Business Tip | 3 Reasons to Offer In-Home Client Proofing

July 7, 2011

in Photography Business Tips, Photography Tutorials

I Heart Faces Client Proofing Session Tutorial

Written by: Raven Mathis

After beginning in the industry as a professional photographer, I learned that proofing in my clients’ homes worked much better for me. After one in-home proofing session, my profits tripled compared to my previous session. My jaw hit the floor and after doing it for an entire season, I came up with my top 3 reasons why it works for me (and possibly will for you, too!).

I Heart Faces Client Proofing Session Tutorial

1. I am a people person.

I quickly fall in love with images while editing and I love to share that love with my client (Whoa, lots of love there). I can get all sorts of excited about an image, but if I just send it via email or put it in an online gallery- the client misses my excitement.  It is so much easier for a client to get excited about an image when their photographer is excited about it, too.

2. Comfort is my number one goal.

I hate cold sales. And I personally hate being shoved into a tiny room and being forced to choose things because I know that the next appointment is coming in. This is why I chose my boutique style – I give my clients the time of day. I spend time mulling over the images with them and helping them choose what is perfect for them. Doing the proofing in their home already gives them a sense of familiarity. They are comfortable with their surroundings and know them by heart – so they are more likely to focus on the images and where they want to display them.

3. Visualization is key in a visual medium profession.

How is your client ever going to know what size to purchase to hang over her fireplace if you don’t bring along sizing examples or your tape measure? Even worse, you can have all these things and no wall to measure if you are meeting in a random office. I love the concept that in-home, in-person proofing gives. It allows you (the professional) to guide your clients in making the right choice for their space. It allows your clients to visualize what images are going to look like on their walls and gets them excited to hang things. I have had 3X increase in sales since taking the time to help clients choose the perfect spot. And quite personally, I love being involved in the process. I love knowing that my work will be hung in homes. Conducting the proofing session in their home also cuts down on the week’s worth of emails or calls you would get asking about which photo would look good where.

I Heart Faces Client Proofing Session Tutorial

Overall, I think taking the good old fashioned approach of treating your customers like gold will speak volumes about you and your work in the end. We aren’t just selling images, we are selling an experience. What good do those images do sitting in a drawer all dusty on a disc?

Get out, get in and get you work hung on their walls – your clients will thank you for it!


Raven Mathis is a boutique wedding and family photographer in Louisville, Kentucky. She blogs for the Louisville SmugMug Pro meetups and loves to try new restaurants in her free time. You can find her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

April D February 9, 2012

I just found this via pinterest and too am curious about what you bring and what you view the images on as lighting on a laptop makes such a difference. I just decided two days ago I was going to give the home viewing a try and changed up my website to include that. I have a mac and have seen the difference between the color on mine vs seeing it on a friends pc so I think the customers being able to see the rich colors of what it should look like will help sales but yet they say laptops you shouldn’t use?

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Raven Mathis July 23, 2013

Hi there, I just popped in here and saw your comment. I use an iPad (in conjunction with the smugmug app) that I place in my clients hands. They can browse at their leisure, the color is spot on and there are plenty of apps out there these days for proofing gallery wraps that show the client how they will look on the wall! I bring my albums (Finao, both the one and the play book) along with me as well. I focus mostly on getting large format/canvas prints and albums into my clients hands.

If you would like me to get into it further, shoot me an email at raven@ravenmathis.com and I would love to chat with you.

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Roosh R October 28, 2011

Can't make it to the studio? Here's how to make in-home client proofing work. http://t.co/FkBVl4H6 @iheartfaces #sales #photography #togs

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Janine July 16, 2011

Definately the way to go! I have been doing this for years, and it’s easier on the client, they feel more comfortable, and I build a better relationship with them, and that leads to referrals!
Please try if you haven’t already, it’s worth it…

Janine

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KristeenMarie July 7, 2011

Thanks for sharing these tips! I also get super excited and all in love with my images when editing. I find this especially true when I’m doing newborn photography. The little ones are just so cute!

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laurel July 7, 2011

That was so helpful! Thank you :)

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Julianne July 7, 2011

When you come into their homes, are the pictures edited completely? Just wondering if you are saving time on editing by only editing those they want to order or do you come with all preselected edited pictures, so the pics look their best to perhaps increase sales?
Thanks for the tips.

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Veronica July 7, 2011

Very good points. Thank you for posting this.

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Christina Hultquist July 7, 2011

Im interested also in what exactly to bring, if you do not have an ipad. I dont mind bringing my lap top.

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Heather Byrd July 7, 2011

I’m interested in exactly what you bring with you to an in-home proofing session. I’ve done a few and it just seems really tedious loading up tons of samples and setting everything up in the client’s home and then loading them back up again. I feel like one of those traveling vacuum cleaner salesmen.

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Krystal July 7, 2011

I second these questions. Would love to hear from Raven and others as to how it works.

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Jen July 7, 2011

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Raven. I have gotten the same impression from other photographers that in-home viewing is the way to go. Do you use the Wall Display Guides by Ariana Falerni?

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Carol Strawn July 7, 2011

Thanks for sharing! Inspiring!

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Nicole L July 7, 2011

For those of us who are just “breaking in” – and don’t have the resources to purchase an Ipad (or the like – yet) what do you recommend using for proofing in-home??

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Dana-from chaos to Grace July 7, 2011

LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I have heard this for awhile, but never implemented.

I do have a few questions for you:

#1: what do you use to view the photos? I’ve heard laptop (colors are different on those though), iPads, projector (do you own one and would you recommend getting one?), and their own tvs.

#2: do you do an online gallery at all then? Do you do sneak peeks or is this their first time viewing any of the photos? I’ve read articles on this as well. LOL

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Amy July 7, 2011

Raven – great article! I totally agree with you – the in-home proofing is just the way to go! Sales are definitely way, WAY higher then when your client only views/buys online. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! ;)

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