Wondering how to write a positive review or testimonial for your awesome wedding photographer ; ) with a ton of sample templates you can use?
If you’ve landed here it means either a) I sent you this link and you’re being very nice by humoring me, and opening it up. And b) you’re also very nice and you’re searching online for tips on how to review your wedding photographer!
Either way, I hope this is helpful to give you a little background and a lot of helpful information as to why you should review your wedding photographer (not to mention all your other vendors!) and also what to write in your online review.
I’m even going to give you a set of questions you can answer, and an example that you can use as a template or jumping-off point for your own review. If you’ve been asked to write a testimonial (similar to a review but typically more detailed) then this is a great post to read and get some ideas.
Great reviews are specific, informative and personal. It’s important to write in your own voice, and remember, what I’m about to outline here is just one idea. If you prefer to keep things short and sweet, that’s also very much appreciated!
And yes, I know that I am very wordy – writing is something I enjoy, work hard at and comes somewhat naturally to me. If you’re not the writing type that’s 100% fine and I totally get it that not everyone can be bothered to write reams and reams like I do!
I get many clients who ask me what is the best way of approaching their review – ideally, what would I suggest – and this article is for those awesome clients! #goldstarclub
The importance of reviewing your wedding photographer
Reviews are the lifeblood of businesses these days, especially those that are local and service-based. In my business (as is the case with many other photographers), we find new clients solely online.
You know how you check out the reviews even when you’re buying inexpensive household items on Amazon? (I mean, I don’t want to admit how long I’ve spent reading the reviews before I finally purchased some rubber gloves).
Now imagine how important it is for someone spending thousands of dollars with a photographer they’ve never heard of.
This is a business in which there are no returns, no exchanges, no refunds, no do-overs. New clients need to feel absolutely reassured that they’re getting the real deal.
Other brides/ grooms/ marriers out there are weighing up many different photographers right now. They’re trying to make a decision who is most worthy and most suitable to capture their special day.
Every photographer worth their salt is already all over Instagram, posting madly on their blog and spending thousands a year on advertising. That’s a given, just to be in this industry.
But there is one thing that can truly make a photographer stand out – and ironically, it isn’t something that we can do ourselves. It isn’t even something we can pay for.
It’s something we need to humbly ask you – our beloved clients. This is where we really need your help.
YOUR voice will win over those marriers who are on the fence.
YOUR words will inspire others facing the same insecurities, doubts or fears.
YOU will be the one to demonstrate to others – in your own unique way – what our value really is.
Questions to answer in your review
These questions are just jumping off points. You probably won’t include the answers to all of these points but it can be helpful if you’re just staring at a blinking cursor right now.
How did you find your wedding photographer?
This is helpful for others to know where your photographer is most active, and kind of draws attention to the platform they care about the most.
For example, ‘we have been following Aniyah for over a year on Instagram where she has built an active community of over 50,000 fans and followers!’ or,
‘We met Aniyah at the WeddingExpo Show in San Francisco, where she greeted us with a smile and immediately put us at ease with her down-to-earth personality’.
What did you book them for exactly?
This is great because it adds keywords into the review, which Google ‘reads’. If multiple people use the same words, it actually draws attention to that and helps us to rank higher in search.
Here are some examples that show up on my Google My Business listing, on the Maps view:
For example, ‘Jane was the photographer for our intimate wedding at Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga, CA’.
As you’ll see, the words people use most (that I want to be associated with) are: candid, communication, planning, light, elopement, intimate and feel. Kudos to my amazing clients who have brought those words to Google’s attention!
Why did you choose them?
There are many ways you could answer this, just go with your gut! It could be something as simple as, ‘After having chatted on the phone, we loved how easy it was to speak to Rosario and how she immediately understood where we were coming from’. Or ‘we bonded over our shared love of cosplay and our Shiba Inus’.
This shows more about the type of person that would enjoy working with your photographer and reveals more about their personality and vibe!
What were you looking for and how did they fit the bill?
This is where you can again be specific and address in a deeper way why you and your photographer were a match made in heaven.
For example, ‘We wanted a photographer who was experienced with Jewish wedding traditions, so hiring Abigail was the perfect fit’.
‘As introverts we wanted someone with a larger-than-life personality, and Elaine really brought the fun.
What concerns, unique to you, did the photographer address?
This is again on a similar vein but getting even more personal this time. Here are some examples!
‘We planned our wedding in just 3 weeks, so at first we weren’t sure whether it was even possible. But Macy was always so attentive and communicative, we managed to get the show on the road very smoothly with her helpful guidance’.
‘I’ve always been self-conscious about my weight, but Ayomide was the best at boosting my confidence and posing me in a way that made me feel natural and look beautiful’.
‘At first I was unsure about having a photographer at our elopement, because of the high price tag. However, I now see that having photographs that last a lifetime and I will be able to show my grandchildren, was worth every penny and more’.
Take the reader on a bit of a hero’s journey – with you as the hero, and your photographer as the guide!
How did the experience feel?
This is a great one because it allays any concerns that wedding photography is stiff, boring and very uncomfortable. Many people out there balk at the idea that it will involve standing still for hours on end and they will feel awkward.
‘Tenayah did everything she could to empower and coach us into really just feeling like our best selves. At no point did we feel self-conscious, which is a miracle really because we are the goofiest people alive’.
‘I was expecting a stuffy, boring photography session and was thinking we’ll just have to grin and bear it. The experience was actually really wonderful and intimate, and I actually felt closer and more connected to my fiance than before’.
How was the photographer’s communication with you?
This is a big question that other marriers want to know about. Photographers, as creatives, have a bit of a reputation for being a little flighty and unresponsive! So, talk up how easy it was to get a hold of your photographer! Mention that they were always at the end of the phone (if they were!)
‘Hakim was always so responsive to my many questions and concerns I had. I could expect a response from him within 24 hours and usually much quicker than that’.
‘Tina would end every email outlining the exact steps that would happen next, so we were never left wondering what was going on. It made us feel that we were being guided by a true professional through a process she was a master at!’.
How was the process of working together?
Again this is a pretty open-ended question, so just answer in any way that makes sense to you! Here’s my little example:
‘Ellen made the process of working together very easy and it felt like a true collaboration. She was as invested as we were in creating our timeline, ensuring we had time for the photos we wanted, and understanding our wedding photography priorities’.
‘I loved working with Chiharu because every communication reminded me that she cared, listened, was flexible as we were forced to change our plans. She was also a great team player, collaborating extensively with our wedding planner and videographer to bring our wedding dreams to life’.
What did the photographer do that sticks out in your mind?
Was there something – no matter how little – that your photographer did for you that really touches you? For example, did he/she help you put on your shoes? Stay a little extra for you? Send you a thoughtful gift? Make your elderly aunt laugh? Cram 150 people into the frame for an impromptu group photo? Photoshop out an entire busload of tourists from the background? If they went above and beyond, tell people!
What did you think of the finished photos?
Be as personal as you can here. It’s a great opportunity to explain how the finished photos affected you or changed youl. Rather than just saying ‘the pics are lovely’ or ‘We love the photos’, how about something like,
‘The first time my now-husband and I saw the photos, we melted! We had a date night and snuggled up on the couch, and loaded the photos onto our big screen. My husband cried the first time he saw our first look photos, just like he did the first time he saw me in my wedding dress!’
‘I had no idea our small, low-key wedding could look so incredibly beautiful. The finished photos ooze class, sophistication and refinement. Not bad for a simple backyard wedding! Qiaohui had a way of elevating our little wedding and made it look a million bucks’.
‘I’ll be honest, I’m very Type A and I had high expectations for our wedding photos. That was why we decided to hire the best photographer our budget allowed. However, the photos that Shantanu produced blew even my wildest expectations out of the water! I am in awe of how filled with love and light the photos are. The most candid, intimate moments, captured artfully’.
OK, now we’ve broken it down, let’s start with writing our review.
A sample photography review template
Jane Doe photographed our September 2021 wedding at Oak Tree Ranch in Sonoma, and I would totally recommend her!
We first contacted Jane after seeing her work on Instagram. The quality and style of her images stood out in a crowd of wedding photographers. We were looking for a candid-style wedding photographer with a relaxed style that’s both modern and timeless.
Jane’s vibe aligned exactly with what we were seeking. After meeting with her over Google Meet, it became clear that we had found a great match, both in terms of style and personality.
The connection and ease we found with her shows through in the final product. We are generally very awkward and have a tendency to pull silly faces the minute a camera is in our vicinity. Jane knew exactly how to make us feel like we were just hanging out with a friend.
We also did an engagement shoot, which at first I was doubtful about. At Jane’s suggestion, we went ahead with it. I’m so glad we did. It was useful to practice posing and working together ahead of our wedding. We have the most beautiful and unrushed photos from that magical time right before the big day.
On the wedding day, things ran late and we had little time for pictures. But we managed to hit the ground running having had ample experience during the engagement session. Also the pics are stunning, filled with that glowy, flattering light.
On a practical note, Jane was consistently communicative, agile, and punctual throughout the entire process. She would often check in with us and offered a wealth of planning resources from her popular YouTube channel.
Jane’s eye for detail is astounding, and beyond her technical expertise, she is a joy to work with. On the day she deftly navigated complex family dynamics, moved swiftly through the portrait session, and knew when to blend into the background and when to assert herself to get the best pictures.
Our family members assumed Jane must be a friend, because of how well she was able to jive with our group.
A framed print that hangs over our couch receives frequent compliments. We also purchased a fine art album which is quite simply a work of art.
If you’re looking for a cheap photographer, Jane definitely isn’t the one for you. But if you value photography and want someone who is a master of their craft and a true professional all-round, look no further.
Plus, she offers something that not all photographers can – true flexibility. Our wedding was postponed due to COVID and Jane did not miss a beat, even thoughtfully sending us games to keep ourselves entertained during lockdown!
We will treasure these photos forever. Thank you, Jane Doe Photography!
Where to post your review
I would consider asking your photographer which platforms they value the most, or else a quick Google search probably reveals the ones where they’re active. It is worth checking, however, because now and then new platforms come along and those are the ones we’re desperate to grow!
A few ideas for US-based wedding photographers are Yelp, Google, Facebook, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Thumbtack and A Practical Wedding.
For me personally, I don’t pay to be included in any vendor directories because I get my leads through SEO (my website is my main marketing tool).
The reviews that are important to my marketing efforts are linked below, in order of importance:
Copying and pasting your review would probably be your best bet. Adding photos would be amazing, if you are open to sharing them online.
A great review brings the transaction to a close
Wedding photographers are usually pretty nervous when sending out that finished gallery to their clients (okay, maybe I’m projecting just a tad). But seriously, we are oftentimes left wondering if the client was happy or just really mad and waiting until they finally calm down so they can tell us the photos suck!
OK, I kid, I kid. But to be completely honest, it’s pretty common for clients not to say anything – at all – once I send them the final gallery. They’re busy, weddings are stressful and they’re decompressing, they’re on honeymoon or decompressing.
But it’s a little disconcerting to do dozens of hours of post-production and hear nothing back and now weeks have gone by.
Getting that awesome review (or private feedback, it happens!), means we can mentally complete the transaction.
There is also work that needs to be done on the back end, like finally deleting all the thousands of outtake photos that we know we won’t be asked for, because the client is happy!
What to do if you can’t give your photographer a 5* review?
Due to how important 5* reviews are, it’s not that helpful if you give a low star rating that then affects our overall rating. With this kind of business, 5* reviews are the norm. This a standard I think it’s reasonable to maintain.
That said, of course we like to hear any feedback you have as to parts of the process that we can improve. Was there anything you were unhappy with? Did the outcome not align with your expectations? This is all incredibly useful information – in a way, more useful than the positive aspects!
Please share this with me if you would like to help me ensure that it doesn’t happen again for other customers. Or if there is anything I can personally put right, I would love to have the opportunity to do so!
I know it can be hard to share this kind of ‘negative’ stuff (and no one wants to be a Debbie Downer) but trust me, photographers would much rather know so that we can make the necessary changes.
- Was there a part of the process that was frustrating or difficult for you?
- Was there something I mentioned but failed to follow through on it?
- Did the photos not match up to your expectations or the work I showed?
- Was there something about my conduct, communication or attitude that you didn’t appreciate?
- Absolutely anything else that you think wasn’t quite up to scratch or didn’t sit right with you?
I only ask that you pass this feedback to me privately. Email or phone call is usually best.
Please, don’t think that it would hurt my feelings if you told me. What will hurt more is repeating my mistakes or missteps for subsequent clients, which will then cost me more business.
To wrap up!
This ended up being way longer than I intended. But anyhow, I hope this photography review template and guide is helpful to anyone who is wondering how to write a testimonial for a photographer.
TL;DR; Keep your wedding photographer review specific, informative and personal. Use your own voice and explain what problems your photographer solved and how you felt while working with them.
If you’re here because you’re supporting my business then I think you know how grateful I am of your time – not only for reading until all the way down here but also for reviewing my small business!