So you contacted me for a shoot. Now what? I figured I would put together a little glimpse of what I strive make my standard for my clients for a normally scheduled session. I find it's easier to jump into something when you know full well what to expect, as well as helping my clients to understand all the work I really put into your shoot before it even happens.
So you call me, text me, email me, Facebook me- "hey, I am looking to get photos done!" Before I even start thinking of potential dates I start asking you questions: Is there an event in mind you are celebrating? What are you looking to have done (just couple, maternity, family, extended family, boudoir, wedding)? Once I have a better feel for what you want, I talk to you right off the bat about pricing, potential dates, times and type of sessions. I try to talk it through with you rather than just sending you to my pricing page.
Once we have tentatively agreed on dates, Ill send you a link to my client contract to review and fill out. (I promise it is quick- and can be done on a cell phone too!) I get an email as soon as this is completed and submitted. I make sure I print a copy for myself, and I start working on your invoice.
For all my normal sessions there is a non refundable retainer fee to book the date that you want. Rather that send you 2 separate invoices, I send one and allow payments on it. That way, you have a few options. At the minimum to book the session, the retainer fee needs to be paid when I send the invoice out. If you prefer to pay the full session fee up front, you have that ability. If you want to break down the payments to a few here and there, this allows that as well- as long as the full invoice is paid a week before the shoot (weddings are the only exception here).
Then the fun starts. We start talking about what you really want out of the shoot. If it is family photos, did you have an image in mind that really spoke to you? Is there a certain color scheme? What are you planning on wearing? (I will direct you to a few places on awesome advice for planning out your outfits.) I encourage clients to text me if they need advice on wardrobe and even to send me a photo of a completed outfit laid out.
While we are waiting for the day of the shoot, I have you send me and images you come across that you love, like, or even any you see that you are like- "no absolutely not that". I scour the internet, pinterest, colleagues for work that I think fit into this vision we have slowly built together. If it is a location that is new to me, I head out there around the same time of day our shoot is planned and scout it out. I'll take a few shots, even if its just will my cell to give me an idea of what to expect and so that I can start planning in my head where we are going to start.
Then I put together a collage of things you've sent and I've found- a mood board. Something to give us both an overall sense of the session, poses, colors and general flow of the day. That is the perfect time as well to make sure our visions line up. I would hate to go into your session and have us on completely different pages. Plus creating a mood board gives me an opportunity to show you what you created. Often times my clients are the ones that end up designing and styling their own shoot. It's so much fun to watch how excited they get when they see their ideas come to life.
Then it's shoot day. By this time I have put in at least 5 hours of work preparing for the shoot. The time goes by pretty fast, but I promise it is full of laughter and fun. A session shouldn't be "work". The hard work for me is the before and after. I arrive, and if it's a family shoot, I try to get the kids involved right away before even really saying "Hi" to mom and dad. They are the real stars here. Kids tend to make or break the fun during the session, so it is important to me to create a rapport with them first. I ask them to help me carry something or try to make them laugh. I let them run the show. If it's a boudoir session, we start with just talking. It's important to be relaxed and confident during this type of shoot. I always have a glass of wine on hand if it is wanted. (Haven't been turned down yet!)
And well, there you have it. Everything you can expect from me from booking to shoot day. I wanted to give clients a little behind the scenes as to the work and love I pour into each individual session. It's worth it every time. Even if you aren't in the area, I completely encourage you to find a photographer that works hard behind the scenes before your shoot. They don't usually come cheap, but the payoff is worth it for those amazing photographs that are going to capture you and/or your family in all the beauty that surrounds you.
Feel free to message me with any questions, if you are interested in booking or even if you just want to chat.
My mailbox is always open,
Erin Berry, Photographer