Photography Client Process – Start To Finish

At first we were a little hesitant to release our process publicly… What if someone steals it and starts taking all of our clients?

Then we realized that’s silly. Yes, people do hire us because of our process and professional approach, but there’s so much more that goes into a client relationship that can’t really be replicated/duplicated. It’s a very personal and intimate relationship and that takes time to develop.

What you’ll see below is our entire process for taking a wedding (or any photography job, but this one is specific to weddings because it’s the most involved) all the way from inquiry and the first meeting up to the digital delivery of photos.

Don’t worry – you won’t be involved in A LOT of this – but we think it’s helpful if you understand how everything works. Plus, we’ve been big on transparency before it was hip.

1. Conversation. This could be from a potential client reaching out to us through our “Let’s Meet” page, a referral from a previous client, or a face to face meeting with someone looking for a photographer. The conversation usually leads to us figuring out a high level overview of what the potential client is looking for and determining if it’s something we a) offer and/or b) are available for and/ or c) want to take on. 

2. FAQ and Get To Know Each Other.. Our next step is to present the client with our FAQ page that will hopefully address most of their questions. You can find that here. On there, we answer questions like, “What’s your style?”, “What equipment do you use?”, “Do you only photograph weddings?”, etc. This can weed out some people who are looking for something different than what we are offering. This is a good thing. The more aligned we are with a client from the very beginning, the better the entire relationship will go.

3. Questionnaire #1. Then we send over a very short questionnaire where we get the client’s information and ask 8 questions that will help us further determine if this is a potential job we can take on.

4. Pricing. Now, comes the always fun discussion of… pricing.

We don’t do packages. When we first started out, we did. Kind of because everyone does it that way. But, we never liked the idea of nickel and diming couples per hour, or decreasing value to get a “package” that works. That may come off as insensitive, but think about it this way…

The work and product we offer is obtained through a process that really can’t be altered. It requires two photographers, a set (minimum) amount of time, certain lenses, a hefty investment in personal time spent getting to know you, and an extensive post production process where we agonize over things you probably don’t care to ever know about. If we took away any part of this, you wouldn’t be getting the best value for your money, and we wouldn’t be creating the best images for you.

This is your wedding day. One of the most important days of your life. This deserves more than a time limit, more than posed, uncomfortable images. It deserves a full investment from all sides, attention to the most minute of details, and a personal connection. When you book with us, you’ll find you’ll have all the coverage you need for your wedding day. That’s a promise. For more on pricing, head over here: Investment.

5. Questionnaire #2. If we’ve made it to number 5, we’ve agreed to work together. YAY! Now, we need to  get the information about your event. The basic details (who, what, where when, why) and the more personal details. Sometimes we will do this together during an in person meeting, but that’s not always possible.

6. Contract. Next, we send over a contract. If there are any changes, we will make them and send back. From here, we will upload a finalized, agreed contract for an e-signature or if we’re able to meet in person, we will sign there.

7. Engagement shoot. At this point, we will schedule the engagement shoot if necessary. We love doing engagement shoots because it helps us further get to know our clients and ultimately give them the best wedding photos. It’s not essential, but it is nice.

8. Shoot, edit, and deliver engagement photos. This process usually takes 2-3 weeks. We’ll give a preview of 10-20 images within 24 hours. Upon post processing completion, we will then deliver all edited high-res JPGS via a personal link where clients can save and distribute the images. FYI: We don’t watermark our images.

(Note: Between the engagement shoot and the wedding, we also offer options for a custom Wedding Web Site or landing page).

9. Wedding prep time. As we get closer to the wedding, we go over and finalize any travel arrangements. Prep all our gear. Format memory cards. Charge batteries. Buy extra batteries if needed. Load up the car if we’re driving or the suitcases if we’re flying.

10. Arrival and venue scout. If we’re traveling a long distance we like to arrive and scout out the wedding venue the day before (if possible). Most venues are really cool about this, but some can be picky if there’s a wedding going on. We like to know where to set up the most important shots. A lot will happen on the fly, but the more we can be prepared for, the better. If it’s a local venue, we will try arrive early that day and do the same. We only get one shot at this people!

11. Shoot the wedding. This is where the prep and questionnaires come to life. The magic and the art happens. LOVE is all around us. Yes, we are quoting Love Actually.

12. Social media preview. Within 24 hours we send you a link via pass.us that provides you with 5-10 images (sometimes more) from your wedding. It gives you an opportunity to share some of your professional images with your family and friends very quickly.

13. Editing and post-production. We do all of this ourselves. It would be very difficult for us to hand off photos to an editor that wasn’t involved in the entire process. We understand why some photography studios do it, but it’s definitely not our style. For editing, we use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop.

14. Delivery of edited images. Here is where we give clients a chance to see the entire wedding album digitally. The first link comes via PASS.us where they can view all of the images. The next link is via Smugmug where they can download and save all full high resolutions JPGs. 

15. A dedicated blog post. We then put together a highlight of our favorite images and do a recap of your day that we will post on the blog and photos sections of our website.

16. Share the blog post with vendors. This is why we ask  all those crazy questions about who is doing flowers, hair, makeup, etc. They want to see their hard work in action and we like to show them.

17. Submit the wedding! We submit every single wedding we shoot to wedding blogs and galleries. We hope you are featured!

18. Help with prints and album design. If you chose a package where we design and print your wedding album this is when we will begin working on it. If you are super antsy about getting a photography book printed quickly, we ask that you make other arrangements. It’s not that we don’t want the business, but it’s a very timely endeavor to create a custom photo album and we want to be able to give it our full attention.

19. Hopefully shoot your maternity and newborn photos if and when you decide to have children. If not, we’ll shoot your wild and crazy adventures, too. Our cameras know no limits.

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