Is this the scheduled blog post for this week? Absolutely it is not, but when the idea popped in my head my ADD brain just needed it to happen now.
If you have not been around me long enough to ask about my thoughts on a coffee shop, or about my thoughts of the Lion King remake, then you probably don’t know that I get real opinionated real fast about really specific things. And today I’m sharing how ridiculously specific my coffee shop expectations are and why you should have the same approach to your wedding photographer.
Side note, coffee shop should be one word, it isn’t but it feels like it should be–I am currently at a coffee shop writing this and they did not have breakfast options besides a muffin so the sugar is hitting hard y’all. Anyways.
Here are the things I look for when choosing a coffee shop:
–it’s local (I don’t do Starbucks)
–what’s it’s location
–what’s parking like
–what are the seating options
–how big is the menu?
–what is the aesthetic/vibe?
–how accessible are the outlets?
–how easily does it feel crowded?
–what are the hours
–do they give coffee in real or paper cups?
–what are the food options?
–how’s the wifi?
–how is the coffee?
Now, that’s about 11 things I look at in a coffee shop and ya notice what was the last one? How good is the coffee? Why? Because it’s a coffee shop, it should BARE MINIMUM make good coffee. Some do better than others, but if I’m going to pay for coffee they should be able to make coffee that is at least on par with myself (and I’m pretty good if I say so).
So you shouldn’t include “takes good photos” when searching for a photographer. They are a photographer, that’s what they’re supposed to do.
Let’s look at everything else, what do these add up to? The experience! The desired experience is not going to be the same for everyone.
Case in point: parking is very important to me, especially for small town coffee shops–if it is only on street parallel parking, I will not be visiting. I don’t do that. I have a friend who knows this and if she’s ever with me, I will get out of my car and she will park it for you. Also, time limit parking. Monks in Abilene makes a fabulous PVL (peppermint vanilla latte) but I can’t park there longer than two hours without having to move my car! I am a nester–I need to spread my stuff out and be in the shop for a minimum of three hours to feel like I accomplished anything. So I can only go to Monks if it’s a to-go cup.
Wow this is becoming a ramble. Let me rein this in.
When I walk into a coffee shop, I am looking for a few key things:
They have an expertise. There are tells for this–having a smaller menu, housemade syrups, being able to ask the barista for suggestions and they give me a thoughtful response (even better when they ask me what my preferences are before telling me), serving coffee in a mug so you can see the latte art–this shows they are skilled are there craft and they care about what they are delivering.
They’ve created an intentional experience–you know a good way to tell if somewhere really cares about your experience? How have they furnished the bathrooms? Seriously. But I can usually tell from how a coffee shop is styled–whether they’ve gone rustic or the pristine clean look–how good their coffee will be. Often a mediocre aesthetic in the shop leads to a mediocre cup (and yes, there are always exceptions to the rule).
They’ve made it easy for me to be there– we’ve already discussed my parking struggles, but let’s throw in my introversion and social anxiety (yes I am wedding photographer and former SeaWorld Tour guide–how I function in society is a whole other blog post). I don’t want to go scouring for a seat, hunt down the wifi password, look through the entire shop for an outlet, or heaven forbid–share a couch with a stranger!
Please do know that I am a functioning adult and there is a high percentage of a joke in all of this. But also truth. Anyways.
Basically, I want to walk into a coffee shop and not have to hunt or ask questions in order to enjoy my experience there, the shop (or photographer) should do their best to readily lay out what you to do to enjoy the experience.
OK, I think it managed to pull that all together now. Should reward myself with another cup of coffee..