Kelly Heck Photography | 10 Tips to Looking Your Best Series: #9 - Communicate Your Goals

10 Tips to Looking Your Best Series: #9 - Communicate Your Goals

May 01, 2018  •  1 Comment

Let's have a typical "new client lead" conversation...

Potential Client: *ring* *ring*

Kelly: "Hi, Kelly speaking..."

Potential Client: "Hi, I need a photographer!"

Kelly: "I'm your girl! I'd love to help. What kind of photography do you need?"

Potential Client: "A portrait."


Now is the time where I get all excited and start asking questions...

  1. What's your portrait for?
  2. How will your portrait be used?
    1. Online, or in print?
    2. Are you being published?
    3. Is it for advertising?
    4. Do you want to hang it on your wall at home?
    5. Is it for a social media profile photo, a dating profile, or a professional website?
  3. What kind of feeling do you want to convey with your portrait?
  4. Do you want to be photographed in a specific location, or on a backdrop?
    1. At a location, cool! Do you have a location in mind? If not, what kind of place are you looking for... light, open, edgy, dark??
      1. What time of day do you think would be best? (I usually answer this one. Photography is all about light.)
    2. A backdrop, nice! I have a few backdrops, but a million color options. What's your favorite color?
  5. What do you plan to wear?
  6. Do you want to tell a story... and what story would that be?


Wow, that's a lot of questions, right? But it's good. Why?


The MORE you tell me upfront, the BETTER your final portrait will be.

I might be the pro, but that doesn't mean you should leave all the creative decisions up to me. If I know exactly what you are going for, we can plan a more successful photo shoot by having the right resources available to us. That means the right location, the right time of day, the right clothing... and even the right inspirational photos collected (Pinterest for the win!) to help us convey the look and feel we are going for.

This is all PRE-PHOTOSHOOT conversation.

Let's communicate at your photo shoot too.

I make a point of showing photos in-camera to my clients. Yeah, the screen is itty-bitty, but it's something. We can scroll through multiple shots, and zoom in, to give you a quick glance at what we just captured. Then I ask...






I'm not asking you, as my subject, to make me cry or anything, but now is a time to be constructively honest. NOW, is when we can tweak and improve. Photoshop is not for FIXING, Photoshop is for ENHANCING. So my goal is to get things as best as we can in camera. Tell me (or your photographer) what you like, and what you don't like, so that I (or they) have the opportunity to create better photographs for you.


Now the photo shoot is over.

But that big vein in your forehead is still haunting your nightmares.

Don't be shy. Basic retouching typically includes softening wrinkles, shadows, and stray hairs, for example. So if you hate that vein in your forehead, please be sure to tell me (or your photographer)... or that you have a chipped tooth that you'd like fixed, or that that birthmark is actually a scar, and you want it removed (or that birthmark is something you don't like, and you want that removed too). Telling your photographer certain features or tics you have ahead of time can help improve your photos in camera, but it's vital to know for post processing. If your photographer doesn't know to retouch something... unique... they likely won't touch it.


Communicate Your Goals...

To plan a better photo shoot...

To improve your photos on photo day...

To help your photographer plan for post processing.


Kelly Frager(non-registered)
Thank you Kelly! Fantastic consideration precious to the big shoot. As with most things in life. It boils down to communication, communication, communication!
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