Melanie Rebane Photographers Weddings Boudoir Commercial Toronto Ottawa

Couple Seeks Perfect Wedding Photographer – Ottawa Wedding photographerJanuary 12, 2010

Since my return from holidays, I have had the opportunity to meet some awesome couples who are looking for that “perfect” wedding photographer. What does that mean exactly? Every wedding magazine has an uber checklist of questions that are there to serve the new bride from making a critical mistake. While I do believe that prudence is very important to safeguard this important investment – it is also important to not lose sight of one important factor.

Early in the year I met with a lovely bride and her fiancé. She and her fiancé were planning a fairy tale wedding complete with the horse drawn carriage and glass slipper. They were engaged at Disneyland which was adorable and sweet. In advance of our consultation, she sent me 60 questions on everything from where the wires go for my lighting? (what wires?) to the resolution of pixels on my camera to how many images I would guarantee at the end of the day. As a personal challenge, I answered all of them immediately and sent them back. But, I added a couple of questions as well.

Nowhere on this very exhaustive questionnaire did it ask whether I cared about my clients, or what my client service philosophy was. Or whether my clients would describe me as “fun”, “passionate” or “professional”. The best camera, lenses and lighting do not an incredible photographer make. These are the artist’s tools. And, even though I do buy the best professional tools, in my experience, my best images are created when I am able to connect with my clients. So, I added these questions and answers to the bottom of her questionnaire for our consultation. We had a good laugh over it…but alas, we were an unlikely pair to work together – the fit was just not quite there. I would be doing a disservice this couple, in my opinion, if we agreed to work together- it’s very personal.

Wedding photographers are as unique as the couples that choose them. I believe it is important to have a good “fit” between the photographer and the couple to truly create images that reflect the spirit of the couple, their family and their big day. Much like we choose our friends, we choose our wedding photographer. They are a big part of a once-in-a-lifetime day after all.
There are some amazing wedding photographers in Ottawa. Some of which I admire immensely and hope to work alongside more of them this coming year. There are so many good choices couples have here in Ottawa for their wedding photographer, so I always feel especially good when clients I connect with choose me as their wedding photographer. But, in those rare instances where you just don’t quite “click” (pun intended) with a potential bride, it’s always great to refer them on.

When I reflect on the clients that are attracted to my work and my style, I note that what each of them has in common is the desire to create an intimate wedding that truly reflects the couple and the celebration that they have truly found that “comfy couch” person that they want to sink into for the rest of their lives. They are real down to earth people who love to laugh, have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously. They love contemporary style and they appreciate beauty; whether it is fashion or art or both. Each of my couples is looking for something more than the standard wedding image at the end of their day. They are looking for a timeless reflection of the day they came together with their best friend. An image that is artistic, in the moment and a reflection of their intimate selves and the people they love.

As I reflect on my style and the clients that are drawn to my work, and to me as a photographer, I can only feel honored that in some small way they reflect who I am too. Thank you to my newly booked 2010 clients. I will be having an amazing 2010 in part because of you.

T and great aunt

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  1. Great post Melanie! YOU ARE RIGHT!

  2. Love this! I recently had a "potential" client call and ask me all of those questions over the phone (equipment, number of photos, etc etc)! I was blown away, the person ended up hanging up in my face saying that their husband was a photographer and it was ridiculous what I charged (my prices are VERY reasonable). But yes, we would definitely have NOT been a good fit had they wanted to book me!

  3. Faith that is very interesting that her hubby was a photographer… as professional photographers, we know that to do a wedding and deliver quality images and service costs thousands in equipment, materials (albums, prints, thanks you, gifts, etc) and, for me, a minimum of 24-30 hours of time fro the average 6 hour wedding and that's with having a decent workflow. Divide that by what you are charging…adn I think many would be surprised that in some cases the hourly rate may be more for a babysitter 🙂 If the photographer does not want to charge enough. If he were a professional he would already know that ;).

    To take on a client that you do not quite fit with, can jeopardize your reputation, because you will find it very hard to connect and deliver what they are looking for…

    Thanks for your comments…

  4. great post melanie 🙂 and loving that you've got jenn grant playing on your site, we went to school together in halifax, she's an amazing talent!

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Melanie Rebane Photography
ottawa, Ontario K1K 0G7 CA