As an independent photographer, landing the “dream” client might seem like an impossible task. However, getting the perfect client may be more achievable than you think, as is avoiding the bad ones.
Some creatives will complain about being stuck with “horrible” clients. These experiences range from those who make massive last-minute changes to shot lists without adjusting the budget or later argue the quality and quantity of images are too low. In this three minute video from Tin House Studio, product photographer Scott Choucino explains that most creatives have no one to blame but themselves, and getting the perfect clients is actually not a hard thing to do.
Choucino says being stuck with “bad clients” is often due to the photographer’s portfolio being made up of images shot for that level of clientele. To get the work a photographer wants, their portfolio needs to consist of that style and quality of work.
“If I started posting loads of portraits I’d stopped getting food work,” he says. “If I posted loads of very rushed cheap portraits, I’d start getting loads of very rushed cheap portrait clients. If I started posting portraits that were taking me days in prep a day in post and having a whole crew on set for the day and creating really good work, I would be receiving those clients.”
While it may hurt to hear it, if a photographer has the skill yet is not getting the clients they desire, the blame can’t really be cast anywhere else but on themselves and their portfolio. It is important to put together the work for the type of clients that a photographer is seeking.
Choucino suggests putting together a list of the top ten dream clients that they would love to shoot for, and then working out what type of images those clients are seeking and using in their campaigns. Break down who it is they are and what they want in their marketing. The next step is to then go and create images of that style with their own money and team. Why?
“Because these dream clients will not book you if they cannot see themselves in your work,” he explains.
Choucino mentions that the client he is seeking for his food photography is McDonald’s, and a quick look at his personal portfolio makes it rather clear that McDonald’s is the level of client he’s aiming for. Choucino says he is working on filling out more images of that style to be on the company’s radar. He explains that this is the process of how he gets the clients he wants, by creating a body of work that says, “Look at me! I do what you need. Come work with me.”
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.