Oh hey, ya girl wrote.
I’m getting a little sassy on the blog today about my favorite topic! One of the top questions I get from budding photographers is how to help their clients get comfortable during their session. I feel ya- it can be a lot of pressure! Most folks who show up for a shoot don’t have many experiences to prepare from. They might range from a little nervous to full on anxious. SO on the blog today I’ve shared three tangible steps for upping your client experience before a session. I’m kindaaaa nerdy about client communication so let’s dive in! 💁🏼
1. Understand that the burden of helping your clients feel comfortable falls on YOU not them. Sorry, I know that’s a little scary right out of the gate but it’s true and good to have that perspective from the start. This is your wheelhouse no matter how experienced you are. You will grow and learn over time. No photographer know’s all of this from the beginning. We all went through this growing period! I see so often in photography groups that a couple was ‘awkward or stiff’ as if to shift the blame for why they didn’t get any quality shots. Each person is different and yes of course some might be more reserved but that’s the nature of photographing people. Working with humans is messy, beautiful and not straight forward. That’s why photography is so much more than showing up with a camera and pushing a button. Each experience and session is a little different. Personality plays a big role in that but so does how you prepare your clients for success. So if that’s an area you struggle in the only way to improve is to be really intentional, honest and practice, practice, practice.
2. On the note of preparation, it doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. I promise! A simple session prep email a week or so before their session can do wonders. I have one for couples, boudoir and families. Cover topics like being on time, your shooting style, prompt examples so they know what to expect, outfit and color suggestions and remind them that you’ve got their back and being a little nervous is totally normal. I update mine each year as I learn new things and I can’t tell you how many thankful emails I’ve gotten in return for sending over those tips! I take every chance I get to affirm my couples via email and during our shoot. You’re not just offering a service but also an experience for an exciting season in someone’s life. I never want to just take money and drop off the face of the earth until I show up to photograph a session. Experience is built on making a connection and communication.
3. Make sure you hop in front of the camera every once in a while! It’s kind of funny that photographers are who you see pictures of the least because we’re always taking them. Whether it’s your roommate with a cell phone or your mom with the camera on auto- there are few things more humbling then mixing up your perspective. It can be easy to forget the nerves, fumbling and being hyper aware of your body that clients can sometimes feel. If you’re always in control behind the camera you’ll never truly know what it’s like to be in that vulnerable position. I’ve really challenged myself over the last two years to have my picture taken and it’s only improved my craft and how I empathize with my clients.
There ya have it! I know when you’re in the throws of growing your business it can feel hard to focus in on a specific area because you feel like you need to be doing all. the. things. But I promise that this is one of those areas that brings the most growth to not only you but the success of your work. I hope this was helpful! xoxo