Dead silence between sides of a conversation can be awkward and displeasing. You
can create a welcoming environment by
having soft music playing throughout your
studio to fill those conversational voids. I’d
suggest checking out some of the i Tunes
radio channels under Classical, Jazz or Ambient. Spotify and Songza also have great
mood playlists to choose from. Beware: the
only thing more awkward than dead silence
between conversation is an inappropriate
commercial that comes on just at the wrong
time. You’ll eventually want to find a free
service that you like, and then purchase or
subscribe to the paid, radio-free version.
I’d additionally suggest doing what you
can to spread the music throughout your
studio so as to not have it localized to a
computer speaker in a corner of the room.
Look into wireless speakers for a clean
well-distributed musical influence.
Lastly, as it relates to sound, be sure to
have additional third-party sounds minimized as much as possible. If you have a
home studio, don’t have kids running
around, vacuums running, grass being cut,
etc. Make your family aware of your meeting
schedule and let them know what can and
can’t be done during those times.
I certainly wouldn’t suggest cooking your
clients a full dinner for your meeting with
them, but I do believe that there are ways
to positively affect their taste buds. Offer
refreshments (water, soda, coffee, tea) and
small supplemental sweets (chocolates, biscuits, etc.). A full snack (fruit, chips, bread,
cookies) normally doesn’t go over too well
with new clients, but if it’s something that’s
in addition to the drink you’re serving, then
it is usually well received (a nice, hot cup of
coffee with an individually wrapped Lindor
chocolate on the side will make a nice
impression and doesn’t require your client
to use a fork and knife to consume).
Think about the brand of refreshment
that you offer. For example, if you are
hoping to go after the “high-end market,”
serve premium refreshments such as
San Pellegrino and Fiji water. In addition,
have a few different choices for coffee and
tea as well as a decaffeinated option.
Bryan Caporicci is an author, speaker,
educator and award-winning wedding
and portrait photographer based in
Fonthill, Canada. He is the founder of
SproutingPhotographer.com, where he
writes “how-to” articles for photographers on the business of being creative.
He also hosts the Sprouting Photographer podcast (available on i Tunes),
where he interviews industry leaders and
business experts about business topics as
they relate to photography.
b Are all of the light-bulbs working and
b Do the prints line-up
b Is there dust anywhere? Check books/
albums, the tops of
prints and canvases.
b Line all of your albums
up to be square to
each other and properly displayed.
b Fluff the cushions
and pillows. If you
have a micro-fiber
couch or any fabric
that shows grain,
pat it all down in the
same direction so
that it looks neat.
b Keep the tempera-
cool in the summer,
warm in the winter.
b Light a candle 15
minutes before the
b Be sure that your
background music is
b Clean and tidy up
sure soap is full, toilet
paper is rolled up and
folded, the seat is
down and a hand-towel is clean and
b De-clutter your
studio, hide wires
and put away any
b Vacuum carpets and
sweep any hardwood
b Turn your portfolio
slideshow on your TV,
computer screen, or
anywhere else that
you want it displayed.
b Make sure plants
and flowers are
b Make sure your
personal hygiene is
in order, your hair is
neat and your wardrobe is appropriate.
b Turn your coffee
machine on. Brew a
cup for yourself so
that the aroma of
coffee is in the air.
b Make sure that your
fridge is fully stocked
with water and soda.
set the scene/seal the deal
It’s ideal to host meetings in your “home base” where you can control the
environment. Before every meeting, set aside 30 minutes to walk through
your studio as if you were a new client. Use this checklist as a starting
point, and add on to it as needed or as is specific to your studio:
Above: A clean and tidy bathroom is essen-
tial—make sure soap is full, seat is down and
toilet paper is rolled up.