In this guide, I show you how to choose who to pitch, how to find the right contact information, and how to craft a winning pitch.
I am a food + product photographer & educator specializing in eco-friendly and sustainable brands. When I am not working with clients, I empower creatives to start their journey by sharing my knowledge on the business of food + product photography.
Most professional photographers will agree that being behind the camera is the best part of the job. But developing close relationships with clients is a close second! As a food photographer, providing an exceptional customer experience is absolutely essential. Without the support of your clients, your business wouldn’t be able to be successful.
Creating an exceptional customer experience starts with putting yourself in the client’s shoes. If you can tap into how your client feels, it’s easier to identify what they need in order to have a positive interaction.
Consider these questions when picturing the experience of your client:
Delivering a friendly experience is nearly as important as (or even more important than) delivering an outstanding final product. After all, you don’t want your clients excitedly raving about their finished photographs but spreading bad news about you—the person behind the lens.
The “secret” to creating a stellar client experience is communication. Photographers simply need to be on top of communication with their clients. You don’t want your customers worrying or wondering about what’s happening during the creative process.
Pay attention to tone and timeliness in your responses to client messages. It helps to use templates to standardize the quality of your correspondence—no matter how busy you are.
In the end, you want your clients to feel knowledgeable about your process. The more you share with them, the more likely they are to pass along referrals about their exceptional customer experience!
Why doesn’t the work of a food photographer begin and end behind the camera? Because you’re as much an entrepreneur and business owner as you are a photographer!
Delivering an exceptional customer experience earns you more opportunities to do the work you love.
Take a deep dive into five reasons why focusing on client communication will help boost your photography business.
Clear client communication guarantees that everyone knows what’s going on during the entire creative process. Unpleasant surprises really only happen when you leave details up in the air.
Food photographers who take the time to talk with their clients regularly are often credited with an exceptional customer experience. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time to plan and communicate a project—use templates! Preconstructed workflows are easier to tweak and share than making one from scratch each time.
Another key advantage to talking openly and honestly with your food photography clients is that they can adjust their expectations accordingly. They may have hired you in the hopes that you could photoshop the Swiss Alps in the background of every photo.
In reality, you need to communicate all possibilities (and impossibilities) long before the photo-editing stage. Having a sturdy portfolio on hand to showcase your range of expertise is helpful in this area.
A concerned client will rarely have an exceptional customer experience. If you notice that your client seems worried, be sure to address their concerns and layer on more communication as needed.
The more clients you work with, the better you’ll be able to anticipate their needs. Leveraging your knowledge of past experiences can help you answer client questions before they even know they have them! You can even pre-answer some frequently asked questions on your website or during the onboarding process to help your clients understand your level of expertise and appreciate how much thought and respect goes into your process.
Your clients will probably feel uncertain about the details of their food photography shoot (especially if this is their first time planning one with you). To put their minds at ease, (and to make your work easier!), feel free to share some pointers before the shoot. Make sure they have extra ingredients on hand if you shoot at their location and that they send you products with perfect labels.
Think about the styling, too! Tell your clients which type of dishware or linens photograph the best. In the end, they will be so appreciative of your guidance.
Newsflash! Creating an exceptional customer experience often begins long before the project dates—as soon as your client books with you. The last thing you want is to leave your client to second-guess their choice to hire you by going silent for days after they sign the contract.
Have a few templates on-hand to keep your clients informed of where you are in the process. For example, you can send an email with the mood board and shot list for their review. If they have booked you several weeks in advance, you could also send them an email to remind them that the shoot is coming up and include some examples from a related project to get them excited about working with you.
Your kind words and above-and-beyond mindset speaks volumes to your customers. They will be so grateful for your continued contact.
Delivering an exceptional customer experience to every single one of your clients is possible if you keep these helpful tips in mind. Remember, communication is the key to true success in food photography!