So you have put in the hard work of learning all you can about your camera, advertising yourself & now you have booked your first session! Now what?! A huge part of your business needs to be focused on ensuring that your clients have the best experience possible. Think about it… If you go to a restaurant and you have a bad meal AND a bad customer experience, its very unlikely that you will go back or refer anyone else to go there. Customer experience is so important, especially if it’s someones first time getting their photos taken. This post will talk all about how to help your clients prepare for a session!
On that note, if you are in the business of photography & you have NEVER had your own photos taken, DO IT NOW! It is honestly the best teaching tool for when it comes to client experience because you need to know how it feels to be on the other side of that camera! Trust me, the first time I had my photos taken I wanted to run out of that damn room because I was so uncomfortable with myself, but the photographer knew exactly how to calm my nerves & help me to feel relaxed. If you are looking to get in front of a camera so that you can have the experience & you can have some bomb social media photos, check out the link in the bottom of this post!
I am going to go over 5 steps on how to ensure that your clients feel comfortable before their session!
The first thing you need to do to help your clients prepare for a session is to get to know them a little. Using a questionnaire, such as one on google forms, is a super great starting point for this! These questionnaires will differ if you are shooting a couple, a family, a newborn, etc. For my couples questionnaire, I ask questions such as how long have they been together, has either person ever had pictures done before, how they met, what the reasoning is for getting their photos, etc. If you want to read more about the details of creating a questionnaire, check out this blog post!
Another tool that I have found super helpful is creating a ‘session guide for your clients. This can be a PDF or a page on your website & can be sent to your clients before their session to read over & consider. This guide goes over many different topics to not only help the clients understand certain aspects of the session, but also to hep them prepare such as:
Every photographer has their own preferred ways of staying in touch with clients, whether it’s through text or email, always be sure to have a prompt response. This is important because you want your clients to know that they matter to you. If you are going to be away from your business for more than 1 day, put an automatic response on your email therefore they know that you are away but will be back!
Have you ever gone into an experience where you have no idea what is going to happen? Sometimes it can be exciting, but most of the time people feel more at ease knowing roughly what will happen. Walk your clients through what will happen at the session! For example”
” We will meet on Whyte Ave at Starbucks, do some fun shots there with some coffees. We will then take a stroll down the street and do some photos outside. We will then drive to your house & finish off our session there”
It seems super straightforward but the clients really appreciate when you know exactly what is going to happen & you communicate that.
When you first meet up with your clients on the day of the shoot, have a little ‘speech’ in your head about what you are going to say to them. I am ALWAYS nervous when meeting clients for the first time, so having something that I have prepared & something that I do at every session is comforting for me. I let me clients know how I like to work, how I pose/don’t pose, if I am not giving them direction that means whatever they are doing is good, etc.
An important piece of helping your clients prepare for a session is helping yourself prepare for a session! Before your session, you can ask your clients what attracted them to you as a photographer? What do they like about your style? You can even get them to pick out some of your past images to share for inspiration. This is just another way to come prepared to the session, having in mind what they love best about what you do!
After delivering their images to them, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback! It can be scary sometimes to ask the hard questions such as “what could I have done to make you feel more comfortable” but trust me, that is the best type of learning you will ever get! Just like your questionnaire, this can also be done online easily through google docs. This allows you to go back & review what people have said throughout the year! This is also a place where you can ask your clients to leave you a review which can be used on your website, or re-direct them to your google or Facebook to leave a review!
It is so important to ensure that your clients feel comfortable going into the session, even if they are still a little nervous. Communication and being genuine are key to creating a positive experience & a lasting relationship! If you enjoyed this blog post, click here to see more photographer education! If you are interested in diving deeper into this topic, or any other with myself, click here to see my mentorship & portrait options!