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Understanding what your clients want.
  
 
DannyBostwick
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Understanding what your clients want.


So, pre-engagement do you guys talk with your clients about what they want? What they want their photos to feel like? Or do you show up and just feel it out and shoot? Sometimes I feel like my photos are overly affectionate, and maybe some couples aren't really that touchy feely at home or in their lives. I want their photos to represent them, just curious if you guys talk about that pre-shoot with your clients.


Apr 07, 2014 at 03:26 PM
SGallant
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Understanding what your clients want.


For me it depends. If it comes up during a consult I will cover it. If I do an engagement session with the couple I will definitely cover it during the shoot as to what they specifically like. And if there is no engagement session, I go under the assumption by the time they have hired me they have seen at least 5 of my weddings (including 2 full ones) + several large prints of individual couple shots. By this point they should have a better understanding of what I do than if I told them what I do.

So far this has worked for me. I could also see the value of making sure I went over what they wanted in advance though.



Apr 07, 2014 at 04:02 PM
myam203
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Understanding what your clients want.


Some photographers are really precise and controlling, but I'm the exact opposite of that... I really just show up and feel it out. In fact, I'm probably a bit too loose in the way I shoot, and would like to work on planning my shots more, but I still think the couple should dictate the tone of the session.

I had one couple that was very awkward and needed my guidance in order to look natural in front of the camera, but I never pushed them to kiss or show too much affection, because it just wouldn't work for them. The shots were nice, very safe and mostly "camera aware", but they were really happy with them.

Another couple was so affectionate that I either had to get them a hotel room or interrupt them in order to move the shoot along. So, it goes both ways, but I think any couple will give you a sense of their comfort level.



Apr 07, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Prettym1k3
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Understanding what your clients want.


I usually prefer that they choose a location. It puts them at ease that they've chosen a location that feels familiar and special to them. Then, as far as outfits, I ask them to "dress like yourself, but the best version of yourself. If you really are a jeans and t-shirt couple, make it a nice pair of jeans and a nice, near, ironed, non-faded stylish t-shirt."

Coaching them as much as possible, while leaving them with the feeling that they've made the decisions (but you've influenced them with your expert advice) is the best method.



Apr 07, 2014 at 06:55 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Understanding what your clients want.


DannyBostwick wrote:
do you guys talk with your clients about what they want? What they want their photos to feel like?


I don't go out of my way to ask. Sometimes I have had them volunteer things like, "We're not really the kissy kind of couple". I hear something like that and I stay away from kissing shots.




Apr 08, 2014 at 04:57 AM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Understanding what your clients want.


We have a form we send out before everything we shoot. We also are typically involved in shooting locations and timelines and make a phone call prior to the shoot/wedding to talk through everything. It helps spot potential red flags.

With that said, I think 'feeling it out' is critically important in this job. I think that self-awareness and intuition are maybe the two most important skills for someone running a photography business.



Apr 08, 2014 at 11:45 AM
MRomine
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Understanding what your clients want.


With engagement locations I like to get input from each couple and we try if possible to include a location or activity that is of some import to their relationship. Their location or activity of choice can have a bearing on the feel that they are looking for. Urban, county or park like setting. This in turn impacts clothing choice. We generally will work with any location a client chooses unless I know that it has nothing to work with then I might seer them in another direction but that is rare.

Clothing can really kill the appearance of a session, especially the guys clothing. I have few rules but give suggestions and direct them to my Pinterest board for engagement clothing ideas. I caution women about sleeveless blouses, many women don't like how their upper arms look and sometimes too much arm can kill a photo. I ask that guys not wear shots, few dudes have decent looking knees and legs. I recommend that they avoid large wide stripes, checks or patterns.

I at times I will ask if they have a Pinterest board of collected engagement photos that they might want to share but I make it plain that I will not be copying them but it will give me an idea what the bride is envisioning that her photos will look like. Does her collection have lots of kissing romanic photos or more camera aware photos etc.



Apr 08, 2014 at 03:33 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Understanding what your clients want.


We spend a great deal of time getting to know our clients and also figuring out what makes sense for them in a shoot. We also have a worksheet they fill out and have some guidelines for making a great shoot we give them as well.
The more we know about them the better we can plan for the shoot. We let them come up with ideas but secretly we coach them into the best possible shooting situations we can. Letting someone feel like they are in control makes a huge difference in easing their fears etc.



Apr 08, 2014 at 03:56 PM
NYstyles
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Understanding what your clients want.


Tony Hoffer wrote:
I think 'feeling it out' is critically important in this job. I think that self-awareness and intuition are maybe the two most important skills for someone running a photography business.


Agreed.

MRomine wrote:
I at times I will ask if they have a Pinterest board of collected engagement photos that they might want to share but I make it plain that I will not be copying them but it will give me an idea what the bride is envisioning that her photos will look like. Does her collection have lots of kissing romantic photos or more camera aware photos etc.


I do this too. While many are Pinterest 'haters' you can get a good idea what the couple is envisioning for their photos. Its not to copy its to get a better feel.





I go with the flow. In general I find if a couple wants something specific they just tell you. They may need guidance posing, asking what to wear, etc but they'll tell ya not to many kissing shots, no signs, yada, yada.



Apr 08, 2014 at 05:22 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Understanding what your clients want.


Tony Hoffer wrote:
I think 'feeling it out' is critically important in this job. I think that self-awareness and intuition are maybe the two most important skills for someone running a photography business.

Absolutely. Add to that being a "chameleon" to some extent, being able to be what your couple needs you to be in order for you to do the best job possible for them. Sometimes you need to be exuburant, sometimes you need to be more reserved.



Apr 08, 2014 at 06:36 PM
 

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MRomine
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Understanding what your clients want.


NYstyles wrote:
I do this too. While many are Pinterest 'haters' you can get a good idea what the couple is envisioning for their photos. Its not to copy its to get a better feel.


Yeah, not a fan of Pinterest but if they have been collecting photos it gives me a window into their thinking and likes. At least I can get an idea of what planet they are on.



Apr 08, 2014 at 07:39 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Understanding what your clients want.


I've done the whole "show me a Pinterest board of concepts" before and it's usually just a board filled with epic photos, stylish couples, great lighting, great locations, etc.

IMO, it sets their expectations too high, especially for those clients who aren't use to have their photo taken professionally.

I go in with the understanding that if they're hiring me from my website, they like my style and they want me to shoot like that.



Apr 08, 2014 at 10:15 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Understanding what your clients want.


ZachOly wrote:
I've done the whole "show me a Pinterest board of concepts" before and it's usually just a board filled with epic photos

I go in with the understanding that if they're hiring me from my website, they like my style and they want me to shoot like that.


I have the same attitude: they saw my portfolio and they want that. Have never been to the Pinterest website and don't plan on starting.



Apr 09, 2014 at 04:39 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Understanding what your clients want.


NYstyles wrote:
I will ask if they have a Pinterest board

I do this


Tell me you don't Google 'em, too.



Apr 09, 2014 at 04:43 AM
NYstyles
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Understanding what your clients want.


D. Diggler wrote:
Tell me you don't Google 'em, too.

No. lol I have a time or two though with an inquiry or the like though. My gut was telling me to do it... That spidey sense! ha ha


As to a comment above, sure some may have unrealistic expectations with 'Pinterest' pictures... However, those that do usually have them regardless of Pinterest. A board didnt turn them that way...

Sure, they hired me based on my work from my site but it doesnt mean an inspiration board wont help us along. I have a huge inspiration book for my glamour/boudoir shoots, took me years to built it. Its about 3 inches thick! lol I also have an inspiration look book for makeup(I used to be heavy into bridal MU/I still do MU for my glam/boudoir sessions) I see it no different for an E session, its a board instead of a book. These books help Tremendously with posing and ideas for clients/makeup looks. It helps them more than me. Im used to shooting they are not.

I personally make Pinterest work for me, like any other social media. Im picking my battles and Pinterest is not one of then! It works Really well for my other business so I cant complain! It works so well Ive needed to hire an assistant to keep up...






Apr 09, 2014 at 12:48 PM
bryanlindsey
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Understanding what your clients want.


Me: So tell me what you want, what you really really want.

Client: I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want.

Booking rate: 100%



Apr 09, 2014 at 02:02 PM
TheGE
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Understanding what your clients want.


If they're commissioning me it's because they're infatuated with my work and so I get carte blanche to photograph them according to my concepts.


Apr 10, 2014 at 06:14 PM
vinmunoz
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Understanding what your clients want.


I have to have a meeting with them first. talk about everything. the timing in what part of the wedding to do certain shots. Like during reception, i usually steal the couple for a bit to do some portraits while everyone are busy eating.

some groom don't even know how to kiss.



Apr 12, 2014 at 01:44 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Understanding what your clients want.


vinmunoz wrote:
some groom don't even know how to kiss.


So do you provide in-studio demos?



Apr 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM
jeremy_clay
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Understanding what your clients want.


Multiple emails, notes taken, and info exchanged. As much as I can, really.


Apr 16, 2014 at 05:43 PM
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