Guest Blog – Managing Expectations



Photography clients have many reasons to be nervous, but the photographer should not be one of them.  AlbumExposure President and CEO, Gary Sikes, wants to help you keep your client out of the dark.


It seems that there are too many things to remember these days.  This is true no matter what business you are in, but this is especially true in the photography industry.  You’ve worked hard to learn your craft, and you continue to grow in knowledge daily.  You have a pre and post shoot plan that you continue to refine and execute with each successive client (if not you should).  Each plan has too many steps or details to list here, but you get my point – there’s a lot to do before the final product is delivered, and often the client doesn’t realize or even need to know about most of it.  The catch is, if you leave too much of the work behind-the-scenes, your clients may feel that they’ve been left in the dark.

People tend to get nervous in the dark…they start to get anxious, even scared, and eventually they begin to make noise so they can be found.  This is true in the business process as well.  Clients left alone, with little understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes, tend to get nervous and start making noise.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when my clients get scared or nervous.  I used to convince myself that they were just difficult people, but it’s more likely that I wasn’t managing their expectations well.  That was on me.  If you own your business, it’s on you too.

That being said, it’s imperative that part of your plan is to manage the expectations of your clients.  Don’t allow this to be an afterthought, rather integrate it as a key part of the client experience you provide.  You’ll find that things will go more smoothly and your clients will enjoy the process so much more.  Plus, happy clients mean more referrals, while exhausted clients…well, don’t.  But just remember, they don’t need to know everything. Don’t burden them with all the fine details…that’s just going to the other extreme.  A wise man told me once – “no surprises, good or bad” and he was right.  Managing expectations helps everyone keep a level head and enjoy the outcome.  Surprises throw a wrench into the mix, so I’d suggest that you’re better off keeping the line of communication open as much as necessary.  Don’t keep clients in the dark, rather keep them informed, and execute according to those expectations.  Keep up the good work friends. Cheers!

-Gary Sikes, President and CEO of AlbumExposure


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  1. Great points, Gary.
    Before the wedding, I like to send out a couple of questionnaires — one early on and one closer to the wedding date. This lets clients know that I am taking into consideration various aspects of their wedding like timeline, location, and number of posed photos.
    After the wedding, in addition to a slideshow of favorites, I love using Album Exposure to show my album designs.