January 8, 2015

Wedding Consultations + Why They Are Awesome. | NWA Wedding Photographer

Two weeks before our wedding, I stood on our soon-to-be kitchen counter and stuck wrapping paper to the bottom of our kitchen shelves for one reason and one reason only: I really liked color (also I had seen it on Color Me Katie and was obsessed). As I stood there, Andrew sat on the floor outside the kitchen either putting IKEA chairs together or taping a ripped up book all over the wall in our dining nook (both happened that day). We were twenty-two years old, over-the-moon in love, and ridiculously thrilled to get married. Andrew and I had a bit of a unique wedding. Since we are Latter-day Saint, we were married in an LDS Temple in Nauvoo, Illionis, half the country away from all of our friends and most of our family. No photography is permitted in LDS sealing ceremonies and, because of this, we totally confused our photographer and, as we put together chairs and covered our shelves in wrapping paper, our photographer called us to talk about our wedding day.

“Usually,” he said, “I meet with couples before their wedding day.”

Our photographer was awesome – super good natured and easy to work with and, when he said that, I was totally confused. Why would he need to meet us? We were getting married and, since he was a wedding photographer, I really didn’t understand the point in meeting before the wedding day, especially since our wedding ceremony wouldn’t actually be covered and our wedding photographs were basically an extended portrait session (the reception was held in Kansas City). Since we lived in Provo, Utah, we weren’t able to meet in-person anyway but, even after we met him at our wedding and had a wonderful experience, his comment totally stuck with me. At the time, I never thought that Andrew and I would become wedding photographers but, since I’ve always adored photography, I couldn’t help but wonder why a photographer would want to meet with couples before their wedding day.

Nearly two years later, my first wedding rolled around and everything changed. My first wedding was a friend of a friend situation and, before her wedding, we talked on the phone for ten or fifteen minutes and, when I hung up, all I could think was “I really wish we had met in person!”. I was photographing her wedding – one of the most important days of her life – and, because of this, I totally wanted to know her, not just talk to her about a checklist for a few minutes. The wedding day came and went without any major problems but, when another wedding came around a few months later, I insisted on meeting the couple in person, even after I’d talked to the groom on the phone for thirty times. We met on a Saturday afternoon at the Panera off of College Avenue with people buzzing all over the place and, as I got to know them, I thought to myself “This makes so much sense!” because, as we talked and I learned more about their relationship and their wedding and their families and just about them – everything clicked.

Fall Wedding, Fayetteville Arkansas Wedding Photographer Lissa Chandler | Creative Wedding Photographer in Arkansas Lissa Chandler, lissachandler.com

For me, wedding consultations aren’t about pricing and contracts or anything really business related. Sure, we talk about pricing and I go over contracts so that there isn’t anything surprising when my couples open it but, I’ll be honest, I send couples pricing as soon as they send me an email and, if they want a contract, I send that, too. While I do sometimes sign couples without consultations, most of my couples opt for consultations and I LOVE that. I love being able to sit down and talk to a bride and groom and, best of all, get to know them – their story, their lives, the way they interact with each other – because photography is about people. Photography is not about pushing a button and walking away. It’s about connections and moments and sparks and expressions unique to individuals. I am not interested in shooting photographs that look like they belong in a fashion magazine or photographs of perfectly styled, perfectly made up, and perfectly proportionate people. If I wanted to do that, I would be a fashion or editiorial photographer. Instead, I am totally infatuated with creating photographs that reflect love and happiness and spirit and photographs that look like the people in them and, while I can do that even if I’ve met a person the day of their wedding (or the day of a shoot), I can do it so much easier if we are already comfortable with each other and – bonus! – the bride and groom will be way more comfortable with me if they’ve sat across from me at a table and heard about the time a photographer’s camera strap broke while I was holding her camera or about the time my four year old dashed up the rocks in Moab as his brother fell on a cactus or about how, the first time my husband tried to kiss me, he caught a mouthful of hair instead. I want my clients to be comfortable – I want to know them and for them to just relax on their wedding day – and, for me, that’s what wedding consultations are about (also engagement sessions and bridal sessions, too!). Being a wedding photographer is such an amazing, wonderful job and, because of that, I just think it is so important for me to know my couples and my couples to know me.

So! Since it’s booking season and booking season totally requires a shameless plug and I have no shame – Here it is! I want to photography your wedding and to meet you at a wedding consultation, too! #noshame

Inquire About Your Date + Set Up a Wedding Consultation Here

Spring Wedding in Fayetteville, Arkansas - NWA Wedding Photography - lissachandler.com

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Lissa Chandler is a creative portrait and wedding photographer in Northwest Arkansas who specializes in lifestyle familysenior portrait and wedding photography. Lissa is known for creative and emotive photography in Northwest Arkansas and currently lives in Fayetteville with her family: a husband who can pack a suitcase like nobody’s business (honestly, it’s kind of creepy), a four year old whose favorite animal is still a leopard and a two year old who will probably become a marine biologist. Lissa is currently booking 2015 Seniors2015 Weddings, and 2015 Lifestyle Newborn and Family Sessions in Fayetteville, Bentonville, Siloam Springs, Rogers, Springdale, and all of NWA. She is available for wedding work nationwide. *