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Posts Tagged ‘Clients’

Wedding photographer’s work lambasted by clients in detailed 30-page report

12 Jan

A dissatisfied newlywed couple in Hong Kong have reportedly published a 30-page report that extensively details the various issues they have with photos taken by their wedding photographer.

The critique, which was released on Chinese social media and later published in a report by DCFever, is said to be written like a lab report, including highlighted explanations of alleged issues in individual images. Many of the images even included a rule-of-thirds overlay with specific compositional mistakes pointed out.

According to DCFever’s video, the critique was “leaked” onto social media, where it has since been heavily discussed. Complaints reportedly include overexposed backgrounds and framing issues, with some commentators agreeing and others backing the photographer by saying that the photos hadn’t yet been retouched.

It is unclear based on DCFever’s written report whether the photos had been retouched before the couple received them, and whether the photographer was paid for their work. But if you want to see the full report for yourself, DCFever published several screenshots with thumbnails of the alleged wedding photos… for better or worse.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

08 Dec

If you do any photography for clients, either on a regular basis or whenever work comes your way, there can be a tendency to be somewhat creative when answering questions about your skills, abilities, and expectations. You might be asked to shoot a wedding when you don’t necessarily have the gear or experience to do what the client expects. Or someone might ask you to take product photos when your background is in portraits.

It’s not uncommon to be on location at a photo session and have things suddenly go awry or get strange requests from your clients. Even in the editing phase, you could very well find yourself dealing with a situation that you aren’t ready for. In times like these, it’s important to remember three simple words we have all heard since we were kids – tell the truth. You might not like the immediate results, but it will work out for the best for you and your clients in the long run.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

Set your client’s expectations

Not long ago I was asked to do a portrait session for a high school senior. I knew the family and we were all looking forward to the session. But about a week before we were scheduled to take photos, we hit a bit of a wrinkle. Her parents asked if their daughter could have her two dogs in the photos as well. I had a moment of panic because this was a situation for which I was quite unprepared.

After I thought about it for a little while, I realized I had two choices, neither of which was all that appealing. I could have said yes in which case I would be agreeing to something that I was not ready for. Or I could have said no in which case I would have run the risk of angering the client and maybe even losing their business to another photographer who would agree to take the photos they wanted.

The truth of the matter, though, was that I simply didn’t know the answer so I told the client just that. Rather than say yes or no, I laid my cards out on the table and hoped for the best. I explained that I would be willing to give it a try but I had no experience with this sort of situation, and there would be a chance the pictures wouldn’t turn out at all.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

This high school senior wanted some pictures with her dogs. I obliged but tried to be as honest as possible regarding my comfort level and experience with this type of photography.

Honesty is the best policy

Instead of being upset or angry, her parents were quite pleased with my response and told me they appreciated me being upfront about it. They felt more comfortable working with someone who was willing to tell the truth rather than spend money on a photographer who just told them what they wanted to hear and might not be able to deliver on the results.

On the day of the shoot, I continued the trend of being open and honest and suggested a couple options for photos, many of which the family quite liked. I even enlisted the help of the parents. Even though the photos aren’t going to win any awards or get printed in magazines, the family was more than pleased with the results. They liked the collaborative nature of the photo session as well. They felt like they could trust me and knew that I would do everything in my power to get some photos they would like, and in the end, that’s what really mattered.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

We enlisted her mom to help!

This type of honesty can go a long way towards making sure your clients know what to expect when they book your services. Getting everyone on the same page before, and during, the photo session can help make sure they know what they are getting and you know that you haven’t promised something you can’t deliver.

Work with a safety net

Being open and honest with your clients is a little tricky and can involve walking somewhat of a fine line because as a photographer you are getting paid to know what you’re doing and you have to project a certain degree of confidence. After all, people are paying you to know what you’re doing so you had better know how to do it!

That being said, if you are honest with your clients about what you can do, it can give you a great deal of wiggle room when out actually doing a photo session. It also helps build a relationship of trust with your clients.

I normally shoot photos on location at parks and open areas around town. When I was taking pictures for another high school senior the two of us met up at a local garden, talked about school and college, and then got to work on the photo session. I started by giving him some very specific directions to get some good shots in the bag – the slam dunks if you will. He politely obliged, and we took some pictures that turned out just fine when I reviewed the images on my camera.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

This young man was willing to try some new locations and poses for his senior photos. We got some good ones in familiar spots first, and then tried a couple of experiments just to see what would happen.

Get the safe shots then experiment

After that, I spoke to him quite plainly about some ideas I had and asked if he would be comfortable trying some pictures that might be different than what he expected. Instead of just barking orders I explicitly said: “I’ve got an idea and I’m not sure how it will turn out, but would you be up for trying something and see what happens?” This sort of talk put him at ease, and he told me he appreciated that I was straightforward and plainspoken with him, and he gladly agreed to experiment with some poses and locations that were new to both of us.

I don’t have quantitative data to support this, but I have a strong suspicion that if I had played the classic “fake it ’til you make it” approach I would have been nervous, fidgety, and a little on edge the whole time. Instead, my honesty about the photos we were taking helped make the session comfortable for both of us and we got some pictures that both he and his parents liked quite a lot.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

Neither of us had ever been to this spot before, but I asked if he was willing to try something new and he was all for it.

Be open to ideas – but be honest if you aren’t sure about it

Here’s one final example of how important honesty is when working with clients. Not long ago I was asked to shoot photos of a family in early November in time for them to get their Christmas cards printed. We discussed the details of the shoot beforehand and she gave me examples of the types of pictures she was hoping to get. I assured her that I could certainly get that same look and feel. (I really meant it too because I knew the location, I knew my own capabilities, and I was entirely confident I could get the shots she wanted.)

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

During the photo session, one of the family members asked about some different types of pictures. Rather than blindly agree with everything she asked for, I slowed down and discussed the details with her on the spot. I knew the capability of the lenses I had with me, I knew the setting and the lighting, and I asked her several questions in order to make sure I was giving her honest and straightforward answers.

Soon enough I found myself standing atop an eight-foot ladder shooting straight down at a collection of hands on a tree stump. While it was certainly something I had not imagined beforehand I was able to set expectations with the client, build a safety net in case things didn’t work out, and ultimately get a shot that everyone liked.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

Not the type of picture I’m used to taking, but I explained that and the family didn’t mind at all.

Be honest with yourself

I want to make it clear that as a photographer working with clients you should absolutely possess a high degree of knowledge regarding your craft. You should understand lighting and composition, and know how to work with your subjects (even if they’re inanimate objects) to get the pictures you want. You should know your camera like the back of your hand and have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of exposure like aperture, shutter, and ISO.

But you should also know your own limitations, and understand what you can do as well as what you haven’t yet learned. Essentially you need to make sure you don’t over-promise and under-deliver when crunch time hits.

This is a mistake that a lot of new photographers make, myself included. It’s thrilling to get a new camera and some lenses and think that you can suddenly start taking on paid jobs. I know, I’ve been there! But if you take time to learn your own limitations and be honest with yourself about what you really should and should not be doing, you will find yourself producing better results while also having a clear idea of how you can improve over time.

Here’s a photo that illustrates what I’m talking about

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

I took this picture without being honest with myself. When I look back on it now I notice so many problems that were plain as day if only I had been willing to see them. This mother and her girls look great, but as their photographer, I really should have known better before agreeing to do their photos.

I had gotten a DSLR and a 50mm lens about a year before this and I thought I knew everything there was to know about photography! But in reality, there was a vast chasm between what I thought I knew and what I actually knew.

  • I didn’t understand the relationship between aperture and depth of field, hence the reason the girl in the foreground is out of focus.
  • I didn’t fully understand the capabilities and limitations of my gear and shot at much higher ISO values than I should have in this scenario.
  • My knowledge of light, shadows, and composition was lacking.
  • I didn’t know how to edit my RAW files to get the final images to look how I really wanted.

The list could go on, but the lesson here is that if I had been willing to own up to my shortcomings I would have either waited to do the photo session until I actually did know what I was doing. Or I would have been more forthcoming with the clients about what I could do and what they could expect.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

This shot turned out okay, but there was a lot I didn’t know about using external speedlights when I took it. I should have taken more time to learn what I was doing first.

Do the right thing

One final note, or perhaps a bit of advice, is to be forthcoming with your clients about the limits of what is culturally and legally permissible. If you’re in this business long enough you might be asked to shoot photos at a spot where photography is prohibited by custom or by law. (Note: if you are ever asked to take photos on train tracks, do not do it. Not only is it dangerous and life-threatening, but train tracks are private property and you will likely be trespassing if you shoot photos on them.)

Alternatively, someone might inquire about taking pictures at locations that are particularly dangerous to themselves or you as the photographer. Sometimes even the subjects you are shooting might want to engage in risky activities or behaviors that are either illegal or, as your gut instinct might tell you, just plain wrong.

Trust your instincts

It’s best to be upfront and honest if you find yourself in these situations. Tell your contacts or potential clients, “Thanks, but no thanks.” and explain that you just aren’t willing or able to meet their request. “But my friend did it, and it was no big deal!” they might reply. If they do…stand your ground, maintain your integrity, and advise them to look elsewhere for their photos. Don’t compromise your integrity and professionalism to get pictures you know you shouldn’t be taking.

The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients

Conclusion

One of the best feelings in the world is when I see someone pick up a camera, get inspired, and start using it to create images with meaning, impact, and a sense of artistry. Digital cameras make photography easier than ever before but if you are working with clients whether it’s shooting weddings, portraits, products, real estate, or any other type of transactional relationship you have to be honest with them and yourself to build a rapport and sense of trust that can lead to long-term partnerships.

The post The Importance of Being Honest With Yourself and Your Clients by Simon Ringsmuth appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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500px launches Directory to help photographers connect with clients

25 Jan

Photography website 500px has launched a new directory that aims to help photographers find new clients – and vice versa. The directory currently has more than 50,000 photographers listed across 191 countries and more than 11,000 searchable locations, according to 500px. This public launch follows the directory’s beta arrival back in December.

Photographers utilizing the directory can establish their own user profile, set rates for offline work, and directly communicate with clients. 500px says it will use the directory to locate photographers for ‘large corporate customer photography-on-demand assignments’ globally, and that clients can also use the directory to locate suitable photographers for their projects.

Currently all 500px users can access the entire directory right now, but the company says the directory will only be available to paid tier users starting in early April. Those interested can access the directory’s ‘Join’ page here.

In addition to the directory news, 500px has announced a new partnership with Adobe that’ll involve some of the best 500px photos being made available in the Adobe Stock Premium collection. 

Via: 500px

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Why Engagement Photos are a Good Investment for You and Your Clients

22 Jun

Over the past several years, engagement photos (also known as e-sessions or pre-wedding photoshoots) have become quite the norm among couples who are engaged to be married. It is probably one the first things newly engaged couples discuss and plan out. There is a lot of debate about the need for engagement photos from a couple’s point of view – are engagement photos really required, and what purpose do they serve especially if the duration between the engagement and the wedding is very short?

As a wedding photographer, I believe having engagement photos prior to the wedding is almost as important as the wedding day photos. Here are some of the reasons why I recommend engagement photos to all my wedding clients.

Memorable Jaunts DPS Article on tips for engagement photos-5-2

To help them get comfortable in front of the camera

Most people are quite uncomfortable at the thought of having their picture taken by a professional photographer, especially if they have never had photos taken before, like ever! They feel uncomfortable and awkward and don’t quite know how to relax, how to pose, or how to display emotions. Limbs tend to get stiff, bodies becomes rigid, and forced smiles cause the jaw to lock up.

This awkward and uncomfortable feeling is usually reflected in the photos. An engagement shoot can help eliminate this discomfort. It is an opportunity for clients to practice being in front of the camera, and get used to the idea of being intimate with their significant other in the presence of another person.

03Memorable Jaunts DPS Article on tips for engagement photos-1

These clients came to me for wedding photos, and were very clear that they were not at all comfortable being in front of the camera. I suggested an engagement photo session as a way to get to know me and my style, as well as for me to get to know them. All through the shoot, my only direction was to be comfortable with each other, and spend time together. By the end of the session, they had a good sense of my style and my direction, as well as got pictures together in a more casual setting than the wedding.

To help them get to know you, the photographer

In addition to helping clients get comfortable in front of the camera, the engagement shoot is also a great time to get familiar with you, the photographer. Every photographer has a different style of directing and photographing people, and this is a great opportunity for them to get comfortable with your process. Most engagement shoots last an hour or two, sometimes longer depending on the couple and you, and this gives both parties plenty of time to interact, socialize, and chat with each other. This also works on the flip side, where you also get to know the couple. As photographers, we are often looking to understand and learn the relationship dynamics of our clients – how they interact as a couple and what is their comfort level in front of the camera. This way it will help you know how to get the best moments and interactions on the wedding day.

Documenting the relationship

Wedding photos capture one of the most important moments of a couple’s life together. But often, the stress and tension of planning the perfect wedding, and the perfect day, gets in the way of capturing authentic imagery of their relationship. The engagement shoot is a great opportunity to highlight the true personality of a couple in a more relaxed and natural environment. A good tip for both you and your clients is to choose a location that is comfortable, and is a meaningful reflection of the client’s personality. This add a personal touch to the photos, and showcases them in a relaxed environment, that is a true reflection of their personality as a couple.

02Memorable Jaunts DPS Article on tips for engagement photos-1

These clients choose a location that meant something special to them. They had also recently adopted a pet and wanted to include her in their photos, as they consider her as part of the family. I let my clients completely dictate the setup for this photoshoot, and simply documented their life as true to who they are as a couple.

Uses for the engagement photos

Most clients who choose engagement or pre-wedding photos tend to use the photos as save the date cards, guest sign-in books, wedding website setup, or even placing them around the wedding reception area as part of the reception decor. This gives their wedding guests a chance to get to know the couple more intimately.

01Memorable Jaunts DPS Article on tips for engagement photos-1

This couple already had a wedding photographer, but wanted engagement pictures as part of their wedding decor. Since they both love the outdoors and it was a fall evening, we decide to do a themed engagement photoshoot that showcased their personality.

Quality time together as a couple

This is probably one of the most important reason to have an engagement session. The wedding planning process can be very stressful and taxing, with a million different things to plan and coordinate. The engagement session is a time for couples to take a step back from the wedding planning process to be together, be playful, and just be themselves. A welcome break for most folks! As wedding and engagement photographers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our clients have a stress-free, relaxed time during their engagement session.

Are you a wedding photographer that recommends engagement photos for your clients? What are some of the reasons you like them? Feel free to share your experiences and images in the comments below.

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How to Educate Your Clients to Make Them Comfortable and Get Stellar Shots

14 Mar

We’ll never forget the look on one of our earliest client’s faces when she arrived at her photoshoot. She stepped out of her car and saw our smiling faces waiting, cameras in hand, ready to take her photo. Abject terror is an understatement. We spent half of the shoot calming her down, soothing her nerves, and making her feel right at home with the camera. Meaning we had half has much time to get the stellar images we were being paid to get.

Her deer-in-the-headlights expression has stuck with us as a constant reminder, that no matter how comfortable we are as photogs BEHIND the camera, most of our subjects in FRONT of the lens are not used to being there. We think of her every time a new client books with us, because the fault was entirely ours for not properly educating her before her shoot.

client-education

An educated client is a confident one. The onus is on you as the photographer to over-educate the client before their shoot: it doesn’t just create happier, more comfortable photo subjects, it helps you create the images you’re both dreaming of. Our goal is to always become stronger in educating our client at each stage of their shoot. We divide client interaction into four distinct categories, each with its own ideal outcome:

#1 Pre-client phase

This phase is when a future client knows about you, but isn’t necessarily in the market to hire you right away. This is the time to develop an indirect relationship with them, and begin the education process before they ever hit send on your contact page.

Your brand is spread out across multiple locations: everything from Instagram, to your interactions with guests at weddings, is announcing who you are, and what you’re about. One of our biggest goals with clients, is for them to be confident that they can trust us to be really solid humans. Being a genuinely good person, is an increasingly valuable commodity in this complex world of endless information. So, when we first started out, we set the simple plan of introducing ourselves to future clients, with every piece of media we created, no matter how subtle.

client-education-2

We knew we had zeroed in on our voice when we began getting email after email saying things like, “I feel like I know you so well already!” or, “We’ve never met, but I just think you’d be so fun to have at our wedding.” BINGO, this was our goal!

Creating a client who trusts you, begins way before you think it does. It doesn’t only hinge on email conversations, or some copy on your website. People research: your personality, brand, likes and dislikes, are attached to every piece of information you put out there, whether it’s a Facebook post or an interaction with a wedding guest.

If you mention something in a blog post that you absolutely love shooting, whether it’s a location, style, or piece of inspiration, people hear that. We casually mentioned that we love having dogs come with on engagement shoots, and suddenly our next three bookings all brought their pups, as we jaunted around town taking their photo.

client-education-5

This also works in reverse—without getting negative, if there’s something you despise during shoots (for example, we cannot abide jumping shots or fake smiles directly at the camera), talk about the opposite so people subconsciously gravitate away from it. Keep your brand consistent and true to yourself, and your future clients will begin developing trust in you, and understand what you’re all about before they ever contact you.

Education Goal: Let the world get to know your personality and trustworthiness, and in the process, subtly educate people on what you want.

#3 New client, pre-shoot phase

Woohoo! You’ve got a new client who just booked a shoot, and now they’re sitting around twiddling their thumbs while they wait for the shoot date. What are you going to do with them in the interim?

client-education-3

This time frame is solid gold, if you use it well. We realized early on that we could save ourselves a ton of time, and repetitive emails, if we just listened a little more closely to what clients were asking us, and beat them to the punch. The most common questions we get before a shoot are:

  • What should I wear?
  • Where should we go?
  • Do you even KNOW how stupid I look in photos? Wait, this isn’t a question, really. I’m telling you I’m the most awkward human on the planet.

Since we can confidently predict that a client will email us with those questions (and a few more that are more or less consistent depending on the shoot style), we head them off at the pass, and send out a handy little info packet as soon as they put the deposit down on the shoot. In this fun little PDF, we cover clothing options (including How to Put Together an Outfit 101, How to Coordinate with your Lovah, and so on), recommend locations in their area (or lead them to come up with their own ideas by suggesting types of locations that you prefer shooting in), and tell them in no uncertain terms that even Naomi Campbell thinks she’s awkward (probably not a true fact) and that we have our tried and true methods of making anyone look good. At this point, an educated client is a confident client, and confidence is the #1 thing you want when they walk in the door to the shoot.

dpsclienteducpation 1

Education Goal: Have the client prance into the shoot feeling like they brought the right clothes, look bomb as can be, are in capable hands, and won’t seem like a nob on camera.

#3 Current client – shoot day phase

The day has finally arrived, the batteries are charged, the lights are on, the client is taking their first foray into being a model. What’s the best part about being the photographer? You are the one in full control of the mood, atmosphere, and pace of the shoot. Ah, the sweet smell of owning your territory. There’s nothing better, or more important on a shoot.

Okay, so you’re also at the mercy of the person in front of your lens, but the goal for the shoot is to create an ongoing verbal education, so your client is equipped to work with you in creating images together. Every photographer is a unique snowflake, and you’ll have their own methods and style for how you arrange and conduct yourself during a shoot. But the only way to tackle this, is to keep it real by continuing the extension of your brand, that you’ve been putting out there all along.

client education (3 of 1)

Our personal strategy, honed through shooting each other through long stints of travel (and never wanting a client to look like a deer in the headlights again), is to talk a ton. Keeping the atmosphere light is what suits us best and makes our clients happiest, but that’s not necessarily the best fit for all photographers. We just watched a documentary on Richard Avedon and couldn’t stop laughing because he was SO DARN SERIOUS all the time—talking about dead dogs, and the end of life with his clients, and otherwise basically being silent! His whole methodology gave us cold sweats, but it was completely true to who he was, and more importantly, obviously produced master-level work. We have complete and utter respect for him, because he practiced his craft in the precise manner that got him the results he was looking for, and was truest to his own brand (even if he wouldn’t have described it as such). Be the same way: cultivate your own methods of shooting and own them.

Education Goal: Make the person in front of the camera think like Beyonce. Or a dead dog, depending on what kind of shot you’re going for.

#4 Archived client – post-shoot phase

client-education-4

The shoot is over… now what?

Post-shoot is the time when it’s easiest to drop-off in terms of client education. The normal routine is to send the images their way, drop them a little thank you note, and move on with your life. But this is such a great time to step your game up, and help yourself out in the process!

Depending on how you deliver images, sending along a detailed explanation of next steps is a lovely last touch. Explain to your clients how to download, share, and order prints—the things that seem so simple to us, when we deal with them all day long, are surprisingly complex for the first-time print orderer or mother-in-law trying to download a set. We strictly use an online gallery for deliveries, but many photographers are still sticking with a thumb drive or other physical delivery systems. Whatever you choose, make it user friendly and simple, and explain it in detail!

client-education-6

At this point, your client is riding the high of seeing their own images come to life, after so much thought and effort went into them. May we humbly suggest taking advantage of this energy by asking for what you want! In most cases, we are thrilled if a client is happy and recommends us to their friends. At some point, we realized, “Why are we just sitting around hoping that will happen? Why don’t we ask them for help with referrals?”

The key here is to provide excellent service throughout the customer experience, and help educate them towards an experience that benefits not only them, but your business in the long term. Be specific about what you’d like them to do; ask them to like your Facebook page, follow you on Instagram, or tell their friends about their experience with you. This isn’t opportunistic or tacky when it’s done right, and most importantly, when you’ve gone above and beyond in customer service, most people are MORE than happy to pass your name along!

Lastly, sending a thank you note or gift, depending on the client, is a classy little touch that we absolutely adore doing. We look forward to the end of each wedding season, when we sit on our living room floor surrounded by individually-chosen prints and gift boxes and handwritten notes to each of our couples and send a bunch of love out into the world.

dpsclienteducpation 2

Education Goal: deliver an excellent product and encourage the client to rave about you to their friends.

At the end of the day, the relationships we create through photography never fail to blow us away with their depth and compassion, and educating a client throughout their experience with us makes all the difference. This is a work in progress, and we’re always looking for ways to improve our game, so we’d love to hear your strategies in the comments.

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10 Photography Website Mistakes That Might be Repelling Your Potential Clients

19 Oct

If you are serious about your photography business, then you most likely have your own photography website already (if not, you should set one up right away). You are probably really proud of it and consider it the best website under the sun. However, numerous mistakes can be found on almost every photographer’s site. These mistakes could be fatal for your business, since they can easily repel your potential clients. We are talking big agencies, companies and even government organizations, not just regular consumers who want you to be their wedding photographer.

Here’s some good news: these mistakes can be fixed easily once you know what they are based on.

We have recently researched thousands of photographers’ websites when looking for professional vacation photographers for our new project. We were quite surprised by the number of mistakes we had encountered on them. On top of that, several particular mistakes kept constantly repeating!

Some seem obvious, some of them not, but almost every photographer’s website is guilty of at least one or two of these mistakes. So, here comes the checklist of some of the most common photography website mistakes that might save some of your serious assignments:

1) Your name is missing

This is probably the most obvious mistake. However, you would be really surprised how many websites are anonymous. A nickname may be great, it might help you look like a mysterious artist, but it definitely won’t help you to get new inquiries.

Your name is your only brand. You should be proud of it and present it to the public as much as you can. So put your name out there! Visibly! And buy yourself a domain with your name if possible.

1 example of good website be proud of your name

Example of good website, be proud of your name: Kristina Kislitsyna

2) You’re using cheap web templates

Do you want to run a successful photography business? Then you have to invest in it, at least a little. Start with investing in a decent website. A few hundred bucks and a skilled friend will have the work done in a blink of an eye, you’ll have a nice, basic, yet original website.

However, I implore you, do avoid those cheap template websites with the provider‘s logo all over the place.

3) Your contact information is missing

Email address is the key. Your client needs to find it quickly and easily. Contact forms might not seem like a bad choice at first, however, they most certainly are. Lots of big clients prefer to contact you via email, because they want to have a copy of the email that they send to you.

If you insist on having a contact form, put your email address next to it and let your client decide. Here’s a secret tip – insert your email address as an image with your email on it so bots cannot find it and you save yourself from getting tons of spam.

 

2 example of good website put your email address next to the contact form and let your client decide www sarahbel com

Put your email address next to the contact form and let your client decide: Sarah Bel Photography

4) Check your spam box

This one is closely connected to the previous point. Inquiries from agencies, companies, and other projects often end up in the spam box or junk folder. It doesn’t matter which email service you use to communicate with your client, but it is essential to check your spam box every few days. This is the only way to avoid those embarrassing moments when you respond to an important inquiry after several months, and indeed, it is usually too late at that point.

5) There’s music playing on your website

Do I have to add anything else? Hello, it’s 2015! Everyone is listening to Spotify or YouTube while browsing the internet. The last thing people want is to be interrupted by the blasting of your favourite music.

6) Your pricing is hidden

It’s okay if you don’t want to share the pricing on your website, it’s also okay if you want to share it, but you definitely need to decide which way you want to go! If you want to show your prices, do so visibly, clearly, and in a special menu category. If you don’t want to share them, then say so clearly (and add your email address at that point, so that the client can contact you regarding the pricing details right away).

There’s nothing weirder and more suspicious than a small hidden grey link to a PDF pricing guide that cringes at the bottom right corner of an About Me page.

3 example of good website clear statement about where to find pricing www verapavlovaphotography com

Example of what to do – clear statement about where to find pricing: Vera Pavlova Photography

7) Your website is too slow

On photography websites, this is most often caused by high-resolution and uncompressed photos. I know, we are photographers and we are proud of our latest cameras with great dynamic range and stuff. Still, these things are usually not that important for our potential clients. You need your website to be fast! And because of that, you need to compress photos for your website – compress them big time (150-200kb is a good maximum file size for website images, any bigger will slow your site down). Speed is the king in the realm of photography websites.

8) There’s no English version

This one is for photographers from non-English speaking countries. Yes, English is the most important language in the business world nowadays, so you need to have an English version of your website if you want to target the worldwide market. If you don’t have the time, or the resources, to prepare two language versions, then go for an English only site.

4 example of good website two language versions including English www barulaphoto com

Example of a website with two language versions including English: Baru la Photo

9) Your location is missing

Lots of (semi)professional photographers try to target the whole world, thus the only location info that you can find on their website is “available worldwide”. Okay, it’s great to know that you’re willing to travel, but clients are sometimes looking for local know-how. Always specify your location (at least by the city).

10) There are no links to social media

Social media is the new place to check testimonials and references to your work. It is crucial for your potential clients to be able to quickly find their way to your profiles on social media. The rule “the more, the better” applies here 100% – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are necessary. You name the others…

5 example of good website clearly visible links to social media www austinsheppardphotography com

Example of clearly visible links to social media: Austin Sheppard Photography

Summary

You put a great amount of energy and time to build up your website. It would be pity to reduce the possibility of attracting potential clients just by making some small mistakes that you can get rid of quite easily. I hope that this article will show some practical examples of such possible changes.

We would also love to hear from you! Are there any other mistakes that you suggest avoiding on photography websites?

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5 Tactics to Make Your Photography Clients a Wellspring of Repeat Business

11 Sep

Have you ever wondered why some photographers have their doorbell ringing all day long while others are struggling week to week in order to sell their work? The secret is simple – successful photographers are also successful psychologists who invest most of their time and effort in developing long-lasting relationships with their clients. Building bonds with people may get rather Continue Reading

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Simple Yet Effective Marketing Efforts to Get New Clients (and Tools)

20 Jul

After you have set up your business, made a business plan, created an attractive portfolio, and did a lot of other things, the most challenging part is still: “how to get clients”. What do you need to do to get the right people to see your website? How do you make them want to buy your services and products? These Continue Reading

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15 Cheap Yet Fabulous Gifts for Your Photography Clients

09 May

If you’re in the photography industry, leaving your clients with a good impression at the end of a job is very important. The best way to show your clients that you enjoyed working with them is a small gift which you can give them as part of your photo delivery package. Giving a pen with your logo on it is Continue Reading

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4 Things Commercial Photographers Need to Discuss with Their Small Business Clients

20 Apr
Lead architects of a high-end design firm.

Lead architects of a high-end design firm.

Providing successful images for a business can be very rewarding, especially when it’s for a budding business that you get to witness growing. While all businesses, big and small, essentially have the same demands, a small business is most likely still learning how to work with various professionals and creating their processes as they go. Diving into a project with a small business can lead to lots of time and money being wasted if terms and project details are not discussed openly, early on. The following are some key factors to discuss with your small business client during an initial consultation so that conflicts can be avoided down the line:

1. Brand

Large family-run urban farm.

Large family-run urban farm

While we are hired in part because of the individual style that we have developed over time, a business’s brand is the first thing that needs to come across to their audience. When working with a small business especially, the branding should be clearly defined in order to be able to provide images that will be a great benefit to them. Do they have certain color palettes they work with? Are their graphics portraying a more formal brand, or a very casual brand? Are they nature-oriented, or do they work in traditional office spaces? What clientele are they catering to? All of these are questions that should be addressed in the initial consultations. A small business may still be developing their brand or creating a branding package, so without a brand to guide the images, there may be a need for updated photos once the brand is clearly defined. Expressing this to a client will not only help them understand that professional photography is an investment intended to last a long time, but it will also show them that you are keeping their best interest in mind for their long-term success.

2. Budget

Small businesses will typically have very low budgets, so the decision to invest in professional photography services will be a big one for them. Regardless of the cost for your services, there is likely to be very little (if any) wiggle room in their budget allowance. Being aware, and respectful, of the client’s budget restrictions will not only help ensure that there is less run-around in the planning stages, but it will also give the client more confidence that you are an ally. If you offer packages geared towards commercial work, consider having several options to select from, or to use as a kick-off for budget discussions. Often a custom quote is required depending on their specific needs, but some packages to give the client a ballpark idea of pricing can let them know what they can expect to spend.

Independent financial advisor.

Independent financial advisor

3. Timeline

Depending on how experienced your small business client is, their timeline for getting final images may not be very realistic. This is where it’s your job to educate clients on your process and, more importantly, on your specific ability to turn around jobs in a time crunch. Knowing their expectations about timing and delivery will be vital in creating a quote, coordinating any vendors (venue, props, assistants), and making sure that the client gets their images in time to use them.

Do they require any extensive editing techniques or talent that requires outsourcing? Did they request a location or backdrop that requires reservations and a long wait for booking? Will they need models, and if so, do they have specifics in mind? Are they planning on using these images for a specific event, or marketing campaign that has a set date? Which leads to the final factor to keep in mind…

Home-based food business products.

Home-based food business products

4. Usage

Many folks will assume that if they hire you to take photos, they then get to keep the photos and do as they wish with them. In reality, commercial work is generally very specific about what usage is permitted. If they are planning to use the photos on a product label, do you get any royalty from that product sale? If they are hiring you because of a large print marketing campaign, can they then use the images in email campaigns several years down the line? Are you granting them use for a certain amount of time, or can they use these images forever? Once you turn over the images, are they allowed to do any alterations to them?

While there is no one answer to these questions, be sure to discuss the planned use of these images and to clearly specify it in a contract. Both parties need to be in agreement with what is decided, and having this discussion up front will once again show your client that you value your work and intend to be completely open with them about terms.

Owner of a co-working space.

Owner of a co-working space

Although there are many factors to discuss with your client at the beginning of a project, these four points will help get the basic information clarified, and get both parties on the same page. These discussion points will also go a long way to helping you create a quote for them that is accurate and all-inclusive; avoiding time-consuming confusion farther into the project.

Do you have any additional points of conversation that are a must for initial client consultations? Please share in the comments below.

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