The value of a post-session portrait review
The value of a post-session portrait review
Two heads are better than one during a portrait review, after all, :)
One of the most important parts of your branded lifestyle portrait session has nothing to do with the lights and camera. It involves you, the photographer, a computer, and every single frame captured during your time spent in front of the camera.
Now, I’ve heard from some of my thought leader clients that they’ve never sat with a photographer after a session and conducted a portrait review with them - that blows my mind since it’s such a valuable portion of the experience for my clients.
Here’s why I offer this portrait review session:
Portrait Review Benefit #1 - Less intimidating process
Sifting through hundreds of images of yourself can ultimately become a daunting task. After a while, they all begin to look the same and you’re ready to throw in the towel on the entire process.
Now, if you had a professionally trained set of eyes there to help you with it, that’s a different story altogether.
Rather than just rushing through reviewing your images to just get it over with, or avoid this process altogether, you now have the motivation and support to lean on your photographer and take your time reviewing in order to select the best images that present your brand, business and personality.
In addition, when you have someone riding shotgun with you during this process, it allows you to hear the photographers’ unique insights about each image that you would never realize on your own - insight about your appearance, facial expression, posture, how your outfit looks, composition, etc.
This alone can go a long way to helping you choose the most effective and compelling images from the pile.
Portrait Review Benefit #2 - Help parse through similar images much faster than you can alone
Speaking of daunting, one of the more paralyzing aspects of reviewing the images from a branded lifestyle portrait session is when you encounter a burst of images that all essentially look the same - the composition, facial expression, outfit, and activity.
Now, to you, they look exactly the same.
To a photographer, they all have slight differences, and it’s important to get in the weeds and really take a peek at what’s going on in each of them.
Maybe your facial expression is slightly different from shot-to-shot. Perhaps your clothing wrinkled in a weird place. Or, your hand motion is weird in a couple of them.
Rather than throw your hands up, confused as to which one is the best one to keep, your photographer can quickly assess and discuss with you the nuances of each image and allow you to make a much more informed decision.
One of the fastest ways to thumb through similar images is to see which one is in better focus - that takes the pressure off the client for a second and puts it onto me, which is exactly what I want to do from time to time to lessen the burden.
Portrait Review Benefit #3 - Give you added insight on how to best leverage these images
Although you had a pre-session strategy pow-wow with your photographer that laid out the types of portraits you wanted to capture, there is always a bit of freestyling that goes on during a session.
Now, capturing extra portraits that you didn’t account for is an awesome bonus, but, it begs the question - what are you going to do with them?
This is where having a photographer review the images with you comes in handy, especially one who is familiar with the way you post or will post on social once you get these images in your hands.
Whenever I review freestyled, lifestyle portraits with my clients, the first suggestion I make involves usage: either leverage this image for their websites, social posts or for promotional purposes.
If it’s a great candidate for a social post, I will then suggest the types of stories that they can create for it based on the overall mood of the image.
Portrait Review Benefit #4 - Help balance vanity versus value
I saved the best for last, :)
This is also when my therapy hat comes out and I have to either temper people’s opinion that every single image is amazing, or more commonly, inject them with some positive vibes because they hate the way they look in photos, period.
Regardless of where the client falls on the excitement level spectrum, I always have a fair share of work to do when pointing out the value that these images possess beyond the aesthetics.
If a client goes on a “like binge” and starts picking every shot in sight, I begin to point out which ones of the bunch are better suited for their needs in order to trim the fat, and not have their high-volume, image library filled up with too many similar portraits.
Conversely, if I am met with resistance regarding a string of portraits taken, I stop the review, pick a couple they ask to have deleted, and ask why they didn’t like them.
If they have a logical and practical response - my expression is too playful for my brand, I don’t like the composition of the shot, my outfit looks really wrinkled and messy, etc - then, no complaints from me - I delete the shot and we move on.
If the response is more self-conscious based - ugh, I look so fat, I feel so old, my smile looks crooked, I hate my nose, etc. - that’s when I offer them an empathetic/tough love sandwich; I hold space for them to complain about their hang-ups, while simultaneously tell them that no one cares about these issues you have with your appearance.
Your tribe doesn’t care that your eyes aren’t symmetrical - they care that the expertise that you share with them gets them past their hurdles in life and they, as a result, are better than they were yesterday.
In other words, cut the shit and allow yourself to be the change agent you are meant to be.
As you can see, there’s a lot of value attached to a review session with your photographer. When qualifying photographers for your next portrait session, make sure you find out if they offer this review session option before you move forward with them.
What was your experience reviewing your portrait session with your photographer?
If you’re interested in working with a photographer who will go through this entire process with you, I know a guy who does just that, :)
Schedule a call with me to see if we’re a good fit to work together, :)
PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)