I totally understand that some of your problems when considering if you need a photography shoot for your business, is knowing what on earth you need to do before, during and after and also what to expect from your photographer once you’ve booked a session.
So let me help you here. In this blog I’m going to give you a bit of the process I now go through with all my business clients. I’ll take you through each stage and offer some tips on how to get the best from your time with me.
Yep, course you are!
Firstly, before we start on that, hopefully your decision to book a photographer to help you and your business has been based on some good research. I’m kind of hoping you didn’t just stick a pin in Google (!) and used the first one at the top of the list. OK that may work, but you might want to dig a little deeper into your options first. As an example a lot of my clients come to me because they are happy with these key areas.
If you’ve decided that all of those work for you and you see the value in what I can provide your business then we are well on the way to getting you feeling more relaxed.
Once all the initial paperwork is out of the way, such as Contracts, then I generally start to plan. I’ll already have taken some notes from either our initial conversations or through some of the written communications we may also have had. Once you actually book me these notes are transferred into a physical logbook I have running for all my booked clients. Each client has a few pages where I can keep relevant details to hand all the time – brilliant for when the internet isn’t an option because I’m in the middle of a field when I need to check something, or have an idea…
I also create a card for you within an App called Trello. If you aren’t familiar with it “Trello is a collaboration tool that organises your projects into boards”. For me it’s like a virtual white board full of notes and tasks.” I can look at your card at any stage and see just where we are at within your individual booking.
As the date of your shoot gets closer I make contact with you again, usually via email as I like to get some details down in writing for all parties to be able to consider and work towards. I’ll recap on the basic details of your shoot and I’ll list your needs and aims. What the purpose of the shoot is about, the areas you particularly want to focus on and a list of particular shots I think would be worth exploring.
In order to get the best out of YOUR shoot then this is a perfect time for you to get active in the background of it. You know your business better than anyone, so if you’ve got background stories I’ve not mentioned this is a great time for them to be discussed and added to the list. If you have specific shots you want, then we put them on here at this point too.
I’ll encourage you to make available specific equipment or props that will enhance some of the images without losing the honesty of a situation too. For example, if you are a pub selling great pub grub, I’m not about to get you to create a flamboyant dish full of fancy extras that just won’t appear on a customers plate when they order. That’s wasting my time, your time and ultimately isn’t the true customer experience either. However having a nice bottle of wine is both realistic and creates a nice background story too. If the shoot is a holiday venue, then think about the other areas that are going to be on show, not just plumping up the cushions or having clean fluffy towels ready. Have a wander around and create a list of things you need to have ready or jobs you need to do beforehand – such as remove weeds, deadhead/trim plants and mow the lawns.
If you are being featured in the photos then we’ll have chance to discuss what you might want to wear too, and whilst that really is up to you there are some options that work better than others on the whole. Before the day, try your outfits on! It’s important you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Find outfits that you can quickly and simply change the look by adding a hat or a scarf, changing the jacket for a cardigan/jumper.
The idea after this pre-shoot email has gone out is that you feel totally ready and everything is under control because we’ve both created a plan that suits your needs and will help everything run easier.
It also means you will probably get more shots created too. More shot options means more content for you to work with and weave into your social media or website.
Oh, one last tip from me. Have water to hand. You’ll be surprised how thirsty you get, so being hydrated keeps the brain flowing well!