It’s not enough to have beautiful work these days friend. I hate to say it, but it’s true. A technically good (or even great) photographer is a dime a dozen these days. And while there’s a lot that goes into growing a successful business, if I could boil it down to one simple thing, this would be it.
Kinda crazy right? But it’s true.
I know because a few years ago my family had our photos taken by a very talented photographer. And while the photos were technically beautiful, the lack of client experience overpowered said photos. When Tyler and I look at them to this day, we still FEEL AWKWARD. Because this photographer didn’t talk to us, didn’t pose us, and didn’t do anything to make us fele comfortable. So now when we look at them, allllllllll those feelings come flooding back.
But it doesn’t have to be the same for you. I have a 5 step repeatable process for making clients feel amazing at every single session. So LET’S GO!!!!
From the very second your clients get out of their car to approach you, choose something to affirm them on. Tell them how fabulous they look. Compliment their hair. Remark on how they picked the perfect location. Preparing to have photos taken is stressful, so by affirming them right away, you’re letting them know that they made the right decisions already. It will instantly make them feel good.
People LOVE to talk about themselves. It’s easy, and it’s comfortable. So ask them lots of questions before you even begin your session. Ask them about life. Ask them about their wedding. Ask them about their kids. Ask them about their dogs. Doesn’t matter what it is. Just get them talking and find ways to connect with them! Do this for at least TEN minutes before you start and it will automatically have people feeling comfortable already.
Once you get started, keep reminding your clients how AMAZING they’re doing. Likely for them taking photos is not something they do all the time. So if you can keep on telling them how great they’re doing, you’ll be building their confidence. Say things like:
Pause right now for ten seconds and do and say nothing. While it feels like a short amount of time, in reality, it’s an eternity. Now think about if you posed your clients, and kept them hanging for 10 seconds. In that silence you’re allowing awkwardness to breed. You’re giving them time to get in their own heads and start questioning how they look and how they’re doing. Instead, keep on talking so that there’s never an awkward silence.
Unless you’re working with professional models, it’s likely that your clients aren’t going to do things correctly 100% of the time no matter how great your direction is. So when they inevitably mess something up, DO NOT LET THEM KNOW IT! Instead of saying something like, “Not like that. Move your arm down to her waist,” say something like, “That looks great. Ok now this time I want to see what it looks like if you move your arm down to her waist. Yup, just like that!” Keep it positive and keep it breezy. Anything negative will have your clients starting to doubt themselves.
Ok so now the good news is, you can REPEAT this process at EVERY SINGLE SESSION. Doesn’t matter if it’s a family, senior, couple, or just a bride. Give them a try next time and let me know how it goes. I’m here cheering you on, Big Dreamer!!
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