How to prep your clients for a stress-free photo shoot!
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
Let's begin by stating, YES....YOU CAN HAVE A STRESS-FREE SESSION! First off, let's put yourself in their shoes & work back from there! You are the clienrt. You book, spend $$$$ on a session & have the date in the calendar. ACK, "our session is in 2 weeks & I have done nothing to prepare for it!" They are emailing/texting you & freaking out!
Mistake #1: This is YOUR job to make sure that your client's stress level doesn't get to this point.
Solution #1: If your client books in a timely fashion (I am usually booking 4-6 months out) the begin at the 6 week mark ~ Just adjust as they book but make sure to give them the tools they need to feel less stressed the day of.
Start off by getting to know their style, what colors they like. Send them a color palette & have them always search closets first. Mama's would much rather look in a closet & be done with it then have to order online/ship back/drive to mall etc. Help them narrow down their outfits! I love using the LTK app (Like To Know) to search & send them links. How can you make their life easier by helping with outfits????
Picture this, you have your outfits/date/time of session. You show up at 6:30pm at your location & the sun is just beautiful. You have a great feeling about this session. Your client shows up and their 3 year older is having a meltdown. Full on, crying, red faced meltdown. You chat with your client and try to figure out what is wrong. Your client says "ugh, sorry he is exhausted from daycare/pre-school/no nap. This is usually his bath & bedtime."
Mistake #2: Booking their session at the wrong time based off their child's needs.
Solution #2: Get to know your client & their children. Do they have babies-age 5/6? If so, most likely sunset is NOT the way to go! Ask them what is their happiest time of day? If it's morning, well then...looks like you have a set time for your session!
Here we go with another scenario; day of session & you wake to a beautiful morning. Warm air, sun is shining, your coffee is hot & there is no traffic. You arrive to your session with time to spare & shoot your client a quick text "I can't wait to see you in a few minutes, what a beautiful day!" Few minutes go by, no response....few more minutes go by & you are starting to think "Hmm...that is strange. I'm sure they are just driving."
Mistake #3: You didn't confirm date, time, location, payment.
Solution #3: Communication, can't say it enough. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLIENTS. Never feel like you are bothering them. As a busy mama of 3 kids, I LOVE reminders/text messages/emails/pigeons flying in with a note. Whatever you can think of to help them feel that "they got this" ...do it!
Find out how you can help them, do they have any questions. This may be your 1,000th photo shoot but it could very well be their first.
You've nailed it (or you think you did!) You have confirmed, set the time of day where it is the best time of day for the family, clients outfits are stunning. All is well in the world! You get to the session & it is 20 MPH winds. WHAAAAT....the weather app was wrong (go figure!)
You are enjoying your session & having a blast....cutest 3-year old in the world is running towards you & bam, she falls. Scrapes her knee all up & as we all know, a bandaid makes it all seem right in the world. But shoot, her mama didn't even think to pack that. Meltdown begins, all within 3 minus of each other!
Mistake #4: Photographer was not prepared
Solution #4: Client forgot it? No biggie! You got it. Another way to show amazing customer service is to be a problem-solver!
"Need money for parking? I got it!"
"Little one thirsty? I got it!"
"Your top falling down off shoulders? I got ya!"
"Hair flying all over the place? No worries, I have bobby pins!"
"Lips super pale, chapped? No fear, here is some chapstick!"
Lastly and maybe the best solution of all!
Mistake #5: Grumpy photographer
Solution #5: HAVE FUN!
Best way to create a positive experience for your clients is to just have fun, relax & promise you this will allow your clients to relax & enjoy their session as well!
Putting yourselves in their shoes is the easiest way to figure out what they need, how can you make this the easiest sessions for them?
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