I'll start by saying that I have never been a good writer. Words never came naturally to me, and this became a huge problem when I started having to reply to work emails. However, I worked on it and can now share my best email templates with you.
Emails from potential clients would come, and because of my huge desire to get the jobs, I would find myself only wanting to send professional-sounding and properly thought-out replies. However, because I would be unable to come up with something satisfactory on the spot, I ended up postponing my replies. So, not only did I not have a satisfactory reply, I now had no reply. Awesome! This would lead to delayed responses that sometimes would be pushed back so long that another photographer was chosen for the job. Unsatisfactory reply, no reply at all, no job. Double awesome! It's all very silly. Sometimes, all I wanted to write was just: "Hire me!!"
I only started improving when my then boyfriend and now husband started helping me out. He's constantly replying to emails as part of his job, so it comes easily to him. Triple awesome (this time without the sarcasm)!
There are already many articles out there giving tips on the how-to and etiquette when writing these emails. However, most of the time, my main issue is actually stringing them into proper, professional-sounding phrases. So, here are some easy samples that you can easily rephrase and tweak for your own usage!
Are these all perfect? Probably not. Are they a good starting point? Probably. Should you use them verbatim? No! Should you use them to start finding your own voice and style? Absolutely! Have they been working for me? Definitely.
Introduction to a Company You Would Like to Work With
I am a (country- based (genre) photographer and I'm reaching out to you in hopes of discussing a possible opportunity to work on a shoot together in the future. I don’t know whether you have any immediate projects or rather some coming up in the future, but nonetheless, I’d love to hear from you so that we can establish a line of communication and see where things go from there.
I've shot for (accomplishments). You can check out my work here:
As mentioned, whether you have projects coming up immediately or further down the line, it would be great to have a discussion and establish a relationship so that we can hopefully find some synergy together.
Follow-Up Email When There Is No Reply
I hope it’s no bother, but as I haven't heard from you regarding my below email, I just wanted to follow up.
Would love to hear from you about any collaborative opportunities that there may be between us. If you need any more information from my side, just let me know, and I’ll send that over for your review.
Follow-Up Email When There Has Been a Reply but Client Goes Silent
I hope its no bother but I just wanted to touch base with you on the below.
I realize December can be hectic, so no worries if you're too busy at the moment. I hope to hear from you soon, but either way, I've made a note to touch base with you again during the first week of January!
I hope 2018 is off to a rocking start for you / your week has been going well / you enjoyed your weekend.
I definitely don't mean to pester you, but I am still very much looking forward to working with (company). When would be a good time to catch up on all this?
Shall we set up a call or a coffee?
Follow-Up Email Months Down the Road When You Have New Work
I hope all is well since we last spoke!
Earlier this year, I (updates on new work). I wanted to use this opportunity to get back in touch with you to share all the recent updates to my portfolio, which you can find at (website).
It’s been a really exciting few months on my side with (other update), and I was also recently awarded (any competition you might have won).
Would be great to find some projects we can collaborate on, so if there is anything you have in mind or anything you would like me to brainstorm around, please let me know.
I have also attached my recent (new work) for easy reference.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Replying to an Email Inquiry From a Big Client
Pleasure to be in touch!
My schedule is currently available for the project dates and I'm definitely excited by the brief, so if you do end up selecting me, it would be a real honor to work on this project.
I would be looking at a total fee of (rate) for the shoot. That said, depending on the needs and expectations, I am open to reviewing that figure if necessary.
Replying a Client Who Asks "What's Your Rate?" With No Other Details, Leaving You With More Questions Than Answers
Sometimes, when a client asks a very vague question, I end up with more questions than answers.
For example, if the clients asks "what is your rate for a photoshoot for my designs," instead of having a huge paragraph filled with questions like "How many outfits? Is this a campaign or lookbook shoot? Are you looking for a half-day rate?" you can put them out in a list form, keeping the email looking neat and professional.
Thank you for your email and interest in my services!
Before I can give you a suitable quote, I'll need to know a couple of things:
- How many images are you looking at?
- Do you have reference photos for what you're looking for?
- Do you have a makeup artist and model in mind?
- What's your budget?
- Where will be the photos used and for how long?
Please let me know!
Replying "No Thank You" to a Low-Budget Client Without Burning Bridges
Thank you so much for your email. I would love to work with you, but I'm not sure I can pull off what you are looking for based on the budget you are proposing. I’d rather respectfully turn down the project than overpromise and fail to deliver. I hope you can respect that! Nonetheless, please keep in touch as I’d love to see if we can work together in the future!
Replying to a Client Who Is Going With Another Photographer
Needless to say that it's a disappointment as I was looking forward to working with you.
Nonetheless, I hope we get another opportunity together in the future. Please reach out anytime.
Pay Me Round One
The images have been sent over and I hope you like them as much as I do. I have also sent the invoice over. If you could let me know when it has been processed, that would be hugely appreciated!
Do let me know if you need any other details.
Pay Me Round Two
Would like to check if there are any updates regarding the payment. The invoice was sent (duration) back.
Pay Me Round Three
I'm following up again on the unpaid invoice.
Unfortunately, I haven't heard from you at all either via email or phone. If I don't hear from you with any kind of an update, then I'm really being left with no choice but to share this experience with my lawyers.
I'm happy to work out some kind of payment schedule with you, but complete silence is somewhat tying my hands and leaving with me with no option apart from what I mentioned above.
I hope you find these samples useful! If you think this won’t work and you prefer to really try “Hire me! Pay me!”, by all means, go ahead. I'm not that brave, though, so I tend to stick to the above!
Lead image by Pixabay user 27707, used under Creative Commons.