Ensure A Successful Photos Shoot
The art of getting the most out of a photography session completely depends on the planning and relationship between the photographer and the client.
If you go into a session with introductions and laying expectations out on the table you will ensure that each party is much less likely to nervous, unprepared or disappointed.
Developing a "What To Expect" document for your client
Everyone needs a how-to unless you are my husband - he needs no instructions, he thinks. Sometimes we get lucky and he finally looks at the "illustrations".
But this is your business and giving your clients a wonderful "What To Expect" document can lead to great success during their session.
Take everything you have learned from past sessions and develop a tool to help guide your clients and educate them on your process.
Do not just assume that they have had their photos taken before, every photographer is different. This should be a short but beautiful booklet that clients can read and feel connected to your process.
It will help them prepare for the shoot and calm their nerves to what some feel as a very awkward situation. Let's face it, a lens staring at you can make anyone squeamish. The best time to introduce something like this is when your client first inquires about hiring you. This way you set their mind at ease.
The following are things you an include in your document. Tip: make this what to expect document a page on your website that you can send them to when first booking the session. You can also add a link to it at the bottom of your email signature.
Where do you shoot? Do you allow your client to choose? Do you suggest a type of location? In this section you should talk openly about your business process. Don't forget this is an education guide so adding your thoughts about what makes a perfect location should be added.
Remember to talk like you are speaking directly to your client, don't make this stuffy.
What time of day do you like to shoot? Make a page regarding this so that they can understand the best time to book their session. This is essential to getting a successful session so make sure you touch on it. Discuss why overhead sun can make a session challenging for the client and the photographer.
In general, I tell my clients that I like to shoot before noon or after 5pm.
This is always a question I receive from clients and I am sure you do to. Discuss what looks best.
Certainly we have not gone to fashion school, at least I haven't although I own some really awesome heels, but we do know what works well in a photograph.
Discuss different options and remind your client that coordinating is the key, but it does not mean you have to match. Select similar tones and look like you belong together.
I recommend to my clients that they pick a theme for example: light neutrals (tans, light blues, light grays, light golds etc) and use accessories to make it pop. Scarves, hats, bracelets ... it all makes for an interesting story.
The great thing is you can take away the accessory and it will give a whole new look without having to do a wardrobe change. I also always suggest my clients head over to Pinterest to see some fun outfit styles that are always bouncing around there!
There are some DO NOT'S you should add such as do not wear white socks with black shoes. They will wish they didn't later. I always suggest that my client dress in their own style and to be comfortable because it will be read through their photos.
Let your client know what to expect when they arrive on location. I take about 10 mins to chat and laugh with my clients. If there are children this is when I become their friend.
I show them my camera, ask if they like to take pictures and even allow them to snap a few. The relationship you build at the beginning will set a precedence to how the session will go. Be relaxed with your clients, laugh while you get them into a pose and keep snapping. Sometimes the best photo is the one you don't expect.
I even pull my camera away from my face every few mins to make sure we are all connecting.
After the session
This is a very important section because you clients need to know what is next. Explain what you do when you leave your session.
Do you back up your disks? How long does it take to finish the editing? When can they expect their gallery? How do they order prints?
Take the time to really talk about your process, if they feel like a part of it you will have a much more patient client and excited one.