Photoshoot vouchers – 6 ways to satisfy your clients when they expect unicorns
Christmas are coming – yay! I have literally no gifts bought nor any vision, and I actually haven’t even seen any calendars for 2021- I hope they will show up, otherwise I will be quite worried there is something wrong.
Online services are running on 110% and people running out of ideas what to give – and vouchers are simple yet quite popular choice.
How about to start your own project?
Christmas gift – photo session voucher
This is not just for photographers who wants to make more money, but also for those who wants to expand portfolio by TFP projects (time for photos).
I will be very honest with you in this article – have noticed there is still not negligible businesses running by photographers offering a vouchers for a photoshoot – for example you pay certain amount and you will get two or three hours of professional shoot with MUA, styling and final photos.
I have seen a few and must admit the price is not actually cheap; and if you targeting families, young families, couples etc., you should succeed and sell spots quite fast.
Advertising on Groupon or social media should not cost you a fortune – the expensive part is the time you will spend on photo selections and editing.
There is so much you can shoot – families, newborn, portraits, glamour or some boudoir indoor if you have a location available; or just stick with family/ couple portraits outside.
I saw a few marketing campaigns for those vouchers, the idea behind that seemed great to me so I did a little research about reviews of each business – and was quite shocked. There was a lot of negative reviews, and found 6 repetitive points people really complain about. What they are and how to handle them?
1. “We tried just few outfits” – Tell them specifically what to bring
It’s quite useful to let people know, what they should pack for a photoshoot. Avoid that “bring everything” because it is confusing option and then they will show up with 4 big suitcases of all different clothes – which would make you and your MUA/ stylist crazy.
Be specific, tell them to bring around 8 favourite pieces – some dress, some jeans and shorts (skirts aren’t recommended as non models usually don’t know how to pose in that- time saving), and one special thing they might have and make them feel special.
Add maximum one high heels. If you have light background, you don’t want to change it after every clients shoe prints.
2. “The makeup was not what I expected” – Inform your clients and makeup artist about the final look
The right makeup artist (MUA) for that kind of business should handle not just makeup, but also hair (brush, make volume, simple style) and is recommended to ask her if she can help with outfits and final look – at least for first photos.
You should be specific about the final makeup – recommended is natural and simple, as it must take maximum one hour (perhaps less), otherwise you would be loosing money.
Tell your clients in informative email before shoot:
- what to bring
- to wash hair a day before (for better styling),
- coming without any makeup (to save time again)
- …and that the makeup itself will be professional, natural yet highlighting the best- then, your clients won’t be expecting any super cool dark makeup ala instagram “models” and not disappointed afterwards- your clients might sometimes have quite unrealistic expectations. Cool “evening” makeup might look great, but would take tow hours and time is money.
3. “The studio looked really dirty” – Your studio is like your business card
If you have your own studio – no matter if in your spare guesthouse, or basement – it must look professional. People who pay you for a shoot should not see any mess nor smell anything strange. Simple and clean is the way to go.
If you shoot outside, you should make a research about which locations you are going to use and pick ones really pretty or unique, without people walking around staring at your clients.
4. “The photographer was creepy” – Be professional and polite, always
I read about photographer telling his clients to “be more sexy, give me the sexy look!” or “this would look so hot on you!” – please don’t scare your clients, as they might think you are flirting with them, which might lead to really awkward situations. If your subjects are shy, it might be difficult to make nice photos, but you must count with that. Be ready to warm them up by playing their favourite music, talking with them, occasionally show them photos to see what is great and what’s not, and start slow – the first photos will be most likely unusable, but the ones after that workout will be much better. They paid for their shoot so they should enjoy it as much as possible to recommend you to their friends.
5. “I don’t like the photos” – tell your clients what to expect to avoid disappointment
Your clients will be indecisive when it comes to selecting photos. If you don’t have many clients yet, you can either send them certain amount of photos and let them to choose (it will take them a lot of time though) or send them your X favourite – edited already, or to choose for editing. So many ways, but the key is to decide that prior the session, so clients knows what to expect, otherwise they will expect to receive unicorns. (Unrealistic expectation.)
6. “I received photos after few months” – Think twice about the timeframe for photo delivery
People usually wants their photos as soon as possible without knowing how much time takes selecting and postproduction, and I read so many complaints about photos sent late or very different results than they expected.
Don’t promise anything you cannot achieve. Count the average time you will need for post processing and then how many clients you can handle in one week. Really important is quality over quantity to not end up with empty calendar. Be honest and realistic – then no one could give you negative rate.
Because nowadays in online world is credibility and positive reviews the most important asset you can have.