The success of any professional photographer lies in how effectively they can work with their clients.
Understanding what a client wants goes beyond clicking the shutter release. Each client will have certain requirements and preferences. To create really successful and stunning images, both parties need to be a good fit for each other.
Beyond the scope of photography insight, it’s important for photographers to educate and empower their clients. This provides a platform with which clients can be comfortable discussing their desires with you as their photographer. It creates conversation around you can meet their objectives.
Every client is different. Some may know exactly what they’re looking for, and others may be new to the process of hiring a professional. They might not know what to expect.
Understanding your client’s requirements and preferences is key to producing unique, meaningful and captivating shots. This article will provide tips on asking questions that will align expectations and establish rapport between subject and photographer.
1. What do you hope to get out of the whole experience?
A photographer that’s on the same page as the client ensures things go well. This question allows you to determine the type of services they’re looking for.
When you’re clear about their expectations, you can offer your clients a package that will satisfy both parties. Managing the entire experience, from timing to budget and end products allows you to match clients up to the right services. This creates a more conducive experience and a happier customer.
2. What is the emotion or feeling you want to portray?
This will be one of the most important questions you will ask before the photo shoot. Understanding the right emotive response from your photography will determine how best to highlight the subject and frame the imagery.
There is a myriad of things to consider to make your subject stand out: lighting, composition, angles, etc. Knowing the right feeling to portray in the photos will allow you to know when to flex your creative muscle and apply your own photography style.
This allows clients to provide the visuals they want to display in their photoshoot. Depending on the event; whether it’s an engagement, wedding, family, or corporate shoot, this question allows you to build a concept that interprets the emotions they want to portray.
3. Do you have reference images?
Having reference images allow you to create a focal point from which you can creatively interpret the client’s requirements. Reference images will give you great insight as to what the client’s expectations are. This can lead to creative new ideas and must-have poses and images to recreate during the photo shoot.
Simultaneously, allowing clients to provide you with a list of reference images gives you the opportunity to present your portfolio. It’s crucial your client sees your portfolio before the actual shoot. This helps your client understand your style and will allow them to determine if you’re a good fit for their requirements.
This may be made apparent in an inquiry email. But if not, presenting your portfolio familiarizes your client with your style of photography.
4. Do you agree with the photography contract?
While this may be one of the last inquiries you make before finalizing the shoot, it is crucial.
Having a written agreement with your client ensures both parties avoid any misunderstandings. Your photography contract should include all the basic information required as well as anything pertinently exclusive to your client.
This will include budget, number of images, turnaround times, date and location, time of day, studio policies, and even session attendees. Your contract should also stipulate rights to images, licensing, and usage, as well as your company’s overtime policy. This will protect against any copyright infringement and ensure your business doesn’t lose potential income.
Your photography contract may require multiple consultations to clearly define a contract both parties are happy with. But, with that said, this should be one of the last questions you pose before the actual shoot. Everything agreed upon by both parties should be done so in writing.
Managing the expectations of your clients before the day of the shoot ensures a smooth process for everyone involved. Asking these important questions well ahead of the photo shoot allows time for any last-minute changes if needed. In the end, these questions will set the right tone and expectation for your shoot and satisfy your client.
About the Author:
Barry is the creative force behind Barry Morgan Photography, which is a corporate photography company based out of Dubai. Firmly believing you should love what you do, to do your best. Originally hailing from a background in advertising agencies he now brings his business experience to create exceptional and effective marketing photography to help businesses achieve their goals.
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