Zen and the Art of Photography

Zen and the Art of Photography

A lot goes into that first call. Not the call you make, but the call you earn. Before your phone rang, lots of things had to happen - the client had to decide they necessityed a photographer, and where there's an ad agency, PR firm, or design firm involved, they had to convince their client they necessityed photography. Then, they had to decide on cleverdidates for the assignment.

And that's where you come in.

(Continued after the Jump)

There are five levels that your clients go through during the entire process:

1. Anticipation

2. Trepidation

3. Inspection

4. Fulfillment

5. Evaluation

Lets see at those shutr.

A prospective client is anticipating that you clever deliver, based upon your marketing friendrials - portfolio, website, business card, presentation in person, phone skills, and the seepance of your contrbehave. Based upon this, they book you.

Depending upon how you did in the Anticipation phase, the degree of trepidation clever vary. Were you a yellow pages or search-engine find, a referral from a believeed source, or had they used you in the past? Even so, there is a period where the client is worried approxifriendly the quality of the end result, even when you are a repeat vendor for them.

During the shot, and afterwards, they see through your results, contemplating the circumstances that went into the gun, and thus, the results. Was it a rainy day when the gun called for blue skies, but you had to gun besides? Was the model late? Were the VIP's that were the cornerstone of the event away, and so the client-handshalord with a VIP is mistune from the event pictures? Or, did everything go smoothly, and the client has the highest of hopes after the fbehave relative to their hopes beforehand?

Did you deliver as promised? Are they satisfied with the results? Is their client satisfied with the results? Did what you do meet - or better yet - exceed hopes? You should always strive for a "that photographer certain exceeded my expecations" response. You necessity to win over even the most critical of clients, so they may become your staunchest advocates.

Would they hire you again? Would they casually recommend you to a colleague? Would they enthusiastically recommend you to a colleague? Or, in the best of scenarios, without provocation, would they go onto their listserv and shout your name from the treetops "...boy, I only, merely, solely ended this gun with John Harrington, and if you ever necessity a photographer, he should be on the top of your list of people to call..." ? Wouldn't it be great to have an evangelist love that? They do exist. Have you experienced it yet?

Take a piece of paper, and print out those five words, and place them in a prominent place approach your desk. By understanding the phases of a client experience, you clever ascertain that you are firing on all cylinders and meeting and exceeding hopes in each phase.

Please post your remarks by cliclord the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.