- A wedding photographer who is popular on TikTok shared reasons she would refuse to shoot a wedding.
- Shayla Herrington told Insider she avoids people who only view her as a vendor or message excessively.
- “I’m not going to be a good fit because I like to build relationships with my clients,” she said.
An Arkansas photographer who makes viral TikTok videos offering insights into the wedding industry says there are tell-tale signs that she isn’t the right photographer to shoot a couple’s big day.
Shayla Herrington, 22, makes videos telling wedding stories and giving advice to her audience of over 277,000 followers on TikTok.
She told Insider it’s common for couples to approach her to take their wedding photographs but she often has to say no for various reasons. Herrington outlined some of the things couples should consider before selecting a photographer.
Make sure the photographer’s style matches your vision from the start
“It happens quite a bit,” said Herrington, who planned her own wedding in July. “I usually ask for expectations upfront,” she added, noting that she will then decide if they are a good fit.
She said the types of questions she usually asks potential clients are: What kind of pictures do you like? What are you looking for? What kind of pictures draw your attention?
“If they’re showing me pictures that are nothing close to my work, that’s when I know I’m probably not going to book them,” Herrington said. She also said that if her style of photography doesn’t complement the venue or other details of the wedding, she might not be the best fit and will let the couple know.
Don’t overwhelm photographers with unscheduled calls and messages
Another indication that Herrington shouldn’t work with a couple is if they don’t respect her time or personal boundaries, she said. She described these people as individuals who are “messaging constantly” beyond the point of relevance.
“I’m a busy person. I try to reply when I can but I’ve had it before where it’s email, email, email, or call, call, call, and it’s not scheduled or anything — it just completely throws my day off,” she said.
Herrington said that while she likes to keep up with her clients, she might not be able to satisfy the expectations of brides who require more time or contact.
“With every bride, I want to be able to provide my best service,” she added. “I don’t mind brides saying, ‘Hey, what do you think about this, or do you have any catering recommendations?’ But not if you’re overwhelming me with irrelevant things. I would love to hear about your day, but not through a phone call every day.”
Choose a photographer on the same wavelength as you
Herrington said a large part of her decision comes down to personality. She told Insider she’s very bubbly and talkative, and wants to work in environments where this is welcomed as she likes to feel compatible with her clients.
“If there’s no talking and people treat me like an outside vendor where I should just be there to take pictures, I know I’m not going to be a good fit because I like to build relationships with my clients,” she said.
“If I can’t talk to you while I take your pictures and stuff, it just feels really awkward for me,” she added, noting that she prefers to build a relationship with clients throughout their engagement period. Herrington said she gets satisfaction from seeing a couple’s marriage unfold, often following them on social media to keep up with their love story and see them have kids one day.
She said: “If they’re just disengaged and disinterested and they just want to get me booked and over with, typically I know they’re not a good match for me.”