The San Francisco SMUG had a great turnout for their latest meeting at the Sports Basement with special guest, Jessica Quintal. Jessica Quintal offers portrait sessions for high school seniors and families, along with weddings and engagement shoots.
She began the meeting by outlining her techniques for posing clients, as she takes many cues from fashion magazines. The model poses in the magazines are often extreme and can be toned down for your clients but can still have the same exciting effects.
- Crossing the legs can create and/or enhance shape.
- Place a hand behind the neck and under the hair.
- A step to the side can create some motion or tension.
- Move the hair behind an ear, with or without a hand.
- Tilt the client's head down and then look up with the eyes at the camera.
- If there is a wall, touch it.
- hold the wrists, pick at the nails or twirl the hair.
- Accessories can help, like hats, which is one of Jessica's favorites props to use.
- Ask them to bring their hands up along their body and then hug themselves.
Jessica also gave us some great advice for our businesses:
- Confidence – Be confident and positive when working with the client. It will lighten the situation and put them at ease. Show them several poses at a time.
- Communication – Be as clear and up front as you can be.
- Creativity – Do anything you want. Get your client involved in the environment, touching things and using the surroundings. Use props and accessories like umbrellas, scarves and hats (and not just on their heads).
- Use your resources – Send your clients pictures of what styles you want them to wear or at least the color tones they should stick to. Pinterest is a good resource for clothing examples.
All in all, give your clients something they were not expecting. Make them a model for the day.
Jessica's super power is that, when meeting the client for the session, she immediately creates a friendly relationship. She is always happy, very talkative, able to quickly size up the client, and put them at ease.
Gina, Jessica's marketing correspondent, gave a few valuable marketing tips.
- Know your client base and how to communicate to them – High school seniors respond well to text messages, while older clients answer email or phone calls.
- Keep it simple – Jessica basically offers 2 packages- shoot you the way you show up or create a full-blown stylized session.
- Facebook may be their best marketing site.
Thank you to Jessica and Gina for a spirited talk, and a unique perspective on the portrait photography business!