About a year before Arturo and I were engaged, we got our first apartment together. When we were out shopping one day a few towns over from where we lived, we stopped to grab a couple sandwiches for lunch a deli we’d never been to. When we walked in, Arturo and I were immediately greeted with warm smiles by not only the staff, but also the owners of the deli. Our lunch was delicious, and both agreed that this is somewhere we’d want to eat at again. Being small business owners ourselves, Arturo and I have always believed in supporting other small businesses. Eventually, we would grab breakfast or lunch there once a week! We got to know the owners and staff and sort of became friends with them. Arturo and I learned about their families, their interests, their holiday plans and more. They would always ask us how we were doing, and even showed us with some love when we got engaged and even married! Now remember, this deli is a few towns over from where we lived, with plenty of eateries much closer and even down the road from our apartment. Although yes, the food at our favorite deli was great, but what kept us coming back again and again for YEARS was the joy, kindness, and hospitality we felt from the owners and staff at the deli. Even to this day we travel 30 minutes to eat there 1-2 times per month!
As Arturo and I worked to grow our own wedding photography business, we thought about the experience we provided to our clients, always trying to make sure it was a joyful one. We’ve met so many wedding vendors and other small business owners who seem jaded by the industry or simply see their clients and customers as just dollar signs. Arturo and I use our personalities to our advantage to create genuine friendships with our couples, because they want photographers who are as excited and invested in their day as much as they are! From the first interaction we have with our potential clients (usually an email or phone call) , to their engagement session, wedding day, and even album delivery, we want to be sure our couples know how much we care about them and their day. The more they can feel our joy, the more joyful their experience with us will be!
Arturo and I work hard to be sure we’re exuding excitement and joy in a genuine way while interacting with our couples. Now don’t get me wrong, as wedding photographers (and I’ve even run into this as a boudoir photographer!), we run into situations where doing this can be challenging. There have been times when the groomsmen aren’t cooperating or when a bride is hot and uncomfortable under the layers of her dress in the humid New England summer sun. The key is to stay POSITIVE, no matter how you’re being challenged in that moment. When I’ve been in these challenging situations, I’ve realized that our joy and positivity not only helps to dilute the uncooperative wedding party or cranky bride, but it also shows our value! The calmer Arturo and I are,= and the more we can comfort our couple when these situations arise, the more they love us later on. After we’ve wrangled groomsmen or gotten the bride some water, our couples almost always come up to us later during their reception to thank us for our patience and ability to keep calm and give positive reinforcement!
Being joyful in your business will create so much value for you. In the end, just remember to give constant encouragement to your clients and serve them well!
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Shaina Diaz is one half of a husband and wife team at Shaina Lee Photography serving couples in Connecticut, New York, Hawaii, and worldwide. She has been photographing weddings since she was 20 years old and a sophomore in college. Shaina loves each wedding season a little more than the previous one, and is excited to share her knowledge with other wedding and boudoir photographers!