The champagne is gone, friends and family have left town, and life has begun to settle back into place now that the wedding is over. All that's left to do after the thank you cards is one thing: leave your wedding vendor a review!
"Do I actually have to do that?!" I mean, you don't have to. But if you're here it means that a) I've sent you this link via email and you're actually clicking it because you care (I knew you would), or b) you're a super sweet human who wants to give their wedding photographer/vendor a good review, also because you care.
Sometimes it's hard to know where to start, so consider this your guide on how to write a review for your wedding photographer with some extra information on why you should consider leaving one! Bonus, I've included a set of questions you can pick and choose to answer as a jumping-off point for your review.
what it's like to receive a review
You know when someone just brings you flowers out of the blue? Or someone does something for you that they didn't have to and it's just such a nice feeling? That's the feeling we get a notification of a new review. It's exciting, and it makes our day!
You might not have an idea of how special a review can be, so I wanted to chime in and tell you why: YOU are what is propelling this business forward. YOU are the one breathing life into it. When a photographer says they are grateful for you, or honoured to be there on your wedding day, they mean it. So when you speak about your experience, know that whatever feedback you provide we absolutely take to heart.
why you should leave a review
Straight up, reviews keep many small business going. A review can let us know what we got right, but also tells future clients how we work and what we can offer. This is especially important for businesses that find their clients online (like me, and many other wedding photographers).
I'll be the first to admit that I've spent a few hours reading reviews before purchasing something as simple as a dehumidifier. Think of how important it is for someone spending thousands of dollars with a photographer that they've likely never met... quite possibly never ever heard of. High risk, right?
Photography is a service based business where there are no do-overs - we get one shot, and that's it. New clients need to feel absolutely reassured, and it's always best coming from someone other than ourselves.
Every photographer has IG. Every photographer is blasting their page with the best of the best. Welcome to the industry. So, what does a wedding photographer do to stand out? Ironically, it isn't even something we can do ourselves. We couldn't even pay for it if we wanted to.
It's something we need to ask, and very humbly, of you, our clients.
- Your words will give comfort to a couple on the fence
- Your words will reassure the same doubts or fears you might have had
- Your words will explain what a wedding photographers value really is
Questions to Answer in your review
Like I said previously, consider these questions as a jumping off point. You don't need to answer every one of them, but it will likely help get the juices flowing and help with any writers block.
How did you find your wedding photographer?
What did you book them for?
Why did you choose them?
What were you looking for and how did they check off the boxes?
What concerns did your photographer address?
How was the photographer's communication with you throughout the process?
How was the overall experience?
What, if anything, did the photographer do that sticks out in your mind as special?
What did you think of the final photos?
Where to Leave Your Review
Ask your photographer what platform they prefer most, and if they say one, they're being humble. They want you to post them on all of their platforms! Between you and I, a simple Ctrl C + Ctrl V would go a long way. Adding photos to your review would be going the extra mile, but always so appreciated if you are open to sharing them online.
Once you have it written out, you can share it wherever you can find your photographer. A few common ones that you could try searching are Facebook, Wedding Wire, The Knot, Google, Yelp, to name a few.
If you're here to leave me a review, in order of importance to my personal goals, I've linked my platforms below:
Reviews Bring Closure
I don't know about every other wedding photographer, but I'm always nervous when I send out a final gallery to my clients. A lot of the time we are left wondering if the client was happy or just felt "meh" about the photos and their experience with us.
The reality is, it's pretty common to hear crickets back after that email is sent out. A lot of the times we'll get an "OMG I LOVE THEM" text, but that's it. Life gets busy, weddings are stressful and everyone needs to wind down after them. It took me a year to leave my wedding photographer a review, but I eventually got to it.
I'm being really open in saying that it can be slightly disconcerting when you spend hours culling, editing, and designing a gallery only to hear nothing back, weeks and sometimes months after the fact.
Consider your review the cherry on top of our journey together, the bow that ties the package all together. The final touch that brings us closure.
What if You DOn't Want to Leave a Five Star Review?
Straight up, a low star rating doesn't move our bottom line. I would say the status quo in this business is 4-5 stars, nothing less.
This is not me saying to leave a 5 star review if you did not have a 5 star experience. Photographers want to hear any feedback you have so as to inform areas where we can improve. Was there something you were expecting but didn't receive? Did the gallery not live up to your expectations? Sometimes the negative feedback is more helpful than the positive feedback.
I highly recommend that you email your photographer privately if you have any constructive feedback and/or suggestions. Hard conversations are just that, hard, but trust me when I say we would rather know what we did wrong so that we can make changes in the future.
Here are a few examples of what you might want to touch on in your email:
- Was there a part of the process that was frustrating for you?
- Was there something you expected but didn't receive?
- Was there something how communications were handled that you didn't jive with?
- Absolutely anything - even the littlest thing - that you think wasn’t quite up to snuff?
If we have worked together in the past and I am checking off any of these boxes in your opinion, please, don’t think that it would hurt my feelings if you told me. What hurts more is repeating the same mistakes with new clients.
Okay.. I'm Done Now
If you made it this far, I commend you! I think this is the longest blog post I have ever written. I do hope this photography review guide has been helpful, though.
In short: keep your review personal, informative, and detailed. Use your voice how you want to be heard, answer the questions that you might have had as a newly engaged bride/groom.
If we have worked together in the past, I have probably already expressed to you how grateful I am for you to trust me in telling a chapter in your story, reading this (entire) blog post, and also for reviewing my little business.