Today’s Seniorologie 101 post comes from Misti Davis of Pink Fly Photography and she shares why she believes a consultation is so important when photographing seniors. Check it out below!!
Do you ever find yourself nervous or unprepared for a session? Do you ever think to yourself, “I hope she brings some cute outfits.” or “I hope she read my email and doesn’t show up with black nail polish on.”? If this sounds like you then it’s time to make life easier by adding consultations to your workflow.
Wow, that sounded like an infomercial. But seriously let me just tell you why consults are so important and if you’ve thought about doing them but just don’t know how, here are some tips that will help.
When I book a client I go ahead and schedule a consultation with them around 1-2 weeks prior to their session date. I will send them an email with tips on preparing for their session as well as a link to outfit ideas and ask them to bring with them several different outfits and articles of clothing. I want them to bring as much as they can so that I have more to sort through. On our consult day I am able to meet them face to face and it helps “break the ice” before our big day together. I have them start off showing me their one must have outfit to wear and ask mom for hers as well. They both usually have one and this way they are giving their thoughts right off the bat. Now you can sort through the other clothing items and together decide on the remaining outfits making sure they have a variety and that they will photograph well. Once decided I will pull out a carbon copy form I put together called the Shoot Form and write down descriptions of each outfit. This works as a great “don’t forget” list when they are packing up for the big day. I go so far as to write down jewelry and shoes as well.
Now that you’ve seen their style you can show them different location options. I use my ipad and apple tv to project it onto my television in my office. Say they have a couple outfits with heels that scream “city girl” then I will show them options for an urban look and have them tell me which spots they are drawn to and why. By looking at their outfits I already have ideas as to locations that will coordinate well. Once we decide I write these locations on my form. We are now creating a plan for the day making our shoot go smooth and effortless. The focus will be on taking pictures and not asking “Will these shoes work with this?” or “Where should we go to next?”
After we establish the details of our session I like to go over the tip sheet I sent them reiterating all the ways they need to prepare as well as discuss the process the day of and even after. This is also a great opportunity for mom and senior to ask questions. I want them to feel fully knowledgeable and know what to expect to help ease any nervousness as well as prevent any miscommunication issues at our session and/or after. I talk to them about what they are expecting, any ideas they may have as well as what products they may be interested in so I can shoot accordingly. Speaking of products, they are surrounded by samples of all the great items I offer which gets them looking and already thinking about what they’d like to buy. This builds the excitement even more for them and of course helps when the order session comes along.
Finally, I will wrap up our consultation getting any outstanding forms or deposits if needed and hand them the carbon copy of the Shoot Form we filled out together to take with them. On the form they will find the following:
Session date and time
Outline description of outfits
Outline description of locations
List of any props they chose to bring
The address, phone number and time to appear for makeup
And my cell phone number for them to contact me with any questions
I cannot even begin to tell you how much consultations and my special form has helped and improved my sessions. I build a face to face connection before our session, I style and coordinate outfits with locations that make sense, I make my client fully knowledgeable of what to expect, I make myself more organized and productive the day of, and I even have the client already introduced to amazing products which they get excited to buy. Even if you don’t have a home office or studio space, I highly suggest making an appointment to meet them at their house, bring a laptop or ipad and some product samples and you’re all set!
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