It is about the whole dog photography experience not just part of it and meeting the expectations you set, preferably exceeding them so the client really has a WOW moment.
A recent commission is a good example of this. A lady bought her Mum one of our dog photography location experience vouchers for Christmas and her Mum booked the session for March and we have just completed the experience with the delivery of the prints and canvas she ordered.
The whole experience starts with the initial phone call to make the arrangements for the location setting and how you make the client feel at ease and how you set the expectations for the location. When I learned the location was to be inside a 12th Century village church I was intrigued and excited by the challenge this would pose as the light in an old church can be limited and I was determined to shoot only using the natural light available which would be limited.
As the church has a very special connection with my client, she arranged special permission from the vicar and we met up and drove to the church which is a truly beautiful building with some of the oldest pews in the country so we had real history and feellng in our location.
From a photographers point of view we were in a location the dog had never been in before, we had a nervous client who was hoping her dog would behave and a dog that was wondering what was going on.
This is where my 25 plus years experience as a dog behaviourist really comes into its own as I can easily direct the client how to behave and interact with the dog and I know how to get the dogs attention without over exciting the dog so we get the most natural expression from the dog.
We were in the church for over an hour, the light was lovely, the dog was amazing and the images were beautiful. Throughout the whole experience I made sure the client was happy, I was showing her images on the back of the camera as we went, I was making sure the dog was happy and the hour soon flew by.
I went back to show my client the images on her laptop and she loved them and ordered several prints and canvas. She was very impressed with the look of the photographs in her laptop and I took the opportunity to suggest she will love them even more in print.
There is no comparison and nothing can prepare the client for the first look at the printed image, the quality of the fine art print paper we use is of the highest available, the mounting card is of the highest quality and the wrapping is applied by hand. The ink used in the printing process is giclee, the finest fine art ink that remains printed fresh for many years because my client is investing in quality, not just in the images but in me, the photographer.
From happy clients who appreciate your work and the quality of your service referrals will come and your name will spread. I love what I do, I love photography and I love dogs and this passion delights my clients. My knowledge of dog behaviour gives them security and reassurance that their dog will enjoy the experience as much as they will.
This is just one of the images my client ordered as a fine art print: