Everyone’s nervous about being photographed. So here are the 7 ways I put my clients at ease…
The truth is, no-one likes looking down the barrel of a camera lens, and I’ve noticed that is particularly true with my female clients. We’re all far more self-critical than anyone else could ever be. But my clients are ambitious and gutsy too and know the value of high quality brand photography.
Over the years I’ve developed some trusty ways to help clients feel comfortable during a photo shoot. I’ve seen how we get the best photos when my clients feel relaxed and natural. Here’s how I go about it:
1.Preparation, preparation, preparation…
Who is it that said preparation is the key? Well it’s certainly true in branding photography. Before the photo shoot, I always ask my clients to give me lots of detail about their businesses through my bespoke workbook and brand consultation. I want to understand your mission, your beliefs and your guiding principles. Once I thoroughly understand what drives my you, I can work with you on how to approach the shoot. Some people want to portray themselves as professional and authoritative; others will want to convey a sense of creativity or inspiration. For many, it’s a carefully calculated balance of factors. Whatever it is, I can capture it.
We’ll discuss locations and what to wear. My top tip on that is to find something you feel comfortable in. Don’t go for your smartest suit. Go for that outfit that makes you feel good – the one you get compliments in. You know the one.
This is what one client had to say when I asked her how helpful the workbook and consultation was prior to the shoot...
"Very. As I'd done SM brand work I was familiar with the process but it helped me refine what I already knew I needed." Deana Morris, Wellness Worker
2.Relationship status: it’s not complicated
Before we even arrive at the photoshoot location, we will have a good chat on the phone. We’ll have got a real sense of each other. I’ll have understood your objectives and you'll understand how I can help you reach your business goals. I know it can feel quite odd for most people to be the focus of attention on a photo shoot, so I make it my mission to build a relationship with my clients before it even starts. It’s all about trust.
"Working with Becky is like a breathe of fresh air, she is professional, down to earth and very good a putting you at ease. She is very interested in people and what makes them tick which encourages you do dig deep into your business and do the work so many of us fail to do because we are so focussed on our current clients and all the other things that are going on in our personal and business lives." Melanie Johnson, The Sussex Social
3.Spontaneity is the spice of life
Some of my favourite images have been totally spontaneous. There’s a magic to being in the moment. It breathes life into photography. Whether it’s the wave on the beach shoot that caught one client off-guard and made her howl with laughter, or simply when I opportunistically spot a vibrant wall to use as a background, I’ve seen time and again that spontaneity makes great photographs.
"Rebecca knows how to make you feel relaxed. Within minutes I felt we’d known each other before and felt really comfortable." Kerry Burgess, Gemini Coaching and Mentoring
4.You do you
Authenticity is a real buzz word at the moment – and for a good reason. Most of us zone out when we see stock images, read clichéd catchphrases or hear meaningless management-speak. What I’m all about is capturing the essence of my clients: what makes them them. Very few businesses are truly unique. It’s my clients themselves who bring their own USP – their own uniqueness - to their work. And that’s what I aim to photograph.
I find that it’s when clients are being themselves – telling me what’s exciting about their business, or describing their favourite project – that I see the passion. That’s when the nerves melt away. And that’s when we get great photographs.
"Loved it - you made it easy for me" Charlotte Eve, CK Futures
5.You’ve got this
Anyone having a photo shoot wants to hear that the photos are coming out well. So, I’ll give my you a sneak preview of the shots in the back of the camera. And I’ll tell you when something is looking good, so you can relax and enjoy it. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t also give constructive feedback too, of course. “Can we try it without the jacket on?”, “Just lower your chin a little”, for example. But I find clients are grateful for this kind of advice, as ultimately you have hired me for my expertise.
"Easy and painless", Samantha Kaye, Financial Advisor
6.Just because it’s important doesn’t mean it can’t be fun
Branding photography is really important. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to get serious about your brand images. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun doing it… Photo shoots are the absolute highlight of my job. I love meeting clients and it’s always great fun. And for my clients, it’s a break from the norm, a day out of their usual working environment, wearing their favourite outfit and feeling great.
Thinking it might be for you? Here's what one client had to say...
"I would say go for it! It was relaxed (definitely not like my wedding photo experience!) and you listen to what people want and are good at capturing natural poses." Helen Tuddenham
7.It’s good to talk
As with so much, it all boils down to communication. From that first phone call, to the busyness and fun of the photo shoot, to the feedback at the end, and hopefully involving some chuckles along the way, I firmly believe it’s great to chat (as everyone who knows me will atest!). I’m always up for it: drop me a line about your business goals and we can discuss how branding photography can help.
You probably have loads of questions, hesitations and fears - that's ok. Let's arrange a chat like Deana did and we can go from there...
'I looked at it like this; how precious is my time? Do I have three hours a week to roll about on the mat taking selfies? How much is my time worth per hour? Then start multiplying. I also ran your offer past my yoga business development group. They thought you were value for money." Deana Morris, Wellness Worker