Ways to Contact Your Clients
Call your clients. After they book, set up a new time to call your client. This is important, and this seems so simple and mindless, but set up a time to call your client, because without fail you will call them when they have a toddler on their hip or they're driving in the car. So make sure you set up a time so they're actually listening to you, and writing down notes, and don't just call them out of the blue. And it helps you too, 'cause then you remember to do it, put it on your calendar. Talk to them about your style. Reiterate, I'm a very classic type of photographer, so when we're doing these sessions, what do you have in mind? But they already, since you have it all transparent on your website, they already know when they're booking you that they're not gonna get big, crazy animal outfits. But just keep reiterating your style to them. Types of shots that you aim for, so they can relax. I promise you, you're nervous going into these sessions, but they are more nervous than you a...
re. If you tell them the type of shots they're gonna be getting, you're gonna tell them that you're gonna be getting the two year old running around with his Captain Underpants on, and that's cool, they'll be fine with it, right? Explain why my approach is different, and my goal is that they fully understand that their home is the backdrop to the session. And they're gonna be in lots of pictures, and I explain to them that I'm a natural light photographer, I don't bring any lighting equipment. And I have them send me pictures of their bedrooms and all of that kind of stuff ahead of time, so we're really prepared for any type of lighting situation that we're gonna run into. I also tell my clients what to do and what not to do. So after I come into the home, I say, Hey, you know what? Let's make sure that your husband's not looking at the camera, or all of those kinds of the things. Don't worry about your child running off. If he needs to take a break, that's fine. Don't freak out, it's gonna happen. We're gonna need to take breaks. So as long as you're preparing your clients, you're gonna be fine, with client preparation. Do you have any questions on that?
Can you explain a little bit more about sending pictures of their house beforehand?
Yeah, so a lot of times, parents will ask me, so I don't feel like my house has a lot of light, or my house isn't like the homes that you have on your website, and I try to explain to them, a lot of these images that you see on my website, this shoot we did majority in one room. We can do a whole shoot in one room. Everybody has a window, so we can do a lot of shots in one window. You guys will see that when we do the live session. We did a lot of shots within one window of this house that we went to. And I just let them know that. So then I have them send me pictures on email, or via phone, however you're comfortable having them send you photos. And then we can kind of go over each room. Somebody might think that they don't have a lot of light, when in reality they really do. And we go over details about each room.
You may cover this later. How do you deal with dads who are not jazzed about this, because I find moms are super excited, and they're all about it, and dads are like (whine)
Punch him in the arm. I'm like super friendly, I'll like elbow them and like, you gotta suck it up for like a minute. You just, open, just be open with them. And I think a lot of it is having enough communication ahead of time, and most moms will say, my husband really doesn't like taking pictures, and I'm like, hey, let him know we're gonna have fun, and a lot of the time the dads aren't in a lot of it. They're off with the sibling. 'Cause the majorities of our shots are the baby and then Mom, which we're gonna get into. 'Cause Mom needs to feed the baby, Mom needs to carry the baby around, so we always give Dad a job. So Dad's job is typically, hey, go entertain your two-year-old. So they're not having to, we don't have to deal with Dad.
This is back to making the phone call. I know a lot of people are scared to pick up the phone. What advice would you have for those that are just terrified to pick up the phone and call. I think it's scarier to pick up the phone and call when you don't have it scheduled. Does that make sense? I don't know what it is, it's like having a placebo. If you have it scheduled, you're prepared mentally. I'm gonna be calling my client at two o'clock. I to this day, tell Kenny, Kenny's like hey, you need to call her. I'm like, can you put that on my calendar so I can mentally prepare? And I talk, I like to talk. But I still need to mentally prepare to call a client, and I think it helps you kind of chill a little bit. But it is so important to talk to our clients. It's just gonna alleviate so much pressure from you, of having the perfect session when you get there. If we can just all let go of having to be perfect in these shoots, and parents know that chaos is going to erupt, things will not go as they planned, the baby's gonna cry a lot 'cause they're hungry, and it's fine, because babies need to eat, and that's fine. If they know all of these things going in, you're not gonna feel that guilt of you didn't do it correctly. Does that make sense? Was that, yeah, so I think a lot of us have that guilt when we leave sessions thinking, Oh my gosh, did we get what they wanted? Of course you got what they wanted, because you prepared. And you talked to them ahead of time. So I don't ever feel that anymore. I used to, until I prepared. Get the clients in the right mindset. Back to it again, look at the camera or not to look at the camera, okay? And you're gonna let them know all these things on the phone so there's no surprises when you enter. Clients need to do know that you're gonna be going with the flow. You're gonna say hey, guess what Mom, we're gonna start with family shots, and you're gonna get there and be like, kidding, we're starting with Baby because your two-year-old is having a tantrum. So tell them we're gonna be going with the flow. Don't expect anything. The grandma shot, we talked a little bit about the grandma shot. Hey guess what Mom? We, all of our images are gonna be you connecting with your husband and your kids and your baby. And I'm gonna be focusing on the baby. Do not look at me until I tell you to, but don't worry. We're gonna get at least one picture of you all looking at the camera, because without fail, everybody always wants one picture looking at the camera. Grandparents want one picture of their grandchildren looking at the camera. So do it for the sake of later. But let them know that that's not gonna be the priority. And then you're not gonna feel badly when you go back and you get these images and you don't have anybody looking at the camera. Natural versus posed. You need to let the parents know you will be directing the baby. You will be wrapping the baby, but you will not, you will not, be posing their baby. Expectations when you go in. Sometimes I'll bring a crate and I'll wrap 'em, and I'll put 'em in a crate next to the window so they can get one posey-ish type of shot. If you kind of get the vibe, oh but maybe are you gonna do one. You know what, I'll tell you what. I'll bring a crate. I'll bring a blanket. If you have a blanket, that's wonderful, even better, 'cause we like to use heirlooms and things that are important to them 'cause lifestyle. And we'll get one shot in a crate. But I'm not posing, I'm not posing while I'm there. Chaos, let 'em know. Chaotic. Chaotic is normal. You as a photographer. This is hard for me, and I'm just being honest. You have to bring your energy down, you have to be quiet, calm, they will feed off of your energy. Do you guys notice how earlier I was more excited and you guys were more awake? Now I'm calm and you guys are calm. It's very hard for me to be calm, so I have to keep reminding myself, okay, Mom is going to feed off of me. There are some moms that love the energy. You will know. Be who you need to be for the situation. Perfection is not realistic. Perfection is not realistic. It's not gonna be perfect. Nikon pulls green. So you're not gonna get a lot of green pictures sometimes. It happens, because you can't control that very well. Don't worry. It happens, it's normal. It's not just you. Parents will know that by looking at your portfolio. They're gonna see some things that are not the perfect shot that's gonna be blown up over the mantle, because you've had these discussions with them. You're photographing real. But you as a photographer need to know that when you go into these lifestyle sessions, even the best photographers in the world have shoots where they have ten images they love, and the rest are like fillers. But they're not fillers, they're storytelling pieces. So to a parent, they might see an image of a beautiful picture of the dog, and we're gonna go into this when we get into the live shoot. Of a dog and the child looking at each other, and there's a blown-out thing over here. They don't see that like we do. So you have to let go of those things. As long as you capture a moment, you're gonna have to let go. Now I'm not saying to let go of all of lighting. You need to keep all of your photography skills in there. Don't just use bad lighting because I said it's okay, because it's not. And don't use poor composition because I said it's okay, because it's not. You're not gonna shoot up somebody's nose still. We're still gonna try to use the rule of thirds. We're still gonna try to selfie-stick angle moms. However, if you're there and something happens, get the picture and let some things go. Send a reminder email. Iris, we talked about Iris earlier, so we really already went over this. Just preparation, the time that you're gonna get there. So anything that you've discussed with your client. We're gonna go into these details after the next break, but time, preparing your house, what they can expect from you, preparing the baby. Babies are best in the morning, and we're gonna talk about this, babies tend to be best in the morning. However, not all homes are best in the morning. So you guys will decide based upon windows and which rooms you're using, which time of the day you're gonna shoot. There's a lot of variables, and we're gonna get into a lot of detail about this. But in the reminder email, you need to put in there what time you guys have previously discussed. And how to prepare the baby. I try to get babies fed before we get there. It just relaxes Mom a little bit so they don't feel like they're rushing. And I always say, if you need to feed her right when we're there, don't worry about it. I'm gonna take your two-year-old and we're gonna play legos or something. Just be their friend.