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Policies and Liabilties

Lesson 4 from: The Creative Newborn Photography Studio

Julia Kelleher

Policies and Liabilties

Lesson 4 from: The Creative Newborn Photography Studio

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

4. Policies and Liabilties

Lesson Info

Policies and Liabilties

so in the consultation asking all these questions is vital to developing a relationship to getting creative parameters for you and two moving the session in a direction that plants the seed of a sale and also endears your client to you okay create that spark I do present prep pricing in the consultation it keeps the surprises away there are differing thoughts on this really high end studios don't necessarily like to do that I'm not a super high end ceo I'm kind of middle of the road um I'm not the most expensive in my town esso I kind of I I present pricing initially out front so that I know of the client can afford me I would rather have them back out now then do all the work and have the sale session bomb okay so if they can't afford me they're going to tell me now and they'll go somewhere else and that's ok it's hard when you're first starting out to accept that but it's okay okay um this is another time of course to be showing proper to free showing products when you're talking abo...

ut pricing it'll give the client kind of an expectation of where their budget will have to stand to get what they want what do they love as faras products what are the other options I always give them plenty of options in case the budget is not quite where they I wanted to go you know like say they really love a product they can afford it okay well here's some other options here's where we can go in your budget and sometimes you have to ask politely what the budget isthe if you know how you see a client hemming hawing you think you could tell they can't really afford it you know if you're willing to I know this is a private topic but if you're willing to share your budget with me I'd be more than happy to talk to you about what we can do for that and what can fit into that budget and I'm not gonna change my prices I'm not going to give him a deal I mean if their budget a solo that they can't afford me then I'll say well you know you know I may not be the right photographer for you prices start at around six hundred for products for us it's it's not you know maybe you should maybe you should find somewhere else I'd love to be able to tell you we could fit that budget but we can't simple as that okay um imply that you'll be shooting for that specific product that they desire okay and this is that soft commitment to the sale especially with albums I always tell my clients if you want me to do an album you need to tell me in advance because I'm going to shoot for that album a lot differently I'll get to it in a second if if I'm gonna shoot for that album lot differently that I'm shooting for a while portrait oh really well yeah because we need more images we need a story we need to flow through the album so I'm going to shoot the session a little differently oh ok well yeah I think we do want to do an album what have they done they just committed to it question ellie just your pricing someone are you kept saying we shoot for an album differently we shoot for an album really and I was wondering what you do that's different especially newborns we do mac rose we do little details we do close ups the face we tell a series of images with a story so like for example if I'm shooting on the beanbag which I'll do this afternoon I'll shoot the side angle I'll shoot the above angle and then I'll shoot the close up to create that siri's of images on a spread does that make sense where's we're just shooting for the wall portrait it's all about the face bam done makes sense okay policies is critical critical guys remember the sandbox okay and for those of you who didn't watch the last class I know I'm touching on a few things from the last cost but I promise it gets a lot different after this next segment after this segment um this is my sandbox this is my business and the little sand grains and here are mine and so are the shovels and the pails and you can come in and play with me but you better make sure that you put the toys back where you place a bet I want them okay that's being very silly but that's what the point of policies your client needs to know what your studio sandbox rules are and once they know what the rules are then they're going to play nice and if they know the rules before they walk into the sandbox there won't be any issue use I can count I can look back on every problem that has gone wrong in my studio and ninety percent of the time it's because I screwed up there was some policy that I didn't have or I didn't tell my client something I dropped the ball somewhere so if you have a crappy client or something goes wrong or they're complaining about something nine times out of ten it's you you screwed up somewhere so and that whole phrase the customer's always right it's kind of true do we want to admit it no but it is kind of true so really be willing to step outside yourself when you have a problem client and say I do this screw up you know you're obviously not going to grovel and be like you know a pancake to be rolled on but you do want to correct and rob me of the problems quickly as possible understand that it's your fault and fix it okay yeah I'm putting together your policies would you suggest a place where we can get a good idea of what to add to that instead of making the mistakes and have a job from them is there a way we can find you know getting ideas from other photographers yeah well you could have mine no I'm dead serious we have an asthmatic we just changed our website so it's a little bit hidden but if you go into my actual website and just click on like a page other than the home page on the left there's a little place to sign up for newsletter if you sign up for newsletter you get a free copy of our studio policies so I was like oh just have not written by a lawyer caveat disclaimer not run by lawyer used at your own risk okay but it's helpful to look at this part to see what you're missing and I'm missing stuff too I'm constantly adding to it you know there's always that one client who comes in and makes you form a new policy and I'm sure there will be more but at least it's a good bouncing off point yes stephen I've seen your policies and they're pretty in depth when you implement him do go through bullet point by pulling point could you just send it because if they don't read it it's not like this like you didn't have policies that almost they haven't even seen it and you're in the sales section very good question and I used to go through it one by one and make him sign it at the actual in person pre council um nowadays I don't do in person for councils as much on ly for really big you know big type sessions on dh for people who want to come in and meet us initially so but we do have an electronic form and it's the bottom it says I have read the terms of the studio policies and liability release they have to check the box and electronically science about him and there's a little link that can go click on our policies and read through mall is just like the agreement on the software like apple wants youto re upload down itunes and you have to agree to the terms I read that do you no nobody reads it which socks yes however the client knows that there's policies there and if there ever is an issue they go back and read trust me to make sure that there's nothing in there granted do we have issues and problems yes if there occasionally and usually even if my policy states something like no returns no exchanges kind of thing if a client comes to me and is unhappy and my gonna return or exchange yes yes I will break my policies the policies arm or for this is my sandbox come play with me it's not like it's not like I'm sitting here in my sandbox going you can't plan a plan a time no rules you know it's not I'm not doing that I'm saying come play with me oh you beat me up that really hurt my shovels broken now but I'll fix it do you know I mean it's like yes you someone someone could call that kind of week and fluffy but I also want to create give good customer service so I'm going to be kind to my clients and bend the rules but I also want them to know that there are rules and that I have a line in the sand I'm running a business this is my business and I'm going to treat you as I like and I'm I'm gonna treat you like you're not my only client I'm going to treat you like you are the best thing since sliced bread but I also need you to know that I got to do this with my parameters to make money to make a living and most clients respect that you know there's a few out there he's always a bell curve there's always gonna be outliers but um I think for the most part it's important to at least know that you have policies so that the client if there is a problem can't come back so you didn't tell us that was gonna happen you didn't say you know it's just like a wedding contract which with the wedding photographer would you not have a contract would you not have a policies agreement the wedding is too it's too dangerous it's a one time event you can't repeat it they would just get lost in there so many things that were dangerous that going with a wedding that could go wrong that you can't not have a contract when you're shooting weddings I think it's the same way with portrait sa's well it just sets the ground rules does that answer your question longwinded answer absolutely okay so um I do make my clients sign for their policies and liability release don't get sued liability is very important with newborns you must have liability insurance simple is that at least a million dollar policy well falling over a t least a million dollar policy okay for medical and liability um just do it period you don't want to get sued if that baby rules off the beanbag on accident could you imagine breaks its arm just arm when it broke its neck heard that happened before I'm not sure if it's true story but I heard it okay when they'd be sad you're liable I'm a scary a little bit but you're liable your home's liable he retirement is liable your kid's college education is liable everything is liable should you hurt a baby everything you will lose everything get insurance now there's one thing that you do shooting newborns if you don't have insurance that's the first thing that you should be doing period okay sorry everybody but it's true it's very important and that's kind of why I stress safety so much I don't put babies and slings and hang them anymore I used to do it and I don't do it anymore parents don't like it I don't even do this pose anymore the froggy thing it's me it's two I mean if it again if I get a request yeah I'll do it but it's just not natural and it's it's dangerous if you don't have to people working with you and I'm sorry but a parent makes a horrible assistant they're horrible assistance ok so make it stick people learn in very specific ways your clients are the same way they hear it okay they have to see it ok and they have to do it so make him see it the pre consultation write it down do it and hear it on the phone and talk him about it then it will sink that's how everybody learns you're gonna learn the same way you're going to hear me talk to you you're going to do it and you're gonna see it okay and that's hopefully we'll make it stick its very important hit all of these things and your client will get it language is so important saying it right is half the battle okay who what where when why questions always asking open ended questions to get your client to talk stay away from yes or no tell me about tell me about your family such a great way to get people talking okay um why is having your family portrait taken a good thing for you right now what a great leading question calls comes from journalism use here journalist do this all the time always listen to your client and respond in kind okay the result of this is that your client feels listen to this custom ization and implies quality okay your client knows what to anticipate moneywise and prada advise your client feels like you can't care about the session your client understands expectations and policies they're getting a great attentive experience and they have confidence in the session and its outcome they know what to expect okay you understand your client and what they hope for so there are advantages and disadvantages of doing things in person versus on the phone in person could be better it could be argued but I do do it on the phone but what the biggest thing that a country consultation does is it gives you these parameters for creativity it cut pigeonholes you a little bit which sometimes is a good thing in art because it allows you to go okay I only could work with these things so therefore I can take that in my art in that direction does that does that follow instead of having so many options that's that's very helpful it will make the creative process not seem quite so overwhelming and once you understand your client and your sense of aesthetic with them will intertwine so your own style is an artist your aesthetic their vision thie to mesh like this and that's a beautiful thing very beautiful thing okay next what does it mean to be creative and how on earth do you do it then later be an image maker and not an image taker the questions studio audience you get dibs on first question stands I had a question about the pre consultations so do you recommend that the photographer needs to be the one doing the pre consultations or can you have an assistant do this that's a really good question I think it's a personal choice but honestly I wouldn't want tiffany to do them because I need that understanding um uh I think you can if that's if that's something that you wanted teo but I want if I'm the artist I want plant to know that me as the artist is vested in them um I could have someone else do it just for you have standard information but I also want toe make them emotionally invested in me and so by having conversation with me I mean that would be like sending your assistant on a first date you know I'm saying so I wouldn't do it but I don't think it's a bad thing necessarily I mean it's it is a business meeting it's not it's not a courtship it's a business meeting so what you could make that work but I'd be inclined just for the emotional aspects of it to do it yourself yeah emily like specifically with newborns how far in advance do usually do the pre consultation it's a good question very good question it depends highly on when they book because let me tell you sometimes they call me at seven days ago can we give in the baby's seven days old and you're like oh my gosh can we fit you in so yeah it's it's not always timely if they book me and you want some moms I have a mom who just got pregnant and booked me for december I mean her baby's due and crown christmas and she looked already and she's going to come in and talk to me so it just it runs the gamut for the late comers I do it ninety nine percent of the time on the phone we talk to him make him fill out the questionnaire and then when they come in for the session when mom's in the nursery feeding I'm in there right there with talking to her you know tell me I'm asking all these questions again I've got her form out in front of me I'm you know writing things down I'm really listening and trying tow confirm everything that's on her sheet and get it in my head so that we feel that connection at least fifteen minutes before the session rather than you know fifteen points of obsession was kind of a joke but anyway yes steven kind of back to the policies are there kind of like the eighty twenty rolls an example there's these twenty percent of the policies cause eighty percent of my headaches are there like five policy things that you really reinforce because they're so important yes do not circumcise your child before you come amy that's big one huh I've sent clients home for circumcising their baby boys the day before coming to see me so that's a big one um additional ordering appointments and curry hundred dollar fee if you come to the ordering session and you can't make up your mind and you want to come back you can but it's a hundred bucks to come back no one ever takes me upon it they always order the day off because of that policy um orders digital orders are final once they leave the studio we allow people to at the sales session if they do create a collection that could take the digital files home that day we process I pre touch everything so we just quick batch into j peg according to size that they buy and then put him on us be and let him go home the minute they take those files out of the studio the sale's final period end of statement no going back um let's see what else is I have a pretty strict family policy rule meaning I don't want to many family members they're like sometimes the whole entourage will come walking through the door and that could be trying hasn't happened lately but there was once when I had a long time ago before tiffany even I think I had like seven family members in the studio and it just didn't work so keep that in mind so there are some policies that any be strong about other ones that you know you just kind of have to give and take

Class Materials

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Studio Brochure
Client Correspondance
Day 1 Segment 1 - Keynote
Day 1 Segment 2 - Keynote
Day 1 Segment 3 - Keynote
Day 2 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 1 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 2 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 3 - Keynote
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Newborn Posing Guide - SAMPLE
PVC Pipe Beanbag Blanket Brace
The Creative Newborn Photography Studio Syllabus.pdf
Resource Guide.pdf
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Ratings and Reviews

Norma Martiri

Julia is amazing and has delivered a brilliant class here. Her wealth of knowledge and positive energy is inspiring to say the least. Julia is a brilliant teacher and I've learned so much. I am so grateful to Julia and to Creative Live for recording this and for the fact the I can rewatch over and over from the other side of the world. Thank you!!!!!!


Amazing course! I love it! I will for sure be re-watching it very soon. Julia is brilliant, honest, unselfish and just a great inspiration. This course definitely has given me the boost I needed to be true to my style. Thank you!


I've had the privilege of attending a few of Julia Kelleher's workshops and I love them. She's a great instructor with a cheerful disposition and a great sense of humor. Julia's photographic genius is like no other. This truly talented woman creates masterpieces out of her photos. It is really amazing to watch. I'm beginning to collect her workshops b/c for me attending her workshops is not enough. I have to own them so I may go over them again and again.

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