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5 Things Your Client Needs to Hear

It’s no secret that the way to guarantee a smooth photo shoot this season is to talk to your clients, both in and outside of the studio.

We asked some of our top pros what they do to put their customers at ease, to get beautiful portraits worthy of the annual holiday card, and make them happy enough to tell their friends and families to book time with you, too.

Here’s what they said:

1. "Here's what happens..."

As a professional, it’s imperative to set expectations about what you will do, how you do it, when you’ll do them and what will be delivered. Show your client samples of your work (print samples, too), walk them through the experience and describe how you will work, tell them exactly when they should expect to see proofs and check to be sure if they have any time-sensitive deadlines, like holiday cards, for the photos. The more expectations you set, the less room there will be for frustration… on either end!

City shots by Ivan

2. "So when did you meet?"

People love to talk about themselves and asking questions about themselves and their families and their relationship can open them up and get them to relax. Be an active listener and be prepared to ask questions about things that they just told you. They’ll know you’re listening and that you’re genuinely interested, which builds great rapport (and trust!)

City shots by Ivan

3. "Stand like this."

Show them what to do rather than tell them what to do. It’s much easier to have them mimic a pose that you’re doing than to parse your words and move at the same time. After a while, it will become totally natural.

City shots by Ivan

4. "You’re doing great!"

Say this, even if they’re not getting the pose right and if you’re frustrated. You should always be positive and reserve your complaints and negativity to your inside voice. It’s their day and nobody really wants to hear about the traffic you got stuck in, your fussy camera, awful weather. You’re a professional and can make anything work!

City shots by Ivan

5. "Your proofs are already ready!"

Setting expectations is one thing, but having their products ready ahead of time is another. Whenever possible, under-promise and over-deliver. After all, everyone is thrilled when they get orders or proofs ahead of time, but no one tolerates anything late.

Special thanks to our house pros Nick, Ivan, Tomasz, Steve and Alastair for these great tips!