consult calls for photographers

Oh Shoot! Podcast #116 How To Book Photography Clients From Consultation Calls


In this episode of Oh Shoot Podcast!, Cassidy Lynne covers the importance of doing consultation calls with photography clients and her best tips for calls! 

Listen to the full podcast on Spotify or watch the episode on YouTube!

What are consult calls?

Consult calls are essential for photographers in a service-based industry. A consult call is basically a phone call or a video call that you have with either a potential client or with your current clients. In today’s podcast we’re going to cover calls with both!

Why are consult calls with potential clients important for photographers? 

Establishes Trust with Potential Clients

The first reason consult calls are so crucial is that they establish trust with potential clients. This is a very important step in the booking process! With potential clients, phone calls and video calls are going to lead to someone making a decision about your brand. A consult call is going to lead to a decision on whether they want to work with you or not. 

As business owners we do get ghosted a lot, but a consult call helps you not get ghosted. If someone has a call with you, they are way more willing to say either they want to book with you or someone else. It opens up a line of communication with each other.

Shows You are Willing to Put in the Time & Energy

Another reason it’s important to do consult calls with potential clients is because it shows that you are willing to put in the time and energy. I feel like that is so key and people are not willing to put in the time anymore. If you want to set yourself apart from all these other photographers who aren’t responding, literally all you have to do is be willing to put in the time. I guarantee 80% of other photographers are not willing to do that. That is going to be the difference between you and them. Scheduling phone calls with people just validates their feelings of like I am worth the time which is important. 

It Helps You Sell Yourself

Your phone call is going to help you sell your services to your potential client. They’re already interested in working with you. When you are hopping on a phone call with someone you are solidifying the reasons they want to book with you or if they decide we’re not a good fit.  

Consult Call Does Not Equal a Booking

I do a lot of phone calls, but not everyone books with me. I currently have peace about people not booking with me and it being okay. I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Everyone wants different things in a photographer or they value different things. I don’t want you to think a phone call equals a booking because it doesn’t and it’s okay for a phone call not to equal a booking.

Why are phone calls important with current clients?

It shows you’re willing to help

Consult calls are important with current clients because it shows that you are willing to help them. It also shows that you are willing to put in the work to let them have a good experience with you. If you’re not willing to hop on a call, do you want them to have a good experience with you? By hopping on a phone call with the current client you’re showing that you want this photo shoot or wedding to go well for them. You get to control more of someone’s experience with you when you do consultation calls.

It Helps Their Wedding or Session Go Better

Consult calls with current clients also helps their session or wedding go better. You’re helping everything to go smoothly by providing professional advice. 

It Establishes You as a Point of Authority

Consult calls with current clients establishes you as a point of authority. Everyone approaches business differently and some people do more of the friend and business owner thing or the besties approach. Other people are the authority and nothing else. I fall in the middle of that. I want to feel like they have a relationship with me and we’re friends, but I’m also capturing their wedding or session. I’m providing a service to you so I’m going to be professional about it.

It Helps You Get Good Reviews

When you do consult calls with current clients it does help you get a good review. At the end of the day after a photo shoot or a wedding you’re left with the photos and either a review or no review.

When should you do consult calls with potential clients?

There’s a three step process. You receive the inquiry. Then you send over pricing and offer to schedule a call. The last step is actually doing the call.

Receive initial inquiry.

First, someone sends in an inquiry via a Honeybook inquiry or whatever you use. 

Send over pricing & offer a call.

Next, You get the inquiry and you look through their inquiry. You see if we would be a good fit. If so, then you send over your pricing and provide an option for them to book a phone call with you. I like to use Honeybook’s scheduling link. If not you can use Calendly or something like that. I think it’s good to offer a scheduling link right away and provide an opportunity for someone to hop on a call if they want to. I have been booked plenty of times just via email. Some people don’t need that phone call. 

THEN do the call.

Then after that point most people schedule a phone call with me if they’re interested. I want to make sure that I am providing the pricing before I provide the link for the phone call. If someone doesn’t see your pricing and you hop on the call and you’re not in their budget then you’re wasting your time and you’re wasting their time. Make sure the pricing is out on the table. Yes, your pricing should be on your website, but you should also send it via email just in case they didn’t see it on your website. Then provide that scheduling link so they’ve seen your pricing twice and they know most likely you are going to be in their price range.

A consult call is CORE to the booking process. 

I truly believe that a consult call is a core thing in booking clients. The call is going to lead to a decision and the decision is made on that phone call. Don’t take phone calls lightly. Put your full effort into phone calls because that is going to get you booked. 

No Competitor Can Replicate The Call

A good consultation call sets you apart from your competitors and your competitors cannot replicate your phone call.  I also believe the first person who they book a phone call with is most likely who they book with. Personally, I think of home projects and the first person to get back to me is usually the person I book with. It’s a little bit different with photography since it’s a bit more artistic and based on style.

However, I do think being fast with providing pricing and a scheduling link is pretty important for someone deciding whether or not they want to book. So keep in mind when you are doing phone calls with people that this is going to make you unique and is how you stand out.

Consult Call Tips for Photographers


Make sure you listen to the person you’re on the phone with. Actually listen to what they’re saying!  Listening to the conversation with your next response in mind is not good for phone calls with potential clients. Often we can get nervous and we’re kind of just listening, so you can have a response. You really can’t be so focused on your script and what’s next. You need to genuinely listen and genuinely respond. 

Be in charge and drive the consult 

For consult calls be in charge and drive the phone call. You are in charge. Work on asking questions and directing the conversation. I’m not necessarily saying be in charge and be stern and strict. Instead, direct the conversation where you want it to go and take your potential client down the path of your process. Answer their questions and provide solutions for them. Give them next steps for booking. That’s the process you want to take them through, but in such a subtle way that you are just directing the conversation. It needs to feel like this natural flow, so it’s gonna vary person to person that you talk to. 

Walk Through the Process for You and Them

When you’re in charge of the phone call remember that you need to walk them through your process. Ask them the important questions and tell them your expectations for both you and them. It’s always important to communicate what’s expected.

Give Professional Solutions

Give professional solutions and provide solutions to their problems. It’s so important to tell your potential client why your service is valuable and part of that is providing solutions to the problems that they’re facing. If you have a potential client on the phone and they’re really struggling with if they want to do a first look or not, you can provide professional advice to them. Let them know based on your experience and here’s the pros and cons to both. Explain from a photography standpoint the benefits to doing a first look or not. 

You want to be the expert and provide solutions, but know when you’re overstepping too. Don’t provide so many solutions that you seem like a know-it-all. 

How does what YOU do solve their problems? 

Remember how does your service solve their problems and really focus on that. Someone will book with you if they feel like you are the solution to the problem that they’re facing.  Always tie it back to them. Yes, they’re looking for a photographer, but ultimately they’re selfish and they want to know how are you going to help them. 

The solution that you offer to people as a photographer is a pillar and a main selling point to everybody that you work with. Have these things set in place before you even hop on phone calls with people. If you don’t know what solution you’re selling, then we’ve got a problem. Know your value. Know why your services are valuable and then you can communicate that to your client and can get booked.

Express Why You Love What You Do

Express why you love what you do. Express why you’re passionate about photography and why you love it. Passions are something that a lot of people can relate to and if you’re passionate about something people can tell. You don’t have to be too gushy, but make it known you’re passionate about this and here’s why. 

Always bring up next steps & how to book 

At the end of your phone call always bring up the next steps. Tell them how they can book and send a follow-up email with the next steps. Bringing up the next steps puts it in their mind like I need to book a photographer and need to make a decision. Sharing next steps really forces someone to think, “Okay do I want to take the next steps or no?”

Ask their timeline for booking 

Always ask them what their timeline is for booking and ask when should you follow up and when should you expect to hear from them. If you don’t hear from them be sure to send a follow up email. They might want to book, but forgot to get back to you! It puts a little bit of a timeline on that decision for them by asking when do they want to make their decision. 

Leave Room for Questions

Always leave room for questions! Remember you’re doing a phone call to answer their questions, so leave room for them to talk and for them to fire off questions at you.

Example Consult Call Format for Photographers

  • First, thank them for their time.
  • Then gush over a few details from their inquiry. If you don’t feel like you have anything, skip this step and don’t waste their time. 
  • LISTEN and RELATE! Show your personality and be personable. 
  • Ask: What are you looking for in your photography? Ask them to describe what they’re envisioning. This is going to help you see their vision and understand if you’re a good fit. This answer is going to help you leverage yourself later, so remember what they say. 
  • Ask about their timeline & desired coverage. 
  • If they don’t mention style, ask them what style of photography they’re looking for or what they value in a photographer. 
  • Ask them if it’s ok for you to talk through your process.
  • Describe your style & why you’re valuable (think back to their answers above). 
  • Details about day of the shoot or the wedding and walk them through start to finish. Go over what you do during each part of the wedding. 
  • Details about how you plan & prep for the wedding or session. 
  • Explain gallery delivery and when they get their photos. 
  • Reiterate why your service is valuable (remember the answer to the first question you asked).
  • Then, ask if they have any questions about anything you said or anything else. 
  • Ask them if they had a chance to look at your pricing.
  • Ask about package questions or if one package interested them. 
  • Give professional opinion if they’re torn.
  • Ask their timeline for booking.
  • Tell them your next steps on booking if not already covered before.
  • Tell them you’ll follow up with next steps via email & BYEEEE. That’s it!

That is what I do for my phone calls! To be honest it’s a 50/50 type of thing where some people decide that I’m not really their cup of tea and they don’t want to work with me. Other times people love me on the phone calls. If there’s anything you take away from this episode, don’t be afraid to do a phone call! It’s going to be great for your business!

Show Notes

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