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How to Create a "What to Expect..." Handout for Clients.

Lesson 26 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

How to Create a "What to Expect..." Handout for Clients.

Lesson 26 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

26. How to Create a "What to Expect..." Handout for Clients.

Happy clients start before the photo session -- preparing your clients will help you create the best possible images from the start by starting with clear expectations. In this lesson, Kelly walks through how to set the tone for the session by creating a "What To Expect" handout for clients. A "What to Expect" guide is also included in the bonus materials.
Next Lesson: Building Your Team


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


Flow Posing


Kelly's Home Studio


Day 2


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Planning


Day 3


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Foundation


Lesson Info

How to Create a "What to Expect..." Handout for Clients.

okay this segment we're going to create a what to expect for your client's guide I'm actually not going to physically create one for you right now right here but I'm going to go through what I actually including mine and why actually provide one for my clients and how easy it is to make one and make it personal a swell so in the bonus material that is actually included I've included I what to expect from your in home session guide for people who travelled tio to client homes and there's also a copy off what I send to my clients for when they're coming to my in home session and it just helps rina relieve their mind and provide them with the right amount of information and get him a little bit excited as well in the process so when they are coming to a physician color to c I d color when when they are coming to a decision giving them giving them that advice at the at the beginning it just really helped set the tone and the mood and the way you word it I'm not wording it in a way is that ...

right it's bullet point you're going to do this this this this and this okay I'm making a really personal because I do work from a home studio I want to make them feel at home so I set the tone and how I word my document that they're going to get you know and it's less of a this is like this segment sort of less of a how to but as to why I created and we have to keep it simple because again you know they don't want to read have to read too much information and the way you sit it out it shouldn't look like it's going to be difficult to read the lines should be spaced so that the words don't look too close together the funds should be a size that's easy to read obviously and the paragraph should be separated so that they can read it clearly almost like it in bullet point but without the bullet without it being so sort of abrupt when you do use bullet points and and setting that tone for the session you know this is this's your first interaction with the client and when I reply at once they've said that they home from from hospital and we've set that date you know I'm really looking forward to meeting you I'm setting that tone for the studio I'm making it relaxed and the way that I ride it I'm I'm a come sort of relaxed fairly type of person I'm pretty crazy like I've said I probably should live in a hippie commune but you know that has to follow through with every piece of material that I giveth um so if you are really upbeat person and you've been update from the the get go continue to be upbeat right through you know make your session guide upbeat if that's the type of person that you are make it about you and your session and set the tone for how you know you're going tio to photograph their baby or whatever type of session that you're doing you can do it for your family sessions or weddings or whatever it is but you have to set that tone so your clients can can get a feeling for how it's going to be you could do that so easily with words and something that I learned when I was studying business was when we write stuff down we write an email we write a letter we write a document and you know some form of communication that's written for our client when we ride it we can often right in a way that our clients aren't saving what it is that we want them to perceive so you have to ride it in a way that it's going to be perceived the same way so when you putting something on paper make sure you have somebody else proofread it to make sure that it's going to be interpreted the way you expected it to be interpreted because sometimes the communications conform and that that that line that direct conversation line viral written content with your client can be mrs misunderstood so always have something that you're going to create given that's given out proofread by somebody else outside your your circle someone that's not really aware of all the ins and outs of what you do because if they do they can't the judgment could be impaired and you know one of the most important things when you are sending out this what to expect god make sure you congratulate your new parents you know congratulations this is such an incredible time in your life you are celebrating this time with them be a part of it with um include a photo of your studio space so they know what to expect they're not going to expect the big white studio with cyclorama in the studio lights and all of that business they're expecting when they walk in they're going to expect to see what you're really showing them it's a snake paige have a look how beautiful my studio is I'll have a look how beautiful my spaces you know and if you are working from inside your home take a beautiful set up set it all up beautiful so that when they do walk in your front door they like over in somebody's house you know we're in their living room set it up the way that you would when your clients there take a beautiful photo of it and share that with him so that they know when they arrive this's what to expect because like I said you know when they do arrive at a new premises for the very first time they're going to form an opinion and that first opinion can really make or break that first interaction with them as well yeah we've talked as we did the whole week on home studios and creating a home studios and we've heard from a lot of people that they're say already in their home or maybe their space isn't that ideal or where they wanted to be what do you suggest in that scenario yeah like I was just saying we've talked about you know when you are working in your own living area things like that make it really harm lee that studio space of mind that could be in my house with a lounge room like that I could just have a white wall opposite they don't know what's behind me when I'm taking that photo but take a beautiful photo off that area and you know you could even do like three photos have one photo of the main area where you're gonna be working with you being bag set up and then take a photo off the front door of your house where you going to welcome people into take a few different photos but don't overwhelm them with photos but just keep it simple you know if you've got a beautiful front door area that you're going to welcome people into take a photo off that and then take a photo off the space that you're going to be working in just so they get in they know where they're going and what they're doing I get incredibly nervous when I'm going into new environments I don't know why but I would never turn up at somebody's house unexpected and when I get invited to people's houses for the very first time and I've never admit them all he said was unlocked I really don't want to go there like I'm such a homebody and I feel really awkward in other people's environments when I've never met them once I'm there I'm fine but it's getting there I don't know what it is it's something bizarre going on with may but it's getting to their house of walking in that front door once I'm near on fine but it's that level of anxiety or anxiousness for some people when they're goingto in your environment and if you can ease their mind about where they're going with a simple photo then you know that their levels of anxiety when they turn up for a session we're going to be lowered because it is nerve wracking for some people I've sensed it a couple of the parents that we've photographed here when they've come in with their beautiful babies like this is a big place and they're coming here with little tiny baby I sensed a little bit of anxiety with one of the moms because it was so so new to her and yeah you could have you know we all have different shooting environments just let your clients know what to expect when they're coming here definitely and create a friendly report with your client yes and like we said we've got to set that tone and it's the way that we were that congratulations you know I'm really looking forward to meeting you and you need to communicate in a way that there is no pressure for the baby to perform at all during that session you know we're goingto allow enough time for feeding and cuddling that baby's is our priority throughout the entire session you have to communicate that with him so that you know when they're there they're not you know I'm sorry I don't know having times parents have said sorry to me and like please don't ever be sorry there is no such thing as a bad baby you know sometimes you do get a little bit when my photographing them and they're just not settling and you're not getting the photos that you want to get you do get a little bit sort of overworked with you know not being able to deliver those expectations to your client and you feel sorry but that's okay because we have to remember that even when those babies aren't you know nice and sleepy and curly like a ll the beautiful dreaming babies that we all want our sessions it's okay because every baby is different and you know what they have their own agenda and you cannot hold yourself responsible for that you know I get so many emails from people to saying look I've had so many unsettled babies in a row I'm just over it there's something I'm doing wrong you know if you are creating the perfect environment for your baby you're making the room warm you're playing beautiful noise you've created it a mood and atone for your studio and that report with your clients and you've done everything that you possibly can to make that that that session relaxing and enjoyable for your clients in your baby then if there's something wrong with that baby that's not your fault if it's got colic if it's got a belly ache if it's over stimulated prior to position you know you don't know all these things you don't know it and you just like you know I'm used to riff reassure your clients that you know they're not expected to perform we're not miracle workers but reassure them that you're goingto work with their baby and make them as comfortable as possible throughout that session and you're not going to force them to do something that's not suitable for them and your parents are going to really appreciate that with here so yeah but this is an example of what I send to my clients and the first thing is congratulations on the arrival of your baby and thank you for choosing little pieces photography to photograph your your boy or girl or whatever you know thank you um for choosing you they could have chosen ten to twenty other photographers that they've emailed maybe more that is so important your session is going to take place in my kim more hills home studio we're cool comfortable clothing in net neutral tones because they photograph beautifully that's what I say try to avoid large patents and logos as they can be distracting in the photos and maybe bring a change of clothes in case there are any accidents make it a little bit fun because you don't want a dead to be paid on or put on and then not have a shirt to change into if you were in their home and you are creating or what to expect died I don't think you need to include that because they can just go get changed that's fine if I get put on and then the baby has to have a feed then I'll obviously say why just quickly go and change my pants you know I do that and I have a little bit of fun with it so let them know that they possibly could be accidents in that form don't say you know at the beginning of the session are you know there's going to be pulled this going away all that kind of stuff did you bring a change of clothes let them know that this is a possibility ah hi hi likely thing so um I like to allow plenty of time for feeding and cuddling throughout that session that's really really important letting them know that throughout the time the session goes like a ghost for two to four hours throughout that time you know the baby could get hungry and also ice is what I tell all my clients they get it in this and they also get it in the mail bring a snack in case you get hungry always breastfeeding moms need to keep up their appetite I'm not their bake for them like I've mentioned it some it's not something I need to worry about prior to a session bring its neck in case you get hungry and in that way but sometimes you get all different types of food brought into decision like especially if they're craving things and if they don't they're hungry I can you know say to them like in sitting there like oh so hungry or what have you it didn't bring a snack there's a corner store just around the corner there's a little shop not far from here they saw great sandwiches things like that or I've got some fruit if I can offer you a banana and apple things like that and also have plenty of props for your clients to choose from you can see they're available for them to see they're not in a wardrobe they're not in a cupboard but if you don't have the space that's fine but at least allow them to see what you have available in either the form of an album they can show the photographs in or in the what to expect guide take a photograph off the space that you have you have to you know put your props in if they're not somewhere where the clients can actually physically see them and if you have a special item that's been given to you or it's a fairly family heirloom or something like that feel free to bring it along with you that's going to make my clients fall in love with their photos even more if they can incorporate something that means a lot to them and you know if it's something that is not exactly my style I'm still going to photograph it because it's them I once photographed a baby actually not that long ago and I was teaching a workshop it was quite fun because we were we were just talking about this you know what do you do when clients bring something can I always say you know I said to the group of girls I always say you know if you have something place feel free to bring it along and it just so happened that the couple that had brought their baby along to model said we actually have bought something and anyway they've bought it out and I'm like great they've brought it out and it was a viking helmet a crow shade viking helmet it was grey with white horns and the horns were stuffed with thumb stuffing but this baby was a boy and he was so chubby and I posed him like this and he's for it like squished down on top of these eyebrows and I put this hat on and it was the curious thing I've seen it's not a prop I would buy but when I started to communicate with them about this the dead actually did reenactment viking setups I was in another state if they lived in my state I would've been like can you come back to my studio dressed like a viking so I compose that baby like a viking in your hands I'm like thinking off ward shot how different and how cool is that but how much do you reckon if I'd done that would he love that photo he gets dressed up in his viking outfit I don't know how many times a month and he goes and does these reenactments it's something that's so important to him that he loves and now they've got their own little viking it was fun it's not something I would buy or offer my clients but it was them that was so fun doing that and I love that photo I really need to share it on facebook I really do you dare question I've had clients come with like five different two twos and headbands and hats and I'm like great like where do you limit it did you say like pick one or what do you d'oh said going back to my pricing and information I don't think it was actually included in there but it also says I have plenty of props for you to choose from and I like to get you involved in the styling of decision I'm setting that tone there I'm saying don't bring anything but I have plenty for you to choose from and I like to get you involved in the styling of decision every now and then I get asked do I have to be in props but it just means they haven't read that information that's fine but yet this is the part where it's if you have something special that means a lot to you and you com'on elaborate on that whether it be a family ireland or a special gift I don't think gibbs or some things you know really really be specific about what it is that you you know want them and if you don't want people to bring items that's fine don't include that in your what to expect god but having having something that means a lot to them are god I will never forget that viking hack ever I just loved it so much and I continue to picture what it would've been like my kids love that movie had a train to dragon and I can just I can just picture this guy dressed up like that and doing something really fun and what at this point I don't offer um oh here we go let me just finish this quickly in the meantime if you have any questions at all regarding your baby session please don't hesitate in contacting me at all and I look forward to meeting you and your family very soon kelly so it's like a letter I'm setting that tone that move it dear mood that's endearing with a little bit of fun throwing in there about you know accidents and stuff like that but I'm giving them everything that they need to know what I don't do for my clients which I have mentioned before in this course is that I don't send them a checklist of what they shouldn't shouldn't be doing with their baby um yes it be nicer for babies could stay awake but that can also work in reverse prior to the session because they can get over stimulated and overtired and they just don't settle or when they do settle they're very touchy very agitated you know I want and I don't know about you but I was told when my baby's little that sleep promotes sleep and babies under two weeks of age need to sleep this is the growing time they put so much weight on in those first two weeks because they've lost weight after they're born so they need thio put weight on and they do that they grow while the sleeping so it's really important that we keep our parents as relaxed and unstructured as possible you know telling people what they shouldn't shouldn't be eating that's not my call I don't know if they have special diets I mean what if they're vegan people and they have to eat certain fruits and vegetables because it's all they I can't tell them not to eat specific things that's fine but you also have to remember that they've been pregnant with this baby for the last nine months for eight months or however long they've carried it and they've been needing all those foods throughout that time that baby was attached to the inside of them getting all of those nutrients they're born into a world that is so new to them they've gotta breathe here for the first time you know they have space to move their whole world has changed and we have to understand that from from that perspective but also when we are photographing them we've got to keep them as content as possible which will keep them happy in creating that warm environment keeping them secure and wrapped making them you know comfortable at all times and in that prep list that I don't send my clients that I've heard some people say is that they must bring a dummy you know if somebody had told me that I can't have a session with him because I have to use a dummy I'd be really cranky you know I'm not going to photograph your baby if you don't bring a dummy slightly discriminating for people who aren't all fire I'm sorry pacified wei call them dummies in australia I should have clarified that I forget where I am but hopefully everybody out there is getting used to the wood nappy and dummy and all that great stuff way so yeah I'm it's not my place to tell these people I'm not qualified to tell them what they shouldn't shouldn't be doing and even throughout a session if I can sense that I think a baby has reflux or colic or anything like that it's still not my place to tell them if I can see somebody struggling with breast feeding his new mom I'm not going to go in there and show them but I'm going to say to them can I get you a cushion a comfortable there and then they might sort of thin think yeah that would actually be really nice I'm a I'm a little bit uncomfortable I'm not holding my baby properly unless somebody asks me for advice it's not my place to give it we have to remember that we are photographers were there to photograph their baby we're not in the medical field off giving advice with what could possibly be wrong with their child and let me tell you it's not actually nice to have somebody tell you that they think something should be wrong with your child because it happened to me recently with one of my children at school the teacher actually called us in for a meeting and then she's like I think your child's got this wrong and this wrong and this wrong oh my god who are you to get off telling me you're not a doctor like that that person is not qualified to tell me like if I turned around and said I think your baby's got reflux and it actually didn't you know that's that's something we're gonna remember and they're gonna tell people about going back to that form of marketing you know we need them we need to reassure them constantly that's fine you know they might just have a little bit of an upset tummy that's fine we'll take our time well we'll just wait till they're comfortable things like that so yeah quick question I'm just going over the thing about what people eat and that kind of thing the only thing that I've noticed that was a really extreme up center for babies was caffeine and that's something that I d'oh tell nursing moms I just say you know if you're nursing um something I mentioned about caffeine being very difficult for babies to sleep because I've had mom show up with like a coffee this big and the baby not sleep for three hours and they're like I don't know why the baby's not sleeping she's like not been awake for four days on dh now she's you know because there this is the first time that they've really had to get out of the house and so they're having to wake up and they're thinking any coffee to wake me up so that's one of the only things that I suggest against but do you think that's like a bad thing because I mean if you if you've had experience with that maybe you could word it in a way that you know and maybe like like that twenty four hours before the session if you're drinking coffee maybe just sort of you know cutback or drink decaf because I've noticed from previous experiences use it worded in a way like that but I have seen some people's checklist guides and they're like don't eat this donate that don't drink this don't do that we have to set the mood in the tone for the session and by doing that you can not really putting these they make you making these people scared of you you want them to be your friend but you know with caffeine I don't know but in australia during your pregnancy you were told not to drink caffeine I don't know if you're told here but you're also in and when you actors office some do and some don't but it's like when I was reading my my books about being pregnant having a baby it says in there all of those things you know you are hoping that this happens in it and it shouldn't happen all the time but I also know a breastfeeding mom who does drink caffeine and she's she works here it created five and she doesn't seem to have any problems with that so it's not going to happen to everybody either so making sure of that what happens with some person might not happen with the other person so it all depends because I don't know about you but I have had the opportunity to meet all of you and we have um a really big variety of people here but you all eat different foods yeah safe to say we've eaten a few meals together in the last four days you only different foods and have different reactions different allergies every baby is going to be the same you just don't know it's like the luck of the draw really you don't know if that baby's gonna have a reaction to that because some people are more tolerant of other things so keep that in mind when you are wording that fuel clients as well but if you are going to give somebody a checklist you know worded in a way so like I said you know just from previous experiences it could possibly keep the baby awaken we want them to be nice and sleepy throughout decision would it that way instead off you know I don't drink caffeine because it could get the baby awake all of that sort of thing but you have to do what works for you this is me as a person these air decisions that I have in the night and the experience that I create from my clients um like I said I don't feel like I'm qualified to give certain advice to people it's just not my place and when I was having babies I didn't feel like I needed everybody giving me advice because I just had to learn it and do it myself because every baby is different and it's funny because I did have one of those unsettled babies that cried all the time and didn't sleep and I just wanted to pull my hair out at times and I had such a bad back because for the first twelve months she wouldn't slate that I would just be rocking her constantly and it turns out that when she was three she was diagnosed with gastritis now that she's a living she can't eat certain foods because she has no lining on the inside of her stomach to protect her stomach from the gastric juices so she's in the fetal position constantly I didn't know that when she was a baby I didn't even know that that wasn't that was a thing gastritis so we don't know what's wrong with people's babies we don't know what foods they can tolerate or what foods the mum can tolerate as well so just bear in mind when you are giving advice and you're giving information to your clients that thieves could all baby things and the way that you would can be interpreted like I said when we put information out there the way we intended to be interpreted can sometimes not being totally interpreted the right way that's all I'm saying if that makes sense for year do we have any more questions about that you're talking about giving advice I have a lot of my own children and I but for four children and so I connect really really well with my clients when they come in and a lot of them asked me for advice on a lot of new moms I've noticed our chests hole they beat themselves up over everything if breastfeeding isn't going well if they're supplementing if a doctor or a nurse is told them they're feeding their baby too much or not feeding their baby enough and so instead of me just throwing up advice on them I really tried to just relate and tell them not to sweat it like I have a sixteen year old there are going to be so many bigger battles in life don't let this get you down too much and do you find that when they are coming to advise for advice do you really just try to skirt around giving them actual advice by building them up or do you actually give them advice I think it will depend on every situation if I can see that somebody's really beating themselves up and really having a hard time and they I do new moms they don't know what they're doing and you know the amount of times I've heard god I just wish it came with a book on instruction guard like you don't know every child is so different and you've noticed with your four kids they're probably all completely different in how they've been after birth what when you said there that you've related to them I think that's probably the best thing that we can do if you don't have children that's fine just listen sometimes people just need to be listened to and if you if you've had children and you can relate relate to them but don't overpower the situation with or the moment with what's happened to you make sure that you always listening to them because sometimes they just need to be listened to but say yes you know I completely understand you know yeah something similar happened with my child but don't go into so much detail so it's all about you because it's not all about us is the photographer it's it's about them at that moment and giving them the care and the service and the product that they need and that they're paying us for if you if they ask you for advice and you've built this report with your clients you can give them advice but do you know the best advice that I was always given as a mum a young mom was do what works best for you and that's what I say to them I always say look you've given so much advice it can be really overwhelming especially when you're in a hospital and you've got different midwives coming in and saying are you gonna do it this way no you should be doing it that way and I'm sure that most moms have experienced that I always say the best advice I was ever given was do it works best for you but if you can sense that your baby is really struggling with certain things maybe just go back and see your gp because they're the qualified person to give advice but yet if so I can see somebody really struggling with breastfeeding and things like that I was terrible at it I really wass I didn't breastfeed my twins because they were born premature and I couldn't keep up the milk supply whilst they're in hospital so I just had to do what worked best for me when I got them home and you will have some photographers that air really pro breastfeeding and all that kind of stuff and some aren't I couldn't care how you feed your baby that's fine but if I if I have a breast feeding mom that's really struggling and I can see that she might just need a little bit of support or something like that I'll offer it in terms ofthe you know you comfortable would you like me to get you a cushion I don't know for how many people in here out there who have breast feed you get so sore across the middle of your shoulders and your back when you're holding your baby so just making sure that your cut clients are as comfortable as possible throughout that but offering in a turn in a way that you can relate and and not so I think you're doing it wrong like I don't think you're actually living the baby latch well but I am you know you've got to be careful with your choice of words in the way that you do actually provide that information but going back to that checklist that you give your clients if I had one of those that says don't eat this don't do that keep your baby away give him a bath massage them all of that stuff if they do everything on that checklist and then they turn up for a session and that baby still wide awake they're going to feel like they've done the wrong thing I don't want them to feel like they're failed in any way I want them to relax and enjoy that session and my god I've had people turn up and they forgot the nappy bag like they're rushing out the door for the first time in their first baby and they're like I thought you grabbed it no I didn't grab it up so you had it I think you put it in the car you know so luckily I've got you know nappies and want to know that stuff available but you know I don't want to put any more pressure on these people because they're struggling to get dressed and if you got a mom that's either had a really rough rough delivery in the term off stitches or had a caesarean you know she's really struggling to get up and get out that door and not mention bending over and picking up babies and bath ng them at massaging them and all that her health and her care is also the priority not just the babies as well but here we really need to focus on keeping them all content and happy and choosing the words and I think that's really really important as well so yeah right so in our next segment we're actually going to talk about building your team and that's gonna be fun because I'll be able to share with you how I've done that

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Home Studio Checklist
What To Expect At Home
What To Expect In Studio
Preshoot Prep for Mothers
Marketing Plan
Pricing Guide
Posing Guide
Prop Guide
Resource Guide
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


What an awesome class! I actually started watching this, not because I was interested in newborn photography, but because I thought I could pick up some good ideas for photography in general. Kelly is such an inspiring person and so professional and such a good communicator that she has a lot to offer any photographer. I actually have been inspired to try newborn photography and can't wait to implement the multiple ideas Kelly has so generously given. I think it is wonderful for the profession of photography that she has the spirit to freely share what she knows to help those who are seeking advice and knowledge. Thank you!

Jennifer Traylor

I cannot say enough to relay the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for this class. I was very fortunate to be chosen as a studio audience member for this course and what I have taken away from this class will never be forgotten. Kelly pours herself into this class both on the head knowledge of photography and the heart knowledge of building a business and making it work in your life. She is such an amazing soul and I will treasure this experience always. This class is so thorough and works amazingly both all on its own or as a supplement to her other classes. You will not be disappointed. Her knowledge, her demeanor, her care, is brilliant. She pulls you right in, and even as an online viewer/purchaser for the previous two classes, I was able to feel her connection with the audience. She is an amazing teacher!!!! Kelly rocks, Kelly amazes, Kelly loves! Buy it today!!!! You will not regret it!!!!!! And don't forget, purchases get TONS of amazing bonus materials including extra videos and PDF's and manuals. This class is a bargain!!!!!


I really have been so happy & blessed Kelly to learn from you! You are gentle and I love your spirit in which you share your "Art". I am a Nurse and worked Hospice for many years. Many of my co-workers and I recently lost our nursing positions due to department integration and have decided that my passion and love for taking photos of children and babies is something I would like to pursue. I am learning so much Kelly from the way you take the time to gently get the baby in position, follow the baby's lead and enjoy the parents and each moment of the creative process. I am not at all a professional and am just really learning, but am enjoying practicing on my friends children and babies and of course my 4 month and 4 year old grandchildren. Thank you for providing free classes as I would not be able to afford any classes at this time in my life. You have a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing so eloquently! You have made a difference in my life. Patty from AZ

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