First + foremost keep the words grace, kindness and love at the forefront! Before we even get into what to do, lets look at how to prevent a missed photographic moment in the first place.
- Cultivate a real relationship with your couple. Discuss with them in detail what they are looking for when it comes to photos of their wedding.
- Listen. This is imperative, we as creatives must listen and really hear our clients if we want to tell their unique love story.
- Obtain all photo requests in advance. A few weeks before a wedding we will send our couples an email recapping everything we have discussed this far in regards to photographing their wedding day. We then ask them for photo request, this includes family photos, detail photos, and reception photos. This way you know exactly what you are responsible for.
If you do the above, you can easily cite the email correspondence as a reference for what was, specifically, requested.
Ok so lets say something gets off kilter and you miss an important shot. What now!?
- Take a deep breath
- Remember grace, kindness and love is how you want to respond. This was one of their biggest days in their life thus far, so if they are frustrated that is completely understandable.
- Listen. We mean really listen. Sometimes all they want to do is vent and you hearing them out resolves the entire issue. Also hearing your client out will give you the key to resolving the issue.
- Authentically Sympathize. After listening to your client let the know you understand, you know where their coming from and how they feel. Respect and understanding go a long way towards a happy resolution.
- Gracefully Apologize. If it’s your fault or not; if you want to keep your client and apology is in order. Keep it simple and clean. “We do apologize for this frustration. Taking amazing care of our clients is our top priority, graciously allow us to make things right.”
- Come to a Resolution. You will want to come up with a fair resolution that will ultimately leave you with a happy satisfied client who then becomes a “cheerleader” and huge supporter of your business. It is better to have a happy client singing your praises than one who is slandering it. In the end you will find joy and they will too.
Examples of Resolutions:
Missed Detail shot– most couples hold on to their wedding details for quite sometime after the wedding. So if you missed a love letter, a piece of jewelry, or perhaps a family heirloom chances are they still have it. So invite them out for coffee, ask them to bring along the detail and stylize that detail during coffee to match there wedding photos and send it to them. For good measure you can grab a quick photo of them enjoying coffee together:)
Missed family member photo – this one can be tricky if the family member lives out of town. However, if they live in town offer to do a mimi shoot with them + that family member. If they live out of town you can always invite your couple out for coffee (I love the coffee idea). Set up in advance a Skype/Facetime with that family member on your iPad – all of this without your couple knowing. Then surprise them with the live call and get photos of it happening. Taking time to go out of your way to arrange something cute and surprising to make your clients happy can go a LONG way.
Missed Reception Detail– Lets say you missed the bridesmaids bouquet shot. Jump on the phone and get ahold of the florist who made the bouquets. Let them in on what happened and ask if they could remake one for you to shoot. Most vendors would be delighted for you to take photos of their work, also pass along a few photo of their work to them to use as a thank you.
We hope this helps. And remember… the best defense against missing a shot is being well prepared in advance.