One of the coolest parts about owning your own business is that you can completely design your client experience to be exactly how you dream. Coffee dates, phone calls, and little gifts in the mail all add up to make one massively impressive experience for your portrait clients - but sometimes you can hit a brick wall of what other act of kindness you can provide. Here’s an idea for one super simple way to improve your photography client experience that will provide so much added value with almost no additional work on your side.
Send Your Clients Their Gallery Before the Deadline
Like, way before.
This may sound like a crazy idea and you're probably thinking "there's no way I can get them their gallery in less than a week" but I promise you can. I’m going to give you a simple outline to follow here of how to accomplish this task, but if you want a more in depth tutorial you can watch my video here!
1. Back up your files right after the session
As soon as I come home from a portrait session I immediately back up all the photos onto my computer, 2 external hard drives and onto the cloud (cover your asses, friends). I save the session by name and date so that it’s easy to find and then I know that the files are on my computer and ready to go as soon as I am.
2. CULL USING COLOR LABELS
Once I’m ready to start editing I import all the photos into Lightroom and organize my catalogs. Then, I go through the images fairly quickly and cull by color labeling the photos I’m obsessed with by the blue label, and the ones I won’t show the client (blinking photos, blurry, etc.) with the red label.
3. DO A BASE EDIT AND WORK FROM THERE
After my photos are culled and I’ve chosen the best ones, I go through all the images and find one photo that I’ll use for my base edit. I try to pick one that has the same overall tone and exposure as the rest of the gallery so that when I sync the settings between the images in Lightroom, they’ll look fairly consistent already. I edit for white balance, exposure, color settings and my camera profiles.
4. EDIT USING PRESETS
When I’m doing my base edit I like to use Lightroom presets because I know that the settings are what I want for my portrait sessions. I use the same presets between all of my client galleries so I know I’m always keeping my work consistent (something I talk more about here) and my overall style stays the same so my clients are happy.
5. BATCH EXPORT FROM LIGHTROOM
Now that all the photos are edited, checked for consistency and any additional adjustments needed after using your presets, you can export them! You do this in the Library module in Lightroom and choose all the photos you want to export. There are different settings for web optimized and for print resolution, so you’ll want to be sure you’re using the right settings for each! If you want to see a more in depth tutorial of how this works in my business, feel free to grab my video tutorial here!