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Communication with Client

Lesson 17 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

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Lesson Info

17. Communication with Client


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is a Mirrorless Camera?


Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Mirrorless Compatibility


Live Shoot: Mirrorless vs. DSLR


Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii


Compare Mirrorless & DSLR Images


Posing Techniques Overview


Lesson Info

Communication with Client

Let's talk about how we communicate with our clients. Because at this point, I've been photographing her. She's great; I don't really have to do very much. She kinda knows what she's doing. When I'm working with people, especially if they are, like, newer people and they're wanting to get into modeling, or maybe they hate having their photo taken-- I've had so many people that have come up and have told me straight out the gates, like if I'm doing corporate head shots, they're like: "Hey, Miguel." And I'm very chipper, very upbeat: "How's it going? It's gonna be great. We're gonna "take some head shots today and it's gonna be so fun." And they're like: "Yeah, yeah, yeah. "I hate having my picture taken. Woe is me." They're like Eeyore, you know? And they're just standing there: "Hurry up and take my photo." And they're just like -- they're not into the whole thing. So, it is very important for you, as the photographer, to make sure that you soften them up, and that you get them comfort...

able, so that you can get a good shot. Because at the end of the day, if you are letting them basically dictate what their attitude is gonna be, you're gonna get terrible pictures and that's on you, as the photographer. If they give you those really lame expressions that just look horrible, and the ones that they're not gonna love when it's done, you're gonna get a bad image and that's gonna be on you. It's very funny to me that, when I look back over the course of my career, especially when I first started out, even though I was shooting in my house, in my living room with this makeshift studio setup that you see here, I always made sure that the experience for the person I was photographing was a professional one. Which was sometimes a pain in the neck because I would have to vacuum and clean and mop and make sure the bathroom was super clean, and light a candle to make sure it smelled really nice. So I always make sure that the experience from the second that they walked into the shooting location, which happened to be my living room, that it was a good experience. Because as soon as they walk in, if everything smells good, that's one thing I don't have to worry about. If they come into my house-- and this is something I've seen with a lot of photographers that I've basically, like, I'm a student of the game, I've been a student of the game for a long time. I'll go to other photographers places when they're shooting and just be a fly on the wall and see their process. And I walk into their shooting space and it's like, I know it's your house, but your underwear is on the floor. You know what I mean? Your dinner from last night is still out on the counter. Get all that crap outta there. Clean it up; make sure that everything is presentable. Because if I see that, and I'm not even the one being photographed, you're gonna get people that are gonna walk in and be like, "Oh my gosh, this is nasty. "It smells like two-day-old food in here." So make sure that it starts from the moment they walk in. Your shooting space is clean, smells right, because even if you have a great personality, now you're having to work uphill because that first impression that they have when they walk in is like: "Oh, this is kind of nasty. "Let's hurry up and wrap this thing up." Right? So that engagement with a person starts from that very first moment. Even the front of my house, when I used to shoot at my house, I would always make sure if it was one of those weeks when my grass wasn't done, I'd be like: "Let's shoot two days from now." When I know that my yard's gonna be looking good. And everything is clean and presentable. Because even from the second when they pull up to your location, if it looks kind of questionable, they have that in the back of their mind. And you as the photographer now have to work. It might be a quick thing where they meet you and they're like: "Oh, who cares about the fact "that it looks like a crime scene outside." But there's gonna be kind of like a time period where you have to overcome those challenges of their preconceived notions before you even pick up the camera. So, very important, the experience starts from there. And I say this because I've had photo shoots-- and I'm admitting this to you guys; hopefully people I've photographed in the past don't watch this CreativeLive class-- but I've had photos scenarios where I've taken photos that, personally, I was not happy with. Technically they were great, you know, but maybe the expressions where not perfectly on point. But they loved their photos. Like, loved their photos. And maybe you guys have had this happen before. And I could tell you that I started to realize that I can control whether or not they like their photos or not, based on controlling the experience of how they're photographed. So this whole thing that I'm talking about-- making sure that the house or your shitty space is clean, that it's smelling good, that they're having a great experience overall-- I started to realize that if they have a really good experience, that they would come in and even in the photos were not what I personally love, they would love their photos. I've had the opposite also play out. Where for whatever reason you get that grump that comes in, and everything is smelling great, you got everything clean, your modifiers are nice and bright and shiny, and your camera's clean, and everything is perfect. And for whatever reason you just don't have a good experience with that person, because maybe their personality doesn't vibe with you. And you take images that are technically perfect. You're like: "Holy cow, I can't believe I pulled "this thing out and got some great shots." And they'll look at their photos and be like: "Oh man, I don't really like any of these photos." And it's not that they don't like the photos; it's that they didn't like you as a photographer. They did not enjoy the experience. And so there's nothing you could do to that photo in Photoshop. There's no post-production, there's no presets, there's no nothing that's out there that could basically coverup a bad experience that the client has to basically get them to like their images. But the inverse often can be true. So, for me, I always joke around about this back in the day, and I used to call it the "Miguel Quiles Photography Experience". And that was all part of this comprehensive effort to make sure that everything was firing on all cylinders. That the place was clean, that I'm joking, that I'm, you know, "Hey, do you need anything to drink? "Do you need a snack?" Whatever. I'm making sure that I cater to everything that they need. There's another part of this as well, which I tend to see with a lot of photographers, where... a lot of creatives are socially awkward is, I guess, a nice way to put it. And that's something we have to work on as creatives. There's gonna be times where we're trying to create this great experience, and because maybe it's not native to our character, we try really hard and they can see that. And then that leads to a bad experience for them because they're like: "Man, this person is really awkward. "They won't leave me alone. "They keep asking me if I want a drink." Because of that socially awkward situation. So it's really important that you basically put yourself in as many scenarios as you can, socially, to work through that awkwardness. So, often times what I'll do is since I try to go after corporate clients to shoot head shots, I go to a lot of networking events. And I usually go to at least one or two every one to two weeks. And I'll go to these networking events and I force myself-- I make it into, like, a video game. It's like, what's my high score for the day? How many business cards can I get before I basically have to leave? So I'll walk in, I'll immediately introduce myself to someone, start talking to them: "What do you do?" They talk to me about everything. I let them do their intro. "Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. "That's cool. That's nice." And then, I hit them. With basically listening to what they're saying. If they say: "Oh, this is my particular role "in the company." I try to figure out how can I tell them about photography and how photography would make them better in that role, or appear to look better in that role. And so that was a skill, and I would just practice that. And I'd get their business card, and I'd go to the next person. And usually these networking events will have 40 or 50 people, sometimes hundreds of people. And it gives you the opportunity to just go one by one and start talking to people. And what I realized was that being the introvert that I am, the first few were painful. I walked up to people: "Hi, my name's Miguel. "I'm a photographer." And I was very quiet and very nervous, and they read that. And as time went on, I can get to the point now to where I don't need any practice, I don't need any prep, just let me loose. Open the door; I got this. And I walk into the room, I'm hitting people one by one by one. "How's it going? My name is Miguel. "I'm a head shot and portrait photographer. "Let me know what you do. "What are you into?" And we'll start talking, and it's a very fluid and a very comfortable conversation because I've practiced a lot. And there's nothing I'm gonna be able to tell you today, like no secret verbiage or secret words that you can walk into a social scenarios and just basically break the ice. There's little tricks that you can do, like the posing stuff that I talked about. But this is all like a practice thing. You have to practice. You have to put yourself in those scenarios to where you can practice because you're gonna get one person that might make it really easy for you. And this is where I say you have to do it a lot. Because you might be nervous that you go into that first scenario, you talk to them, and maybe they're really outgoing. So you're just like: "Wow, this is great. "I did a great job! "I got their business card, "and we had a pleasant conversation. "I got this; I'm good. "I'm never gonna do it again." And then you go and you photograph somebody else, and you have those awkward social interactions again, and you realize maybe I didn't really do a great job. Maybe it didn't stick. So the more you do it, you start to talk to different types of people. Different backgrounds, different life experiences. And those people will interact with you in different ways. You might get somebody that's very chipper, that just won't stop talking. And there's a skill in being able to get somebody to kind of simmer down and, you know, focus on getting the shot. There's other people that they won't talk at all. You need to figure out: "How do I break those people down?" So that's all done by practice. There's no secret recipe. I think it was in "Kung Fu Panda" that I watched that they were asking what's the secret ingredient to this guy's soup? And he's like: "There is no secret. "That's the secret." There's like no secret thing, you just have to continually practice. And it doesn't matter what part of the world you're in, there's social events that are happening all over the place. Heck, there's bars. Like, any place where people congregate, where people talk to one another, put yourself in those scenarios. Make it into a game: how many people can I talk to today? And then tomorrow, I wanna try to beat that number and continue to practice and get myself to where, socially, I can walk into any room. I don't care where they're from, what they're background is. Are they aggressive? Are they friendly? Are they in-between? I got this; I can walk in there, talk to them, photograph them, and have a good experience. And this whole thing about shooting powerful portraits using mirrorless cameras-- the title of this course-- the camera is part of it. But the important part and what I'm really wanting to impress upon you throughout this workshop, is that it is about you as the photographer. It's about you as the individual. You have to pull out those powerful expressions. You have to give that person the great experience, so that when you give them those photos that you think are amazing-- Trust me, if they had a bad experience, they're not gonna like the photo. They had a good experience and they really like the photo? They're gonna be talking about you for miles and miles to come. That, for me, was one of the big things in growing my photography business was that people were like, they love me and they would rave about me to their friends and their family. And it wasn't just like: "Yeah, he photographed me. He was okay." It was: "That was awesome! "He was funny. He was this. "I was uncomfortable, I didn't wanna have my photo taken. "But holy cow, he took my photo. "And he's probably the only person "I will ever let photograph me, ever." They had a great experience, and so that's how I was able to do that. So, anyway...

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Miguel's Exposure X2 Alien Skin Presets

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!

Danae Khan Jones

Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!


WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!

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