It’s that time of year. You’re starting senior season – at least if you are living anywhere but the south where it’s hot AF outside… That also means that it’s time to begin planning out your senior sessions. When working with seniors, I always make sure that I am being as consistent as possible and thus having a timeline that I stick to is crucial to providing my clients with an experience that is streamlined across the board.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to cover the timeline that my senior sessions take on to show you all the steps that I’m taking for every senior to make sure every one of my client’s experience is amazing.
Before the session, I will make sure to send out a welcome packet to all of my seniors. This makes sure that they are receiving all of the information that they need to get prepped and ready for their session. This will include information like where to meet, what to come with, what we’ll do after the session, how many outfits to bring and more. I include this as a print version since I truly believe that getting snail mail that is luxurious is a fantastic way to brand yourself and give your clients a good first impression. I try to send these out in the spring for my summer clients and about 3-4 weeks prior to senior sessions if they’re booking during my busy season. This still gives them enough time to book.
I also just switched to Iris Works for my client management software and this has been a game changer! This allows me to pre-schedule emails as part of my workflow without having to spend actual time sending it out to every client. Take 40 clients and multiply that by 2-3 emails and that’s a lot of time from the time that they book to when their actual session is – especially when you’re busy shooting during your busy season! I love sending out information that they can’t miss over email in addition to their welcome packet since that makes certain they’re seeing the information.
For the session, this is pretty straight forward. I arrive to their hair and makeup session, we converse, I get to know them, I finalize outfits and then we get going! This is my time to make sure they are having the best experience possible and pretty much what every photographer aims to do.
After the session, I let them know the timeline as well as direct them to a place in the Welcome Packet or online portal that I have set up for them as to what comes next. I let them know when and where I’ll be posting sneak peeks, what to do when I post them, when their ordering session and image premiere will take place and what we’ll be doing there. This sets expectations from the start so that your clients aren’t bugging you about when images will be ready, having them come unprepared to their ordering session or any other issues that may arise. Communication is key and setting expectations goes hand in hand with that.
After all of that has happened, the next step is to deliver their finished images post-ordering session! I make sure that this is part of my process as well since I believe that having products packaged perfectly and hand delivered is a huge part of the experience.
In all, I want to make sure that I am treating every client the same and doing the same things for every client is the best way to do this. Are you struggling with parts of the client process or timeline? Let’s connect over on Instagram DM and I would love to help you out how I can!
Sean Brown is a senior portrait photographer based out of Vancouver Washington and Portland Oregon. His goal is to bring out every senior’s personality in their images and is dedicated to making sure that every senior session is different so that no two senior images are alike. Sean is now booking the Class of 2020. To learn more about being an SBP Senior, click here.