I'm big on the pre-meeting. I don't really like talking on the phone, for one; I also find that meeting in person is a great way to both cement the client's commitment to the photo shoot and build excitement for the day. It has its risks, of course. You have to impress them. Having a plan for the meeting is a great way to show you know what you're doing.
You don't need a studio to have a pre-meeting. A coffee shop works just as well. Here are some things I talk about in the pre-meeting:
- Review what the purpose, hopes, and expectations are for the shoot. I listed those together, but they are three different things. Purpose: what the images will be used for. Hopes: the feel or concept of the images. Expectations: how many images, what format, and when.
- Review what clothes they should bring
- Review make-up issues
- Once you've addressed all of their needs and concerns, talk about the contract and usage rights.
- Exchange contact info
Those are the topics I address, but I'm also using the meeting for a little homework myself. While you're talking, look at how they express emotion. Is it unrestrained or considered? What's the best way to coach them in the session? Plan their face. What's the best lighting set-up for them? You don't have to stick to the set-up, but it can be your starting point or "safety." Is their face round? (Short light it, perhaps?) Long and slender? (Broad light it?) Instinctively do you want to bathe them in warmth, or push them with something edgier?