First of all, the moment I was asked to do this wedding I said: absolutely yes! About a half of hour later I started thinking of what I got myself into. That’s when things started to look a little bit scary. I thought of everything that could possible go wrong but then a project manager in me took control over the situation. I approached this wedding as just another project and when you think about it – it actually is a project. So, allow me to do end this project report as a true project manager – with lessons learned.
Lessons Learned or my advice to you
Plan, plan, and plan!
– Collect requirements AKA what your bride (the bride is usually the most important, so focus on her wishes) wants and/or wishes for
– Define what needs to be done to meet her requirements (and can you do it).
– Define activities and sequence them: bridal portraits, groom portraits, ceremony shots, guest shots, new lens purchase, camera rent, location check before the wedding, etc. What should be done first? Do you need to buy new lens, flash, strobe? Do you need to see the location first to make a decision on what equipment will be needed?
– Estimate resources: for instance, do you need to purchase/rent additional equipment or hire an assistant? Or maybe you need comfortable shoes to run around?
– Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): what will be done, when, and by whom. For instance, could you do bridal portraits before the wedding day; who and when will capture moments before the weeding with a groom and who/when with the bride, etc. Can you do both? Print a wedding checklist and keep it in your camera bag.
– Develop a schedule and stick to it. What will you do and when. Do not leave anything for the last minute.
– Estimate costs and determine a budget. If you need to buy a new flash you should not charge your bride for that since you will be using that flash long after her wedding is over.
– Plan communications with your bride. Do you have her business AND personal email and phone number? Does she have yours? Make sure you stay in touch; email her occasionally with all your great ideas. That will keep her comfortable.
– Plan risks: identify risks and plan responses. What if camera breaks, lens stops focusing, or memory cards get corrupted? Do you have backup equipment? Are you batteries charged? Promise your bride to do your best but make sure she understands all risks associated with technology. If necessary, put it in writing and let her/them sign it. You don’t want to be held liable for something that’s not under you control, especially not since you are not charging a whole lot (yet) or you are not charging at all – exchanging a service for experience is a great way of learning btw!
In the next post I’ll tell you what I did to prevent image loss.
Now, tell me what you think! : ))