I know multiple photographers who have this "little problem". 99% of the time their favourite photos are not their client's favourites. Why is that?! Kinda frustrating, huh?
Photographers often love "technically" gorgeous images. Beautiful composition, spot-on white balance etc... Sometimes we photographers think an expression looks cute, coy, sultry, intriguing. But then we find out that the client hates that expression on their face. Oh! Well... that's awkward.
The clients are often looking for something special we don't know about or they're distracted by things we haven't even noticed. Do they like how they look? That's all that matters, right?
But sometimes we think we've ticked all the boxes and they still don't pick our favourite photos!! Now, I'm a lucky duck because 99% of the time, my favourites are also my clients' favourites. Here's what I do to make sure this happens...
A) Double check...are you creating and advertising with photos you LOVE? Or are you trying to replicate another photographers style? I create (& advertise with) images that I LOVE! People hire me to recreate my style for them. They want that image they saw on my website but they want it to have THEIR face in it. All I have to do is keep creating photos I LOVE. If I love it then it's my style and it's what they've hired me for, so they'll love it too! I don't show them photos that I don't love just for the sake of variety, "in case" they'll like it. If I don't love it, I won't let it go out into the universe.
B) Stop focusing on creating a beautiful image and start focusing on capturing a beautiful portrait of that person. The whole purpose of this photo is to show this individual's beauty, personality, expressions, essence etc... Don't get distracted by backgrounds, clothes, poses etc... Focus on really enticing each person into the camera & you'll nail it!
C) Talk and share! Explain to your clients why you love a photo and usually they'll come round and love it too (once they've seen it from your perspective). Never force it though! You're offering them a new perspective, NOT shoving your opinion down their throat and insisting they like it. Share your knowledge about what makes it a beautiful photo & comment on the beauty you see in their expression. Sometimes they're blinded by their self-criticism and expectations.
D) Show a variety of images during your viewing session and asking your clients for feedback on which images they do/don't like and WHY. This is super eye-opening & will help you improve with each job. Oh, and take lots of notes while they're talking so you can refer back.
What's your experience with this? Do your clients usually pick your favourites? Any tips for others who struggle with this? Leave your comments & advice below!