4 ways to make your clients comfortable
Making your clients feel comfortable is something I think everyone struggles with. You have the ability to control the entire session! You are the professional, and they hired you for your expertise, but you need to be confident. Make them understand that you know what you are doing, even if you don’t. How you portray yourself is how your clients will see you. Make sure you instruct them of a few things before their session.
1. Tell them to wear something they feel good in, represents them and works together, but isn’t too matchy matchy. If they are sporty people, maybe they will want to have a more laid back session. If they are a serious, working couple, maybe they want to be in slacks and a dress. They need to understand that they need to feel good about themselves, and then they will feel good in their pictures.
2. Tell them not to plan anything the day of their session. No appointments or things to do that are going to stress them out. You want them to be relaxed and most importantly on time, especially if you are a natural light photographer. Showing up 30 minutes late to an afternoon session crunches you for time and makes you feel rushed to get those perfect shots.
3. In an ideal world you should meet with your clients before hand, grab coffee, walk around a park and get to know each other. Without your camera to hide behind. You want to make them feel like they are your friends. And ultimately, if you are doing your job well, that’s what they will become. You want to spend equal time on both the man and woman.
4. Ask them what they do in their free time, what they do for work, if they have pets, etc. It’s sort of like a first date. It’s not an interview, so don’t go grilling them! Joke around and have fun. This should be laid back. Life gets in the way and thats understandable. So instead, schedule a phone call and try to cover the same type things. With all the ability to work through email correspondence, things get lazy, pushed down to short sentences and ultimately you aren’t going to learn nearly as much about your clients. The women are the easiest, and even though you think they are harder to please, they really aren’t. They are insecure and will tell you “don’t get my bad side” or my favorite, “don’t make me look fat” and honestly, you need to assure her that you are going to shed her in the best possible light. Men are a little harder because you will typically spend more time talking with the female before the session. Always make sure to target some questions towards the guy, talk, joke and make him feel included. Be laid back and give them direction.
You want the client to go home and say to their friends “we had so much fun with our photographer! They were very easy going and made us feel extremely comfortable! I would completely recommend you use them when you get engaged”
Thanks to Sarah Williams for the guest blog post!