trade tales | Feb 17, 2023 |
How do you get clients on board with photography?

We live in a world where a camera is almost always at hand. And while shooting finished projects might seem like a given, it’s still a conversation that needs to be had. We asked six design pros—Dan Mazzarini, Andrea Harvey, Glenda Flaim, Mark Brayton, Lisa Berman and Melissa Rohani—how they discuss photography with their clients.

How do you get clients on board with photography?
Dan MazzariniAdam Macchia

Sneak Peek

“Thankfully, we’ve never had a problem with people saying no—our approach is to tease photography before the project is complete, and we are always met with excitement. We treat it as a celebration of the project’s completion, which helps get clients on board far before photography is needed. When the day of the shoot comes, we always ask that the client is not in the home. We delicately explain that we style the space for a clean, editorial look rather than styling for the homeowner. This helps keep everything tidied behind the scenes for a productive shoot.” —Dan Mazzarini, BHDM Design, New York

How do you get clients on board with photography?
Andrea HarveyCourtesy of ASH Interiors and Design

Time Is Of The Essence

“I didn’t realize how important photography was until the past few years. After 20 years of business, I probably should have a lot more photography. Now that we have some amazing before-and-after shots, clients love the idea of their project potentially being featured on our website or social media. We also make sure to state when photography is a requirement in our proposal. I realize how important it is to get photography done quickly, especially with clients who have children. It is amazing what little ones can do in a short amount of time!” —Andrea Harvey, ASH Interiors and Design, Ellicott City, Maryland

How do you get clients on board with photography?
Glenda FlaimCourtesy of Butler Armsden Architects

Hint, Hint

“For starters, we have photography specified in the contract that the client signs at the beginning of a project. Additionally, throughout the design process, we will point out the times that we are using previously finished project photos to aid in education and inspiration. Dropping hints along the way ensures that we involve the client in the process. We’ve noticed that our younger clients—the digital natives and Instagram generation—have stronger input and are more interested in being involved in the process and selection of the photographer.” —Glenda Flaim, Butler Armsden Architects, San Francisco

How do you get clients on board with photography?
Mark BraytonKylie Fitts Photography

Lead With Transparency

“The ‘Photographs & Publicity’ clause in all of our contracts helps immensely for a variety of reasons: It [spells out that] the client agrees to allow photographs of the project during all stages of design services. [We make clear that] photographs will be used for business purposes, including but not limited to press, publications, online, social media, marketing, advertising and print. We do not disclose the address or client’s name without consent, and the cost of photographs and publicity are our responsibility. Additionally, if the client or client’s agents document the project, we as the designer shall be given credit if [the images] are released publicly. This clause initiates the conversation long before pictures are ever considered and without our team needing to awkwardly bring up the topic. The client has the opportunity to refute or suggest modifications to anything in the contract prior to engaging our services. Even our most private clients are OK with photographs as long as [their location and] nobody from their family is identifiable. We still ask permission prior to photographing a client’s home, but they expect this conversation after seeing the contract—and most love the idea of having their project published.” —Mark Brayton, Brayton Interiors, Denver

How do you get clients on board with photography?
Lisa Berman (left) and Melissa RohaniHailley Howard

Creative Relationship

“Through open communication and conversation, we create a strong relationship with our clients, especially since we’re designing the way their family lives in their home. In each project’s contract, we have a clause about photography. Our clients are as proud of their homes as we are and have been more than willing to accommodate a day of shooting.” —Lisa Berman and Melissa Rohani, Studio Gutow, Laguna Beach, California

Homepage image: Studio Gutow designs the ultimate lounge-meets-entertainment space with plush green velvet and a wet bar close at hand | Michael Clifford

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