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Client onboarding process in food photography

What is the client onboarding process?

The client onboarding process refers to the series of steps and activities undertaken to welcome and integrate new clients into a business or service. The primary objectives of client onboarding are to establish a strong relationship, ensure a clear understanding of the client's needs and expectations and set the stage for a successful collaboration. The client onboarding process typically includes the following elements:

  1. Welcome and Introduction

  2. Needs Assessment

  3. Contract and Documentation

  4. Onboarding Information

  5. Alignment and Goal Setting

  6. Communication and Expectations

  7. Service Delivery and Implementation

  8. Ongoing Support and Relationship Building

The client onboarding process should be personalized and tailored to each client's specific needs. By focusing on building rapport, establishing clear expectations, and providing exceptional support, businesses can lay a solid foundation for a long-lasting and successful partnership with their clients.

"We see customers as invited guests to a party, and are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better." / Jeff Bezos

the client onboarding process in food photography.

When it comes to the client onboarding process in food photography, attention to detail and effective communication is key. Here is a detailed description of the client onboarding process in food photography:

Initial Consultation: The process begins with an initial consultation, either in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing. Before the call or a meeting with a client, the photographer can also send a short questionnaire (prepared in Google Forms or Canva) with the most relevant questions and follow up over the phone. This is an opportunity for you to understand the client's specific requirements, vision, and goals for the upcoming photography project. During this conversation, ask questions to gather as much information as possible about the client's brand, style preferences, target audience, and any specific shots or concepts they have in mind.

Proposal: Following the consultation, the photographer will provide a detailed proposal that outlines the scope of work, project timeline, pricing, and any additional services or deliverables. This proposal serves as a foundation for the project and ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of the expectations.

I personally highly recommend templates from Frenchly.

The examples above present a few examples for your proposal cover, you can find them here.

Agreement: Once the client accepts the proposal, a formal agreement or contract is typically signed to solidify the working relationship and protect the interests of both parties.

What you should include in your agreement:

  1. General info

  2. Description of services

  3. Fees

  4. Bookings and Cancellations

  5. Schedule

  6. Work delivery (eg. via PIXISET or WeTransfer)

  7. Usage

  8. Ownership details

  9. Confidentiality note

  10. Compensation and remedies

  11. Contract summary

  12. Return policy

  13. Signatures

Pre-Production Planning: After the agreement is signed, the photographer and client collaborate on pre-production planning. This involves discussing the specific mood board, food items, props, styling, and location requirements for the shoot. You can provide guidance on food presentation, plating, and suggestions for props and backgrounds that align with the client's brand image, l usually send ideas from Pinterest. Occasionally, you may discuss with your client any dietary restrictions or special considerations for the food being photographed.

Scheduling: Once the pre-production planning is complete, the photographer and client work together to determine a suitable date, time, and location for the photo shoot. You may coordinate with the client's team or any other professionals involved, such as food stylists, chefs, or art directors, to ensure a smooth and well-coordinated production. If you are a beginner You most likely will work in your home studio and style by yourself. If that will be a restaurant shooting, it will happen on the location, and the chef will cook and style for you, you can only make some small touches.


  1. At the location session: the photographer arrives at the agreed-upon location with the necessary equipment, including cameras, lenses, lighting, props and backdrops (if necessary). You collaborate with the client and any other team members (if needed) to bring the agreed-upon concepts to life. Your capture a variety of shots agreed upon in the contract, focusing on composition, lighting, and showcasing the food in the most appealing way possible.

  2. At your home studio or rental studio, where the client isn't present: the photographer prepares all the necessary equipment, including lighting, props, and backdrops, based on the agreed-upon mood board. I recommend setting up the entire scene before any cooking or styling takes place. This involves arranging the props without any food present. To ensure client satisfaction, you may reach out to the client via WhatsApp or another convenient communication channel to share the composition and styling for feedback. Once the scene is fully prepared and approved, the food is carefully placed within the setup, and the shooting process begins.

Post-Production: After the shoot, the photographer selects the best images from the session and begins the post-production process. This involves editing and retouching the selected images to enhance their visual appeal, ensuring that they align with the client's brand and desired aesthetic.

Delivery and Feedback: Once the post-production work is complete, it's time to deliver the final edited images to the client. I usually send more images than agreed in a contract, 1st of all to give my client a choice, and secondly, there is a chance he will purchase more than agreed. The delivery method may vary, such as through an online gallery or a secure file-sharing platform, as mentioned before eg. via PIXISET or WeTransfer. The client then has the opportunity to review the images and provide feedback. If any adjustments or additional retouching is required and included in your contract, you will have to make the necessary revisions to ensure client satisfaction.

Throughout the entire process, remember about open communication, collaboration, and a client-centric approach. These elements are essential to ensure a successful food photography project.

"Take care of your customers. Happy customers are the heart and soul of your business."


If you have any questions or struggle with any subject, send me a DM on my Instagram or email me. I will do my best to answer and help.


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