Customer Service with a Smile – Albany, NY Photographer
In previous posts I’ve discussed the difference between a mall/studio photography experience, and a custom one. Just as a reminder – let me recap on how much time really goes into a session! The actual photo shoot is the smallest part.
Generally I correspond with clients both via email and phone prior to their session multiple times. We chat about clothing, location, session choices, and the style they want their session to have. A touch base always occurs a few days before, giving the clients the chance to ask last minute questions – or sometimes to simply calm the nerves!
As I stated earlier – the session is the smallest part of this process. But before the session even begins – additional time is spent looking through wardrobes, re-arranging furniture, finding the best shooting location and answering questions. THEN – we shoot and have fun! A post session discussion occurs as we wrap up. Again, questions are answered, the when, how, and where do I see my photos is all covered! Samples of wall pieces are also brought along, so a client can see the products, and sometimes even look at one in the space their considering for their own in their home. A big help if you are a visual learner!
The computer time is next - uploading, backing up, and the first run through finding the cream of the crop images! Personally, I also look at various exposure and processing options – to find the perfect fit for each image! Once the gallery images have been selected further editing using Photo Shop is then done to polish them up!
Now it’s time to get the clients involved again! An email usually arrives to my clients announcing that their gallery is ready – along with a preview image or two! Everyone enjoys the sneak peek!!!! And I LOVE sharing them! We coordinate a time/day to view the gallery together - and have a phone consult to discuss and place the order.
So you’d think that would wrap it up right? NOPE!!!!!! At a minimum – the order needs to be placed, an invoice prepared and sent, and emails with confirmation of payments received, as well as when to expect their beautiful portraits!!!! With some orders, even more time is spent… here’s a sampling from a recent client’s session!
She knew she wanted to display many of the images, and decided on wall pieces, but needed help with the layout. Most of us do better when we can SEE what is being talked about. And this is exactly what mocking up wall displays does! Sometimes it makes it very clear what we don’t want, and helps us arrive quickly to what we really do want! This client and I spent quite a bit of time chatting on the phone about size options, and layouts. I want to be sure and say that this process is NEVER rushed. It can’t be! And as I told her – I’d much rather take more time, and know she’s comfortable, and confident with her final choices, than rush an order and worry about second guessing the selections! Today was our last meeting - I drove over to her home, re-looked at the space, and brought a scaled drawing of the final layout for her to look at. I know she was very happy and relieved to have me there, and she’s so excited for her order to be placed! THIS IS WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE SHOULD BE! This is what makes custom photography unique. Excellent portraits is one piece, but clearly….. there’s much more to a session with me than just that