As lifestyle newborn photographers, it’s so important that we prep our clients for what to expect at their session!
When I first started out as a professional photographer, I learned the hard way that client’s weren’t going to just know what to do to prepare for their session day, and didn’t know how to dress themselves in colors that the camera loves.
The truth is that photo sessions are NOT an every day occurrence for our clients, and because of that they can feel incredibly intimidating. As their photographer, it’s our job to put them at ease and help them through the process to create a stress-free experience. We can do this by implementing a well thought out, systemized client prep workflow!
Today I’m sharing the 5 main touch points of any good client prep workflow for your lifestyle newborn sessions.
Did you know that client prep begins before your client is even your client? It’s true! Before my clients have signed on the dotted line, we should be preparing them to work with us. We can do this in a few ways.
The first way is to make sure we are giving relative, valuable information about our sessions and what sets us apart on our websites! A simple price list just isn’t gonna cut it. See if you can come up with a few non-tangible ways your sessions are unique, and include those on your website information page.
The second way is to share a little behind the scenes on your social media channels. Simply sharing your work just doesn’t cut it anymore. Let your potential clients into your process. This helps them feel comfortable with you before you’ve even had an exchange, and when a photo need arises for them – they’re going to think of you!
Yay! You’ve turned a potential client into a paying client who has booked a session with you! Woo hoo!
Your client prep continues into your booking process. Let your clients know how you handle your bookings. Should they mail you a check? Do you collect a deposit? Is your contract and invoice done electronically? When you get the e-mail that they’re ready to move forward, be detailed in exactly what happens next.
This is my favorite part of the client prep process. This is when I get the opportunity to show my clients how experienced and well-prepared I am for their shoot! I send a very detailed e-mail with instructions for getting ready for the session. Everything from how to schedule with me once baby is here, what to wear, and when I’ll get their final images to them is included in this e-mail. It’s a long one, but the feedback I get from this e-mail is incredible. It helps mamas who are trying more often than not are having their first go at motherhood feel a lot less stressed, and excited for session day. It helps them feel in control of session day, and to know that I’ll be their guide through the whole process.
Session day prep is a bit more subtle. We’ve already tackled the big things, like helping them know what to do before you arrive and what photographs well clothing wise. On session day, our prep workflow looks more like making sure our clients know exactly what you’re going to do while you’re in their home. Where will you start the photos? In what order will you photograph the family? From the moment I arrive, I let my clients know that I am well prepared to guide them through everything from start to finish by being very verbal about where we’ll start, and who will be doing what throughout the entire shoot. I almost NEVER stop talking while I’m shooting to make sure my clients remain comfortable and know what’s happening next. It might sound like a lot of talking – and to be honest, for this introverted gal, it is! But having a camera pointed at you by someone you’ve only just met is intimidating. When I switched to this approach, I could physically see my clients relax and feel at ease before my eyes.
Feel kind crazy to think you’d still be prepping your client AFTER the session? I promise you, it’s not, and honestly it’s one of the most important parts of a great client prep workflow.
Make sure you have touch points after the session. I always reach out to my clients the day after the session with a sneak peak, and a note reminding them again of when they’ll get their final gallery from me (even though I’ve already told them 2-3 times!). It helps set expectations for when you’ll have their photos ready so they know exactly when they’ll hear from you again.
Reaching out and staying in touch after the session is also a great way to keep your name in your client’s mind! I also offer milestone sessions and love following up with newborn clients with annual lifestyle family photo sessions. Staying in touch post-shoot is a great way to let them know you’re still here and have plenty of ways to serve them as baby grows!
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