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What to Expect at a Session | Macomb Illinois Family Photographer

I thought it might be fun to give potential clients a little outline of what a session with me is like.

I also thought that there might other photographers who might like to read this to compare and contrast what I do, with what a session with them is like.

By all means, if you have advice or see a mark that I might be missing, please feel free to share your knowledge in the comment section.

I don’t hate comments.;)

Although my clients are unique in their own ways, I typically guide my sessions the same way.

Here’s what works for me:

After a client inquiry, I send my pricing/info guide.

If they are still interested, we’ll schedule a session (usually at least 1-2 months in advance).

Between the time they first email me and the day of our session, we communicate about location, ideas, clothing, and other details.

The day of the session, I show up early and assess the light and kind of do a run through in my head of what I plan on doing.

When they arrive, we chat for a few seconds, I ask them what ideas/outfits they have so I can plan accordingly.

I always make sure we do our best to execute their ideas first. Always. It’s their session, not mine.

That way, if the kids/babies start to grow tired and irritated, we were at least able to achieve the main goal: the client’s ideas.

However, usually my clients trust my outline and give me the go ahead to proceed in whatever way I think is best.

That’s when I give them this outline:

I say, “First I’d like to make sure we get several poses of group shots, as those tend to be the trickiest.” I like to call these “The Proverbial 8x10s”.

No, they’re not the most exciting images to shoot, but they’re important to the client and their family. If you’re a photographer, take pride in the fact that they chose you to shoot it.

These will be the shots that grandparents will want for their walls, parents will want for their desks, etc.

I continue, “Then I’d like to get a few singles of each child. I’ll take a walk with them to get them comfortable in front of the camera and with me.”

“Next, I like to get a few with each child interacting with the parents/with each other.”

“I’d also like to get a few shots that are a little more artistic.” This is when I ask them (just to make sure) if they’ve seen my work.

It seems like an obvious answer, but I like to communicate clearly with my clients so there are no surprises when they see their final images.

These are my favorite images. It’s my way of shooting for myself and still delivering a product to the client.

Finally, I remind them of the importance of having a couple of shots of just the parents together. I’m a firm believer in this.

“It’s so important to remember that you were a couple before you were a family.”

Then if there’s time still left over and there usually is, we leisurely walk back to our starting location and we just talk.

It’s a relaxing way to end the session. If I see the opportunity to capture candids during this time, I keep my camera close to my eye.

They pay, I let them know an approximate time frame when their images will be complete, and get their permission to post a few online either that night or the next day.

Here are some examples of the images I described above.

Enjoy!

The “8×10″

Client ideas or themes/props I bring:

Family interacting naturally:

Artistic/unconventional:

Finally, the couple/parents:

And that’s about it.

Seems simple, I know, but that’s how I like to run my business and my clients seem to be pleased as well.

I hope this has helped shed some light on the way I interact with my clients.

Maybe some of you found it useful. I hope so.

If not, let me know how I could have helped more.:)

 

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Mandy Jaeger - May 31, 2012 - 2:30 pm

The kids….on the bed…equals PERFECTION! Of course we won’t have any of those, but I am so excited for our session in October!!!!

Jessica Dingledy - May 31, 2012 - 2:45 pm

Great job! I really like your outline (especially the comment about the “proverbial 8×10″ – I’m sure it will help your clients know what to expect :)

Amanda Worrall - May 31, 2012 - 3:05 pm

Thanks for the article! That’s a great way to organize your session. Many times I do the creative shots first, but I like your suggestion to do the (less exciting) group/individual shots first. You are right…Those are the ones that clients end up ordering for their walls and/or grandparents. If you crank those out first thing then everyone can loosen up and get a little crazy with the fun shots!

admin - May 31, 2012 - 7:37 pm

Thank you so much for stopping by, Amanda! :)

admin - May 31, 2012 - 7:40 pm

Thank you so much, Jessica. It’s good to be open with clients as well as hear their thoughts and ideas.

admin - May 31, 2012 - 7:40 pm

I can’t wait either, Mandy!! :)

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