Customer Service for portrait photographers has been on my mind lately and it makes me really sad how much we as a group haven’t been serving our clients.
I lump myself in to this group because I was there in the beginning of the digital photography wave and am totally guilty of giving just digital files. Which equals horrific customer service. That is for sure my biggest pet peeve but we’ve been over that on a previous blog post. Check that out here for my feelings on the disc being all you might have in ten years. The disc is the worst offense because it puts all the work on busy moms and as a mom of two I know Moms do not have time to organize, backup, cull, print, deliver, frame and hang their portraits.
We have to stop showing moms 1,000 and one images, she’ll get a headache
But this brings up more point where we photographers have been failing our amazing clients. Culling, don’t know what that is I’m sure it’s an industry word, sorry. Culling is basically looking at all the amazing images from your portrait session and picking the very best ones. I know I know moms want to see all the cutest ones and pick the best smiles, and they love laughing at all the crazy outtakes. But seriously we are here to save moms time, not give them 150 images to choose from on the reveal day. Science says too many choices lead to paralysis.
We’ve all been there.
We go to the store for a birthday card and 20 minutes later we are still reading cards! What gives? Choice overload makes our brain work so hard it becomes more impossible to make a decision. So let’s all agree moms make ten thousand decisions a day for her kids. We need to give her the absolute best of the best for her family portrait wall options. This is just good customer service and should be a priority.
This is where to pre photoshoot consultation comes in handy!
Asking questions before ever picking up my camera makes this culling process so much easier. Knowing that mom wants a photograph to go over the fireplace or couch and that she is leaning towards one amazing image tells me she needs a horizontally oriented image and that I need everyone looking their best. This means I need to narrow down to the best of the best and not even shoot any vertical family portraits.
Asking moms if they loved posed images or prefer candid family interactions is another great question. If mom is looking for everyone to be smiling at the camera then those sweet tickle shots with Jimmy’s eyes closed tight are great for social media. But they are not going to be mom’s choice for the wall. So just take them out of the decisions for the fireplace wall. I’m not saying to delete those wonderful portraits. I’m just saying moms need us to do a better job of listening and making it easier to make these decisions. This should be an industry standard customer service practice from all of us.
When you are expecting baby number three it’s easy to think oh I got this I know what is coming next. Moms who plan ahead are my spirit animal. (serious over planner here). Plan ahead moms make their life and mine so much easier. I distinctly remember chatting with this mom about where she wanted portraits to be displayed in her home. How she wanted them to feel and how having a photograph of the three kids together was so important to her.
Why newborn portraits matter in the grand scheme of things
Having photographs of this special time is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something this mom didn’t want to forget. The newborn stage goes by so fast and it’s easy to forget the small details. Having newborn portraits on the living room wall will remind her that she was wanted and loved!
Great Job Mom
Shout out to mom on her clothing and styling choices for this session. I feel like she could teach other moms how to style a family and make it look effortless. These kiddos always look put together yet casual for portrait sessions. But don’t let that fool you it’s never as effortless as it looks. I recall tears from little D last year when he had to take off his batman shirt for picture day!
Perfect little sister
Little miss was a dream baby model, I’m not sure she cried the whole session. And only woke up to eat near the end. She seems to be an easy going little sister and that will help mom out immensely with two active older brothers.
I had not either, my friends and neighbors rave about the swim lessons and how Charlotte Aquatics taught their kids to swim like fish. But Charlotte Aquatics’ baby bonding class seems to be swimming under the radar. Since I spend a ton of time with new moms and babies I thought we should talk about the baby class today!
Sensory experience and infant development
Did you know that proper infant development and growth require sensory experience and movement? One of the most important sensory inputs for the development of the brain is touch. Skin-to-skin contact and touch enhance bonding between parents and baby. Babies crave contact with their parents. They need physical contact to build trust in their parents, and the world around them. Self esteem and trust that baby’s needs with be met, is built through contact with parents and caregivers.
The science behind the class
“Scientists now believe that to achieve full development of the mature brain, stimulation in the form of movement and sensory experiences during the early developing years is necessary. Neuroscientist Carla Hannaford, author of Smart Moves:Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head, explains that beginning in infancy, physical movement plays a vital role in the creation of the nerve cell networks that are at the core of learning. The more children move, the more information they are gathering about their environment and themselves.” In addition, the hydrostatic pressure of the water magnifies the sensory stimulation that your baby receives as they move through the water.
The Baby Bonding Class helps you get baby moving while having fun!
Getting babies out of car seats, strollers and carriers is essential to their development in today’s busy go -go world. A fun way to get that critical skin-to-skin contact and provide optimal stimulation is to join a Baby Bonding Class at Charlotte Aquatics.
Babies and parents alike will enjoy the class and the company of other new parents. Allow your infant to experience touch and movement all while having fun in the water!
I’ve been neglecting my blog again (insert ashamed face) But I’m back to share a few sweet newborn images of baby Nolan. He was just so sweet and tiny! Man I love being able to capture these precious newborn stages for new moms. Who wouldn’t love to be reminded of how tiny and beautiful her baby was in twenty years? I know I’ll cherish my boys newborn portraits and baby albums forever. That thing they say about what would you save in a fire. I’m pretty sure it’s true, moms will save the baby and family portraits if they have the chance. I know I’d try.
Did you know I can help you design your wall art before your portrait session? I love to have expecting moms to come in and chat about their newborn session before baby arrives. The design consultation appointment gives you the expecting mom a chance to get to know me, see the space and talk about what you really want before your baby arrives. We can plan wall designs, albums and even gifts for grandma before she comes to visit. That way when baby is here you can relax and let me do all the work on the portrait session day.
Are you expecting? or just here for the cute babies? Either way I’m happy your here. If you want to chat about a newborn, maternity or family portrait session just hit that contact us button at the top and leave me your number (and I promise to call you back) I’d love to have you in for a no obligation design consultation. If you are just here to see the cute little man leave him some love in the comments! thanks
These fun themed first birthday sessions always turn out so adorable! I mean who doesn’t love a cute baby, a fancy pink outfit, pearls and a cake! It is truly a recipe for fun and over indulgence.
This little lady and I just happened to share a birthday so of course when her mom mentioned a birthday session I was super excited. I don’t need cake or presents for my birthday just bring your babies over to the studio and let me create a magical portrait session for them! That is the perfect birthday present for yours truly. ;) Continue reading “One Year Cake Smash Portraits Tega Cay, SC”
Patti is a local doula and she would love to talk to you if you are expecting or just curious about doula services. Below is a little about her history as a doula and her contact information is at the bottom. Also feel free to comment on this blog and she will be happy to answer your questions.
Patti Rumsey: Bio
I first got interested in being a doula after my second child’s birth in 1995. However, I didn’t start training until 6 years later and by then I had 3 children. The first being born in a birth center, second in a hospital, and the third and fourth at home. I was fortunate enough to land a job at Anderson Hospital in Anderson, SC where I worked for 3 years and attended over 300 births. This experience was one of the best times of my life. I went on to practice privately for a couple of years and had many enjoyable experiences.Continue reading “Meet Patti Rumsey a Fort Mill doula”
I’ve been curious about Doulas’ since before having kids. I’ll be honest the more I learn the more I wish I had hired one for my first pregnancy. Since I can’t go back in time I thought I would share with you ladies and help you find all the resources possible for your pregnancies. I recently meet Patti and asked her to guest write for my blog and help my clients learn more. So without more of my rambling here is what she shared. Continue reading “What is a Doula?”
Baby J’s mom contacted me in response to a maternity model call. You may notice these are new baby photographs and not maternity ones. Poor mom sent me a message and not an hour later sent me a new one saying her doctor didn’t think she would make it to a photoshoot. Her doctor was right Sweet Baby Boy J was born the next day!
Babies have a mind of their own even before they are born. If you are thinking about having maternity portraits created or maybe you know you should document your pregnancy in some way please, please, please don’t delay call me today and lets get you reserved on my calendar. And don’t forget to ask about your free belly cast as well.
Ok enough jabbering about maternity photos and let’s talk about this sweet new baby. Isn’t he just precious? He loved being swaddled, he was happy to be in his birthday suit and he had no problem being moved to the bowl either. Saying he was chill little man would be an understatement.
And what about the wall collection I created for them? Don’t you just love it? That’s not their home of course. But I can create and show artwork on the walls in your home. Thanks to some pretty fancy software I can create mockups of your sweet new baby’s artwork on the walls in your home true to size. This makes your decision making process so much easier. No more trying to visualize what a canvas or framed portrait will look like in your living room. I can show you exactly how it will look. isn’t that amazing?
If you are expecting just give me a shout 704-313-5125 or send me a message and lets plan ahead before your sweet new baby arrives firstname.lastname@example.org