Pre Meetings

Michigan Portfolio Photographers Mary DuPrie

Do you ever type out long email responses when you’re mad… then delete them.  But it felt good to type it!

It’s been one of those days.  I wrote out a long post… delete delete.

Pre meetings with no deposits… I’m sorry I just don’t do it.

Ok, well, even with a deposit I don’t do pre meetings.  I would rather spend my time shooting.  I don’t like being sized up and the meeting seems to go on and on.

I’ve been doing a lot of back spacing tonight…

Do you do pre meetings with no deposits?  How do you handle them?  Do you feel your work is your pre meeting?

On a side note, doesn’t Lorena look dreamy!  I always laugh like crazy when I shoot Lorena because she looks so sexy into my lens with her face and eyes  I can’t shoot her for long, my lens starts shaking.

We both end up laughing.  It’s awkward funny!  She can switch it on and off.  We’ll be chatting about the weather and next thing you know she is seducing my lens… I always tell her it’s such a waste on me!

But I do appreciate it.

2 comments category: Glamour,Photographing models

1 Terrence Bibb September 8, 2010 at 1:17 am

I was completely pulled in by your first sentence. Normally the angry messages that I delete are directed at myself. It’s my way of yelling at me. In the past year I have totally engulfed myself with everything photography to the point that it had become a little overwhelming. I consider myself to be fairly young and have been around to use a Polaroid, to the 110 cartridge with the cube flashes, to my Nikon 35mm film camera so I completely understand the process that a lot of professionals speak of. My problem is being a perfectionist, after reading about how angry photographers get at new people entering the industry that I want my work to be top notch. So I keep myself from starting and getting out there (I know sounds crazy right).
I completely do not want to be like the huge amount of people that purchase a camera and want to become instant rockstars with mediocre work. However it seems that those with mediocre work are getting paid for it and believing that they are actually good when they have not even mastered the basics. Please don’t think that I’m angry in anyway as I’m sure some may take these comments.
Even though I have a corporate full time job in Radio my mind is consumed over 95% of the time with photography. It is now at this stage in my life what motivates me, where my passion lies and how I want to provide for my family on my own terms. I have no doubt that I will get to where I want to be that part of my destiny has already been written I just have to go get it.
I thank you for taking the time to endure my ramblings at this late hour. I must now stop thinking about photography so that I may sleep 🙂

Thank you for what you are doing for others.

Terrence Bibb
Terrence Bibb recently posted..Hello Everyone!


2 Aurora Vanderbosch August 31, 2010 at 9:03 am

What a pretty girl! I’ve been following conventional wisdom about having a month’s worth of blog posts stocked up, before “going live”, and so, am stockpiling them…and last night, part of my “essay” included a definition of what makes up that magical quality called “photogenic”, according to the average Joe–and she fits my description almost to a T–she’s got that Disney girl look that Freddie Moore popularized!

I know we discussed this before, briefly, but I do pre-shoots (pre-shoot consultation), because I’m a “boutique” photographer–that is, I’m selling a luxury experience, as much as I’m selling my work, and a pre-shoot is part of that.

I schedule them for 30 minutes to 1 hour…and I always stress that there’s no obligation to book, at all–it’s a chance for everyone to get to know each other, for them to become comfortable with the space, to bring wardrobe, to ask questions, and to discuss their shoot expectations. If I feel I’m not the right photographer for them, I won’t hesitate to recommend them to someone with a style that will suit them better, although usually I’ve already done so, when they first contact me.

I must say–I’ve only had a couple of people not book, after a pre-shoot, so it’s time well-spent for me…and it helps build excitement, for when they come in for a shoot, since they’re already familiar with what to look forward to: scented candles, an eclectic, Victorian antique-filled sitting room, soft, New Age music in the background, fresh fruit and cookies out for them to snack on… (Actually, I’m usually counting on my pre-shoot as a selling point. I’m betting that if they’re hesitant about doing a session, meeting me, and seeing the place will allay their fears, and get them to book.)

I frequently compare a shoot with me to a day at a spa–where you’re pampered, and waited on–so a pre-shoot is part of that. (But then, remember that for a portrait photographer, while your intial session fee might just barely cover that, you’re gambling that the order will be larger–some report sales as large as $5K, although about half that is more in line with what I see.

Many boutique portrait photographers are only looking for 2-3 clients a week, even when they’re working full time–so it’s a different mindset than a “get ’em in, get ’em out” shop. (Also, some clients are looking for a go in-get out experience–so they actually prefer NOT to have a pre-shoot consultation. I’m always disappointed when they go that route–I feel more rushed, and I feel a little cheated. ;))

If I were shooting commercial clients, or models, as you do, then a pre-shoot doesn’t have the same value–because you’re offering a business service, not a luxury experience.

(And I write those emails, too. I just delete the email address from them, right away, so I don’t accidentally send them…and then I save them as a draft, and wait until the next day, to look at them. By that time, I’m over it, and can write something nicer. ;))


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