Lights, Camera, Action! | Eye on Business

Hello SSG followers! I am coming to you straight from my director’s chair over here at JP Ball Photography. Today I am going to talk about being the boss of your business, specifically directing your photo sessions.

I don’t know about you, but I have always leaned on the timid side when telling others what to do.

Okay. That’s a bold-faced lie. I love telling others what to do. They give people like me a great name. Wife. And mother.

Rewind a few years, though, to when I first started my photography business. When it came time for me to direct a client in posing, what to wear, and when to show up, etc., my directive skill level tanked.

Why? Because my confidence in what I did was low. Really low. I remember looking at senior girls and telling them they would know better how to pose themselves than I would. At that point, I was speaking the truth. So I ended up with a lot of beautiful girls, hands on hips, and forced grins.

I also told them they should wear whatever made them feel great.

Yea, I see your grin. And, now that I have my own teenage daughter, I get it. That’s just a stupid suggestion to make to many of our young clients.

Bottom line…our clients are trusting us as their PROFESSIONAL photographer. If we aren’t comfortable telling our clients what clothes would look best, how they should pose and what type of settings are the best for shooting, we are not acting as a professional. And we are selling ourselves short as well. If you are uncomfortable, team up with a photographer friend and role play the client/photographer scenario. This may feel silly, but it works!

Clients are not only investing in the product, but the process. They want the experience of a senior session. The success of your sessions falls on you, the professional photographer. No pressure.

The result of weak directing

1. Terrible settings:

*Lots of time in editing cleaning up backgrounds

*Compromised number of images due to lack of setting versatility

2. Inappropriate clothing choices: 

*Challenge to pose

*Difficult to light evenly if clothing is drastically contrasted or color casts

*Extra time in editing

3. Awkward posing:

*Unflattering images

*Clients best features are not highlighted

4. Unhappy photographer:

*Burnout; Cannot your portfolio with worthy images

*You have zero images you’d like to share that will stir excitement for your business


The result of great directing

1. Perfect settings:

*You know the spot, the light, or have had the opportunity to approve or disapprove of a client’s choice

2. Flattering clothing combinations:

*You are able to work with their wardrobe and have more variety in your posing because of it

3. Posing perfection:

*This is an art (and one I am always working on!)

*Results in more images that are flattering to the client

4. Happy, happy, happy photographer! 

The bottom line…

Your clients WANT you to take charge. Trust me on this. Do not be afraid to be assertive.  At the end of your session, you will have created an amazing set of images your clients will love!  You will have images to share that reflect your vision and abilities. You will, no doubt, have a stronger profit at the box office too!

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