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5 Ways To Strengthen Client Communication & Resolve Shoot Concerns

By Shivani Reddy on August 12th 2016

Building a clientele starts by gaining trust, an idea that will naturally come about through the strength of your communication. Clients will have a wide array of issues ranging from how they look in the photo, to how the post-production affects it, but it is up to you to pinpoint exactly what their concerns are and create a solution to avoid unmet expectations.

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In Part One of our Wedding Workshop series we take you behind the scenes on live shoots, showing you how frequently clients find issues with images, challenging us to find a way to work around the problem to end up with something more pleasing. Learn more about streaming the entire Wedding Workshop series, including our latest installment Photographing the Groom, as an SLRL Premium Member here.

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Be Humble

This should be an overall life-guideline because everyone could use a slice of humble pie. Having a big ego will get you nowhere in terms of building a strong client base, and a large reason why we stress the use of the Critique section of SLR Lounge is to get used to the idea of constructive criticism, be it from your peers or clients. If a client dislikes their appearance in an image, don’t get defensive, instead, accept the issue and find a workaround. Maintain humility and practice listening in order to meet client expectations.

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[REWIND: MY UNCONVENTIONAL ONE-QUESTION INTERVIEW WITH NIGEL BARKER | BREAKING INTO INDUSTRY & HOW HE CAN HELP YOU DO IT]

Understand, Acknowledge, & Remain Confident

Listen to the concern, acknowledge that you understand it, and try not to let it affect your confidence whatsoever. Don’t let the critique or disappointment shake you, just show them that you can step up to the plate and find a fix.

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acknowledge, but build confidence

Focusing on the issue without a solution will only make matters worse, so take immediate action and verbalize how, exactly, you will solve the problem and keep the momentum consistent. Letting one comment affect your performance will, in turn, affect the images produced. Continue genuine praise and build confidence with your clients throughout.

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Remember the Details & Prove Your Worth

We’ve mentioned before how important mood-boards are for tailoring expectations for clients; they give us a clear understanding of what the client expects from us as shooters, and what exactly they want us to deliver. Some concerns can be voiced prior to the shoot in the initial meeting when discussing the mood board and locations, so it’s an opportune time to note any possible issues the client may have, and pay attention to those specific characteristics during the actual shoot. Every couple of shots or so, reassure the clients by showing them the images, and adress any problems that arise. Doing this will go a long way in helping to develop a strong rapport with your clients and strengthen your line of communication by building trust through your work.

[REWIND: PHOTOGRAPHY 101 | 6 CREATIVE TECHNIQUES TO BUST A CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY RUT]

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For more insight on client communication and planning be sure to check out Part One of our Wedding Workshop series and become a SLRL Premium member to get early access to tutorials & education.

Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Andy & Amii Kauth

    Solid advice.

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  2. Paul Wynn

    Beautiful imagery and thanks for the ideas on client communication.

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