I'm Joelle, an international Lifestyle and Wedding Photographer based in St. Joseph, MI. I'm also an educator and Photo Editor for photographers interested in growing their business and living life more.
Photo by: Nicole Balsamo Photography
Knowing what to do to make your clients comfortable in front of the camera can be tricky business. And I know what you’re thinking as you scroll through Instagram – how do people capture all of those adorable candids?! I’ve wondered that question too, many times. The answer? Because they’re enjoying themselves and they feel comfortable in front of the camera. It’s all in the client experience. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve come up with 5 key ingredients for a fun client experience, and I’m sharing them with you!
Have a Plan
It seems like a no-brainer, but with our busy schedules, it can be really easy to simply set a time, show up with your camera, take shots of some standard poses, and go home. But, if you create a plan in your mind ahead of time, man can it make a difference! Outline what locations you want to use, how you want your subjects posed, and if you’ll be using any props. Setting a time limit for each location will help keep things efficient and organized too.
Bring an assistant
For engagement sessions especially, I’ll bring my fiancé with me. Since we photograph weddings together, it’s a great opportunity for both of us to get to know the couple AND it puts the guys more at ease. I like to tell my couples it’s kind of like we’re on a double date, and they’re getting some fun photos out of it.
Sometimes it depends on the situation, but playing some tunes in the background can really help set the mood and relax everyone. You can use your phone or a portable Bluetooth speaker, kept tucked away while you shoot. Bonus points if you find out what your client’s favorite genre is!
Another thing I like to do to enhance my clients’ experience (specifically engagement sessions), is to bring my Polaroid camera and give them a snapshot at the end of the session. It’s such a cute keepsake for them to cherish! They always think I’m taking it for myself, until I hand it to them and explain it’s theirs to keep. The way their eyes light up is priceless.
Under-promise + Over-deliver
If you’re a photographer, you’ve probably heard this phrase before. I think it’s one of the most important steps to enhancing your client experience! If you know you’re going to end up giving your clients 50 images, tell them they’ll receive 30. Those extra 20 images will feel like the best surprise to them! Likewise, with your turnaround time, deliver the images before the deadline you told your client. They’ll be so excited!
Implementing these elements in my sessions has made a world of a difference. And I believe the reason why, is because I’m thinking of my client. It’s not about me, it’s 100% about them. As long as they feel thought of and appreciated, they’ll love you forever. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be going places in no time!