118: How to Craft a Great Client Experience as a Wedding Photographer - Catherine Guidry Photography

August 4, 2022

118: How to Craft a Great Client Experience as a Wedding Photographer

When you become a photographer who wants to book more clients and serve people well, you automatically become a business owner. 

If you want to own a successful wedding photography business, you’ll want to know how to run a business successfully. One of the most important ways to do this is to create a wow-worthy client experience that leads to referrals, amazing reviews, and shoutouts on social media. 

It’s all about client experience. If you want to create an amazing experience for your luxury wedding photography clients, I have 10 tips for you below.

My first tip: Take a step back

The first thing you should do when trying to craft a strong client experience might seem a little counterintuitive…

Take a step back. 

Sometimes, when we’re really in the thick of our business, it can be hard to figure out what is and isn’t working. So it’s important to take a step back and approach your business as if you were the client. What sorts of touch points or experiences would make you feel completely taken care of? 

Utilize your own personal experience. When you hire someone, whether that’s a plumber, housecleaner, or the waiter at lunch, what sorts of things make you say, “Wow, that was great service!” 

Incorporate those things into your business. This will help you stand out and leave that lingering impression on your clients and wedding guests. It’s just like the Golden Rule: Do for them what you’d want done for you!

What else can you do to wow potential, current, and future clients? I have some more ideas for you.

10 ways to boost client experience

Want your clients raving about you to all of their friends, coworkers, and people they meet on the street? It’s a lot easier to do than you might think.

Create connection points that aren’t about the wedding

Show interest in your clients’ lives! Let them know that you’re a person, too. You want to connect with them on a human level, so talk about normal, everyday things. Whether it’s your dog, kids, or love of travel, any connection point that you can find will be an asset. Chat with them human to human, and make them feel like they’re hanging out with a friend instead of a service provider.

Treat their event like it’s your only one

When we think about going into a store like Chanel or Dior, we instantly feel taken care of. Why? Because we feel as if we’re the only customer in their store. You want to treat your clients as if they’re your only one. This means that you don’t bring up other clients (unless your bridal couple brings them up first), you make them feel special by acknowledging how beautiful they look, and you show genuine interest in them and their lives. This is the difference between volume-based and luxury service providers.

Be a calming presence

Always read the energy in the room. I’m an extremely bubbly person, but I make sure to keep things extremely calm when I’m photographing a wedding. These events can come with lots of stress, and the last thing you want is to add to that stress. If something is going wrong with your equipment or team, don’t let the client know unless it’s absolutely vital they do. I like to say that on wedding days, I’m a floating duck. On the surface, I look calm, but underneath, I’m paddling my heart out!

Be a source of value

From the very first meeting with a client, I’m talking to them about prep locations, lighting, engagement session outfits… the more tips and tricks you can offer the client to show your knowledge and give them an advantage, the better. Show your experience and let them know that this isn’t your first rodeo — you know what to do. If you’re a newer photographer and don’t yet have the personal experience to back that up, do some reading! The fact that you’re on this blog right now is a great start! You want to gather the knowledge you need to do better.

Be prepared for anything

As we know, weddings are unpredictable. Have a Plan A, a Plan B, and be prepared to come up with a Plan C on wedding day! What we want is to plan for both our best-case scenario and our worst-case scenario. Then, everything and anything in between will be a piece of cake. This means that you have accommodations for weather, lighting issues, etc. so that you can still do an amazing job regardless of the circumstances.

Be flexible, but stick to the timeline

Before any wedding, you should always create a timeline based on realistic expectations. If the couple has a planner, work with them! However, sometimes situations will come up unexpectedly. Maybe the mother of the bride is late, or the zipper of the wedding dress broke. If I’m running behind on the front end, I make sure to work really hard on the back end to make up for the time lost. This might mean I don’t go to multiple locations or have to push family photos together. Whatever it is, make sure that you make up for the timeline so that you can stick to the overall schedule.

Understand posing

Okay, this is a big one. Because of that, there’s only so much I can dive into in this post. If you’re looking for more information, I have a posing course and a free posing guide. What I want you to take away today is that you want to communicate those poses well to your client. If something is out of place (be it hands, posture, smile, etc.) be sure to gently communicate that with them. But also remember to let them be themselves! Let the couple have those in-between moments so that you can capture their sweet moments and candid poses.

Provide clear direction

Throughout the entire day, you want to make sure you’re providing as much clarity as possible so that you can get the best photos out of the wedding. If you want your client standing in a certain spot so that you can get the light to frame them, be clear about that and tell them! 

There’s so much going on in their mind on the wedding day, and it’s up to you to take time to think about what you’re saying, craft it in a way that’s understandable, and be very clear and concise. This is their day to enjoy with friends and family, so make sure you’re not having a ton of conversations with them that will take away from your ability to capture their moments with loved ones. Trust me, this was a hard lesson to learn, but so worth it!

Understand their insecurities

When I’m photographing a client, I will directly ask them about their insecurities or things they might be self-conscious about. People will tell me that they aren’t confident in the way their arms look or the blemishes on their face. Whatever it is they’re insecure about, it’s really important to open the lines of communication with them so that these things don’t end up in their final photos. This way, when they’re reliving their day, they will be focusing on the beautiful moments instead of their insecurities.

Don’t be afraid to get on the phone

I know, I know! We’re all so used to texting and emailing that the thought of getting on the phone can be downright terrifying. But picking up the phone and having a conversation with a client opens up the connection and communication lines. Recently, a client was having an issue. So I picked up the phone and called her. Instantly, we were able to connect and resolve the issue so that we could get exactly what she wanted in her images. You want to let your clients know that you’re listening to them and want to get this right. That personal touch is absolutely invaluable in the luxury wedding photography world.

Create a luxury brand that couples can’t wait to book

I hope these ideas help you craft an outstanding client experience. At the end of the day, building your brand and reputation is the absolute best way to ensure that your career as a wedding photographer not only has longevity but is fun, too.

Creating a first-class, luxury client experience will automatically set you apart from the competition. Because the truth is, most wedding photographers aren’t playing at this level yet. This also means that there isn’t much information out there to support your growth. 

But I have something for you! One very important part of establishing yourself as a luxury wedding photographer is determining what price you’ll sell your services at. Click below to get my free pricing guide!