Surprise Your Clients with the Unexpected!

Photography session

A photographer’s goal is to provide their clients with a collection of images that will decorate their walls and delight their memories for years to come. In general, those images should reflect the same style that is displayed throughout your portfolio. Whether light and airy, dark and moody or somewhere in between. Your work should remain consistent so that clients are getting what they’ve paid for.

However, that doesn’t mean that your sessions or final images have to be boring.

Rather than sticking with straight on poses and full smiles for every single shot, try mixing things up a bit and surprise your clients with the unexpected! This could mean getting creative with posing or simply choosing different angles.

Like the idea but aren’t exactly sure where to start? Try this.

Take more pictures

Unless you shoot with film, it costs you NOTHING to take more photos during a session: no more time, no more resources, nothing. By simply taking extra frames, you may spot a photo while culling that would not have been captured otherwise. Maybe it’s a smirk or dimple shining through. Those extra special moments are not usually planned and could be missed if you’re stingy with the number of frames you take.

photo session

Make them laugh

Props and jokes aren’t just for the little ones. Begin each session ready to give it all you’ve got to capture those little moments that make the subject of your photos unique.

This is especially true when you’re shooting mini sessions. After 6 or 7 families on the same set in the same day, things could get a little boring. Rather than letting your excitement fade, try connecting with your clients better and finding different ways to photograph them.

Use the props in a silly way. Make them laugh (literally). Watch them interact and get it in the photo! Whatever will bring out their best and make them swoon when they see the final images, make it happen.

When you’re putting their final gallery together, be sure to include the expected shots. Then, for fun and a little extra excitement, add the more candid and interactive shots that you know they’re going to love.

Creative photography

Try something new

Once you’ve captured those necessary shots that you know your clients will love, step away from what’s safe and make the session extra! Add new props, suggest more interaction and less posing, try new angles.

If they don’t work out, no worries, don’t include them in the final images that you deliver. Chances are though; you’ll find at least one amazing photo that both you and your clients will love.
photo session closeup

Under promise and over deliver

Here are a few very simple ways to do this:

Send additional fully edited digital images with the final gallery. More than whatever your packages include. 1, 2, or 10 extra files (whatever suits your fancy) may end up meaning the world to your clients!

Add extra prints when you deliver the final products. Whether your client ordered a simple photo album or digitals, throwing a few extra prints into the mix costs you very little and adds a HUGE amount of tangible value. It’s something they’ll put on display immediately and share with all their loved ones. (AKA free marketing!!)

client prints

Offer upgrades at a discounted rate. If your clients picked the smallest package, but you know that they’re going to want more when they’ve seen the final product, offer them an upgrade for a lesser amount. Think about it as a one-off situation and not a regular habit but giving your clients this break can cost you very little and will make your clients appreciative.
candid photography

Follow up

The greatest clients are those that return to you over and over again, right? Be sure your name is the one they think of the next time they need photos by following up regularly.

Begin by sending a handwritten thank you note immediately following the session. It should be received via regular mail before the final gallery being delivered.

Add your clients to your e-newsletter.
A month or so after the final images have been delivered, send a follow-up email with the reminder that prints and products for images from their most recent session can be ordered directly through you to make the process super simple.
If you collect children’s birthdays, send them a card when the time is right.

These steps should be added directly to your established workflow to ensure that they happen every single time!

Don’t forget to add your clients to your holiday card list! They’ll be happy to hear from you.

What do YOU do to ensure that your clients receive the absolute best every time they hire you to photograph their family? We’d love to hear your ideas. Leave them in the comments below.

Photos by: Dan Smedley, Caleb Jones,  Drew Hays, MI PHAM, Jenn Evelyn-Ann, Annie Sprattsarandy westfall

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