From Start to Finish: A Walk-Through from Booking to Delivering the Final Product
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
I bet you have at least been a little bit curious about the flow of booking a photography session. I am here to tell you all about it! Let's start at the beginning. It's a very good place to start. ;)
When a potential client contacts me, it is either via my website contact page, through direct text or email, or via my other social media platforms. They are asked to give a brief description of what they are looking for, when, how many people, and the general area of where they are located or hoping to take pictures at. All of these different questions and answers help me to give them a quote that is unique to them and as correct as possible!
Unfortunately, just because I send a quote does not mean that I will be blessed with their business. But! If they do accept the quote, we then go into more detail about when, what time, and then we choose a location. I have a location guide that I made to try and give multiple options with pictures of the location to help the client choose somewhere they are genuinely interested in.
After we have decided on these things, and sometimes even before, I will send the client the contract. I tell them to read the contract and come back to me with any questions. If reading the contract is something that you are not in the habit of doing, I strongly recommend you start! I can tell when the client has not read it which sometimes worries me. There may be some fees or dates or other important parts that will be important for you to know about!
I require my clients to pay a part of the total cost as a deposit as well as return the contract to me a couple days or even weeks before our photo shoot to ensure their business. This is because it gives them an incentive to not cancel our shoot last minute, which can be a major inconvenience, and it reserves their time. Most photographers can tell you horror stories that have taught them that this is something they have to do.
The day BEFORE the photo shoot arrives! If it is not a location that I have used before or am not familiar with, I often go the day before around the time that we will be shooting to get a feel of the lighting and shot options so that I don't have to think as much on my feet at the session itself (I don't want to be stressed out!). Something else I do the day before the session is take a half an hour or so and just review all my poses and prompts that I want to use in the session. I have recently been figuring out a system where we go from one pose to the next in a flow-y fashion that limits the amount of down time where no pictures are being taken. I will practice my prompts and directions. It is almost like a meditation type of ordeal and I love it! Next, I get my camera, equipment, and all my settings ready before I go to bed. I don't always know how the day is going to go, so I prefer to be ready in advance, just in case.
Now, DAY OF. Whew! We made it. I have already gotten everything ready to go, so I don't have to stress! I try and get to the location about 10-15 minutes before my client to make sure everything is in place and to help them with directions if they need it. They get there, I take their pictures, we talk about what to expect with the timing of delivering the pictures, and I give them some of my business cards (I have a special discount for previous clients!). AS SOON as I get home, I back those pictures up. No way am I going to risk anything! I currently use Adobe Lightroom CC which also backs my photos up to the cloud, so I put them on my computer, put them in Lightroom, and now they are in 3 places.
I work on editing them until I feel like they are perfect, then as soon as I receive the final piece of payment, I deliver the edited digital files in an online album through my website. I send an email thanking my client for their business, give them the link to their album, give some directions for how to download their photos, ask them to write a review, and send them on their way if they don't have any concerns!
Some people might think that photography is easy peasy, all you have to do it have a nice camera, some spare time, and any kind of editing software. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! I have put so much work into creating a portfolio for myself, having a good system for finding and talking to clients, creating a reliable contract, etc. It is constantly improving, constantly updating, and constantly learning! It is a lot of work. But, just like any business, it pays off! I absolutely love it and hope that I will be able to continue it for years to come!
Interested in learning more or booking a session? Contact me here!