The deposit check was in, the assistants booked, and the shots were planned. But the client still hadn't asked for final numbers and seemed pretty content to just “wing it” the next day at our shoot.
Some photographers here in San Francisco might find this a bit nail-biting — but for me, I see it as a great opportunity to really WOW the client. Simply by being more than prepared.
A super relaxed approach is fine — but the details, the planning, they still need to be there so everyone can be relaxed on the day. To make sure I was more than ready for this shoot, I prepped a full treatment that included, shot list, call sheet, example photos, full detailed estimate and terms and conditions.
I made sure to include examples of poses and lighting for reference, a shot list, and even a rough timing for the number of photos I knew the client was looking to come out with. This meant I could arrive on the day of the shoot and know exactly how long it would take, but still give the client the level of flexibility I knew they needed to get the best photos done.
Being more than prepared also means being specific. And that means talking to your client. What’s the final use of the photos? Will you need more horizontal than vertical layouts? Will these be running in a carousel on your homepage or blown up to hang in the office? It’s super important to understand the use and the audience with you prepare a detailed treatment.
Bottom line: always aim to wow the heck out of your client so they know that you know what you’re doing. Above all, you want to inspire confidence in them that you’ve got all your bases covered and you can do what they need.