As a professional photographer, you know that photoshoots take work. You don’t just show up, snap a photo, and call it a day. But besides using your skills as a photographer to take exceptional pictures for clients, you need to be able to work well with the people you’re taking shots of. One easy way to ensure a session goes well is to create a shot list. Whether you’re doing headshots or photographing a wedding, a shot list can help you get the photos your client is looking for. Here’s how to work with your clients to create a shot list before each photography session.
How to work well with photography clients
Working well with clients is a must for any photographer who focuses on wedding, event, and portrait photography. Sometimes, though, if you’re not a people person, it can feel stressful to engage with your customers, especially when they’re new to working with you, or especially demanding. But people skills can be essential to success as a professional photographer, so it’s important to build these skills if you don’t already have them. A few ways you can do this include:
- Focusing on what the client wants. Most people, no matter how kind they are, are focused on themselves and things that affect them. Focusing on what a client wants and listening to their ideas can be helpful when building customer relationships.
- Being appreciative. Having repeat clients can help you grow your photography business and good relationships encourage these clients to recommend you to others. Things as simple as thanking your clients can make them feel appreciated and welcome.
- Being genuine. At the end of the day, the best way to grow your people skills is to be true to yourself and your values. Others can tell when you’re not being genuine, which can leave a bad impression and impact your business.
Besides using your interpersonal skills to work well with every client, creating a shot list will help you build excellent relationships with your clients while ensuring you get the photos they want.
How to create a shot list
Whether you’re photographing an event or taking professional headshots, having a shot list helps you organize the shoot and ensure your client gets what they want. Creating a list of shots you want to capture is relatively simple, but it is often a vital step that many photographers forget. To create a simple, effective shot list, follow these tips!
- List what you’re shooting. Are you doing portraits? A wedding? For a wedding, for example, you’ll want to list all the different things you need to shoot like the bride, the bridal party, the ceremony, the reception, and the farewell at the end of the evening. For portraits, your list may be shorter, especially if you’re only working with one person, but you’ll need to ask if they want anything specific captured.
- List the actual shots you need. Again, using a wedding as an example, you’ll need several different types of shots throughout the event. Depending on the client, this could include photos of the bride and bridal party getting ready, the ceremony, the first dance, etc. Whatever the case is, list all of the shots you think you will need to take for the event or photoshoot. Once they’re all down on paper, you can narrow the list down from there.
- Add any details and directions. What mood are you going for in a particular shot? What sort of lighting do you need? Make sure to add these details under each shot.
- Consult your client. Once you’ve got your shot list in place, it’s time for the most important step: sharing the list with your client. You’ll want to meet with them or speak with them on the phone and go over each shot, the style you’re going for, and any other details. This allows you to not only share your vision but get the approval of the client so you can ensure that they’ll get the photos they’re looking for.