Over the years, I’ve been contacted by a lot of people who liked my work and wanted to hire me right away. And when I first was getting started in this business venture, I took them all on.
That was a mistake.
The old adage that any business is good business is crap. It should be, the right business is good business. And in order to find the right business, you need to apply some filters to the selection process. This is why I do a consultation with every single person who wants to do business with me and I send out questionnaires to get a feel for who I’m going to be meeting with and what their expectations, wants and needs are.
This method is great for not only me, but the people who are looking to hire me too. Because even though they may like my images, and the way I tell a story, they may not like my approach, laid-back style, or the amount of emails and questionnaires I send out. I may find out during a consultation that even though the beachfront wedding in Kauai may sound like a great opportunity, the bride and groom really want to focus on family portraits, or create moments rather than allowing me to document what happens naturally. Or, maybe we’re just polar opposites on personality and it’s just an odd pairing.
“Even though he was in Idaho, I thought i would give him a call because i loved his style of photos on his website. He was professional, he was easy going and made me feel very comfortable on our initial call. Jerome made the time to get to know us and established a relationship with us, which is so important when you are asking someone to document one of the most important days of your life!” — Katie B.
These meetings have been a lot of fun, as well as helpful to myself and the people who I’m sitting down with because we get to see how we fit — if we fit. And if we don’t, that’s where I start to think about the photographers I do know and trust who would be a good fit for the couple.
In the past, I’ve had couples who were ready to write checks for the full amount when they find out I’m available. And a few weeks later, at the consultation, we’re both happy that didn’t happen. And in the end, they were able to get a photographer that was a great all-around fit, and I was able to keep my schedule open for those couples who are a great fit.
No matter who you’re looking to hire for your wedding day (photographer, DJ, caterer, planner, etc.) make sure they’re a good fit with you beyond the fact that they do good work. Be selective, ask questions, and make sure you mesh.