Why having a retainer as part of your workflow is so important.

How many of you have had a portrait client cancel on you? Yes, it happens all of the time. And how many of you didn’t collect a retainer for that session since it’s just one more step for you to manage? We hear all of the time that photographers aren’t collecting retainers for their portrait sessions and when a cancellation happens… frustration is inevitable.

There are so many reasons to collect a retainer (note: it’s not a deposit, it’s a non-refundable retainer), but we’ll stick with the three that industry expert, photographer and lawyer, Rachel Brenke – aka The LawTog, recommends:

  1. Using a retainer starts your client relationship off on the right foot. Rachel recommends the retainer, along with a contract, to set the stage for the professional relationship very early on. “Retainers paired with contract signing demonstrate an act manifesting the intent to enter into a legal relationship.”– TheLawTog
  2. Collecting a retainer will not only firm up your confidence that you won’t get cancelled on, but your client will also be more likely to hold up their end of the bargain when money is involved. “Both parties having money on the line helps to put skin in the game.” – TheLawTog
  3. You will be more likely to attract your ideal clients when you request a retainer. Those who aren’t really serious or appreciative of your work aren’t going to be interested in paying a retainer. “Retainers act to prevent flaky or irresponsible clients from abusing your resources (time, money, and energy!)” – TheLawTog

Do yourself a favor and begin incorporating retainers into your business. You’ll no longer feel that frustration when a cancelation happens, instead you’ll be happy that your time had already been compensated. If you need help adding this step to your Iris Works workflow, click the blue Intercom icon in the app and we’ll be happy to get you all set up!

Molly Connor

Molly is the marketing and communications guru at Iris Works. She is also a long-time professional wedding photographer in the Indianapolis area. She is a lover of all dogs, but especially her sweet girl, Henry June, the Great Dane who frequents the Iris Works headquarters.

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