Your photography information guide is your first opportunity to make sure your shoot goes smoothly – but knowing what to include to set yourself and your clients up for success can be hard. So, we’ve put together a running list of information we include in our guide! We tend to send our guide out after the client has booked with us, so we make sure to include information specific to the shoot instead of talking about our editing process (that’s what your portfolio is for!).
Here’s what we include:
Touch on some of the common questions you’ll be asked by your clients right off the bat – like how long sessions typically are, the timeline for receiving the photos back, and your rain contingency plan. Whether they actually ask you or not, most clients will be curious about similar things so it’s great to get ahead. Including a FAQ page also shows that you think ahead and have set processes in place, which can ease nerves and instill a little extra confidence in you.
What to Expect
Give your clients a run-down of what they can expect during their shoot and how you anticipate the session going. Do you typically start by shooting full-body photos to feature the scenery, or do you begin with close-ups or individual portraits? Letting the client know beforehand helps them feel prepared – which means a better final outcome.
Talk About Your Shooting Style
Let your clients know if you pose them, if you prefer a more candid approach, or if you fall somewhere in between. This section is also a great opportunity to talk about the specific kinds of shoots that you tend to specialize in. For example, if you work with a lot of families, talk about what you do to keep the kids happy during the shoot and drop in a couple tips that the parents can do to keep their little ones smiling – like bringing their favorite toy, not scheduling the shoot during their nap time, and letting them burn off some energy by running around during the session. A little extra knowledge goes a long way in keeping everyone comfortable and relaxed.
Location Options in and Around the City
Outlining potential location options around your city helps indecisive clients nail down the backdrop for their shoot. If they have never had professional photos taken together before, or if they don’t have a sentimental spot in mind, a list of location options can be really helpful.
We like to organize our location list by type – nature, city, rural, or indoors – and give examples of photos taken in each location category. We also include if a location needs to be booked, and provide information on how and when they should book the spot. If you’re up for it, you can also take the initiative to book the location yourself and invoice the client, after getting their permission first, of course!
Give your clients tips on what to wear during their shoot! Advice on colors that photograph well, patterns to avoid, and styles of clothing that look good in photos will help make the images even more frame-worthy. If you tend to photograph a lot of families or couples, go a step further and talk about which colours look good together so that they can coordinate outfits.
We also like to include advice on bringing multiple outfits to the shoot, like choosing one casual outfit and something dressier for a range in the final set of images.
What to Bring
Give some examples of props and extras your clients can bring to the shoot to make it a little more personal and special. Our clients will often bring food or beverages, and we recommend bringing along some personal items too! Incorporating a favorite book, an old guitar, or even a pet not only makes the photos more personalized, it also gives nervous posers something to do with their hands.
But remember your client opts to bring a pet, they should also bring along a friend or family member to help wrangle the furry friend when they’re not needed in photos.
To make sure your work looks as good as possible, include some information on where you recommend getting your photos printed. As we’ve all found out, sometimes the hard way, certain printers produce better images than others. Typically, we like to include a couple different options so that the client can compare prices and convenience for picking up the product.
Don’t forget to include information on how your clients can contact you! As part of our contact information, we like to provide our work email address and cell phone number in case of emergencies. For bigger shoots, like weddings, we make sure we also have the clients’ cell phone numbers – as well as someone who is more likely to answer their phone on the big day.
What do you include in your information guide? Let us know on Instagram!