The process of booking me as your elopement photographer
Table of Contents
Step 1: Figure out if I could be the elopement photographer for you
A lot of couples get caught up in hiring someone based off one of two things: pricing and portfolio.
Elopement photography pricing is a topic I will address in a separate post, so I’m not going to go too far in depth on that now. After all, the reason you hire someone to photograph your elopement should be so much more than “they were the cheapest.”
In the same vein, when hiring a photographer for any situation – whether it be for an elopement or couple session – it’s important to like them as a person just as much as you like their work. You should take your time to read the copy on their website, read their Instagram captions, and get a feel for who they are as a person. Don’t just go into your shopping assuming the final product or imagery alone is enough. Even if the photos are beautiful, if the experience was uncomfortable in any way, you are probably going to like your photos less.
Before hiring me, look at my work, but also read my Instagram captions, watch my videos and hear my voice, read my website, and get a good feel for who I am! Decide if I could be the elopement photographer for you!
Step 2: Complete the inquiry form!
To inquire with me you should complete the inquiry form on my website. Take your time to answer the questions fully. The better I know you up front, the better I can serve you no matter what the session is for. Don’t be afraid to spend time on details like telling me how you met, what you like to do, etc. so we are a few steps ahead and can get a good feel for one another.
I get back to inquiries within a day or two, so if you don’t hear back from me within two days it’s okay to follow up with a DM on Instagram or email me directly.
Step 3: Setting up a phone or video call
Possibly the most important step in the booking process!
My phone calls usually last 45 minute to an hour, but we aren’t talking about photography the whole time… honest, we usually cover that for only the last 15-20 minutes. The rest of the phone call is just us chatting and getting to know each other! We talk about your day and what you’re looking for. We also talk about who you are as people, how you met, and just get a feel for one another.
I love using this time to set up a video chat so we can put a face to a name. You can bring a cup of coffee or adult beverage, and I’m usually in my sweats and my cats are in the background playing – the call (or video chat) is super informal and meant for us to get familiar with each other.
An elopement planning tip: you should be having a phone call or video chat like this for every elopement vendor you hire. For the best elopement experience, you need to get to know your vendors on a 1-to-1 basis in order to discover whether or not their personality is going to jive with the rest of your day.
Like I said before, your elopement is so much more than a price tag or portfolio. A lot of couples get caught up in price tags, and while of course you need to adhere to your budget, really the most important thing is that your money isn’t going to waste. You want to hire someone you fully trust to deliver the product you are spending all of this money for in the first place!
Step 4: Officially secure your date with a contract and retainer
Within an hour of your call, I will send you a project proposal. In this proposal includes the project contract and invoice for the required 50% retainer to secure your date.
I do this for all couples I have a call with and it’s not meant to pressure you into signing or paying anything, or even to book with me, but instead so you have all the information you’ll need in front of you for when and if you decide to move forward with the booking process. As soon as you feel comfortable to secure your day and move to the next step, you have everything you’ll need and won’t have to ask me for anything!
As soon as you both sign the contract and fulfill the retainer payment, you are booked! Immediately, I will send over a confirmation email with an in-depth elopement planning guide attached, as well as any additional information that may apply to your unique elopement experience.
Keep in mind I do not hold dates, so your elopement date is not on my calendar until the contract is signed and retainer payment is fulfilled.
Step 5: We work together to plan your perfect elopement day
With your booking confirmation, I will send you a really meaty elopement planning guide that goes everything you could possibly need to know to plan your elopement. This is something I am always adding to with every elopement and couple I work with, so you are guaranteed to get all the tips and good-to-knows I have curated throughout my experience as an elopement photographer!
My role as your photographer is not only to take photos on your elopement day, but also to guide you through the planning phase. Throughout the planning process we are communicating the whole time, and I’m checking in regularly in case there is anything I can help you with.
I’m not going to be bombarding you with questions, needing to know everything, or booking vendors for you. Instead, I’ll be your advocate throughout the process – I can send vendor recommendations, help you find flights or a place to stay, help you shop and find things online, put together a styling board or tell you what florals I think would photograph best for your location… no question is too small. All such resources are sent your way, we are planning together and setting up as many meetings or phone calls as you need as a couple!
I also educate all my couples on Leave No Trace, a set of principles or ethics for enjoying the outdoors in a respectful manner. This something I believe every elopement photographer should be educating their couples on, and implementing these practices in their elopement businesses.
Step 6: The final details
Around 2 weeks before your day is where we hash out all final details. We finalize timelines, figure out where and when we’re meeting, and get each others connect information. The day before, we will confirm all those details again in case anything has changed.
During and after the elopement
The actual experience of being behind my camera is something I want to address in a separate post, so I won’t talk about that here! But, I do want to briefly touch on what to expect after the elopement day has come and gone…
I send sneak peaks a few days after both elopements and couple sessions, which a great chance for you to share your experience with family and friends!
You will receive your full gallery around 4-6 weeks after weddings and elopements, or 2-3 weeks after couple sessions.
The gallery you receive is all digital and cloud based, and you can share the link with family and friends. You are able to download both the high resolution or web-size images, and there is a print shop attached if you want to order prints… it’s al right there in one spot!
I always encourage all of my couples to continue keeping in touch with me long after their session or elopement, and I do enjoy checking in to see how you’re doing! I love creating lasting friendships with my couples and see how their love grows and evolves long after their time with me.
Feeling ready to start a converation?
Let’s kick things off: Complete the following form below, then… well, you know the drill! You should hear back from me within the next two days. And if not, you can follow up with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to meet you!