5 Tips for your First photoshoot
Your first photoshoot can be a scary thing. However, if you’re prepared it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips that helped me get through my first session.
1. Research the location prior to your session
If your client is requesting a session on location, ask if they have a particular location in mind first. If they do not, you can either research good locations that other photographers have found on the internet, or you can physically visit locations in the requested city/area yourself. It might be beneficial to take a friend or family member with you – someone who would be willing to pose for test shots for you. This can help tremendously in learning about backdrops, lighting, the angle of the sun in that location, and good places to pose your client(s).
2. Get to know your clients if you don’t already
If you don’t already know your clients, make an effort to learn about who they are. Why did they book this session? How many people will you be photographing? What are their names? How old are they? What specific requests, if any, do they have for you? Knowing these kinds of details about your client will establish a personal connection and will create a more natural photoshoot with your client feeling more comfortable with you. You are also creating a positive customer service attitude for you and your brand – something that potential clients are always looking for.
3. Arrive early to the photoshoot location
Always arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the time your clients are set to arrive. Just in case there are any sort of issues with the location, your equipment, other photoshoots in session, etc. you can attempt to sort these problems out before your clients arrive. The last thing you want to establish is a reputation of not being on time or reliable. Your clients are paying for your service, so it goes without saying that their time and money should be of utmost importance.
4. Have fun
The more relaxed your clients are, the more natural your photos will turn out. Creating a fun environment for them will encourage the natural feel you want to achieve. Be personal with them. Call them each by their name. If you let your personality show this will encourage your client to let their personality show. When there is laughter or a moment of sincerity, don’t hesitate to capture these candid moments. These shots will often turn out to be the best of the entire shoot. Allowing them to be themselves and be comfortable in their own skin is the key to capturing their true personalities.
5. Return product promptly
Depending on how big the job is, edit the photos and return them to the client as quickly as possible. It is expected that achieving professional quality during the editing process will take some time, and do not by any means cut corners during editing just to get the product to your client faster. However, keep in mind that your client is anxiously waiting to see the product of their investment. If you can get the photos back to them slightly sooner than they expect, this will help you establish a positive customer satisfaction rating and the brand that you are seeking to create.
Whether you intend to become a professional photographer or not, it is excellent practice to be respectful of your clients and eager to please them. You never know what jobs may present themselves in the future or how far customer recommendations may carry your name.