office-space.jpgWhere do most of us meet perspective brides and grooms? In a perfect world we would ALL have amazing studio space or at least a great office; but, we don’t. So, where do we meet up with prospective clients that are interested in hiring us to shoot their weddings? Coffee shops? Nice hotels? Their home or apartment? Our home or apartment? And if we do meet them anywhere but an office-like location do we seem unprofessional?

I polled some friends and some Pictage photogs and this is what I found.
If no outside office or studio:
54.5% are using coffee shops
18.2% are using nice local hotels
18.2% are bringing the bride and groom to their home
9.1% are going to the bride and grooms home

The photogs that were polled have never been told it is unprofessional or have lost business from meeting in such a way. On the contrary, they have been told it is a convenient and relaxing way to have a meeting. Most of the photogs bring a laptop to show a slide show, one or two sample albums and then some studio information for the couple to take home; such as, package cost, rough contract, price list and of course a business card.

What works best for you? Share your feedback – leave a comment with your experiences.

Written by Meredith Ward, Pro Consultant

12 Comments

  • Delane Rouse says:

    Before I inquire any further and leave my experience…do you mind letting us know how many photographers were polled? The reason I ask is because it’s interesting the way the numbers fell. 9.1% then exactly 2x that number (18.2%), then 6x the number (54.5%). It simply appears as if a relatively small sample was taken.

    Can you confirm the sample size (# of responses?)

    Thanks in advance

    Delane

  • David says:

    We usually take people to little known cafe’s and such that are very nice and quiet. Eventually we’ll make a space in our home, but for now we’re happy meeting people places. 🙂

  • I’ve been doing exactly what you describe since I started my business 2 years ago, no problem. But I know for a fact that a few couples I met with that were more on the high-end side, didn’t hire me because of the perception I projected of being ‘cheap’. They went with other photographers charging 3-4 times more than me and it wasn’t because their quality reflected that difference in price… It’s all about perception and that’s why I decided to get an office at the Paseo Colorado in Pasadena, I don’t want those clients to go somewhere else.
    Great post!

  • Candace says:

    I have been doing a mix of almost all of those options for the past 7 years. I think almost all of them work great. Recently I have been having most of my potential clients to my home office space, and I love it! They can view all that I have up on the walls as well as sample albums. I think it is also great because we can start to develop that special relationship that is so important.

  • Erin and I meet with our couples in our home the majority of the time, and it has worked wonderfully for us. Due to our higher price point, couples book us for our work first, and our personality as a close second, and so we feel that it is important to invite them into our home, and give them a glimpse of the “real” us which is hopefully something that they vibe with.

    Of course, if they’re allergic to kittys, we meet them at a coffee shop 🙂 9/10 couples that meet with us in our home book us, so it’s working!

  • Julie Weaver says:

    I have to agree with Jeff. I have my consultations at my home, and book 90% of the time. I make sure that my home is inviting and they get to see who we are as a family and as a professional all at one time.

  • Airika Pope says:

    We meet at coffee shops, but rarely do we meet at Starbucks. For whatever reason, it seemed like we never booked the Starbucks-consultation weddings. So, we stopped going there and started scouting fun and funky coffee shops that are a little off the beaten path instead.

    We are remodeling our condo and hope to be able to have our 2009 wedding consultations right here!

  • leanne reis says:

    I have only ever met clients at my home “show room”

    I have an extra bedroom right off the front door for clients to meet and make them sleves feel at home in. My family is an extension of my business, so if they don’t like kids or an ocassional toy infested living room, then they are not the fit for me.

    With that said, 95% of clients who come to meet me, book me.

    I too would be curious to know how many were polled?

  • Meredith Ward says:

    Hey Delane,
    I cant remember exactly how many people I polled but it was some where around 50 photographers. Sorry I dont have the exact number for you. Hope that this helps.
    Meredith Ward
    Pictage, Inc.

  • David Burke says:

    My Clients really enjoy meeting at the coffee shops 🙂 I enjoy it too. With a wife, 4 kids and a rambunctious Boxer, I cannot bring them to my home. I enjoy getting away too. Someday we will have a kick but studio, but for the time being the coffee shops are working well. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have lived in three cities in the last year: Tucson, AZ, Cambridge, MA, and Beverly Hills, CA and I have always met my clients in my apartment. I have my entire living room set up for meetings of these sort and I book about 90% of my meetings. The key is to have everything super clean. So clean that I can see the reflection of my face anywhere I look. The bathroom has too be so clean that you would feel comfortable if even the Queen of England had to use it. I’m serious. Also, the furniture is all high end. Everything my clients see when they walk in is nice. My couches are pure leather and everything is color coordinated, I have a big plasma TV where I show slideshows and examples of my post processing. I give them Pellegrino water bottles and my presentation is very organized. If you do the following, you can stay at your house as long as you want. I have had great success working and meeting clients at my home. So remember, just keep it clean!

    Roberto Valenzuela

  • I have plans to a new small business, specifically a coffee shop, so I’ve been searching the web for inspiration. Reading your posts have give me some great things to think about, and I look forward to reading a lot more of what you have to share!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.