Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday Is Portrait Day: The Consultation - Part 2

Good Morning Everybody,
We headed out from Denver and made the 7 1/2 hour drive to Salt Lake City arriving about 7:45 p.m. last evening. I have to say, LaDawn and I enjoy driving from city to city on the DWC tour. This time our travels have taken us from Phoenix to Tucson to El Paso to Albuquerque then to Santa Fe, up to Denver and then across Wyoming to Salt Lake City. I don't know how many miles we traveled but the hours of beautiful changing scenery sure made it worth it.

Yesterday was probably the longest haul - we plugged in the SLC address into our GPS and were off. We didn't even know what the route mapped out for us as we followed along from the directions our GPS system instructed. We were flying across the country side enjoying the views LaDawn sighting herds of deer several times along the way. We assumed from not viewing a map we were in Colorado - never did we see a sign that said "Welcome to..." - hence our confusion.

I commented that maybe it might be Wyoming - we had no clue. Stopping at a Little America along the way to get gas, I noticed all the cowboy books and other memorabilia at this very comfortable stop. I had to giggle - turns out that we were in Wyoming all the time and, wow, those mountains we saw must have been the Grand Tetons! My 7th grade geography teacher would be so disappointed!!What can I say, we were just gringos in the Wyoming wild west. It was our first time seeing Wyoming and we enjoyed every mile of it. By the way, photo credit to LaDawn Z for this one.

Hey gang, today I've got another installment in Portrait Day Wednesday so let's get right to it...

The Consultation - Part 2
Last week I discussed the importance of the portrait consultation. Here is the link. This week I want to review what we cover during that consultation. This consultation is separated into two parts.

Part 1 - Finding out a little about the client and what they are looking for in their portrait.
Part 2 - Product presentation.

Many times the client is unclear and really doesn't know what they want. We explore the possibilities together to come to a consensus as to our photographic approach for our client. At the end of the process, the client too feels comfortable that we both have a plan for a great result. This is the beginning of the "expectation building" I discussed last week.

Here is the quick hit list of the items we want to find out to best serve the client with the portrait experience.

1. Family profile - Mom and Dad, how many children and their ages.

2. Where do we want to take the portrait - their home, nearby park, or in the studio. My preference is always a favorite park. I know the locations, when the lighting is best, and what park features offer the best backgrounds for the family portrait.

3. Is the portrait going to be formal - jackets and ties, or more casual - i.e. blue oxford shirts and khaki pants or jeans. You get the idea. I have only done one formal portrait in the last few years and that was right after Christmas last year. Most of my family groups are more casual with the family matching in their wardrobe selection - more on that later.

4. Have they thought about where the portrait will be displayed in their home. This question is usually a first for many clients. Most have never thought of a family portrait that could be displayed over their sofa or prominently in their family room. I mention that with an appropriately sized portrait displayed in their home, it will be the first thing noticed by any guest entering their home. They may have just redecorated their entire home but the family portrait is always noticed first. What pride that instills in the client.

5. Once we raise the issue of the wall portrait, we introduce our clients to our other products. That includes portrait albums, treasure boxes - a box of 5x7 matted images beautifully presented in a black lacquered box, multi-image frames- we call them wall collages, framed collages in different aspect ratios - i.e. 8x10, 11,14, etc. Anyway, you get the idea that we are suggesting many, many additional product options.

As we move through our simple series of questions, our discussion with the client really starts to gel into a special portrait experience for them. The "ice has been broken" and now they are getting excited about their family portrait.

Next week I discuss a crucial part of client conversation that puts the "whip cream and cherry on top" for a wonderful looking portrait that far exceeds the client's expectations.

Hey everybody, that's it for me today. We are looking to meeting the photographers in SLC tonight. Hope to see you there! -David

1 comment:

  1. David,

    Those weren't the Tetons that you saw. You were still 150 miles away from them!