Every photographer is different when it comes to their process of booking a client all the way through to the delivery of their final product. I thought I'd walk you through my process that I do with each of my clients in hopes of maybe simplifying your work flow or even answering any questions you may have.
1. Answering Client Emails & Inquiries. I do this each morning to make sure I don't miss anything and get back to my clients within a few hours of their initial inquiry.
2. Creating a Workflow Chart for each Client/Lead (I use 17hats and it's been a life-changer for me!) Each photographer is different in how they organize every item with their client as well as their timeline depending on season and type of session.
3. Send Contract & Invoice (through 17hats, so easy for clients to sign and pay!)
4. Call Client to confirm their date and time and who all will be in the photos and their ages. Again, I want to be clear with my clients with what they are expecting as well as anything I need to make sure they know and do before the session.
5. Day of Session: Pack my Camera Bag, charge batteries, bring a few snacks for the kiddos in the group, along with my other essentials (blog post to come on all of my Session Day Essentials!). I then arrive to my location about 15 minutes early to scope out if there are any crowds and find some key spots. After my session, I upload all of my files to my computer and start a back up of the RAW files should anything happen. Once the edits are made and the client has chosen favorites, I delete the RAW files.
6. Editing. First, I cull down all of my images. With an hour family session, I take around 150-200 photos and tend to cull down to 75 of the best photos. From there, I do a quick all-around smoothing and sharpening and then go through each shot and pick the best in each little grouping or pose. That will bring my total to the goal of 50-60 photos. I then export all of my edited files to an online album and also onto a remote hard drive as an added safety measure.
7. Premiers. When it comes to showing my clients their images, I'm a bit different than others in my area. I like to show my clients their images IN PERSON! Unless you had a mini session, we will be scheduling your post-session Premier within two weeks of your session date. You now have to choice to either come to me (parents, this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a night out and grab a quiet dinner before or after your premier ;) ) or I can come to you. Sometimes going to my clients is better if they have an idea for a wall that needs some updating or sprucing up with their new images. (Did you know I can design an entire gallery wall for you?!!?! It's pretty awesome, ask me about it!) My premiers also include a tasty desert which I bring along with me for them to enjoy while they watch their photos on the big screen. This for me, is my absolute favorite part. I like to watch their reactions as each photo comes along. After that, we go through my pricing menu again (they've already seen it before they booked) and get the opportunity to look at my products in person, touch and feel them. Then the ordering process begins.
8. Designing. After the premier, I come home and open the favorite images chosen and start designing each product or album that was selected. Proofs of albums and customized pieces are sent to clients for approval. If it's just prints or a digital collection, images are loaded onto their drives (have you SEEN these gorgeous print boxes and matching USBs yet?!?!)
9. Ordering. All of my print orders go through a professional printer. I've developed a great relationship with them and usually receive my orders within 2 days of them completing the production of the product. Once it comes to me, I package everything and make it pretty before delivery.
10. Delivery. 99% of the time I deliver my clients' orders directly to their door. Sometimes clients will stop by on their way home or during errand running if they're in the area. Again, it's up to you, but it's another thing that I include for my clients. Afterwards, I archive their files and make sure a backup has been kept both on my remote server and external hard drive.
So, that's pretty much my process from start to finish with all sessions I have. Hopefully it helps to either simplify yours if you're a photographer or answered any questions if you are looking to book a session with me.