Should I hire someone who has worked at my venue?
I for sure forgot to post a blog last week. Oopsie! In my defense… I’m actually impressed that I got a post up the week before because for the last two weeks I’ve had construction going on in my kitchen… My office shares a wall with my kitchen, so there was absolutely no getting any work done at home for almost two solid weeks. I was anywhere but here avoiding the noise and dust. The good news is, I now have a gorgeous new kitchen… And I love it so much I want to move my desk out of the office and into the middle of the kitchen floor just so I can look up and see my pretty new space. That’s unrealistic so instead I just keep finding excuses to go in there and look around or use something. It makes me forget how much it all cost us for about 30 seconds each time… Worth it. But I digress… Moving on!
I know this will come as a shock to most of you (note the sarcasm), but I don’t book every client that emails, DM’s, texts or calls me. 9 times out of 10, if they are willing to come and meet me in person, I almost always book them. Why is that? I like to think it’s because I’m so lovable… but the truth is – if someone likes my work enough to have more than an email exchange, or chat on the phone… they’ve probably mostly already made up their mind by the time they meet me. My stellar personality just helps solidify their decision. Just kidding… mostly. Obviously personality is important, but it’s about the way I make them feel when they are in my studio, how confident I am in what I do, and how safe they feel putting their biggest day in my hands. I don’t always know why people choose not to book me – sometimes they just ghost me completely which is super duper irritating. How can I know if I’m doing something wrong if people don’t tell me? When I do get the feedback it’s typically because they found someone “cheaper”. That hurts, but it doesn’t hurt NEARLY as much as when I get passed up because this other photographer “has shot at my venue before.”
Just last week I had an MOB (mother of the bride) call me to discuss my services. I LOVE talking to Mom’s helping their daughters plan weddings – I really really do. I don’t know what it is, maybe it reminds me of my connection with MY Mom… but I just love Mom’s. Anyway – we spoke on Thursday afternoon and scheduled a meeting for Monday evening. On Saturday, Mom called me to tell me they already decided to go with another photographer because that photographer had worked at their venue before… I was devastated, truly. I immediately began throwing myself a pity party for one. It nearly ruined my entire day because I was SO pumped to meet this family after having such a great chat with Mom over the phone. They had a solid, realistic photography budget, and I felt like I really connected with Mama when we spoke. I didn’t even get a chance to dazzle them with my charm because they made a decision based on something that DOES NOT MATTER. What’s worse, is that it was a venue I’ve been to many times in my life, and actually have not ever photographed a ceremony or reception at, but I have photographed all of the formal wedding portraits there for a client at before. I am incredibly familiar with the property… but even if I wasn’t it wouldn’t matter.
So my Public Service Announcement for Wedding Photography today is this: When looking for someone to photograph your wedding, it does NOT matter if they have been to your property before. You are hiring an artist! You are hiring someone who can walk into a space and understand the light and see all of the photographic potential instantly. Please – tell all of your friends this. Choose your photographer because you love their work, you love their personality, and trust that as an artist and a professional – they will crush it. I don’t know who put the idea in people’s heads that you need to hire someone who has been to your property before… but I’m making it my life goal to undo that misconception.
Take it from this lovely couple! The amazing Mother of this bride hired me, and I fell in love with every person at this wedding! The Mom’s, the Dad’s, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen and of course, the couple. Now, I HAD photographed a wedding at Ponte Winery prior to Cara & Christiaan’s wedding, however, Ponte Winery has multiple ceremony sites and multiple reception sites, and I had not yet photographed at their specific ceremony and reception sites. Mom trusted me anyway… For that I am very grateful because the experience I had with all of them was wonderful and their day was perfect. I literally can’t do anything but smile looking at this work and thinking about this perfect wedding day with all of these incredible people. Take a look:
In case my rant isn’t enough to convince people that having previously photographed at a venue before doesn’t matter…I’d also like to note that the first time I photographed at Rancho Las Lomas, and the Richard Nixon Library… both weddings got published in a magazine. So there 😛 Tell your friends 🙂
Cara & Christiaan’s Vendors:
Venue: Ponte Winery
Coordination: Samantha Rizzo
Beauty: Sandra Michelle Artistry
Videography: Amber Exposure
Floral: Flowers by Coley
DJ: Sterling Productions
Dessert: Laura Maries Cakes
Gown: Lazaro Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Invitation Suite: Hoover Printing
Photography: Yours Truly… obviously 😉
For more information on wedding photography, please check out my website and drop me a line! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @briannacaster
Peace, Love & Photographing at Venues for the First time,