Making A Proper Wedding Photography Inquiry

11 | 18 | 2009

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I get dozens and dozens of inquiries for wedding photography at this time of year, nearly all of them by email; like most wedding photographers, I have an email query form on my website.  And although the form suggests the basic information I need to send couples correct pricing, folks still foil themselves (and me!) and I think giving a few notes toward good and sensible wedding photography inquiries will be helpful all around.  Couples want and deserve to get the right information up front.

I. The Essentials

Your Date

Finding out the photographer’s availability is the first step in any wedding photography inquiry.  Although much of the time we book six months to a year out, sometimes we’re still available for last-minute bookings just weeks before an event.

A side note: until a couple has booked their venue(s), their date is really still up in the air.   My advice is not to book any vendors until you’ve secured a venue and therefore, a date.  If your date switches, your photographer and other vendors may already be booked.

Your Venue(s). Be Specific.

Some people might interpret Catalina Island as a wedding location in “Los Angeles” or “Southern California.”  You don’t want to find out there are extra travel fees or mileage charges because you weren’t detailed enough when you inquired.

Your Email Address

Of course.

Your Phone Number & A Good Time to Call.

I can’t tell you how many people leave their phone number off the query form.  Not only is it sort of obnoxious (you ostensibly want me to photograph this intimate event in your life, but can’t be bothered to talk to me), it’s not sensible.  If the photographer’s email response ends up in your junk mail—which is likely since lots of spam filters pick up the word “photography”—you’ll never know they even wrote you back.  I know this happens because I sometimes get multiple inquiries from the same people who didn’t leave their phone number either time.  Or my emails to them will bounce back, but I’ll be helpless to make another contact.  We read phone number omissions as folks who are just fishing for our prices.

II. The Nearly Essentials

The Number of Guests You’re Planning For and Any Other Pertinent Details.

This actually isn’t a big deal for me most of the time.  A wedding with 400 guests isn’t that much different than a wedding with 150 guests.  For the most part.  But if you are planning a wedding on a Thursday morning with ten people, your photographer may have special small-wedding/elopement or off-peak packages available.

A Personal Note.

I’m pretty sure most photographers feel as I do on the following:  we don’t need to be flattered (although we don’t mind it either!), but we do want to know you are interested in our work specifically, not that you’re just looking to hire a—any—wedding photographer.  Writing a note that says “prices and packages please” sends a very different message than “I love your work and hope you can photograph my wedding.”

All of the above items comprise a proper wedding photography inquiry.  As much as you might not want to hear it, all inquiries aren’t created equally.  We’re more serious about serious inquiries—or rather, ones that seem to take our work more seriously.  If you decide to call instead of email, good for you!  We love to have personal contact right from the get-go.  Just be prepared with same information.

For those of you who are at other points in the process of hiring a wedding photographer, you might want to read our general overview {here}.

photo: Gia Canali

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5 Notes on “Making A Proper Wedding Photography Inquiry

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