When photographers here that I shoot mini-sessions back-to-back with ZERO space in between families, the first question I get without fail is, “What happens if someone is late?” I smirk to myself and answer, “Well…my clients are never late!”
It’s bold, but true! Now let’s be clear. This doesn’t just happen. There are some VERY intentional steps I take to make sure all of my clients show up on time and prepared for our session together. You can start using these photographer tips in your own mini-sessions process as early as today! Watch and see how suddenly none of your clients are late.
I structure my minis in a way that doesn’t give my clients an option to be late. From the very beginning when they book with me, I make it clear that my minis are 15-minute sessions and are back-to-back. If I were to leave 5 minutes of space between everyone, subconsciously families then assume that those 5 minutes belong to them. (We all know that isn’t the case, but they just assume!) A buffer between families just isn’t necessary, especially if you bring an assistant to help you! (More on that HERE.) If you have a plan and follow a shooting workflow like the one in my Complete Family Posing System, you won’t need any extra time between clients!
This one is a super easy step that makes a huge difference. I have a section in my contract that is super specific about what happens if a client is more than 7 minutes late to our session. For me, if they’re late they forfeit their spot without a refund. Luckily I’ve never had to enforce that, but I think that’s largely because it helps to sort of scare clients into being on-time!
Now of course if an emergency comes up, I’m flexible with helping my clients find a time to reschedule. But if they’re just late because they didn’t plan well, they miss out on that time in their session. Be firm on this one, friend! If your client wants flexibility, they can book a full session instead!
Now this is where an excellent client experience comes into play. If I’m going to have high expectations for my clients, it’s my job to do everything in my power to make success easy for them. Enter my famous Final Info Email!
I send out my Final Info Email a week before our sessions. In this email I remind my clients of their time slot, some helpful tips to make their session go smoothly, and then the most important part to helping them be on-time…DIRECTIONS.
I write out very specific directions on where they need to park, how to find where we’re shooting, literally anything that will help them not get lost! If parking is a little ways away from where we’re shooting, I let them know about how long it will take them to find a parking spot and walk to me. If we’re shooting at a spot without an address, I include Google Maps and Apple Maps pins so they can click and see the exact spot we’ll be shooting at. My goal is to serve them so well that there are no excuses left for why they could possibly be late. And guess what? It works like a charm! AND my clients love the over-communication.
So there you have it! Try these photographer tips out on your next set of minis and say goodbye to late clients forever!
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