Do you remember those awkward days of high school being partnered up with other classmates you didn’t know having to do something insane like figure out genetic abnormalities or analyze a poem together? I was SHY in high school, so I dreaded situations like these. I spent more time panicking inside than I did learning. Anyone else with me?
You know, wedding photography is a lot like that. Weddings are one of the most personal, meaningful events we experience in our life. They’re a time families join together to celebrate love and the start of new generations— and that is such a big deal!
Have you ever gone to photograph a wedding and struggled to really click with your clients? Maybe they hesitated to listen to your suggestions or wondered if you were REALLY placing them in the best light. This can become a real barrier because the photog and the clients haven’t had the chance to really build a relationship and trust with each other before the wedding day. BUT once you have that, let me tell you, the wedding day goes along really beautifully.
But, how do you build trust and a connection with people who are hiring you for a service?
For me, the initial consultation meeting is just not enough. I want to become friends with my clients and figure out what makes their heart sing; who are they? What do they like? What makes them laugh? How did they meet?
So, one of the best things I’ve implemented in my business is including a complementary engagement session with all of our wedding collections. This has been a GAME CHANGER for my business.
Not only does giving away these sessions to our wedding couples show how much I really do care about them and making their experience with me an amazing one, it also lets us feel comfortable with each other when there’s a camera between us. Because let’s face it: cameras can totally freak a person out and change their usual pleasant, smiley self into a stiff, anxious ball of stress. And who wants that? Not me!
Here are my fav benefits of offering free e-sessions:
-Clients get to feel loved and cared about (yay!!)
-I get comfortable with my couple and they get comfortable with me while we’re taking pictures
-The couple gets to learn how to do some of my tried and true poses that we’ll use on their wedding day
-I get to learn more about them and they get to learn more about me (friendship with my clients is a big deal to me!)
-If there’s a certain pose or angle the couple doesn’t dig, we can figure that out before the wedding. That way they’re not disappointed when they receive the photos from their big day!
-It gives me more exposure online. Sharing engagement photos gets people hyped up, and in my experience, I always gain several new followers on my social media accounts. It’s also been pretty normal for me to receive inquiries for other sessions or weddings after someone sees my work of their friends. Word of mouth, people!
If you don’t offer complementary engagement sessions with your wedding collections, I highly recommend it! Even a mini-session will make a big difference in the relationship you have with your clients.
I’ll leave you with a few final Pro Tips:
-Make a policy that states clients cannot opt out of the engagement session to receive a discount on their wedding collection.
-Let your clients know just how important this session is and WHY (some might have had an e-sess with another photog, but let them know why it’s important for you guys to work together before the big day)
-Try to schedule your engagement sessions for days/times you aren’t typically busy if you’re able
-Ask the couple what would be meaningful to them for their engagement session. What’s a location they like? Where did they get engaged? Do they want to do a lifestyle sess in their new home? Let their personality shine in their pictures.
-Let your clients know you want feedback from their session. If they see photos of themselves looking down and they hate how this causes a double chin on them, they can tell you that so you can adjust posing on the wedding day.
-Offer a little gift from their session, too. A print, a little album, or a canvas can mean so much. It’s a small token, but a really sweet one.
If you want some more goodies to help you plan and prep for a wedding day in order to give clients an awesome experience, drop your email below and get my free wedding planning questionnaire and timeline! It has never failed me!