With over 10+ years of experience photographing everything from weddings, headshots, senior pictures, families, boudoir, sporting events, theater productions, and creative portraits to magazine covers, I’ve heard my share of objections and concerns about clients getting their pictures taken. It’s completely justified, too! Getting photographed is a significant endeavor, and you want to make sure it’s a worthwhile experience with amazing images as the outcome. That’s why I always address each question and concern with empathy and transparency. Your photographer’s job is to ensure you feel comfortable and confident and have an incredible experience. In this post, I’ll share some of the most common client objections and concerns I hear, along with how other photographers may address each.
Session Concerns and Objections
“It’s Too Expensive”
Without a doubt, photography is a luxury expense. You have to really want it for it to make sense. Having said that, everyone has their budget and constraints. It’s not uncommon to hear my potential clients express concerns about cost, and it’s natural to want to get the best value for their investment. I often have to remind clients that photography is more than just pictures. Yes, we’re capturing a moment that tells your unique story. But you’re not just paying for photos; you’re investing in a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come. A great photographer will make the process and experience of getting your photos taken memorable and unique.
Some photographers offer complimentary hair and make-up services, include studio rental fees, or provide outfits and props as part of their overall service offering. There’s tremendous value there, so you don’t have to look for those services and items alone. That expert set of recommendations and services is not insignificant. You’re also paying for a consistent skill set. Exceptional photographers have a high keeper rate of fantastic photos, and that’s one of the reasons they charge more. Instead of sifting through 100 meh photos to find one amazing image, you’ll have 20 phenomenal portraits to pick from.
Lastly, many photographers offer various packages and services to accommodate different budgets. You’ll also find many photographers offer payment plans for their services and print products. Professional photographers want you to get incredible images and have a stellar experience. And sometimes spoiling yourself is the right choice.
“I’m Not Photogenic”
The notion of not being photogenic is something we’ve all heard before. Rest assured, you’re not alone in feeling this way, as many clients express similar sentiments. What makes you photogenic isn’t just your physical appearance; it’s your genuine emotions and expressions. Experienced photographers are skilled at making you feel comfortable, helping you find your best angles, and encouraging your true personality to shine through.
Whenever someone tells me they aren’t photogenic, I simply respond, “Challenge accepted!” I know “not photogenic” results from feeling anxious in front of any lens (professional or smartphone) and not acting like yourself. My job as the photographer is to make my clients feel comfortable so we can capture everything awesome about them.
“I Don’t Know How To Pose” or “I’m Not A Model”
I hear this one a lot. Not everyone is a professional model, and that’s perfectly okay. Posing is an art, and a skilled photographer will guide you every step of the way. A significant element of good posing is providing a supportive and fun atmosphere during your session, ensuring you feel at ease and confident. One tool is using the inquiry or planning call to get to know you, understand your unique personality, and then capture it authentically. Photographers should offer suggestions and gentle direction to help you strike poses that feel natural and true to yourself. So, leave the worry about posing at the door and let that expert photographer you hired guide you through a session that captures your genuine charm.
Remember, photography is about capturing the essence of who you are, not forcing you into rigid poses. The goal is to create images that showcase your personality and the best version of yourself. So, whether creative portraits, headshots, or senior pictures, you can rest easy knowing that your photographer will make posing a breeze. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and empowering the process can be, and the resulting images will reflect your true self beautifully and naturally.
“I Don’t Know What to Wear”
Selecting the right outfit for a photoshoot can be puzzling, but it’s easier than you think. Yes, choosing the proper attire can significantly impact the outcome of your portraits, and that’s why your photographer should assist you every step of the way. Some photographers will offer personalized wardrobe guidance to help you make the best choices that suit your style and the theme of your session. Others will have clothing options on hand at their studio. Whether you’re going for a casual, elegant, or creative look, a great photographer is well-equipped to provide suggestions, tips, and maybe a blog post about what to wear for your session that aligns with your vision. The goal is to ensure you feel confident and comfortable in your chosen attire, allowing your true personality to shine through in your images.
I provide a lot of guidance via blog post articles and pdfs before my clients’ photo shoots. I also typically have a planning session where we’ll talk about the session’s theme and how they’ll want to be seen, then talk about the best clothing options to achieve that. I also provide recommendations for where to find some tricky outfits, like creative or vintage outfits, for those funky sessions.
“I Don’t Know What to Bring”
I once had a client show up with two huge suitcases of stuff for a simple headshot session. I quickly learned to walk through what’s helpful and necessary to ensure my clients are well-prepared and relaxed during their photoshoots. I always describe the checklist of items to bring before a session so my clients don’t have to worry about forgetting anything important. Depending on the type of session, I may recommend props, sentimental objects, or additional clothing options to diversify the images. The goal is to create a stress-free and enjoyable experience where you can simply focus on being yourself while your photographer takes care of the rest. This blog post is a great place to start, which begins the conversation of “what to bring to your session.”
“I’m Nervous About the Shoot”
Feeling nervous before a photoshoot is entirely normal. There’s a lot of anxiety and pressure on yourself (and the photographer) to create incredible images. Unfortunately, nerves will quickly derail a photo session. That’s why making you feel comfortable and relaxed during your session is crucial. It’s a running joke in photography communities that we double as therapists. That’s because we work with clients from all walks of life and have become masters at putting our clients’ nerves at ease. Your shoot should have a warm and friendly atmosphere where you can be yourself, allowing your natural personality to shine through in your portraits.
Photographers want you to think of your photoshoot as a fun, memorable adventure, not a source of anxiety. Many of my clients have walked in feeling super nervous but walked out with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. I achieve this by being a bit goofy but also matching my clients’ energies, being their cheerleader, swaddling them in compliments, and providing direction for posing throughout. My sessions are easy-going, relaxed, and fun time.
“I Need to Lose Weight & Work Out First”
The desire to look and feel your best for a photo session is entirely understandable, and taking steps to be healthy and confident is commendable. However, I want to emphasize that you don’t need to delay capturing beautiful moments because you feel the need to lose weight or work out first. Your authentic self is worthy of capturing, regardless of your body shape or fitness level.
Experienced photographers are skilled at highlighting your best features and capturing your genuine personality. Without a doubt, self-image can be a sensitive issue, but your photographer will make you feel comfortable and beautiful just as you are. Smart clothing selection, proper posing, good composition, and a confident attitude can do more for perceived body shape than you can imagine. One of my wedding photographer friends completely hid the fact that she was pregnant until she was two weeks from her due date!!! And she took near-weekly full-body self-portraits. No one knew, all because she was a master at posing and choosing the right clothing. Don’t wait to do your session. You look terrific today.
Editing & Printing Concerns and Objections
“I’m Not Sure What I Want”
Feeling uncertain about what you want from your portrait session is pretty standard, and honestly, that’s kind of exciting because now your photographer gets to help you discover your vision! This creative uncertainty is a fun opportunity to collaborate and explore together. Ask questions, make suggestions, and leverage your photographer’s skills to guide you in identifying the unique style, theme, or mood you’d like to convey in your images. Some photographers will encourage open communication to brainstorm ideas, but remember that other photographers may have a specific style that your idea has to fit in. Your photoshoot should be highly personalized, so I always recommend starting with a photographer with a style you want applied to your images.
This question could also extend to the potential ways you can print your images! Many photographers offer a range of print options, and they’ll happily walk you through each. I use a high-end lab in Italy for my products, ranging from metal, canvas, or framed wall art prints (purchased as individual pieces or large collages) to fully customized albums and folio boxes. Be sure to ask for sample products to get an idea of what your photographer offers and what you may want to put in your home or share with family and friends!
“I Just Need The Digital Files”
When I get this response from a client, I usually find it’s because they don’t know what to do with their images or think they can print for themselves. 90% of the time (and yes, I’ve polled lots of mine and other clients) who only received digital files from their photographer never did anything with the images except post them to Facebook or Instagram. For my clients who want dating profile pictures, headshots, or branding images for their website & social media, that makes perfect sense. But that’s not everyone! For the remaining photography consumers, I highly encourage you to consider the additional value of professional prints and products. High-quality printed portraits can transform your cherished moments into tangible, timeless keepsakes that adorn your home and provide lasting joy. One of my favorite choices is to get a large print and hang it on the wall where you’ll see it daily. I’ve got a bunch of prints like this, and I always feel happier when I see that wall art. It’s also a stellar conversation starter when friends and family come to your home!
Ultimately, the choice between digital files and prints is personal, and any photographer’s goal should be to provide you with an experience that aligns with your preferences. That’s why I include the corresponding digital file of an image with any physical product ordered. While digital files offer convenience and flexibility, printed products provide a tangible connection to your memories. Ask your photographer to see what products they offer. Many will have samples of those products to inspect and get an idea of the perfect product for your home.
“I Think An 8×10 Is Large Enough For Wall Art”
Selecting the right size for your wall art is a significant consideration, and your photographer can help guide you in making the best choice for your space. An 8×10” print is undoubtedly a lovely option, but it’s worth considering the impact you want your wall art to have. Larger sizes can create a more striking and immersive presence on your walls, making them a focal point of your decor. I encourage you to explore the various print sizes your photographer offers, as you’ll want to select the perfect dimensions to enhance the visual appeal of your space.
I do two things to help my clients determine the right size print for their walls. Firstly, my online gallery software shows each print size on the wall next to common pieces of furniture so you can get an idea of scale. Secondly, you can send me a picture of a wall you want to hang your wall art. From there, I can upload that image into some nifty software that will overlay print sizes at the exact scale they’ll appear on your wall. This software removes all the guesswork, so you immediately know if that print dimension fits your home!
“I Want To Edit The Photos Myself”
Your enthusiasm for editing your photos is incredible, and I completely understand the desire to have a hand in the creative process. I actively try to get my clients involved in that creative process during their session by shooting tethered. Tethered shooting means my clients get to see the images we capture in real time during the session so we can adjust to posing, lighting, and more together. After the session, I do all the nitty gritty detailed editing and post-processing. This editing includes carefully selecting the best shots, adjusting lighting, color balance, and other elements, and then doing skin, clothing, and hair retouching to create stunning, professionally edited photos. Once that round of editing is complete, I let my clients proof the images and give feedback on those edits to either do another round of revisions or deliver those images right away!
Most photographers want to protect how their images are edited because it reflects their business and skillset. Because the images we produce are our marketing, photographers want to ensure that the best quality and representation are coming into the world. With that in mind, I highly encourage you to find a photographer who already shoots and edits in a style you love. Let them do the heavy lifting and spend those hours behind the computer editing! You just need to enjoy your fabulous images.
“You Can Fix That In Photoshop, Right?”
I get this question at nearly every photoshoot, especially with large groups. “Fixing that in Photoshop” is possible, and addressing this in the context of professional photography is essential. While Photoshop is a powerful tool for editing, it’s vital to understand that capturing the best image possible from the start should be the primary goal. Getting the image right “in camera” takes significantly less time than extensive post-processing on the computer. Two minutes of sweeping the floor during the photo shoot saves about 30 minutes of editing per image later.
That said, Photoshop has its limits. Photoshop can enhance and refine your images, but some edits won’t look very good. For instance, loose hair on a patterned shirt is really, really difficult to remove in post-processing. The edited pattern will look copied and not have the same naturally occurring gentle curves and shape. Removing elements on complex or busy backgrounds has similar challenges! Changing outfits is easier thanks to Generative Fill, but it won’t be perfect. If your images will only appear on Instagram, that may be fine, but if you want to print or display them larger than 5×7”, then your photographer probably can’t Photoshop everything.
There are many fears and unknowns if you’ve never had a professional photoshoot. It’s your photographer’s responsibility to walk you through each of those and make you feel comfortable and confident that they’re the right photographer for you and if those concerns are justified! Any photographer’s goal, mine especially, is to ensure you have a fantastic experience with your session. You should feel comfortable, confident, and excited for each step from start to finish, inquiry to shoot, editing, and product delivery. If you love the experience, those delivered images will be much more special.