Why having retainers as part of your workflow is so important


Raise your hand if you’ve experienced the disappointment of a portrait client canceling on you. It’s a common occurrence that many photographers can relate to. Now, how many of you have skipped the step of collecting a retainer for those sessions simply because it adds to the already demanding task of managing your business? We often hear photographers share their stories of not collecting retainers for portrait sessions, only to feel a sense of frustration when cancellations happen.

It’s time to address this issue head-on. By neglecting to collect a retainer, you leave yourself vulnerable to unexpected cancellations that can cause significant inconvenience and disappointment. Implementing a retainer system not only safeguards your time and effort but also ensures a commitment from your clients. It’s a valuable step in establishing a professional relationship built on trust and mutual respect.

Reasons to have retainers

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.  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!

Want to learn more?

Are you curious about the ins and outs of retainers and how they can benefit your booking process? Look no further! Check out this blog that dives deep into the topic, providing valuable insights and practical tips on incorporating retainers into your workflow. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out. Understanding retainers and their role in securing clients can make a significant impact on your business success. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to level up your booking process. Head over to our blog to explore everything you need to know about retainers and unlock the potential for greater client satisfaction and financial stability.



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