The Perfect Senior Session From Start to Finish with Carlee Secor
The perfect senior session is always a work in progress, but I’m at a point in my career where I have created a luxury experience that my seniors and their parents truly enjoy and appreciate. Back when I first started, I was all over the board trying to get prepared to own a business. I knew that first impressions were everything, and being 19 years old at the time, it was important to me that clients saw me as a professional. I constantly dealt with the feeling of doubt. Not only did I doubt myself, but so did my friends and family. Even to this day, I still get asked if photography is my “full-time job” and people are continuously telling me to “get a degree” because I can’t possibly rely on photography forever. This fueled my determination to make it work. I was inspired by other photographers I followed and looked up to, and I knew if I worked hard enough I could make this my full-time job.
During my first year of business, I only photographed seniors. I absolutely loved it, and still do. Things picked up rather quickly! I work better under pressure so I made it my mission to quickly make sure I had everything I needed to run a business smoothly. Since then I have been perfecting the best senior portrait experience, and I’d like to let you in on a few of my secrets!
The Initial Inquiry
I am a strong believer of “work smarter, not harder” and since I’m in year five of my senior portrait business, my inquiry reply emails are automated. When a senior or parent inquires for senior portraits, they are sent an automated email explaining in detail how to book a session with me. They get a link to my pricing guide and the three questions that I require to book: what school does your son/daughter attend, what month are you interested in booking, and what type of session are you interested in (VIP or standard). When I receive their reply, I send my availability for the desired month and immediately send an invoice and contract for the session. I no longer spend hours emailing inquiries back and forth over questions that could have been answered right away. This has been a game-changer in my business and I like to think my clients appreciate the immediate booking process. It is straight to the point, and most families don’t have the time or energy to email back and forth. Let’s be real, neither do I!
The Booking Process
I have used Dubsado, my client management system, since day one. I’m forever grateful to the owners of Dubsado, Becca and Jake Berg, for creating such an incredible system. It makes my booking process so streamlined that I no longer have to worry about emails getting lost or deposits not getting paid. After I send my invoice and contract to my client, they are able to pay the invoice and sign the contract digitally right away. Whether you choose to use Dubsado or not, any client management system is crucial in owning a photography business. Professionalism, organization and streamlining tasks are all extremely important and Dubsado does all of that (and more) for me.