Discover Your Client’s Needs, Expectations, and Reasons for the Photo Shoot

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

In addition to learning about your canine subject, you need to learn about your human client. Sometimes, this is even more vital, because the human is the one paying your fee (and humans tend to be a lot harder to please than dogs)! This is another area where it pays to be thorough. Take some time to ask your human client

  • Why she wants this photo shoot. Her reasons may run the gamut from common ones to something extraordinary, like an ailing dog or a new addition to the family.

  • What her goals are for the session. Does she want just one good image for a holiday card? A whole action series? A surprise gift for her husband?

  • If she or her dog have any special needs. Go the extra mile to make sure you understand any specific requests or accommodations and be sure to communicate with her if you can’t meet her requests.

Does she have specific ideas in mind? A lot of times, clients don’t. They just want you to “do your thing.” But sometimes, clients do have ideas of what they want, so make sure you find out what those preconceived ideas are.

Also find out whether she wants indoor or outdoor shots, as well as action or posed, or maybe a combination. Ask about special spots or toys she wants you to include. Take time to engage in a discussion (even over e-mail) so you can be best prepared to deliver the product she’s looking for.