Over the years, client workflow in my studio has evolved to meet both clients’ needs and our goals for studio profitability. I’ve always provided some sort of consultation before the session, but have chosen to do them over the phone. In a tiny, Midwestern town of about 5,500 people with my main client base 45-60 minutes away, in-person consultations didn’t make much sense! The phone has always worked for me, and I have now added Skype calls for some clients. When I can, however, I love going to my client’s homes to help them plan everything from their clothing, personal props, backgrounds and locations, and especially to make suggestions for where they should hang their portraits.
I begin to discuss with my clients where they will hang their portraits from the very first phone call. In fact, the most important question I ask on that first call is, “Have you thought about where you will hang your portraits?” The answer is “no” almost always! If I want to sell wall decor, then it has to be introduced right from the beginning. If you wait until you present the images to your client to make suggestions, or worse, ask them, “What would you like?” it’s often too late. The client doesn’t know, and you end
up frustrated when they purchase 5”x7”s and 8”x10”s (because that’s all they know)! They don’t know what they want because they have no idea what’s available to them, so I want to get the ball rolling on that as soon as possible.