Begin with the End… | Eye on Business

Happy Tuesday, SSG followers! This is Jodee Ball, list-making girl-extraordinaire, coming to you from JP Ball Photography. Today’s Eye on Business is all about executing a session with the end in mind.

I am a list making maniac. When I realized that Staples started carrying a Martha Stewart office supply line, my palms got sweaty and my heart skipped a few beats. I have post it notes and lists everywhere. I even add things to my list that I’ve already done just to cross them off immediately. A little whack? Yes, but it’s motivating.

But what happens when you leave your list behind? Ever take a trip to the grocery store only to realize you left your 1K item list at home? I will always forget something! And usually it’s toilet paper. Grrrr….

Well, I have often felt the same frustration following some of my past senior sessions. Not that  I literally take a list with me (sometimes I do), but I have felt like I had no idea what the senior wanted, his/her style, and likes or dislikes. I have felt defeated because I shot images aimlessly. No target. No visible finish line.

So today I’m talking about shooting with the end in mind.  Here’s a lil’ list for you!

1) Have a pre-consultation with the senior client and financially responsible adult.

I loved THIS blog post by fellow blogger, Suzanne Mellott, where she discussed the importance of a pre-consultation meeting and some tips for hosting a successful one. If you haven’t read her post, check it out!

The pre-consultation is where you make all of the notes necessary to successfully shoot a session and make a great sale (make sure the financially responsible adult is part of the meeting).

I ask questions like:

*Do you have friends who have come to us already and if so, what did you like about his/her images?

*What do you envision for you senior sessions? What type of scenery? Urban or Country?

 *What types of products have you seen that we design? What products interest you? (At this point, I show them our enior collections and samples) 

*Are you comfortable getting your picture taken? 

*What would like to incorporate into your sessions? What people or things are important to you?


2) Being mindful of composition while shooting is key.

There are so many things to take into account while shooting just one image. Posing, lighting, background, camera settings, etc. And composition is an equally important piece of the puzzle.

  • Shoot one pose in a variety of formats.  Shoot one pose in portrait and landscape orientations, if both are appropriate.
  • Use negative space when appropriate so you can create custom designs with text overlay.
  • Allow for a variety of crops. If you are closing in tight on the senior, back away or zoom out a bit to allocate for cropping without limb chopping or the need to extend the background in processing. We all know that’s a headache!
  • Make sure you have no distractions or obstructions in your image background. This will either frustrate you in processing and/or deter a client from choosing an image.


 3) Shoot for the details.

Whether it’s a cowboy hat, football, glitter or anything in between, you should aim to get some artistic shots of the senior’s special items. Sometimes, it’s not a thing but a beautiful feature, like eyelashes.

These images make great custom design features, i.e. album covers, image boxes, invitations. Your clients will love the added detail you provide them!


4) Keep your white balance and finished edits consistent on like images.

If you are shooting a set of images in the same lighting conditions, keep the white balance consistent and then process the images identically. When you create products for your clients, the consistency of image finishes will look sleek and professional. And your processing will be more efficient as well!


“I love when a plan comes together,” – Col. Hannibal Smith.

That’s right… I did just quote a line from the latest movie version of the A-Team, fool.

Judge me if you must. But I had three good reasons for watching it. 1) Bradley Cooper My husband’s choice   2) Bradley Cooper and   3) Bradley Cooper It had a good rating