One of the most rewarding facets of my photography sessions, second only to spending time with my clients, is seeing their images on their walls.
Usually weeks before a session, I’ve asked my client what their goal is for the images. “Are you envisioning a wall grouping, framed prints, updates for your albums? What do YOU have in mind?” Similar questions are also included in my initial client questionnaire, because knowing what the final product ideas are helps in the way I shoot. These questions are also important for my clients – perhaps they’re not sure what they want to do with their images yet, perhaps they’re looking for ideas from my past experiences with my clients. Wherever the starting point may be, all of my clients come to understand that a session isn’t just a session. It’s a collaboration between themselves and me to produce art in a way that tells their story.
After the session, I edit the very best images before uploading the gallery and designing the slideshow. My online proofing gallery has a feature for my clients to submit a “favorites” list, which they use as a multi-step process to assist me in customizing wall grouping ideas based on their available wall space and desired product (typically standout mounts or gallery wraps). I insert their favorite images into several templates I have to give them a visual of what their wall grouping might look like and email the result. After all decisions on sizes and products are made, I build a package just for them. No two packages are the same, because no two clients are the same. My clients can then go into their proofing gallery and choose their specific package for ordering.
Orders arrive within a few days to two weeks at my door and I have a nice chat with my UPS man to catch up on what has happened in his life over the last week. I’ve realized how vital having a great relationship with your delivery person is to the session process – he makes sure to cover boxes with plastic if I’m not home and rain clouds are forming or he’ll come back when he knows I’ll be home. Opening client orders is like Christmas morning for me! And my children love the boxes for craft projects. After all items have been personally inspected, I wrap the goodies and arrange for pick up or delivery. Rarely will I deliver an order on Monday, because my “sweet bonus store” isn’t open…. Wink, wink to all of my amazing clients who know what I’m referring to.
Then my rewarding moment comes via email or text – THE IMAGES, THE STORY, ON THE WALL! Every time my clients enter that room or walk past those images, they are reminded of how wonderful their family is together. They are reminded of our time together, which can have humorous back stories, and what it felt like to spend time with one another, little snippets of conversation they heard that warmed their heart, or what endearing words their spouse said.
Ultimately, seeing my clients’ images on their walls is an ending to the session process, but it’s a constant hallmark for them of who they are, what they’ve experienced up to that point together, while simultaneously giving a peek into their future. It’s a hallmark that continues to bring new beginnings.
With my clients’ permission, I’d like to share with you some of my most recent rewarding moments and you can see for yourself just how exciting having your story on your wall can be.