So, a really awesome client came in for a shoot. She was relaxed, not nervous in any way which is really, really, really rare. She was pleasant. Had a great sense of humor. Was very open, communicative, and appreciative.
The kind words to describe her could go on and on.
So I asked her — “It’s interesting that you didn’t seem nervous at all when you walked in. I don’t see that very often…have you done this before?”
“Yes,” she said. “That’s why I’m here. I was totally unhappy with my last experience so I had to do it over. I researched, and found you.”
I didn’t want to pry. But I had to admit…I was curious. How did her last shoot go so wrong? What happened?
“Was there something specific?” I asked to see if she would share any further information…I wasn’t being nosy; I wanted to understand why her experience hadn’t been good, and at the same time make sure I was doing everything I could to deliver a completely different kind of experience.
I won’t divulge all the details, but I will share the lessons that came from what she shared:
- Have a PLAN: clients want to know what’s going to happen, how it’s all going to work; being fuzzy, unclear about the style and type of images you’re going to create before you even begin, and leaving them to their own devices throughout the process makes them feel kind of like a ship without a sail.
- BE the expert: all clients want direction and guidance based on expertise–give them that.
- Establish RAPPORT: build it quickly and maintain the bond throughout your shoot–any feelings of awkwardness will be minimized if conversation and humor flow easily.
- COMMUNICATE constantly: ease any worries, reassure her, build her confidence, and always, always be the consummate professional.
- KNOW your stuff: most clients have no idea what looks good on camera and need constant guidance, adjustment, and reassurance that they are posing well, emoting well, and giving you a range of expressions and looks; learn light so that you flatter her; study poses that flatter different figures and shapes; in short, master the art of boudoir photography.
All of us start somewhere, so I share this information in the spirit of being helpful to those who may be just starting out…or to those who may wonder why their referral engine isn’t as well oiled as it could be.
Best wishes for an amazing 2016.
Illuminating the Power of the Feminine(R)
Susan Eckert owns and operates Long Island’s Leading Boudoir Photography Studio and is author of Body & Soul, a meaningful approach to boudoir photography which is now available on Amazon.com and as a boudoir photography resource on Barnes & Noble