by Gary Williams Published 01/04/2011
3: The Shoot
It is crucial that the clients enjoy the photographic experience and it goes without saying that you must actually be able to produce decent images, but the process itself should be a positive, enjoyable experience for everyone. Sometimes this is not easy, as you will always get clients who are uncomfortable in front of a camera. This is where building up good rapport with clients and guests (if at a wedding or event) can be crucial. If your client is enjoying the process, the pictures WILL be better. If they had an enjoyable time this will trigger positive memories when they see the proofs and then the sales process will be easier. If they hated the whole experience your after-sales job will be much tougher.
4: Post Event
After the event or portrait session there will normally be a period of time before the client returns to see the results. Even at this point, without having seen the images, the client should have been provided with details of what you offer, and should have had ideas 'planted' in their minds - the options available to them. At the very start of the process they should also have an idea of the overall costs, etc. This does not have to be an exact figure but rather it is part of the process of setting expectations. If your client knows that most other clients spend around £500, or more, this is setting a level. If they only intend to spend £50 then at least both parties will know this early on.
5: The Viewing
This is the stage when we all tend to think that the sales should start, when in reality, if all the groundwork has been done already then it should be the case that, by now, things will virtually sell themselves. When your client makes an appointment for a viewing make sure you have allowed enough time. It is futile to have someone come for a viewing and allow a 30-minute slot between some other sessions. They need to feel relaxed and important. Some will already have a fair idea (based on the information and 'seeds' already sown) of what they want. Others will need a bit more advice.
For photographs of children it is much better to see just the parents. It is easier for them to concentrate if they don't have to chase around after 'little monkeys'.
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