Pre-consultations to Create Perfection

by Shelly Williams

February 13, 2018

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Good morning! I hope this morning has you feeling bright and cheery eyed, unless you’re like me-then you’re not much of a morning person and are probably counting down the seconds until you can have your cup of coffee. Today I would like to chat a little about my protocol for inquiries. Each inquiry I get is always something special. Everyone has a different vision behind their portraits, a different reason for wanting portraits, and a different goal for their portraits. My job is to make sure I get to the bottom of each of those questions.

Sure, we could email back and forth for three days before I find all of those answers, but then I haven’t gained any true knowledge about your personality. All I know is how you type, that’s not who you really are! I like to have a personal connection with each and every one of my clients. I like to get to know you, and you get to know me a little. After all, this is about more than portraits-this is an experience.

First, I get every one of my clients on the phone. I’ll let you in on a little secret… I HATE talking on the phone with a passion! It is just something that I have to do to connect with my clients. The 10 minutes we’re on the phone I get to learn the answer to why you want portraits, and get a little insight on what is important to you about your portraits.

Next step, a preconsultation. This is the important part. Each of my clients meet me to discuss their session before we even book. I learn about you, I might be meeting you for the first time, and you get to learn about how we’re going to make your portrait dreams come to life. There’s so much more to it than just a quick exchange and a “here’s your photos, see ya next time!” Preconsultations give me an idea of what I am creating, how you want it created, and what the finished product will be.

During your preconsultation you will get to hold each of my heirlooms for you to start thinking about how you’re going to remember this portrait session for forever. Are you going to have an album that you and your children will look at on Sunday mornings? A canvas to put in your hall to smile at every morning as you’re walking out the door? A mounted print that will still be standing proud for you to pass down to your children? Hopefully at this point you have an idea as to what our goal is. Together we will talk about your session and decide what is the best way to show it off.

heirlooms

Prints and album heirloom products.

Finally, we will end the preconsultation with planning your session. Together we will discuss what kind of outfits photograph well, and how to coordinate with the other people in your photos. Once we have an idea on outfits, we will talk about location. Once I’m done picking your brain a little we will have created the perfect portrait session for you. I will know what you want your portraits to look like, why you’re creating these portraits, and how to photograph your portraits according to what the end goal is.

Sounds pretty important right? It’s a lot of information, but to make your portrait session one to remember, we have to go through it all. Sure, we could email all of it, but where’s the fun in that? You won’t know me if we email. I won’t know you if you email. Emotions get lost over email, I will never know what you’re truly feeling until the day of your portrait session. By the time we reach your portrait session, it’s too late to help you plan (obviously), and it’s also too late for me to find the answers to my three important questions.

In summary, preconsultations are the key to a perfect session. They set the standards, they plan an itinerary, and most importantly: we get to connect. I hope that by the end of your portrait experience with me that I am more than a familiar face. I hope that you trust your most valuable memories with me and that at the end of your experience we get to share hugs and smiles together.

If you’re on the fence about setting up a portrait session, let’s set up a phone call to plan your preconsultation. It’s complimentary, what could it possibly hurt?

-Shelly

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