We know how much time and effort you put into establishing your photography business, and how hard it can sometimes be to handle a new client. You can put hours of work into your portfolio and mastering your photography skills, but then break it with one unplanned photo session.
So here we have put together seven proven tips which will help you make a lasting impression on your clients on a photoshoot. You can use these tips as a step-by-step guide to outline your next photo session.
1. Develop a photoshoot concept
The very first and the most important step in a photo shoot is to develop a theme. Don’t think only about cute props or nice location. Think beyond all that – what emotions you are going to cause with these photos?
– How old is your client?
– What is her/his personality?
– What is he or she wearing?
– What story do these images tell?
– What is he or she holding in the hands?
– Should these shots be dark or light?
– What weather conditions are there in your images?
You can ask your client to share photo ideas from the web or even your portfolio. Consider having a clear idea of the client’s needs. It’ll not be superfluous to find photo ideas on Pinterest and prepare poses for the shoot. Create a mood board on Pinterest which you will share for photo ideas, poses, and more.
You can create a checklist of images you want to take. Take a moment to visualize the scene and everything you put into a frame. A client will notice your attention to details and will enjoy working with you.
Make sure you work on improving your photography skills all the time to show the best results every time, here are eight things you can do today to become a better photographer.
2. Find the perfect location
Scouting for the perfect location can be a difficult and time-consuming job. Yet it is worth the effort. Even in a small town or village, no matter where you live, there are lots of beautiful locations. Learn to see them.
Collect the best photogenic locations in your city: it could be a park, forest, place near a pond, garden, rooftop, or cafe. It depends on the type of photo session you are going to realize.
You can acquire perfect locations from local photographers or find them yourself when you go for a walk. In fact, even a simple place with nothing special at first glance may look amazing in a photo.
Turn on the imagination and play with the location and props. If you are going to shoot indoors, you need to have a list of studios with different readymade scenes.
3. Come earlier
Another great way to leave a lasting impression on a photo shoot is to come to the location earlier. Arrive 20 minutes before clients to make sure that everything looks exactly how you expect, prepare pros and accessories, and set up your gear.
You won’t waste clients’ time when they get there. Show them that you respect their time and won’t bill them for the time spent on preparation. A client may not remember that you came earlier, but they will remember if you are late. And this is definitely not the first impression you want to make.
Remember that things will not always go as planned, and if you are to shoot a picnic in a sunny park and it starts to rain, the best option is to reschedule the shoot.
4. Select the props
From color smoke bombs through balloons and ribbons to bubbles, there are many props you can choose. The market is full of unique handcrafted things. You can search for photoshoot accessories on Amazon and Etsy.
However, keep in mind that photo sessions are not about accessories, but about people. So make these props to help you enhance your vision, but don’t overuse them.
Also, think about the colors in your future frames. Think whether the accessories are suitable for a certain concept. Obviously, if you are shooting a couple in the rain, balloons will not be the best props. In this case, an umbrella will be the best fit.
5. Remember styling
The styling of a photo shoot is an essential step that gets skipped on some occasions. Talk to your client about their expectations and what images they want to get.
When you have a concept, props, and location, offer your client suggestions about what to wear and what makeup and hairstyle will be suitable.
Photographers often work with makeup artists and hairstylists. If you have not, give it a try! I have shared the seven must-have contacts of any photographer that will help you create quality photo sessions and impress your clients.
You can easily call a local makeup artist and ask if they are available for selected dates. Offer your images for their services, tell them that they can use your images in their advertising or on Instagram. You can contact wardrobe stylists, hair stylists, and other professionals in a similar way.
6. Deliver your work earlier than expected
There are numerous ways to deliver your selected and edited photos to a client. Photo delivery is a part of your brand and communication with clients. Impress them at this stage too.
One of the best ways to surprise your clients is to deliver photos at least a few days before the agreed term. You can always give them an estimated delivery date with a margin of several days.
In order to deliver your photos earlier, you can use Photoshop actions or Lightroom presets which reflect your unique style and suit the photo session mood. They allow you to edit every photo in one click with a little adjustment, but they are real time savers.
When it comes to the method of delivery, it depends on what is convenient for you. Some photographers deliver images on branded flash drives along with a few printed photos and a thank you card in a nice box.
If you deliver photos digitally, you can upload them on your website and share a link with clients. It is a very suitable option if you shoot groups or events, such as weddings.
After people download all the images you can remove them from your server. But give clients at least 14 days to get the shots. Make the delivery as smooth and quick as possible to make the perfect last impression on your client.
7. Ask for feedback
Of course, it can be difficult to ask for feedback, especially if a person points out shortcomings. But every critic will help you improve interaction with clients and grow as a photographer and business owner.
There are numerous ways to ask for feedback. You can ask for clients’ opinions right after the shoot, and again when you deliver their images. You can ask for feedback in a messenger or in person.
The best way to get truly honest feedback about your work is to use anonymous forms on your website. When a client knows that you would not know it is him or her, it’s way easier to share negative points. And it’s important to hear your clients and try to make your communication better.
Over to you
Let me know if you finished reading the article in the comment field below. What methods to make a lasting impression on a photo shoot do you use? If I missed something, be confident to share it with us.