Meeting Location

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by wreckless_saboteur, Jan 12, 2007.

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Where is best meeting spot for a potential bride/groom if you don't have a studio?

Poll closed Apr 12, 2007.
  1. Photographers Home

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Local Coffee Shop

    7 vote(s)
    87.5%
  3. Local Restaurant

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. wreckless_saboteur

    wreckless_saboteur TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    I've been in business for a few years, but do not have a studio. Therefore, I always meet my clients at the local coffee shop. However, I don't know if this is negatively affecting my chances of booking a client. Where does everyone else meet their clients? Studio, in your home, local restaurant?


    Thanks for suggestions!
     
  2. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For me a good spot would be their home. If the Bride's parents are paying it might be nice to meet there this would be a good opportunity to scout what 9 times out of 10 will be your first shooting location.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I also use the local coffee shops and restaurants. Someday I would like to have a gallery/client meeting area in my own studio. I'd prefer to display my photos in frames on a wall, but for now I carry two 15"x18" portfolio books with 8x10 and 8x12 prints, and I'm adding an 18"x24" portfolio book with 10x15 and 12x18 prints.

    I've heard advice that meeting clients in their home may lead to people who aren't necessarily serious about hiring me setting up meetings and wasting my time. When I am making them leave their house it makes it slightly less convenient, and may weed out a few of the folks who weren't all that serious anyway. That said, I've only ever met with two clients in their homes: one hired me and one didn't.

    I have complete pricing info on my website, as well as hundreds of photos, a FAQ page, etc.... If the potential client takes the time to read my website, they will get many of their questions answered, and the meeting is almost just a formality to make sure the real photos look like the web photos, and to make sure I'm not a jerk. I've had several brides tell me at the end of the meeting that they had decided to hire me from my website as long as I wasn't an ass in person. So far I've met with 20 wedding clients for 2007, and 18 have hired me.
     
  4. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I prefer to meet at the coffee shop since it's a little less expensive for me than a restaurant, but I have met at both. However, the plus side of meeting at a restaurant is that you have a bit more time to talk and get to know the couple while you are waiting for the food than if you meet at the coffee shop. I haven't met with that many people as getting them to meet me is the hard part I've found. But, once they do I've so far had a 100% hiring rate.
    I think you make a great point about making a client leave their home Matt (it is Matt right?).
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    An instructor of mine said that he would try to meet clients at his home. He has a very large television and a good sound system. He shows them a slide show of his work, along with an emotional sound track. He said that his booking rate for this is 100%...but I'm guessing that the clients had their mind made up before showing up. He also used this set up for showing the clients the photos for the first time.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    There is a local photographer in my town who uses a digital projector and big screen at his studio to show portrait clients their "proofs". He says when they see the huge photo on the wall, they gotta have one that big too, so he ends up selling a lot of huge prints (which of course have huge prices!).
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    What about meeting people on the phone? I get hired for about 25% of my weddings over the phone without ever meeting the client in person because they live too far away. It might be a college town thing: they meet in school, move away for a job after graduating, but come back here to get married because it's a central location, or where their family and friends are.

    It actually makes me a little nervous. I like to meet potential clients in person because I want to make sure they aren't jerks too. It's important to keep in mind that not only are they interviewing us to see if they want to hire us, but we are interviewing them, to see if we want to take the job. I have yet to turn down a wedding, but I've definately turned down portrait and commercial jobs with people who I thought were troublesome.
     

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