will educate you on their personality and wedding photography career.
  • When you make an appointment, let the photographer know where you live and the times you are able to meet. It helps to know where the photographer is located in order to determine the best place to meet in between or at the studio. Listen to see if the photographer is flexible enough to go out of his/her way for you. If the photographer is not able to meet with you on the dates that you have given, then the photographer should offer some suggestions that will work for the both of you
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: What types of brides would they not photograph? Serious photographers know the personality of the bride that they best work with. They may stumble a bit with this question because it is rarely asked. Listen to their answer and ask yourself if you fit within that niche?

If you are pleased and your intuition says, “yes,” then set up personal face-to-face appointment.

A WORD OF CAUTION

Professional photographers make their living on providing photographic services and not talking over the phone. The photographer may have a “strong urge” to have you meet in person. This is not bad! What is potentially bad is how they urge you to make an appointment. The photographer should converse with you and help you make the best photographic decision possible. Beware of the photographer who refuses (in tone or verbal) to answer questions and pushes you to quickly set up an appointment. This shows a lack of respect and it is unacceptable.

If however, the photographer is open with you, offers advice, and enquires what you desire, then the photographer is demonstrating a professionalism that is foundational in being a good match for you. As always, if you feel comfortable with what you learn, then set up a face –to-face appointment.

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