Skip to main content

Managing Your Clients

Lesson 19 from: Family Photography: Modern Storytelling

Kirsten Lewis

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

19. Managing Your Clients

Lesson Info

Managing Your Clients

We're going to talk about managing your clients um and so this is where I'm going to just kind of give you a peek into what I do I hope it's helpful for some um I'm gonna talk about four companies or four products programs and I work with that have made my life a whole lot easier hope this's not repetitive for a lot of people if they if they use thes um I won't spend a whole lot of time on each program but I just want to show you like my process of how it works so why you shoot you for management and then for all of my proofing management and a product purchasing except for canvases and albums? But all the other products are done through smugmug and I have to say it's really funny because I was a nikon shooter and I was a smug mug user twelve years ago and then like two or three years after that that was not cool like everyone was using cannon and I was like almost embarrassed say that shot with an icon which is ridiculous and everyone thought that smug mug wass like like the cheap bra...

nd but I stay with you because it was actually cheap like it was ninety nine dollars at that point for unlimited storage and it was easy was user friendly, so I liked it so I didn't care what anybody else said um I stayed with night calm because that's what I was using that gun because that's what my folks used I don't think one's better than the other by the way I think all the products out there awesome I just happened teo learned on an icon so I stayed with my con um and so a smug mug I stayed with him all these years and they rewarded us folks that have been there for I mean I've been with them for over ten years and so I don't have exactly the same prices when I started to head up a little but it's like half what everybody else is because they they like really appreciate the people that stuck with him um and then smart albums are they're smart album users in here because it's like a game changer and I'm gonna show you how quick it is like make an album like super fast um and then uh we're gonna look at sam I'm just going to show you sound slides which is what I used for my my slide shows so this is smugmug but before we look at smugmug I'm going to show you shoot you okay so this is my back end of shoot you it's what it is the client management program okay so when and I'm going to refresh this for a second because I did like a faux inquiry eso when people go to my contact page they showed you that information gets sent to my shoe q and it gets sent to my email account so I haven't alert from my email I can see all the information but it also goes into shoot hewas well and it gets populated which is awesome so if you see my main dashboard here um it has all this information you've received payments thank you you guys um it will show me if I have clients that oh me money I don't even have to think about it just look on their like oh, they owe me money um this is really important so this is the leads so I can hit the leads you're going to see some of you out there have sent me e mails and I just have not teo do anything it but it'll show you if they're new and you can color code everything so here everything's new and it tells you how long ago they sent um their emails also because I know what emails uh what enquiries I've gotten also in my email I know if it's urgent like if it's an inquiry I got to go right to shoot you in return it you know what I mean but if it's not right from uh if it's something business related which a lot of time to get business related if I'm super busy with something else I'll say I could just leave that for a few days does that make sense but it tells me right here how long ago everything waas so here this is my foe inquiry oh, the other thing I'm sorry if I go too fast and like just going to try and get this in if you have any questions, please just feel feel free. You can also see that color code like if I sent pricing already, you can see on this side here that you can select that and I can see who I've sent pricing too, and the last time I sent the pricing or if I spoke to them on the phone, they're still deciding but not sure yet if I sent two checking in email, it just keeps everything super organized in one place if we go back to new and we go to this inquiry, which I just made up, we have all these options, so look it's even populated so I can see what the rock star name is estimated coverage favorite cereal superhero power one of the changes I'm making in this I think is good to share, so one of the changes that I'm making with my new branding is because everything is from out of state, we're out of the country now, I really need to know where their places and now I'm going to designate that location is important to know so they'll have to fill that out um well, the contact information has already been put in the system, so if they book with me they don't have to reenter it I don't have to enter it they've already done it for me, which is super awesome. Um, so okay, so I see that they've inquired um they want it see um and I see that I want a family portrait what I could d'oh oh, I have the sink to my mail so all I have to do is hit the email address and I'll pull up my mail program it will also send this blind copy back to shoot you. So now I know that like what I responded to through my email account is also being stored and saved automatically. Any kind of conversation we have will also back fuckyou so that it's in two spots that we're all on the same page is the whole point because in the end, their correspondents section like they have their own account they can see like what correspondents we've had yes set it up toe automate emails so like if you get an inquiry, it'll automatically say, hey, I got your increased I'll get back to you with maurin formacion that's exactly what it does for me and it's like explains that I and it goes with my branding, so when they automatically sent, I might have mine okay, so it automatically got sent back to me because that was my email address so this is the first one that they get right so thank you so much for taking the time to contact me regarding me where things are really crazy for me right now this smack dab in the middle of seasons I just let him know it could take a couple of days this is and then I'm always thinking about my branding right he's quirky little facts about me but them says I will return your email as soon as humanly possible that p s the fastest land animal on the planet is a cheetah that can run seventy miles an hour passes human is donovan bailey who ran twenty seven miles per hour in the nineteen, ninety six summer olympics in atlanta um this beat the speeder and even thirty it's just like a little like it's my branding is all the way through like just these little quirky things about me and they think that's really funny when they get that they're like this is like the most random like response email so okay, so you've got that so now I'm going to respond I always just say writing your photographer your crest this was also a life changer for me this is my uh this is my laptop so it doesn't have is many of my automated like signatures do you guys I'll take like you realize this this signature thing you guys do this. This is amazing. Like susan stripling taught me this five years ago. I think so instead of like saving emails everywhere and then copying and pasting you khun, just make signatures. So if you go up here, uh, male preferences you can have all your automated e mails is signatures. Oh, brilliant. Isn't that smart? Susan, who I think is in south america. Um so there you just fill them out here that way, it's really fast. You just go. Oh, so she wants a, um you know, she wants the portrait information or she wants a beach beach portrait information or what have you I could just go in here and I can respond accordingly. Does that make sense so like aiken dio say, it's ah day in the life. So, um, my response is right here and it has the, uh, send them slide shows to slide shows. I also send them the behind the scenes look at my day in the life session right here and a link to all my pricing this is actually my old pricing. It also has more facts about me but more geared towards this session itself, okay, this is different. This is it had it it really has everything to do with the session um I have photographed over five hundred families in the past fourteen years with day in the life coverage I sleep over at my client's house. I'll just like little facts. I think they should know about that. Okay. Is this helping? By the way, showing you guys this. Okay, so then I can send that I'm not I want to because it's going to me, I'm going to show you what they see when they see my pricing. Although this pricing is different so I use issue. Are you guys familiar with issue? And I designed a magazine template all myself. I kind of based it on really simple. I like real simple. I loved a cook. If anyone knows me, they know that I love I really love cooking. Um but, uh, it has a lot of information in here so they can open it like a magazine has all this like so they know where to go. I always start out because this is where I put information about meat as a shooter. Um it's on ly two little paragraphs it's not a full page about like all my credentials. It's just a little something about me. This is very picture heavy. I use very picture heavy um, advertising when I'm talking, I think people respond to images better sometimes I thought about maybe simplifying this a little and then I had a client was like the reason I booked you buy part of it was all this information was really awesome was like reading a magazine, so I haven't decided yet if I'm gonna switch, but for right now it seems to be working people like to see this and I do the same thing for my weddings. My weddings have magazine as well. Um and so then they get the information for the twenty four hour sessions, mind you might these in my old pricing, this is not my new pricing will talk about my new pricing in a minute um, but I give, like five reasons why day in the life sessions rock and the other thing that I'm smart about is with each of my sessions, I know I can't get rid of them right now, but you'll see you'll see and other pictures I say what family it is and where I shot them so that people realize that I photograph all over and not just in one location. So then they had the pricing, which I'm gonna go over on dh, then all about the vacations because even though they've asked me for the day in the life pricing, I do the same thing for family portrait I give them day in the life pricing and the family portrait portrait pricing because they don't know maybe they don't know about the day in the life pricing so I want them to want that more does that make sense? So I put that in there that's in there magazine it's a different magazine similar to this and just has more information so I have the vacation sessions in here in case like a day in the life client might potentially change your mind and want to take me on vacation with them um and then again, it's five reasons why the vacation sessions rock again now it's pictures that are relevant so these are pictures from a vacation session that I've done we'll skip over that everything's changed this is where I have the printing and price of the canvas and print guide um one thing that I think is again I'm not a very good business person, but this is one thing I thought was important was to give a relative size to a couch I think it's really important because if you like, I think I just got like the biggest enlargement and eight by ten they don't realize how teeny tiny that is in comparison to a couch or a wall honest to god most of my clients are buying piles or they're buying albums and we'll talk more about that in a second I have some campus purchases but not a lot and I don't push them and then I have my albums, I have really nice pictures of my albums if you're curious, uh, again, like my pricing is actually all increased this's old pricing, but the there's always a base price for the album with a particular amount of images, and then I charge by the picture because most of my eight pages I just want one picture per page occasionally to be usually just want because their stories and then the digital files, which I'm going to skip over, um, I charge for an artisan at it, which is my favorite. We've talked about no two days, so that's a smaller collection of images I have processed myself, I've done that photo shop we looked at that yesterday, then there's the extended gallery, so the artisan edit is what I'm really proud of that I'm going to put on my block on my facebook, not all of them, but like those who were gonna pull from there like my many portfolios from each shoot that I've done. Then greg has extended gallery, which I know is more pictures that the clients might really love, that I'm never going to share with anybody but that's, okay, like they can still have a portion of those, so then they have the option to buy the artists and edit or the artisan at it, and the extended gallery does that make sense so the artisan edit is the base and then artisan at it plus the extended gallery is going to be in addition oh yes do you ever have people say well, I really want the artisan at it but could you switch out this picture for this one? They don't have that option. Okay, yeah, they just don't so if they want to buy more they come by their files individually like it they just want to get one or two smugmug has that option where you can just buy them individually and you haven't had pushed back with people saying like I like most of these but there's a couple in the other extended at it yes, I mean, they just love him you want? Um yeah, just it's never been a problem. Yeah, maybe I'm lucky that I don't get picky people I also have photographers mainly as client yeah now for my day in life but even with the five hundred families I photographed I've been doing the same thing there's never been an issue there's more like I love this artisan at it but can you make me look twenty pounds and I really like actually I tell him like I can have I can send it out if you really want it to be fine tuned but it's gonna cost like twenty five dollars in dementia you I do have a question but I wouldn't let you finish your thought no that was it like I'll send it out and I'll just give him a price for I'm you just saw my process yesterday it's very basic I'm I'm fine with that like I don't care like thousands people washing me and like I'm just gonna say I'm basic like of a basic processor and toner I don't know a whole lot of fancy stuff if people want stuff like that done that's fine but they're gonna I'm gonna have to send it out I'm gonna have to pick like pay for it they're going to pay for it and I'm okay with that that doesn't happen very often yes so question yeah can you reiterate that this is issue is that correct? Yes his issue is that software it's an online program so it's I ss u u up sorry issue I'm about to know from you I s s you and there's different plans that you can opt for and is this is this ah digital product or is this a physical magazine just it's digital it's all online okay they can print from it I believe that they can print it out if they want yes if you have thoughts on how you would modify something like this for someone who was starting out I'm sure there are people out there who they want to get it streamline from the beginning and because you have a lot of work, you have a lot of material you have a lot of stuff to say a lot of experience but they're going to be a lot of people who don't have stuff to fill these pages that they want you want to get people in, you know, like keep it simple on ly show your best so if you only have twenty great pictures and just used twenty pictures in it does that like, I don't think you should oversaturated anything with monday or less than your best always remember that you you you're as good as your bed it's only show that be proud of that so yeah, if you if you just need to do it simple for now do that you don't have to do a magazine like me you could still just do like a simple pdf layout and go with issue, which I just think it is if you're going to online stuff, they kind of like the whole like you were just through, but I have plenty of friends, photographer, friends that just have really simple, clean and eventually I might go to that. I don't know for right now this is working for me it kind of goes my whole like esthetic like my branding where it's kind of like it all streamlines together but no like you don't this is just like I'm giving out the ideas and then you should use it the way that it works best for you your personality, your branding your clients your experience does that make sense? Does that help? Yeah, I think I think my issue right now is that it's got everything really spread out in terms of online yeah and there's not enough streamlining and um and it's just daunting to feel like because I've been feeling like this real world like I need to like go back to square one but wanted to transfer content from one place to another and right but I think maybe getting them the basic of what I want it all to look like and then move things because I got word press and I've got zim folio and you know and just it's just daunting to think of all the different I know because I see you have like you're you're one side has all this kind of all these different things set up and goes out yet from there and just trying to find the best way I mean who runs your site? Um your website flow sites runs my sight so I work with them they're actually based in moldova but they have a lot of american clients here so they like take care of everything for me it's really nice but you have to pay for that like I could not be able to manage on site like I would go crazy but I have all my back end so the good thing is I always suggest getting a site with wordpress back end so you have a lot more control inflexibility over if you want to change galleries out our pictures out even if it's a complicated site like mine, which is very customized, I still have a lot of control on the back end but as faras like serious content like like uh not content but designed stuff don't have to worry about that he does that for me rastas help always send frequently asked questions pages like really important it makes your job easier again minds picture heavy yours doesn't have to be you could be text doesn't matter I'm just trying to offer a different way for people to get information just three simple testimonies testimonials I also have again like kind of cool facts about me it's a little bit different just visual stuff with fun pictures hey kirsten so this we talked a bit ago this is a digital product, so do you send a link and then they view it on their computer? Is that like a record website? So when you design, you're not going to design online, you're going to design in your home and then you're going tio you're on your computer and then you're gonna upload the pages, I think they had to be pdf. So if I remember right, then you upload them to the program will they'll make all the animations and everything. And actually, you can even do hyperlinks in here. It's really cool. You can add hyperlinks and links your email and whatever you want. And then you can even hyperlink two other pages in issue, which is really awesome. So in the table context, we'll pay tonight and you just hit it automatically shuffle to page nine. Cool. So yeah, it's really cool. Okay, and then for me, my wedding clients have this my portrait clients hat get this in my, uh, dane live clients get this information about all the stuff I've been doing get back. Why? Because I want them to, like really want me in their home and know that like, I have a big heart and I'm going to take care of their family and that I'm passionate about the things I believe in and then on the back you khun hyperlink this one cause this is old, I'm just showing my old one let's not have a link but we knew it is and it has issue thing right there. Um that interesting is that something like you might want to implement, okay, good oh, good the hurdle for me is just the design. Yeah, deciding on the design and doing it. It's, something I need to outsource, and but I want to get there. I want to get to that streamlined, you know, there's my link with all my info. I really want to do that, yeah, awesome.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Family Portraits Quick Tips
Sponsor Discount Codes
Gear Guide
Family Session - HD
Newborn Session - HD

Ratings and Reviews


I cannot recommend Kirsten's course highly enough. I've tuned in to a couple of CreativeLive courses on photographing families and children, and they were both very "studio"-centric. A lot of posing, a lot of gear, etc. I don't have a studio and a lot of gear, I don't desire to, I'm uninspired by the outcomes, and I tuned out pretty quickly. I love capturing people, especially kids and families, in their moments. I love a great candid. I love "documentary photography" (as I learned to call it from this course). And loving and creating photos that tell a story or capture a genuine moment is exactly what this course taught us to do, and did a fantastic job of doing. A few things I loved about Kirsten from the get go: she is not pretentious, but intelligent and genuine; she as a person and her photography are inspiring; she knows how to teach - technical without being 'technical', knows how to explain her process, draws on her mistakes so we can all learn from them (and our own - and this is a HUGE element of teaching most people lack!), all the while packing in an enormous amount of information that could improve anyone's photography. is very accessible in her explanations and her language; she is honest: a good teacher will be critical because again, if she's not (and if we're not open to it) how will we ever learn? Although I felt sometimes her language was a bit harsh or her assessments "right or wrong" where more nuanced language could be merited - my one critique. really seemed to be teaching first and foremost to have people learn and be excellent photographers, and to enjoy the gifts photography can offer (personally and productively), which made it so much more appealing to be "in the room". Best of all, I had an awakening that I am allowed to be myself in my photography. As much as I love candids, I get caught up in the expectation to take posed pics, for those I'm taking the photos for more than for myself. No more. It makes me impatient and disappointed with the outcomes. I'm going to cultivate what I love. I also finished each day inspired to take and process photos - visiting my nieces, bringing my camera everywhere. During the class I kept going into lightroom to look at my pics while she was teaching, to compare my past photos to what she was teaching. It was such a wonderful learning experience. Thank you Kirsten for being true to yourself, going out on a limb in your approach, and sharing all of this with us!

Kathleen Petersen

I started out in photojournalism, but it was a long time ago. Back in the 70s, I would play with the little ones, in their backyards, or at their breakfast tables, to get lots of beautiful, real images. Then, over the years, with the need to earn income, and then later, the need to compete, I got side tracked. I still did photojournalistic images of my kids, and eventually, their kids, but clients were wanting specific things. I called it the line-them-up-and-shoot-them style of family photography. The creative soul within was always longing for the more natural, more real images, and I have always been able to sneak them in to any session. But my business was mostly about everything else. I shot some weddings early on, to pay my dues and my rent. But discovered that I much preferred being a second shooter and capturing the candid moments and the details. As I am now a grandmother, I have been making changes gradually in my business to get back to my roots. Taking this class has been life-changing for me. I was making these tiny little baby steps, as if I was afraid that I would fall out of favor with my current and future clients. The competition is huge here in socal, so how could I dare step away from the white shirts and khakis? I dare. I am about to completely revamp my business model to return to where I started from. I plan to march to the beat of my own drummer. It really does make one happy to follow one's passions and to be true to one's self. I don't even care if I lose any clients. I want to provide for people something that is so essential. Real images that will nail down the memories forever as they interact and love each other. This is so important. At first, I wasn't sure if I would like Kirsten. But by the end of the three days, I loved her as if she were my best friend from forever ago. I love her for her personality, the things she taught us, and her great example. Best class I have ever taken at Creative Live, and that is saying something! Thank you!

Jo Benoy

The great thing about photography is that it can be all things to all people: a hobby, an art form, a profession. As long as I can remember, cameras and pictures have been important to me - for different reasons in different seasons. I have never been particularly interested in formal photos, and I thought my preference for "catching moments" in a style three or four notches above a snapshot made me seem like some sort of slackard. Enter Kirsten Lewis. In three days, she explained, modeled and taught the sort of shooting that I've loved for as long as I can remember. She mirrors my philosophy that good photographs aren't necessarily pretty, and that if a picture is compelling or evocative, it's a good one. Lewis is not only a gifted photographer but a clear and cogent teacher, which is always a welcome combination, and as strong as her tangible skills are her confidence and dedication to her own style and voice. I've watched and bought several CreativeLive courses, but I have enjoyed none more than this one: ever since watching it, my brain has been spinning and my shutter finger has been itchy. I loved, loved, loved this workshop.

Student Work