I know most of the time people will contact me thru something like Facebook, or email, or something like that and ask how much to do pictures. The immediate answer is that session fees are $75, and the session fee will be converted to a print credit if an order of $250 or more is placed at the viewing and sales appointment. But that only answers the immediate question. The question you should be asking is when can we set up a consultation appointment. Here’s why: not everyone is the same and so I can’t assume everyone’s needs and wants are the same, nor the home where their images will be displayed. So the purpose then of the consultation is for us to meet face to face and discuss what you’re looking for, what I do and provide, and find out whether or not we’re a good match to be working together. If all is good, then awesome! We can then start working on the details of your session! And if not, then I’d rather you have only lost a small amount of your time up front than to have gone thru the entire process only to find out in the end and leave with bitterness and regret. I want each of my clients to be thrilled, but that starts by meeting first and seeing if I really am the right photographer for you and your needs.
On the day of your session, it is highly recommended that girls let someone else do their hair and makeup. I have some professionals that I work with and highly recommend. If you or someone you know choose to do it, then just remember that the makeup needs to be very matted, otherwise you’ll shine when my really bright lights hit your face. I also recommend it because it’s part of the experience. If a girl is going to go thru all of the effort to look good for pictures, then why stop short when it comes to hair and makeup styling? It’s a day for you to look AND feel special, so make sure you either having a professional, or someone knowledgable do it for you. Guys, this obviously don’t apply to you, but I will say that you should make sure that your hair (head and facial) is how you want it on photo day. I recommend not getting your hair cut within a couple days of your sessions. About 5 days out is a good time to get your hair cut if needed.
On your big day, I want you to bring all the clothes, props, and accessories that you can. I want hats, sunglasses, headphones, cell phones, sports stuff, music stuff, whatever stuff defines you I want you to bring it. If we’re in the studio, then we can play your music while we do your session. We have both a styling station and two changing spaces. If we go on location, then I have a pop-up changing room. Don’t know what to wear: I usually suggest one outfit that’ll make mom happy, and then one that’ll make you happy. Then anything beyond that is up to you. If you’re not sure, just fill up the car with everything you can think of and we’ll figure it out. We can also go back and forth before the session day to help better solidify these details for you.
3) Display Products
One of the most important parts of the process that most people don’t think about is what are we going to do with the images that we create for you. Sure, we can create some of the most amazing images you’ve ever had taken, but all that amazement ends with how you choose to answer this question. I am in the business of creating beautiful pieces of art to display on the walls of your home. When you come to the studio you’ll see examples of framed, metal, wooden, and acrylic art prints. We’ll even show you some smaller options as well that you’ll love. But what I will not show you in a disc of images. Though I do have an option for those wanting printable files only, I don’t recommend it. In fact, I recommend that if you’re not at least open to the idea of a physical display, that you save yourself the time of coming in altogether. It is my belief that when you have amazing professional images made, that you should finish the job by having them printed on professional displays. I have a hard time calling myself a professional, putting in all the years of time and expense, only to hand over a collection of cheap files to be printed cheaply and have that represent me and my work. We offer amazing products, and I promise you will love them.
4) Viewing & Sales Appointment
This is one thing that is non-negotiable. Every client will be required to come to the studio for their viewing and sales appointment. I am so serious about this that I’d rather not even take your pictures if you can’t commit to coming in for a viewing and sales appointment. This will be the time to see your images for the first time and to place your orders. There’s a lot wrapped up in this appointment and I promise you will quickly see why I require it.
At your appointment we will show you your images using our projection system so you can see them bigger than life. We will start by showing your images in a slideshow, then we will one by one go thru your images in order to find all of your favorites. Then we will take those favorites and apply them to your choice of display methods. To help eliminate uncertainty, we can show you what your images look like at actual size, and even with a frame on it. We will also ask you for a picture of a wall(s) in your home that you’re considering hanging artwork on, and we’ll then put your images on your wall so you can see what they look like at actual size. Doing this makes it so you can know confidentially what size to order, and without you having to do any measurements. This is the best system out there and has made life easier for every client I’ve ever had.
Please remember that this is the only scheduled time we have to do this, so this will be your time to make your purchasing decisions, so make sure that all parties necessary to make purchasing decisions are present. This would also be a great time to have younger kids left with a family member or sitter so that you can better focus on your images and purchasing decisions.
I want to be sure and tell you what has been most popular for almost all of my past clients. If you commit to purchasing a display 20 inches or larger, I will sell you a collection of 4x6 prints of all your favorite images for a heavily reduced price. And for those that purchase larger than most, I'll gift you the set as a thank you for your investment. So many have loved this option because it allows them the ability to make the investment for at least one nice display, and still be able to have printed copies of all their favorite images.
5) Post Delivery
So at this point you have be thru the consultation, the session itself, the viewing and sales appointment and have ordered your images. What happens next?
After your viewing and sales appointment I will create your free photo app for you using all your favorite images. I will also begin the process of putting your order together and getting everything sent off to the lab. If there’s any proofing or further image selecting/approving that needs to happen first, then we’ll make sure that’s done as soon as possible in order to avoid delays. Then when everything has been received and inspected, I’ll contact you to arrange delivery. If for any reason you notice any issues once you have your display(s) home, please let me know so I can take care of it for you.
The last thing I’ll have you do is fill out a Feedback form for me online, and ask that you leave me an online review to tell others what you thought about your experience with us. Why is this important? Just think about how often you look for reviews online when making your purchasing decision. How many purchasing decisions can you think of are as personal and intimate at custom photography? If you’d like to know what others say before making your decision, then how many more would like to know about your experience before making their decision. I know it takes more of your personal time, but it’s very critical and is extremely appreciated. Probably the easiest place to do so is under the Review tab of my Facebook page. You can also easily find me in places like Yelp, Google+, and others. Again, your feedback and your review are extremely important and appreciated!
6) Referral Program
People love our referral program. It’s simple and it rewards everyone! Here’s all you need to know: you’re gonna love your experience so much that you’re gonna want to share it with others. If any of those people come to us based off of your referral, we will give them a free session experience. Then if they go thru the entire process and purchase with us in the end, then we will give both you and them a four credit referral bonus (valued close to $50) to use towards the purchase of beautiful display products. Here’s the other really awesome part: you can stack up as many referrals as you want and cash them in at once! How crazy is that! The only limitation is that they must be used within a year. After that they’ll be gone, and it’ll be sad, but I know you won’t let that happen. So send your friends our way and we’ll give them a free session, and both of you a referral credit bonus. And oh yeah, this can be used with any other other type of portrait session experience that we provide, so it’s not limited only to senior portrait photography.