A Shooting System
So let's talk briefly about a shooting system we talked a little bit about it when we were actually shooting, but I want teo stress a little bit more mrs bentley by the way she just finished our baby plan she's is such a cute e naked little bit inside the bathtub is just makes my heart swell everybody always ask me doesn't have any shooting system stifle creativity don't your clients want some different a unique image? Yes, they dio but they want what you've produced for their friends who are referring them to you they want to see they want what you produced on your website I shoot the same darn poses over and over and over and over again theo things that change are the baby and the colors and the textures of like oil changes but really that's about it the images are the same pretty much over and over again my lighting is the same I'm kind of a one trick pony when it comes to lighting I don't have a lot of bags you seen any other secretive lives you'll see its exact same lighting set u...
p for almost every single shoot ideo okay that's soft pretty light that worked so great for the babies and young children who have that innocent quality to them you want that soft light if I was shooting seniors, if somebody gave a senior to me I'd be like jeez, senior totally different lighting setup. Okay, but you can have systems for all these that create consistency and your clients want that okay, won't my client be upset that I'm not producing something unique for them? No, they want what they see you do on a daily basis. Okay? Your client wants what you're good at producing. They want what they see on your website they want what you produce for their friends who are referring you. So what I want you to teo is plan your sessions. Just make a sheet, put a pages or word document. Alright, even on your little scribble book on the way home on the plane. Okay, plan your sessions. This is going to be the case for every single session you d'oh! I want you to plan the number of backdrops, the number of poses you're going to dio the number of crops and what type of prop procession you're going to dio? Typically when I do a baby plan session depending on the age to each agency it is different because obviously they can do certain things that certain ages. But look at the sixty seven month session all do three to four backdrops ah, stool they can push around okay neikie by themselves three to four different outfit changes with those backdrops, maybe one or two buckets ok at the most and maybe the feeding thing if they're self feeding we might add that in but that's a lot of images right there that's going to get me forty fifty images and I don't want to overwhelm the client so you have to be careful on overdoing it too much but that's gonna give me plenty of variety so if you I have that kind of loose structure set up for every single session then you're not gonna overshoot right you know you're going to get your variety you won't be second guessing yourself in the middle of session and going do I have enough dough I have enough you will be saying that if you go through your plan you'll be good right? You all have created a system and once you keep doing that for every single session every single time you're gonna build a portfolio of work that is fantastic and looks consistent as a has a has a a consistent style through it as well right so by doing a shooting system it does create that consistency and better yet it's easy to edit because you know what's coming you know what you've done and those reliable results make your client happy always so make sure you're shooting for that annual product keep always keep that in the back of your mind what's the annual product what are we shooting for make sure you get that it's so so important that should be your priority shot when you've done like the four month session or a six month session and you're doing the next session, go back to what you did for them that's why you have to keep track of the files in the database and the client communications so you know, what's what's happening with that client okay? So you can refer back to their information in their data and know exactly what you're doing in that next session to create that urine product because if that session goes by and you missed it and didn't do it or it's not quite right or it doesn't look good with the images you shot before you're screwed and you kind of ruined their annual product, so be careful about that and make sure you keep that in mind always at the back your head think big picture yeah, I just wanted to comment julia, that I'm having these flashbacks of feeling totally out of control in a chute and trying to do too much. But what struck me that you as you were just talking about is that when you have a shooting system as the photographer, then the parents, then you, then you're in control and then the client feels like more relaxed or knows what you're doing or it doesn't have to know what you're doing, but you're just like it just is so much more I don't know, you know what kind of there's a confidence that makes it go more smoothly even if other things are going crazy with the baby I just and I'm just sitting here reflecting on no you're absolutely we're asking people in the chat rooms if they were feeling the same way I want it well what when you know you have a plan if the baby goes helter skelter haywire you won't get scattered about it you won't think oh my gosh it won't cause you to panic because you'll just regroup focus on the baby getting happy again you'll know if you've got that shot or not and that look and whether or not you can move on and what you're moving on to next and how much left over you have to do to gauge whether or not the child can do it and what you're going to need out of that child it gives you a big picture view of your session who was it that what was that molly molly brought up to me at lunch you remember? Um no, it was dawn when you have parents helpyou with a session, this is another thing where a system comes into play you know how like you're trying to shoot the baby and the parents are going over are trying to get the baby's attention and you're sitting over here going oh my god the kid's looking a parent and I can't get the shop well, when you know what you need in a session you will literally go ok everybody quiet just the baby on attention on me please I say that all the time in sessions are sometimes I'll be on the floor you know, shooting and mom and dad I'll be crazy ok mom mom, mom mom just a second just a second when everybody's talking to baby it once she's getting very overwhelmed and confused one person at a time and if you're going to do it I want you right over my head so she looks at the camera not at you and they go oh oh oh yeah ok it dawns on them all of a sudden they're so excited about this process about getting their baby to smile there so taken with how cute they look that they get in the zone and forget what's going on around them and what I need so it's super critical for me to take control of that in the middle of the session I will literally sometimes yell it parents like in a not yell but in a very loud voice okay, everybody quiet please just babies attention on me and like to get their attention they're really going to go okay it's like grabbing a room and taking her in control of it and I know that may seem intimidating but afterwards, after that happens, I get my shot, and they seem to get my shot all standing, okay. I'm sorry. I was so loud about that I just really needed to get your attention, because I want to create the most beautiful images for you possible, and I knew I needed that baby's attention on me. So thank you so much for understanding me having to take control the room like that, and I'm like, oh, no, no, no, it's, ok, we want to get shots begin that we understand that's, always what they say they were in the zone. At the moment. They don't get what's happening there, emotionally attached situation, and they need you to snap him out of it. Okay, so take control of the room, and when you have a system and a plan, what you're doing creatively won't stifle your mind and prevent you from getting control when you need it.
A baby’s first year is a whirlwind of changes – making it the perfect time for photographers to partner with a families to document all of those meaningful milestones. In Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years
, Julia Kelleher will teach you how to design a baby plan that highlights a new child’s growth and brings clients back into the studio.
Julia is a portrait photographer who specializes in newborn and family photography and in Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years
, she’ll share her hard-won insights on building a baby photography business. You’ll learn how to:
- Develop a baby plan marketing strategy tailored to new parents
- Encourage repeat visits throughout the first stages of growth
- Shoot, light, and design images for each stage of growth
- Price packages so parents keep coming back
- Manage your time while maintaining relationships
Julia will share specific pricing, marketing, and selling tactics that will ensure your baby business is profitable and your parents are thrilled with their purchase. You’ll get tips on structuring your sessions so you aren’t throwing money away and learn about baby-specific products parents love to buy.
Learn how you can fill your appointment calendar with clients you know and love and who are willing to pay for your services in Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years with Julia Kelleher