QuestionDealing with brides?
I'm interested in hearing peoples' approaches to dealing with the neurotic bundles of 'I want!' that are all too common today. ;-)
How do photographers in this market handle such aspects of their work - how do you keep clear of the whirlwind?
Although my commercial photographic work doesn't cover weddings in any way, my wife makes bespoke bridal jewellery and regularly regales me with stories of the singleminded selfishness and rudeness she encounters (Oh, and the nice people she meets as well!)
Ahhh.... you have met Bridezilla. She is beautiful one minute and can turn ugly in an instant. To feed the beast, I would write every single one of her requests down on the job folder and repeat them back to her. She needs to know you heard her. The next time she called, I would read the entire list back to her. After reading through her requests multiple times, most of the brides retracted their claws. I was working for a wedding studio at the time so we had different packages. So if that didn't work and the requests would start again I would respond "Oh, you need an extra two hours of coverage? That would be our Deluxe Suite, I'll be happy to add the additional deposit to your credit card".
I'm sorry if I sound a bit jaded - I shot weddings for four years and got burnt out because of situations like this. I still shoot the occasional wedding for friends and clients and have found I have a much better attitude when I only do two or three a year instead of every weekend.
First, you have to identify them before they get ugly, once you know that you might be dealing with a neurotic bride, you can take the steps to put their fears at ease.
What we do is constantly update the bride on how things are going. I know we are the photographers but because we work on schedules we have to know what is going on all the time, so we either find out or we "push" the events to go on time. That way the bride can focus on us and not on what is or is not going on around them.
We found out that with brides that do not have a wedding planner on site, we have to become the keeper of the schedule and that has seemed to work. Becasue we tend to become friends of the couple they feel more comfortable when we "take control."
I have a checklist for potential bride and groom clients of what they want and do not want with room for other reasonable requests.
Being patient and try to understand that this is their day and that stress and nerves are very high. Try to remain calm and know when to step in and when to step back.