Today, we're diving deep into the art of setting up photo shoots with new clients and building relationships that'll make you their go-to photographer. Let's talk about the trick to snap shots, not nerves, and why creative trust is a photographer's best friend.

1. The Grand Setup - AKA The Not-So-Blind Date:

Setting up a photo shoot with a new client is like planning a blind date, but with cameras and creativity involved. Sure, there are no roses or candlelit dinners, or Netflix to chill to but the excitement of capturing someone's essence is definitely on the menu.

Remember, communication is key. Think of it as pre-dating banter – discuss their expectations, location ideas, and that magical concept they've been fantasizing about that they saw aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest. Are they envisioning a dramatic rooftop scene or a cozy coffee shop corner? You wouldn't want to surprise them with a rustic barn when they're secretly hoping for an urban skyline, right? Imagine taking someone to a steak place for the first date only to find out when you arrive that they are vegan. I can not stress enough the importance of listening to your clients prior to the shoot and getting to know them as best as you can.

2. Relationship Building - Beyond Business Cards:

Building a client relationship isn't all about swapping business cards and discussing invoice formats. It's about connecting on a personal level. Be genuinely interested in their stories. Are they a pet lover? Have they climbed mountains or mastered underwater basket weaving? These tidbits not only help break the ice but can also spark creative ideas for your shoot. I personally very rarely keep business cards on me. My goal with every interaction is to make a positive impression strong enough that they will remember me, through a genuine connection.

Consider sending a post-shoot 'Thank You' note. And no, it doesn't have to be a handwritten parchment; an email infused with gratitude and a dash of charm works wonders too. They'll be left smiling, thinking, "Wow, this photographer really gets me." Be sure to remember even something small that you discussed during the shoot with your clients that they expressed interest in or had a connection with, and follow up with them about it. Something as small as their favorite Starbucks order that they suggested you try, be sure to actually try it and reference that in conversation with them. It shows that you listen and truly value what they have to say.

3. Creative Trust - Unleash the Wild (Ideas):

Now, here's the juicy part: creative trust. Picture this: your client's trust is like a lush garden, and your creativity is the wild seed waiting to sprout. When clients trust your vision, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Imagine you suggest an impromptu rain dance photoshoot, and they're all in because they trust your quirky genius. Or you decide to explore the wonders of smoke bombs for a mysterious ambiance. With creative trust, the sky's not even the limit – it's merely a suggestion.

a) Express Your Inner Vision:

Don't hold back on sharing your quirky, out-of-the-box ideas. Remember, it's not just about getting a great shot; it's about creating an experience and a memory. Pitch that sunrise shoot in a hot air balloon or a twilight picnic in a lavender field. Your clients might not have thought of it, but they'll trust your creative instincts if you're passionate about the idea.

b) Embrace Collaborative Brainstorms:

While you're the photography maestro, your clients bring their unique personalities and experiences to the table. Encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas, too. This collaboration not only shows you value their input but also paves the way for unexpected sparks of inspiration. Sometimes, the best concepts are born from the intersection of your creativity and their experiences.

c) Share Your Portfolio Stories:

Every photograph you've captured is a chapter in your visual storytelling journey. When discussing ideas with your clients, share anecdotes about the photos in your portfolio. Explain how certain ideas came to life and the memorable moments that unfolded during those shoots. This not only showcases your expertise but also helps your clients envision the magic you're capable of creating.

d) Trust Their Trust:

Remember, creative trust is a two-way street. When your clients trust your vision, they're giving you a canvas on which to paint your imagination. Similarly, when you trust their trust, you're acknowledging their willingness to step out of their comfort zone. If they're game for your wild idea of a photoshoot in a vintage bookstore or a whimsical carnival, let them know you appreciate their adventurous spirit.

e) Adapt and Evolve:

Sometimes, your creative seed might need a little nurturing to grow. If your initial idea isn't resonating as you hoped, don't hesitate to tweak it based on your client's feedback. Adapting and evolving your concept shows that you're not just committed to your vision, but also to creating something that truly speaks to them.

Creative trust is built on a foundation of mutual respect, open communication, and a sprinkle of artistic magic. When your clients give you the freedom to express your creativity, you're not just taking photos – you're capturing emotions, dreams, and memories that'll be cherished for a lifetime. So, step into that world of boundless imagination, where trust reigns supreme and every click of the shutter tells a story yet untold.

4. Confidence is Contagious - Be Patient, Not Perfect:

Building creative trust isn't a one-click process, just like a perfectly timed candid shot takes more than one try. It's okay if your first idea doesn't jive with your client's vibes. Confidence, much like a well-focused lens, takes time to adjust.

Remember, your confidence is contagious. When you exude excitement about your ideas, your clients will catch the creative fever. And hey, even if your idea starts as a spark and ends up a bonfire of brilliance, the journey is what matters.