Planning weddings is so much work. The bride is busy deciding on her gown, her hair, makeup, and handling all the details of the day. She might also be managing some – or maybe most – of the vendors. The groom has his own things to do, like deciding on his suit, what family to invite, or he might even be in charge of some of the details of the wedding as well. The couple has many things running simultaneously. They often forget a few details here and there. Even if they have help, sometimes they skip a few points during discussions with vendors. This might happen when they are booking you as their wedding photographer.
New questions can always come up even when you have made your services and package clear to them. Even if your contract has all the terms and conditions covered, even if you might have shared your experience with them about the likely scenarios, there is still room for the unexpected.
Don’t Worry! This blog will cover the top 11 requests your clients can make on their wedding day. Read them, understand them, and prepare for them in advance with our tips.
Top 11 Requests Made by Clients to Their Wedding Photographer (and our recommended answers!)
Make sure you have your shot-list ready. This list will include the shots requested by the clients as well as your “go-to” shots for any wedding day. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any essential pictures. This will also act as proof if your couple suddenly decides to add to it. Remember to give a copy to your second shooter if he or she is accompanying.
Check your gear and keep it ready one day before the shoot. Always have extra gear ready in case your equipment malfunctions.
Now that you are ready to do a fantastic job on the final day, know about these 11 unexpected requests made by your clients, and how to address these requests like a pro.
1. Will you Retouch Photos for me?
Your clients might have refused editing or retouching when they booked you. But someone convinced them and now they want it. In another case, the bride might not have expected a pimple to show up on her face on her wedding day. Or hot tea falling on her forearm a day before and leaving a burn mark. Now she wants it to be gone through editing and retouching.
Answer: Review with them what your contract does and does not cover in regards to editing, and if there will be an additional charge for extensive editing in Photoshop or Lightroom.
2. Will You Help my Relatives Pose/Take a few of just the family/friends?
Couples might be very particular about their wedding photos and want everything to look perfect. They might notice a few relatives ruining the photos with awkward poses. To correct this, the couple is likely to ask you to pose them well.
Answer: You have taught posing basics to the couple but didn’t think much about the uncles and aunts. Now, if they are making a few photos look funny, you can always offer help. This will not take much time and the couple will be grateful to you for this.
Sometimes guests might want additional photos for personal use. Be open to taking these photos if there are just a few. If more, tell them politely that you will lose crucial time with the bride and the groom if you do any more. Hopefully they will understand!
3. Will You Capture Some New Shots?
The couple might want some more shots included other than what you had previously discussed. Maybe they were not sure if their grandparents would attend, but they have! And they want their special moments with these family members documented.
Answer: Moments like these are precious. Capturing such moments for the couple can be easily built into existing shot lists. Just be aware of your timeline if the requests start trickling over to multiple guests. Also be conscious of other family members (most often the mother of the bride or groom) requesting multiple family groupings that go above and beyond what was planned for. If you have the time, there’s no reason not to take those photos. But if you worked closely with the couple to plan family photos based on a specific number of groups, and time is running out, it’s ok to say no politely.
4. We are Having Fun. Can You Capture Some More Silly Moments?
The bride and the groom are really enjoying their day and so are the guests. The friends decide to be silly. Your clients are loving these moments and want more photos of these moments.
Answer: Definitely photograph some extra ‘fun photos’ if the couple requests. They can be couple’s portraits or with the wedding party. Don’t go overboard because the fun never ends! Also remember and hint it to your couple that you are working on a timeline.
5. Personal Favors?
This can happen at any and every wedding. The bride and the groom might need help with small things like bustling the dress or pinning the boutonniere. During the ceremony or at any other time they might ask you to keep the crowd away. They might want a difficult relative to not bother them and ask you to make excuses for them.
Answer: These favors are nothing big and you can always offer help. After all, they trust you to keep them on time and help things run smoothly as well as capture happiness. It is their wedding day and your clients will remember all this fun with you. If these favors do not affect your work then definitely consider helping, or ask someone else to help them. Building a relationship with your clients solidifies that trust and may also help you get referrals.
6. Can I Get the Photos Early?
This one comes up often. The bride and the groom are so excited. They want everyone to see those amazing photos as soon as possible. They are going on their honeymoon in 20 days and want the photographs ready before that.
Answer: Tell them how much time it takes to cull, edit, and retouch wedding photos. Make them aware that you have previous projects to work on. Explain to the couple that you might miss out on things if you work too quickly. Consider giving them the gift of a few of the “best” photos ahead of schedule and see if that helps with the request.
7. We Didn’t Think About it Earlier, Can we Order an Album?
Many times the couples decides on things after booking you for the wedding. It is obvious that planning and changes happen in the last minute during weddings. This could be one of them.
Answer: This goes without saying. Yes, yes, and yes! More albums, more revenue. They love the prints, you love the added profits. Let the couple know that you will need to discuss album design and costs. Tell them how much time it will take to be ready.
8. Can I Get a Mini Album Before the Actual One?
Aunt Melissa is leaving the city next week. The bride wants to give her favorite aunt a gift in the form of a mini-album. So she might ask her wedding photographer to compile some of the best photos.
Answer: First check with the album designer and the printer before committing. If possible, fulfill this wish of the bride because mini albums mean revenue.
9. Can you Capture the Bounce House (or “insert word here”) That We Added and Didn’t Tell you About
Surprise elements at the wedding can show up! This can totally surprise you as much as the guests. The difference will be they love it, but you might hate it. The couple and all the guests are having fun on the bounce house and they want you to capture this fun.
Answer: Definitely capture these surprises because they are the essence of the wedding. They tell the story of the wedding and describe the personality of your couple. But, always make sure to tell your clients if this means something else from the planned shot list or timeline has to be adjusted in order to make it work. Don’t hesitate to ask for extra compensation when such surprises come up if it adds extra time to your agreed time commitment for the day.
10. Our Plans Changed, Can we Get a Discount?
This request made by clients could be a nightmare for you – not knowing that the couple changed some, or a lot, of their wedding plans. Now, they have fewer guests and don’t want as many shots. They assumed they would inform you on the wedding day and it would be OK because it means less work for you.
Answer: This can be a tricky situation. Try to reason out with the couple about the amount of preparation you do for a wedding. Tell them politely, you could have booked another wedding for that time. Consider what you can “give them” instead of a discount that won’t cost you any money – like expedited image delivery, or extra edits or touch-ups on their top 25 wedding images.
11. Can you put Together a Slideshow of our Photos at the Reception?
A slideshow is a popular upgrade that photographers can edit to music. With technology upgrades, clients have requested this more. Couples usually inform the photographer beforehand if they want a slideshow. In that case, you can make a slideshow of their engagement photos.
Answer: Requests for instant slideshows could be trickier. It’s best to discuss and plan for that ahead. If time permits, and if you decide to do it, check out the slideshow maker app Muvee. Also, don’t be afraid to upsell on this!
We hope our blog helps you assess and handle unexpected client requests in advance and that it will also help you make better decisions for your business and, in turn, your clients.
Stay confident and know your contracts well before answering any requests made by clients. Learn from colleagues about how they handle such situations. And above all, keep a smile on your face and your camera at the ready!