Each month Design Aglow brings you Studio Policies for Success to make your photography business run smooth as silk while avoiding all too common problems that plague even the most experienced photographers. Feel free to use our recommendations as-is or modified to suit your needs...and you can thank us later *wink*.
The Policy: “Your session will begin promptly at the agreed upon time. Please arrange to be dressed, made-up and ready to begin at this time. (Because the session length is predetermined, any additional time required to prepare yourself or children once you've arrived will reduce the amount of time we can spend in-session, and further limits the amount of images captured.)”
Design Aglow Note: Setting boundaries for when a session begins and ends is important to keeping your schedule on track. Letting clients know in a firm but polite way that your session ends at a specific time lessens the likelihood that they will expect you to keep shooting beyond this time. Clients have a tendency to value their own time over your own. Some believe that if they are late, you can simply make it up to them on the back end. Even if you have no other sessions booked that day and they are your last session, and even if you've padded yourself with some extra time, that extra time should go into your business, not into providing extra time for a client that didn't respect you. Clients who do arrive on time will sometimes request a “few moments” to touch up their hair, set curls, or apply makeup. Again, this only takes away from the time needed to start. Let clients know that the session is a set length and stick to it. Any additional time left once their session is complete is time you could be investing back into your business - coming up with your next great idea, imagining new and inventive offerings and more.
See more Portrait Policies for Success and learn procedures for challenges like strategizing session fees, methods for heading off cancellations and tardiness, how to handle retouching requests, and what the best in the business are doing to sell digital files. Â Key topics provide essential procedural information for before, during and after your sessions. Stay inspired with daily tips and inspiration by joining our private mailing list.
*Special thanks to Wildflowers Photography for the lovely image.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.