5 ways to put your clients at ease
It’s so important to make your clients feel comfortable and confident. It will show through in the images and makes or breaks the experience. There are things you can do before and during the shoot to help them relax and feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Before the Shoot
1.) Phone calls – A great starting point is to schedule a call or Facetime with your couple. I highly recommend requiring a call before booking anything. It’s a great way to find out if your personalities mesh and if you’re a good fit for them. Phone calls are more personal than emails and allow both people to connect with the human on the other end. It’s so much easier to tell someone’s tone + personality on a call rather than reading an email where you’re left guessing.
2.) Questionnaire – A questionnaire is a great way to get to know a couple better. You can ask them things like their favorite things to do together, what their favorite Netflix show it, or what their love languages are. You can learn a lot about them, have great conversation starters, and get an idea of how they communicate their love for each other. You can send questionnaires through Honeybook. I highly recommend having a CRM (customer relationship manager) like Honeybook. Check out my list of 4 resources for photographers!
3.) Meeting up for a drink or coffee – Every time I’ve done this, I notice a HUGE difference in the overall experience. Connection goes both ways. As an introvert, sometimes it takes me a little while to feel comfortable around people I don’t know well. So hanging out casually creates an environment that encourages an actual friendship between you and your couple. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, taking a couple out for a drink and picking up the tab is an awesome way to start off. I recommend offering a few options (coffee, wine, beer) in case they don’t drink something. It is about them after all, and there’s nothing more awkward than you drinking while someone sits there without a drink.
During the Shoot
4.) MUSIC – This is my all time favorite tip, and I don’t know what I would do without music. I bring a mini speaker and attach it to my camera strap or bag. It sets the tone for the shoot and instantly relaxes couples. I ask beforehand what kind of music they like, and I create or find a Spotify playlist for them. If there’s a song or band they like, usually they get really pumped, and that creates an awesome photo opportunity. It’s a great way to cut out awkward silences when they can start feeling self-conscious. You can find a really affordable speaker on Amazon. I don’t see the exact one I use anymore, but here’s a link to a similar one that has good reviews.
5.) Encouragement – Couples usually aren’t used to being in front of a camera. They want assurance that they’re doing great and don’t look stupid. I like to talk a lot to my couples, and I’m naturally excited when I direct my couples. You don’t have to be as vocal, but I recommend pushing outside your comfort zone and telling them when something looks good. Specific things are great like “ooh I love how you brushed the hair out of her face, will you do that again?” or something more broad like “holy crap y’all are gorgeous! wow these are looking so good!!”. Sometimes they start laughing and that’s also a great photo. Make sure you don’t give negative feedback. I never tell a couple that their hands look awkward or say anything like “don’t do that” or “not like that”. Sometimes I let it play out and say “awesome, ok now let’s try this!” or “my bad, I meant turn in towards each other”. You don’t want them to feel like it’s their fault or that they look awkward. Positive feedback is key!
These five tips will help your couple feel comfortable and create an incredible client experience! Comment below with you’re favorite tips on connecting with clients and making them feel good in front of the camera.
I’m Emily, and I’m a destination elopement photographer who’s traveled to over 24 countries. I’m passionate about helping other photographers create and grow their dream business. Follow @emilykiddphoto on Instagram and shoot me a DM to say hey! Can’t wait to see you on the gram!