So, a couple of weeks ago. I was called by a potential client telling me that every summer his family has a reunion. And this year they picked San Diego, as their destination and would like to hire a photographer to capture some of their special moments.
At first I was a bit weary, because as you know from my Facebook Business Page; I tend to get quite a few people trying to pull the wool over my eyes. This one seemed legit, as the gentleman was flying from Washington DC to San Diego to be there with his family and he did not mention a party coordinator needing to be paid cash, because she could not process credit cards, which was a good thing. After a bit more discussion, we set a date and reluctantly a time. I say reluctantly, because it was 5:00PM and the sun was extremely harsh, but we could not push it back due to dinner plans. Here are a few additional tips to help you out:
Remind the client/model to get plenty of rest, so that he or she will look refreshed and you won’t have to spend hours clearing bags and crow’s feet. (**Note: This may be an issue because of circumstance. **)
Also, send a little reminder to the client the day before of the shoot day and time, as sometimes people can be forgetful.
Agree to everything up front. Do not leave any lose ends, as the day of the shoot may come and you cannot agree on the form of the payment or how you will deliver the photos.
The customer is always right, within reason. (**Note: If the client would like to try something different and it’s not too dangerous. Do it! **)
One of my favorites phrases, “Be Prepared”. Clean and inventory your equipment the day before. You don’t want to arrive on location, just to find out that your lenses have seen better days or that you forgot to bring extra batteries.
Arrive to the location 15 to 20 minutes early, in case you need to do any last-minute paperwork or changes.
Be ready to shoot once you arrive on-site. You don’t want to be installing memory cards and batteries when you arrive.
Make sure that client looks his or her best, with both hair and make-up. Allow the client a few extra minutes time, for composure.
Relax, be friendly, and remember to smile. People like working with happy people and you will feel better too.
All in all, it was a good shoot. We had a lot of fun. The photos were delivered 24 to 48 hours, as promised and uploaded to Dropbox. A DVD-ROM was put together and delivered with the client’s name and date. The clients loved the photos, except for a couple that had people in the shade. Well, remember that work reluctant… The people were posed under a tree and my flash could not compete with the sun, but we got a lot of great shots.
I hope I have not bored you too much. I had a lot of fun writing this one like all of my blogs. I trust I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not a perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.