Do you ever find yourself repeating yourself over and over again to prospective clients in your workflow? If so, here are the templates I’ve created that both anticipate my clients’ questions and save me valuable time in my product photography business.
I used to write out the same emails over and over again, answer the same questions on client calls, and generally spend a lot of time repeating myself. This is when I decided to create some beautifully designed templates that I could send to clients at the click of a button.
It’s worth noting that the templates I discuss in this article are created with small to medium businesses in mind. Obviously, you wouldn't need to tell a huge business how to prepare for a photoshoot or how to use their images! The majority of my clients have either never worked with a professional photographer or have only worked with one or two photographers prior to me.
It’s useful to have some pre-written email templates to cover off the scenarios that come up for you in your business time and again. Instead of writing every email from scratch, pre-write them and you can make a few small tweaks to customise them as needed. These might cover your responses to:
- Working for exposure
- Ending a collaboration that’s no longer working for you
- Increasing your prices
- Booking in a discovery call
- When someone asks for a reduced or discounted rate
When a potential client gets in touch, the first thing I do is send them a welcome guide. This PDF document provides some background information on who I am, how I work, where my prices start from, runs through common FAQs, and gives some prompts that clients might like to consider before they speak to me on the phone.
This document weeds out the inquiries who don’t have enough budget to work with me, answers questions they might not have even known they had and gives a positive, professional first impression. Further, it prevents me from repeating myself over and over, because I’ve already outlined the answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Once I’ve booked the client in and we’ve discussed their requirements and put together a comprehensive shot list, I have an “overview” template that recaps all of the key shoot details including:
- Date and time of shoot
- Key campaign aim
- Where the images will be used
- The aspect ratio(s) we’ll be shooting in
- A summary of the visual aesthetic
- A condensed moodboard that highlights the chief inspiration for the shoot
This document isn’t a contract, and it’s not a moodboard. It’s a shoot summary that’s super useful to summarize the aims for the shoot and to make sure everyone is on the same page. Over-communication is never a bad thing, in my experience.
How To Prepare for a Photoshoot
This document is really beneficial for smaller businesses who don’t know what to do or how to prepare for a photoshoot. In my experience, clients often feel their most relaxed, confident, and trusting in you when they are kept well informed. It’s often when there’s been limited communication that they start to panic or micro manage, which only leads to frustration and a bad experience for both parties.
Many businesses I work with are so close to their product or brand that they forget other people don’t know the minutiae of their business like they do. In this document, I prompt clients to think about their brand guidelines and how that might impact a photoshoot and how they ask you to capture the products. It also outlines practical details such as requesting multiples of their product in case of smudges, creases, faults, etc.
How To Use Your Images
Be circumspect with which type of client you send this to. There’s nothing worse than teaching people to suck eggs, but for smaller businesses, this document can be a really valuable insight.
After the photoshoot and the delivery of images, I will send a “how to use your images” document. So often, I see smaller businesses using the images on social media and their website and it stops there. If a client has invested their money in professional photography, I want them to understand how to make the most of it so they can see maximum return on investment. In this template, I include visual examples of how other clients have used their imagery beyond social media, such as on refer a friend cards, on packaging itself, as thank you cards slipped into orders, or in investment decks, to name just a few.
Creating templates to cover off frequently asked questions can be a great time saver in your business, as well as creating a smooth working relationship where your client feels that you are professional and organized. I’ve had great feedback from clients on how helpful these documents have been for them. At the end of the day, the client will not only remember whether they were pleased with the images, but how they felt working with you, too. If you can make it a smooth, easy experience, they’ll be more likely to book you again and recommend you to others.