As a founder of Wardrobe Wednesday, it’s obvious I’m very passionate about offering my clients helpful information on how to look their very best for a portrait session. And I’m always interested to know how other photographers approach this topic, which is just one of the reasons I’m thrilled to share this week’s guest post from Andee of Crave Photography.
Andee details how she takes charge of her client communication, and she’s also extending a $50 discount off her online photoshop mentoring through May 15th. To take advantage of the offer, just visit www.cravemymentoring.com and use the code WWSALE at checkout!
But before you go, here’s some great insight:
I’m Andee from Crave Photography, a portrait photographer based out of Utah who specializes in senior, child and wedding photography. I picked up my first DSLR three years ago and haven’t slept much since! As much as I love shooting, I am completely obsessed with editing. My real passion is teaching others my simple and straight-forward editing techniques for creating standout imagery. I love spending time with my family outdoors and traveling to new places!
One of the most frequently asked questions that I get from other photographers is how do I get my clients to show up dressed so nicely. It’s all about communication — and a dress code! I have learned from painful experience that if you do not take charge of your correspondence and expectations with your client, your session can be disappointing for you as an artist. We’ve all had the session where everyone shows up wearing matching T-shirts right? Or someone shows up to an engagement session dressed far too casual. To avoid this, I always make sure I inform my clients of my dress code: No baseball hats, no shorts, no flip flops, and no logo-splashed T-shirts. I feel like the client is already making a considerable investment in their photography session, and I personally expect that they will be prepared to come dressed appropriately. By having a dress code, you weed out so many of the problematic clothing disasters! This may seem harsh, but as much as the session is about my clients, it is also about me being happy as an artist and creating imagery and portraits I can be proud of.
Sometimes clients need some guidance, resources and recommendations on what will look nice. Try emailing or mailing a “What to Wear” guide to clients listing and describing what photographs well. For example, in my What to Wear guide, I put: ”It looks nice when clothing is layered up for more texture (jackets, vests, sweaters, etc.). Also, try selecting several colors and patterns so that everything isn’t perfectly matching.” Most people are visual, so be sure to send blog or website links to show your clients examples of what you feel looks nice. Wardrobe Wednesday is a fantastic resource for photographers to pass on to their clients! Here is where I get even more straight forward — I personally ask my clients to send me cell phone photos of what they plan to wear. This does two important things for me: 1. It helps me gain a sense of their style (vintage, modern, eclectic, country, urban, etc.), 2. It also showcases the colors they plan to wear which helps me to determine and plan their locations. You would be surprised how helpful this can be!
I often collaborate with clients on a specific idea or theme for a stylized shoot. It may be an idea they had or something crazy I have dreamed up! In this situation, I will typically make clothing suggestions, send links for references, and discuss in detail the entire set up I have envisioned. Clothing choices can really make or break these particular sessions! I always let clients know that I don’t expect them to go out and purchase a whole new wardrobe, but to be selective and thoughtful as they plan out their clothing. I promise I am always very kind and respectful in my approach and dialogue with clients. I’ve evolved over the years to find that my best work comes when I take control of my sessions, and detailed correspondence is an important key to a successful photo shoot!
Below are a few examples of actual cell photos I’ve gotten from clients and a resulting image from their session, as well as a few of my favorite images showcasing great wardrobe collaboration.