195/365 - Meeting with A Future Client on Flickr.
© 2012 Eric Adeleye Photography.
It is always nice to meet with future clients. It gives you time to work on establish a rapport with your client, flesh out what kind of ideas they want to employ in the photo shoot, review your print portfolio (or look at your iPad if your photographs are on there).
Here are some of my tips when meeting with a future client for the 1st time:
1. Try to develop a connection with your client so that when you do the shoot they will be relaxed and be willing to take commands and directions from you as you pose them.
2. On the day of the shoot, make sure you check your client’s ID. The last thing you want to do is do a photo shoot with a minor and you don’t know about it.
3. Bring copies of your Photographer Release Form and Client/Model Release Form with you to show your potential client so they won’t be surprise about how you intend to use the photographs. Make sure you communicate clearly about what you are going to do with the photographs (i.e. add to portfolio, use in promotional material on website, sell as fine art). You own the photographs you take with your camera, the client doesn’t own them. In TFCD shoots, I typically will grant full rights to the photographs that I take of a client, and provide them with a Photographer Release Form to ensure that they won’t have any problems with printing the photographs. Most professional places will request that a person have a release form from the photographer before they agree to print them. Work with your client if they have a problem with you posting the photographs online, you have to play this by ear.
4. Make sure you give your client your contact information, including your cell phone, email address, website, and social networks that you frequently use so that if they are on there you can connect with them and tag them in photographs.
5. If you are going to have an assistant or 2nd photographer with you to help with the photo shoot. Make sure you let the client know that up front, they may have a problem with an audience during the photo shoot.
6. Always encourage your clients to bring an escort to the shoot for their own safety and comfort. Now if you are doing a boudoir photo shoot, then you may want the escort to wait outside or something like that. The less people around when you are doing a boudoir shoot the better, you don’t need an audience for that.
7. Clearly define the concepts and ideas you will employ in the photo shoot. This should be a constant discussion up to the day of the shoot so that you can have a solid idea about what to expect. Go over the themes and ideas you have as well as the ones you receive from the client. Do some research if you have to if it something you’ve never done. Speak with other photographers you trust about questions and ideas too. Find out what type of clothing your client is going to wear. Let it be known whether or not you will be providing a make-up artist for the shoot.
8. Explain to your client the type of gear you have. Be prepared if the client wants to see your camera. Bring your print portfolio with you so that your client can see how your work looks in the real world. What you see on a computer monitor looks different in print if you don’t do it correctly. Be able to discuss some of your pasts photo shoots if need be.
9. Make sure you answer all of your client’s questions. Go over how you are going to give the images to your client. Are you going to create a private gallery for your client to download the photographs? Are you going to mail a DVD in the mail to your client?
10. Finalize the date and time of the shoot. Make sure you exchange contact information with your client. Have plan B for the location in case something happens, like weather, or some other unforeseen event that you have no control. Make sure you let the client know roughly how long the photo shoot will be. I typically shoot for 2 hours minimum.
Photography taken with Nikon D200, AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens, ambient light, no flash. Post processing in Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
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