Just recently I worked with a brand new company based in Roanoke, VA called The Black Bibs. An incredible and simple solution to cycling bibs. Nothing but black bibs. After talking to the owner I knew the concept that I wanted to move forward on. I envisioned black on back with some unique and dramatic lighting. This look holds strong to the brand of the company and really makes an impact visually.
With any type of photo shoot, you must prepare ahead of time. Before
you can be creative with the photography side of your job, you must
first consider the business side and the many factors that can
influence a shoot. There are several different factors that can shape
your business, but in this blog post, I’ll focus on a few of the
Build a Relationship
Building a good relationship with your client, no matter what type of
photography services you are offering them, is very important. When a
potential client contacts you regarding your services, your first step
needs to be to convince them that you are the best photographer for
the job. Communicate to them that you are competent for the task and
that your business in particular can best meet their needs compared to
other competing businesses. Building this foundation will not only
help your success with your initial service, but can also help lead to
other services down the road. Meeting face to face can be a very
helpful way to communicate to a potential client that you are
genuinely interested in them and their vision for the photos as well
as help set you apart from other businesses. Ask good questions and
focus not just on the job, but on the individual and get to know them
as a person.
Figure out your Client’s Needs
As you are building this relationship with your client, begin to ask
questions about the photography services they need. You want to make
sure you communicate well and ask the right questions to ensure your
client communicates what they need. Get as much information as
possible about what they expect and the end product they desire so you
can approach the photo shoot prepared. When you come to the photo
shoot, you should both be on the same page as far as what you are
agreeing to do for them.
Provide a Quote
After communicating about your services and figuring out what the
client needs, you can then proceed to provide a quote. Based off of
how much work you will be doing, give your client an estimate price
for your services. Ask yourself questions like what kind of pictures
do they need? How many pictures are they wanting? How much time are
you committing to the shoot? How many locations are you using? All
of these different factors should influence your quote.
Create a Contract
Contracts may seem like a lot of work, especially if you are a new
business, but they can help protect you and your business. In
addition, contracts will help communicate to your client the services
you are agreeing to and what happens in the light of change. Any
technical information that needs to be communicated can be written up
in a contract.
Set up a Time
After you have discussed with your client the different business
factors, work on setting up a time for the photo shoot. It may seem
tedious to go through this entire process before a photo shoot, but
taking care of these small things will help in the long run. Taking
the time to focus on the details will communicate to your client that
you genuinely care and will put in the necessary effort towards a
photo shoot. Remember that all these small factors will influence
your reputation as a photography business and help lead to new
services and clients in the future. A little effort can go a long way
and create a professional and effective business.
When learning how to run a photography business, one of the many
things you will need to figure out is how much time is poured into a
photo shoot for a client. While you will spend a good amount of time
actually shooting photos, there is a lot of time that goes into behind
the scenes work. Figuring out where your time is going will help you
to manage your time well and plan adequately. Here is a breakdown
list of things a project for a client will include.
Correspondence to Clients
Calling or emailing back and forth between clients is one of the
initial ways in which you will be investing time towards a photo
shoot. This time is where you will be setting a date, time, and
location for shooting. You also should use this time to figure out
what your client’s expectations are. Having an understanding of your
client’s needs before going into a photo shoot will help you to reach
their needs effectively.
The most obvious way in which you will be spending time is in your
actual photo shoot session. This will include driving time and
setting up/cleaning up the photo shoot. In order to use this time
well, plan ahead to figure out where you will be shooting and what
kind of shots you want as an end result. Having a clear picture in
mind will help the shoot to progress smoothly and ensure a stress free
time for your client.
Post Processing your photos
Editing can be a very time consuming process for some photographers.
Remember to factor this in when you are figuring out how many hours to
work on a photo shoot for a client. This will differ from
photographer to photographer depending on how heavily you process your
Sending Clients the Final products
Communicate with your client how you will be giving them the finished
images. If you offer prints, make sure your clients are informed how
long the prints will take to develop and give them a time frame for
when they should receive the prints. Even if you are only sending
them a digital copy of the images, let them know approximately when
they will receive the digital copies. This can vary depending on how
much you decide to edit.
Posting to Social Media
Make sure you take the time to market and brand your business through
social media. Posting pictures from a recent photo shoot on Facebook
is a great way to get your images out there. Tagging your clients in
their photos is another way to publicize to their groups of friends.
Watching and monitoring your time as a photographer is a necessary
thing, especially if you are juggling several different shoots in an
allotted time. This post outlined a basic list of ways in which you
will be spending time for a client. There are also many other things
to consider that are crucial to running a business. Managing
finances, organizing and backing up images, marketing, and many other
things will all play important roles in your photography business. As
you keep track of your time you will be able to plan your photo shoots
successfully and manage your time effectively.
I recently work with the start up company Passport based in Charlotte, NC. I had previously worked with the Marketing Director on advertising campaigns for a Federal Credit Union. As a Roanoke photographer it's great to travel and work with clients such as Passport. They have an incredible work environment. Looking like a Google workplace, it definitely feels like a hip start up. They work hard and play harder. The client used the images for website content and we were able to do the whole shoot in one morning. Saving them time, but getting exactly what they needed.