Even if you have decades of experience, building a connection and good communication with some wedding videography and photography clients can be difficult.
That’s why having a reliable ice breaker is going to be life-saving under certain circumstances.
It’s your job as a professional to guide clients and make them feel at ease. Still, your own personality and communication style could stand in the way.
If you’re seeking ideas to break the ice successfully every single time, you’ve come to the right place.
The following list of tips will acquaint you with some foolproof approaches that are bound to deliver good results every single time.
Ask Lots of Questions During the First Wedding Videography/Photography Consultation
Learning enough about a couple will help you pinpoint the approach that’s going to get everyone relaxed and enjoying the moment.
Usually, clients ask lots of questions during the first consultation. That’s an important part of the process, helping them determine if a videographer or a photographer is a good match to their needs.
This consultation, however, gives you opportunities to learn essentials, as well.
You should be asking lots of questions to understand everything about your clients. Inquiring about their love story, the specifics of the wedding, the attendees and the venue will reveal lots of essentials.
You can also inject a bit of light-hearted humor in that conversation to get people relaxed. Ask a couple about their first date. Or maybe the craziest experience they’ve shared together.
Such questions will reduce nerves and tension (that are a normal part of wedding planning).
Forget about being a professional and show couples you’re a carrying and compassionate human being. Such a first step will reduce the distance almost immediately and help for the establishment of a mutually-beneficial relationship.
While asking questions is important, remember to keep it light and not get too personal. There are certain private aspects of the relationship you shouldn’t poke at.
With time and experience, you’ll definitely learn which inquiries are good conversation openers and which ones to avoid bringing up.
Do a Trial Shoot or Hang Out a Bit Before the Wedding
While doing a trial wedding videography or photography shoot takes time, it’s going to give you a good idea about what to expect on the big day.
Scheduling a trial session introduces you to your clients in action, so to speak.
You’ll find out how they act in front of the camera and what needs to change. Most people aren’t trained professionals who know how to flirt with the lens. They’ll probably feel awkward and stiff at first.
A trial shoot helps you address these problems, making everyone a tad more confident during the wedding shoot.
This trial shoot will provide one more opportunity to communicate and get to know each other before the wedding.
Apart from getting to ask some more questions, you can potentially check out the venue and meet some important wedding party members (like the best man and the maid of honor).
You’ll also get an opportunity to give the couple some directions that will result in more natural and beautiful pictures or videos.
Focus on Building Trust Throughout Your Communication
Trust is the biggest ice breaker out of them all.
Building trust with wedding photography and videography clients isn’t a one-off event. Rather, it depends on every single aspect of communication – from the first consultation to email communication and your interactions during the shoot itself.
Make open honesty your policy. Tell clients right off the bat what can be accomplished and which expectations are unrealistic. Provide recommendations and suggestions based on your experience.
If you make a promise, do deliver. Doing exactly what’s been stated before will get clients feeling confident in your ability to deliver. And that’s essential to make interactions productive, quick and open.
If there’s any issue standing in the way of doing what you’re supposed to, communicate that information as soon as possible. Also, be open about pricing, the specifics of the work you’re going to do and the outcome that clients can expect.
Talking through everything reduces the risk of unpleasant surprises down the line.
Control Your Emotions During a Shoot
If you’re a naturally shy person, chances are that you’ll project some of these emotions. Being nervous, however, is the best way to get a couple feeling on edge, as well.
Learning to control your emotions during a wedding videography or photography shoot is of utmost importance to make your clients feel good and happy.
People who are just starting their career will probably struggle with this aspect of building a relationship with clients. The lack of enough experience on its own is enough of a nervousness-causing factor.
Dealing with social anxiety, however, is one of the soft skills you’ll have to master. This is especially true for introverts who feel worried about communicating with new people or dealing with large gatherings.
Take some time to develop your own relaxation ritual before a shoot. Also, arrive to the venue early enough on the big day. That will give you enough time to do your setup and prepare without feeling rushed.
Getting overwhelmed is never a good thing and doing your homework in advance (as well as keeping yourself organized during the shoot) will reduce the risk of that happening.
It’s also a good idea to let clients know you’re a human being who is somewhat shy. Revealing this aspect of your personality will make most warm up to you on a personal level.
If you manage to accomplish the goal with a bit of humor, you’ll get extra points.
Clear Directions, Humor and Going with the Flow
As far as shooting, there are a few very simple things you can do to make clients feel at ease and show them you’re in control of everything.
Start out with clear directions. Share your vision in advance, let clients know the range of photos you plan to shoot or the specific moments you intend to capture on camera.
Provide some directions on posing, looking at the camera and interacting with others. Be open to questions but don’t let the couple take over. That’s your job.
A quick conversation before the wedding itself begins will be very helpful and enlightening for everyone involved.
Also, remember that things don’t always go to plan. In fact, you’ll probably need to be quick on your feet and address at least one episode that you’re not prepared for.
Having a sense of humor and learning to go with the flow are both essential to prevent a disaster.
If your couple feels that you’re ready to take on any challenge, they’ll probably be more inclined to cooperate. Their worries about unforeseen circumstances will be reduced and everyone will have fun.
Learning to go with the flow does take some experience and a certain mindset. Instead of worrying about potential complications, view those as opportunities. It’s all about the way you perceive the world and everything that life throws at you.
A bit of positivism will pay off, so cultivate good vibes!
Learn When to Leave Wedding Videography or Photography Clients Alone
One of the biggest success tips focuses on being invisible when you need to be.
It’s important to turn yourself into a discrete presence during the wedding. Getting clients to “forget” that you’re there will be the biggest ice breaker there is.
So, provide some clear directions and work on staged shoots/moments if such need to be a part of the project completion. When you’re done with these, leave clients alone and let them enjoy the special day.
Making your presence too obvious through the placement of equipment and your own actions is never a good thing. True, you may be capable of getting better shots that way. Still, obtrusive professionals can easily ruin the mood and interfere with some really special, intimate moments.
Being a gentle presence is another skill you’ll master with experience. If you’re in the beginning of your career, however, do exercise caution and a bit of conscious restraint.
Even if you feel like jumping in front of people to take a picture, try not to do so. There are less direct ways to handle the moment and get a good outcome without turning yourself into a central distraction.
Bonus Tips: Compliments and Reassurance
Finally, remember that your clients are going through this massive, life-changing experience for the first time. They’re worried and they’re thinking about thousands of things.
As a professional, you can offer a bit of reassurance and compassion to help them concentrate on what’s really important.
Let the couple know that they’re doing an excellent job. Remind them to breathe when tensions start escalating. If possible, diffuse a situation. Offer compliments, positive remarks and lots of smiles.
Something as simple as a well-placed praise can really pay off.
Being a popular wedding photographer or videographer isn’t just about your style and technical knowledge. The way you communicate with clients is equally important.
Getting people to laugh, providing affirming feedback and setting clear expectations right off the bat are communication imperatives you need to engage in every single time.
You also have to be a good judge of character and a little bit of a psychologist.
In order to be successful, remember to have fun and “teach” yourself to enjoy getting to know different kinds of people. True, some clients will be a bit more difficult to deal with than others.
Such challenges, however, are the ones that can lead to amazing professional growth. Don’t be afraid of difficult moments – by coming up with a creative solution, you can build an excellent reputation for yourself.
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