In order to be a successful photographer you have to understand the importance of being able to sell your work. I’m not talking selling prints here, I’m talking about selling you. You are the business and doing a pre-consultation is an important part of the ‘sell.’
1. Pre-consultations help you set expectations for the entire photoshoot and your clients’ experience with you.
2. You can be very precise about your expectations for your photo copyright and how your clients should or should not use it.
3. You have an extra opportunity to show clients the products you can sell them later, which plants a seed and often helps you with in-person sales after the photoshoot.
4. Safety! Above all else, meeting your clients before going out to a remote field to do a photoshoot ensures that you can get to know them and that they are not creepers.
5. You can go over all the terms of the contract so they understand your policies.
6. You can ask your clients about themselves! Spending time asking them questions about what their wedding is going to be decorated like, or name ideas they have for the baby, and other personal questions will help them develop a trust in you. If a client trusts you they are going to be more comfortable in front of the lens, your pictures are going to be more natural and your photoshoot will be easier.
7. You can discuss what to wear with your clients in person and you’ll be able to better understand their comfort zone.
8. You can get ideas and discuss the photo shoot location. You have an opportunity to impress and exceed their expectations when they offer up a place you haven’t been before and you tell them you’ll check it out before the shoot!
9. If they’re here meeting with with you in person, your chance to book them is much higher. They wouldn’t have driven and taken time out of their busy lives to meet with you if they weren’t seriously interested in your photography services. Dress to impress. Treat the consultation as a job interview.
10. You can get an idea of what they specifically do and don’t like and any certain photos they are looking to capture or avoid.
11. By meeting your clients ahead of time you’ll get to see who they are and tailor the photoshoot to suit their personality. If they are talkative and outgoing you can photograph them in a place that seems fun and bright, like and amusement park. If they are quiet, shy, and very in love you can take them to a romantic remote field for a picnic. It’s important since you are providing custom photography (unlike Sears or Walmart) that you give them a full custom experience.
12. You’ll be able to cut down on the questions after the photoshoot because your clients will already know how you edit, how long it takes you to process, and when you’ll be done with the photos as well as when you’ll be contacting them.
13. Give them a welcome packet to take home with them. It’ll give them an opportunity to look over all the information you’ve discussed, re-enforced your business policies, and something they can share with their friends and family so you can get referrals.
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