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:

Build the client relationship

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

Lessen the chance of cancellations

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

Attract Ideal Clients

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

Collecting retainers in Iris is simple with our Payment Schedule Feature. You can set up installments on any invoice and base the payment schedule on calendar or relative dates and dollars or percentages. 

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. 

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1 Comment

  1. Adam

    Confusing title, (sorry for the word) As usual they are wonderful tips under the title, I appreciate all the pointers! But you may continue to change the title! Thanks!

    Reply

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