Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:00 am in how to book a wedding photographer
Despite the date, this post is no joke! As part of my boyfriend’s week to week activities, he spends some time running my google analytics and seeing how people interact with my site, and, boy howdy, do some people have trouble finding the Contact Me page! People spend hours drilling through the photos I’ve posted, and even going back and forth between my about me, my pricing, and my contact page, but never ever actually clicking to send me an e-mail. So, today’s little tongue-in-cheek post is to tell you about my booking process so that you know what to expect! There’s no need to be afraid about contacting me, I swear!
First of all, finding the contact page is pretty easy – at the top of every page on my website is a heading. All you have to do is click “Contact Me” (the one I’ve circled in obnoxious green), and you’re on your way. Now, you might ask me why I don’t just leave my e-mail address out in the open so that you can just e-mail me directly instead of using a contact form. You can do that, for sure! My e-mail is
email@example.com and I’m happy to talk to you! However, I do receive approximately 500-600 spam e-mails a day, and, despite months of training, my spam filter is not as accurate as I’d like it to be. I recommend using the contact form to make sure that I receive your inquiry no matter what!
In addition, as you see here, the contact form includes a lot of information that I find useful. I know that filling out a photographer’s inquiry form is sometimes like the Inquisition, 50 questions just to find out if you can even afford them. I try to give you an idea of my average client spend on my Pricing Page, so please do take a look over there!
The required information I ask for on my contact page is your name and your e-mail – that’s it. You can even send me a blank message, but I might assume you were a spam bot if you do that! Be careful typing in your e-mail because that’s the exact address I will respond to! If you never hear from me, it could be that you mistyped your e-mail!
I do ask for some information, like your wedding date, and the location, so that I can keep that in mind when answering your e-mail. For example, if you don’t give a wedding date, we could start talking, and, halfway through, realize I’m not even available for your date! Heartbreaking for both of us! You must have a wedding date in order to book me, but of course, you’re welcome to e-mail me even if you don’t have one. 🙂
Location helps me prepare travel costs, although since most of you are based out of the Bay Area, like me, this doesn’t apply. It also helps me if you give a location that I can’t photograph at – some venues have a specific list of vendors they let you hire, and it’s better for me to be able to say, “Hey, I’m not on their vendor list, but I think you can pay a fee to hire outside help if you want!” early on rather than having the unexpected costs later. As well, some venues require specific types of insurance that can be impossible for a sole prop such as myself to acquire (I’m looking at you, City of Mountain View), and it’s really just better if I know up front if this is going to be an issue.
I love receiving actual messages. Tell me a little about yourself, your wedding, and what you’re looking for in a photographer! I feel like I put myself out there with my blog and my website. You don’t have to, of course, but as you can see, Ms. Song here is having a really raucous party.
Last, but not least, hit the “Send Me Some Love” button and…..
…this message will pop up! If this message fails to appear or an error message appears, something went wrong, so please try again or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
And voilà! Here’s what I see in my inbox! That’s the last advantage of using my contact form. It automatically inputs you, your e-mail address, and any wedding information you gave me into my system. Particularly, the date and location are entered into the booking system, and if I’m already booked, my system tells me automatically. It hasn’t made any mistakes yet, knock on wood!
After I receive your e-mail, I’ll respond with some more information about me, my geekiness, how I’m a photojournalist at heart, and a little more information on pricing. My goal is to always get you to talk to me – whether it be by e-mail, phone, Skype, or a physical meeting. If you want to hire me, I’ll ask you up front what dates you’re free for meeting so that we can chat over coffee (coffee? COFFEE? COFFEE! okay it can be dinner, wine, lunch, whatever’s best for you!) about the details.
For photographers and most wedding vendors that you have to spend the day with, talking in person is important to ensure that you, your significant other, and I are all good personality matches. It doesn’t have to be perfect – even though I’m introverted by nature, I can usually find something to relate to in you, but you want to trust your photographer on your wedding day. If we don’t jive at our meeting, it might be best for both of us to part ways before you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation on your wedding day. Trust in my ability to do my job is absolutely important!
And that’s it! If you decide to book, you tell me which package of mine you want, if you want any add ons, etc, and I e-mail you a proposal that outlines the payment plan and the costs. I do the whole process online, include contract signing, and give you detailed instructions on how to proceed! Easy peasey! So click that send button and get in touch. 😀