“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
As a photographer, it’s not only your job to prepare yourself and your equipment before a shoot, but also everyone who is going to be involved in the process. Preparation is not something that begins on the day of the session, but weeks before.
1.Begin with the Client
Once a Boudoir client has contacted you about booking a session, the period of preparation begins. Most of your energy needs to be focused on preparing your client for what the process will entail, because although you are an expert, most likely they won’t be. They probably will have no idea what the process will be like, and will have a million questions. You’ll have to talk to them about what packages you offer, what services are available (like Hair and Makeup), and any other details which are significant to the session.
During the consultation, it’s essential to find out what their goals for the session are, and why they decided to book the session. Use this time to find out as much about them as you can, and to answer their questions clearly and succinctly. Doing a good job in this early phase will help them become more relaxed with the process, and will make the following steps easier.
After the consultation, send them a questionnaire which asks more specific questions. These details will come in handy later. Also consider sending them a welcome kit, something about the Boudoir Experience and what they should expect in the coming weeks. You can also draft a checklist for them to know what they need to do to be ready.
2.Communicate with Your Team
Once the session has been booked, you need to let your team know so they can plan their schedules accordingly. If the client wants professional Hair and Makeup, make sure these specialists can be there the day of the shoot, and know well in advance the type of “look” you or the client needs. Many times they’ll need to make special arrangements or get certain materials to make it work, and the more time they have to do this, the better it will be for everyone.
3.Get Everyone on the Same Page
Even if you feel you are repeating yourself, keeping everybody informed of all the essential details is incredibly important. The more people know about what your goal for the session will be, the smoother the process will be. If everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing before they get to the session, it will save you a lot of time and energy. The last thing you want to do is waste time explaining things that could’ve been taken care of sooner when the shoot is about to begin.
4.Encourage Encourage Encourage.
Even if you explain everything in detail weeks before the session, there might be something that gets lost in translation. If this happens, instead of getting upset, just roll with the punches. Your client and team will take direction from your energy. If you are positive and relaxed, then they will be too. If you’re stressed out and nervous, then that will affect them too.
Being the lead photographer in a session can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a huge responsibility, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Preparing your team and client before the shoot is key to any successful session, and taking the time to do it properly will make the process that much smoother.
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