Today, guest contributors and husband and wife duo, Justin and Ixchel of Parfait Productions, are sharing their wedding videography wisdom with us about create a complete client experience.
1. It's All About First Impressions
The second a couple visits your website, the client experience begins. Take a moment and ask yourself a few questions:
What does your website say about you at first glance?
Does it represent your brand's core values?
Is it clear, concise, and easy to navigate?
Does it communicate who you are, what you do, and why you do it?
Are the expectation of what you provide clearly laid out?
You want to make it easy for couples to fall in love with you before you even begin that initial conversation. Often, couples are a little confused during the wedding planning process. You should make their decision-making process easy and painless.
If you ask good questions on your client intake form, you will be able to tell a lot about the couple and where they are in their planning process. You should ask more than just names, weddings date, and for a short message. If you ask unique questions, they're likely going to remember you, give you information to start a real conversation and provide an accurate quote.
Make that initial connection thoughtful, informative, and worded in a way that reflects your brand. Most importantly, make sure you respond quickly! When we planned our wedding, some people took weeks to reply without so much as a quick message to acknowledge us. Responding quickly and thoroughly makes the client feel like you truly care and goes a long way in building a great rapport.
Let's talk pricing
After you've made that initial connection, it's time to provide the couple with your rates. This is another opportunity to educate about your brand, your values, and the services you provide. Your price sheet should look professional and on brand. Design Aglow offers cinematographers many products to help set your studio apart from the rest.
We use the Cinematography Studio Magazine to further educate our couples while providing them with collection information and pricing. This has allowed us to be extremely informative, transparent, and build the trust of our couples. In fact, 95% of our couples are ready to book immediately after viewing it, no additional questions asked. Isn't that incredible?
Sealing the deal
Once you've had an initial conversation via email, set up a time to meet with your clients for drinks, coffee or on video chat. This makes things personal and allows you to really get to know your couple. Ask questions about their priorities, the most anticipated moment of the day and more about their love story. Pricing shouldn't be the main topic. At this point, many of your clients may already be signed or are just asking questions about how to enhance their desired collection.
And remember—nurture the amazing clients you have and don't dwell on the ones you don't. Your current clients are the ones who truly count and you only need a handful each year. The client experience from inquiry to the final delivery presentation as well as education should be your top priority.
2. Nail Your Audio
A wedding film without audio is just a slideshow with moving pictures. Nailing your audio is so critical to differentiate yourself from wedding photography. Professional sounding audio will heighten your production value, meaning you can charge more once you've mastered this area in both pre and post production.
One of the ways to ensure your audio is on point is ensuring that in the pre-production phase, you collect information from the client/planner. Ask questions like:
Will there be live music? If yes, detail when and who
Will anyone apart from the officiant and couple be speaking during the ceremony?
Questions like these allow you to come prepared and anticipate what is about to take place. While a wedding is a live event, arriving prepared as much as possible will relieve you of stress. Identifying areas you can anticipate is key. Get all the details beforehand so you can bring along your audio kit microphones best suited to capture the audio independently and not always relying on a feed as your primary or sole source.
Splitting from a board is always imperative, however, having back up recordings of each person/group making pre-scheduled sound is also key. We recommend a lavalier microphone on the officiant, groom, reader, and if you are comfortable, mic the bride. An X/Y mic is perfect for capturing the live string quartet playing during the ceremony and cocktail hour. If each source making a sound has a dedicated mic and you are able to collect a feed, you are on your way to capturing professional audio and not distant sounding audio had you not come prepared to capture each source independently.
3. Shoot Intentionally
We feel very passionately about intentionally shooting real moments. These shots you collect during the couple's portrait session are not real moments. We want you to capture the beautiful, in-between, spontaneous moments that evoke an emotional response. We want you to tell the real story of the day and the emotions unfolding in front of you.
So, how do you do this? First and foremost, keep your stick on the ice. We're Canadian—we're referring to a hockey stick. What we mean is: keep your camera up and on when you are around your couple and key members of the wedding day so you are ready to shoot on the fly. This will keep you present since you won't be fumbling to turn your camera on.
If you put your gear away when you think you're done, a great moment between the bride and mom could take place as you're about to exit the bridal suite. No one is going to tap you on the shoulder when something is about to happen. Keep rolling, stick on the ice—always be ready. That moment when your couple exists the ceremony with joy in their eyes and the dad comes over to congratulate them is pure gold and you'll want to be ready to capture it. With experience, you'll notice the rhythm of a wedding day and all the beauty that comes from each chapter.
4. Mail Time: Delivering Your Film
Shortly after the wedding, send a thank you email to your client. Remind them of what their collection includes and the delivery time. Be sure to anticipate their needs! Provide every piece of information before they need it.
Now let's fast forward to after the editing is complete. It's time to deliver your film! Most of our couples select USB delivery. This use to cause us so much stress. Is the packaging perfect? Does it match our brand? When we found Design Aglow, their packaging products completely revolutionized the way we deliver to our couples. We use their custom USBs, embossed USB box, USB care card (sharing with the client how to store their files safely) and the shipping box or branded gift bag for local deliveries. Everything is on brand, cohesive, professional and truly something we are proud of.
We also enclose a thank you card detailing a favorite moment on their wedding day. This will likely be your final point of contact—make it count!
All working images captured by Two Mann Studios.
About Parfait Productions