Say cheese, pleeeeeease! 5 ways to make your clients smile, for real

April 13, 2017

Being a photographer means so much more than snapping pics.
You’re a business owner, a clown, an artist, a socialite, an editor, and a crowd leader. You’re a jack or jill of all trades. And you must don many hats before, during, and after every photo session.

But arguably the most important role during the session is that of a host. You must make your client feel welcome, comfortable, happy, and secure – all the emotions that create candid smiles, real energy, and honest interactions between your subjects.

It’s not always easy. We certainly know that. So here are 5 ways to make your clients smile, for real!

How to make your clients smile

Make them feel at home.

Speak to them the moment they arrive as if they’ve been your best friend for life. Make light-hearted jokes, compliment their clothing choices, laugh at yourself to make yourself friendly, approachable, and easy to talk to.

Plan ahead.

Are you shooting kids? Get details on the children’s ages and ask permission from parents to provide treats. Try to find beautiful, edible treats or fun activities that you can work into the shoot as props. For example, I once provided rainbow-colored lollipops that were the size of the children’s heads. (Smiles for dayyyyys!) I usually bring an antique tricycle that the kids can play on while I snap pictures. And once I even brought dragonfly nets so the children could run through the light-filled forest chasing bugs and each other.

Provide music.

Sometimes, people can really loosen up with some tuneage. Turn on some music and have the kids or couples dance. Whether they love to dance or not, I guarantee some genuine laughter.

“Say something funny.”

It’s hard to be a comedian when you’re snapping away. So try telling your clients, “Hey, whisper something naughty/funny/off-color to each other!” All of a sudden you see funny faces, hear old jokes, or just witness awkward attempts to be funny that result in true laughter and smiles.

Tell them the session is over.

When you’ve done everything you planned and think you have enough for the session, tell your clients, “Congratulations! You did it! It’s over!” You’ll see their shoulders relax and their faces go back to candid smiles as they loosen up and interact with one another. Keep shooting, and just let them know that you really are done, just pushing snap here and there. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities!

Have more secrets of smiles to share? Comment below with some of your ideas!


Learn how Waldo can boost your photography business