Please Don’t Ghost Photographers

NO ONE LIKES TO BE GHOSTED. Please don’t ghost photographers (or any wedding vendor for that matter).

You know, ghosting—where you just leave people on read. It happens way more often than you think.

For those who aren’t photographers, I’m going to illustrate this scenario from a photographer’s perspective:

It’s 9pm on a Wednesday. We receive a notification. Looking at it, it’s a wedding inquiry. Instantly our heart starts racing. We’re legitimately excited—there’s a potential couple that has looked through our website, liked who we are and our work enough to reach out. We immediately respond with the most thought out, personalized, and welcoming email. We ask the potential couple to tell us more about who they are, how they fell in love, and all about their dream wedding. We want the welcome email to be perfect: warm, encouraging, informative. We share with them who we are, and our wedding investment rates. A ridiculously excited email with lots of questions and information alike because we love what we do, and genuinely believe that your wedding day is hella important.

We hit send. And we wait. A few days go by. Then, when they respond with excitement and interest, our hopes fly sky high. We start talking about the details of your love story and your upcoming celebration. We get to know one another, like friends would—because who wouldn’t want someone who feels like a friend with them on their wedding day?

Then something happens rather unexpectedly. The last email we sent was roughly a week ago and suddenly the potential couple, who were becoming fast friends, stops responding. We send a “just checking in” email because we understand that life gets busy and sometimes we forget things. Still no response. We can see that you’ve read through the email (yes, most CRMs let us know). After another week, our hope has been depleted.

We feel conflicted. Was it something we said? They most likely went in another direction with their photography needs, but we can’t be sure because no closure was offered. Sending a third email feels wrong and almost pushy—we’re not in this to be salesmen, we’re in this to document love stories.

We’ve just been ghosted.

With the instability that has been created in the wedding industry because of 2020 (e.g. weddings put on hold, wedding vendors booking out hella early for subsequent seasons, etc.), ghosting seems to happen way more often than it has in previous years. But thankfully, I can say that this doesn’t happen with every client interaction. But…when it does happen, it’s super frustrating. It feels heart-trodden and cold. It’s super likely that the person on the receiving end of the inquiry email that you send off runs a small 1-person business in the realm of photography. A 1-person business that immediately becomes invested in your love story. You’re likely talking directly to us, not something automated, or outsourced.

The main emotion that ghosting brings out in photographers isn’t sadness. It’s frustration. Frustration from not knowing where we went wrong and what sent the couple running.

TL;DR: We will totally understand if you go with someone else, I promise. That’s absolutely your choice—if you don’t feel we’re the best fit for you, by all means, please do not book with us. We respect that. We understand that couples have budgets—not everyone is Kim Kardashian with a limitless wedding budget. We respect that. If you’ve found someone who’s style you love more—that’s perfectly okay too! We respect that. No one is going to be upset when you tell us you decided to book someone else, we simply wish we weren’t left wondering.

We photographers aren’t saying you HAVE to book with us. We’re just asking for the respect of being told other choices were made. It doesn’t have to be long, doesn’t have to be filled with apologies. We get it. We respect it. But we kindly ask to be in the know.

About me

Donna Marie

Your elopement + wedding photographer and planning assistant. I'm your body positive bestie, dream vendor locator, facilitator of 10 second dance parties, and your unobtrusive personal paparazzi for when you say your vows. 

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