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Staff Handbook - Procedures



We are a team!!!  Please use words that solidify that we work as a team & are equals.  Use "we" or "us" not “I” not “me”.  Do not argue or put another team member down - especially in front of the clients.  If you have a difference of opinion, simply say, "Let's try your idea first, and then we can try mine!"  WORK AS A TEAM!

This is NOT a "these are your duties, these are my duties" kind of team effort.  We ALL do whatever tasks we need to do to make the experience and resulting photographs awesome for the client.


You may NOT complete personal tasks (such as: gathering personal items, making personal phone calls, eating, getting ready, or anything else during the contracted session). 


Keep it a FUN, AMAZING, PAMPERING experience that is ALL ABOUT THEM.  Be their "bartender" and let them do the talking.  Try not to talk too much about yourself or monopolize the conversations (especially troubles - even if you relate or have gone through something similar).  Keep ALL personal conversations on your own time or in the studio during breaks.  ALL YOUR FOCUS should be on the clients. 


Do not whisper or talk about the clients!  DO NOT TALK NEGATIVELY about ANYTHING TO CLIENTS!!!!!!!!  We don't EVER want to hear: "Oh, this eyeliner sucks" or anything like that.  Don't talk about what they didn't bring or what we can't do or what we don't have - FOCUS on what we CAN DO! 


Keep a positive attitude...don't say,  "I'm sure there's a few good ones in here" or "I'm sure you'll like some of these" INSTEAD say, "You're going to have such a hard time choosing 'cuz you'll love them all!” 



We want to be professional, organized, efficient and make sure each client gets a consistent experience and information every time!



Make sure the client is greeted immediately. ALWAYS introduce yourself to the client (and the team they will be working with).  KNOW WHO YOU ARE SHOOTING, THEIR SESSION & HOW MANY LOOKS THAT INCLUDES.   


If you are involved in a shoot when a new client arrives, find a minute as soon as you can (in-between shooting looks, if necessary) to introduce yourself during Glam time.  HMU Creative: while the client is in the Glam Room, let them know which Creatives will be working with her, maybe tell the client about the team for just a min to “warm the client up to them”


It is IMPERATIVE that the Client Checklist is completed.  Please initial each box when you complete it.  This is TOP priority for us!  


Give the tour right away or as soon as possible if they are shooting someone else (either way, this is usually the best time to get the B4 shot).  BRING THEIR CLIENT CHECKLIST WITH YOU during the tour, so you can make notes, if necessary or point out things that they might have mentioned in their questionnaire.  


The tour should be about 3 minutes (and should include the dressing room - point out hygienic liners, the bathroom - point out she-emergency, towels & different receptacles).  Keep walking the whole time - if client stops to chat, you can say: “Hey…we’ll have plenty of time to chat about all of this when you’re in the chair, so let’s finish this up quick, get you started & then we can discuss all of that!”

If they can’t get a tour up front - then skip it if you can & instead, pull up the galleries to show them examples; and/or give them a tour during HMU (in-between another client's looks or whenever); but don't let this detour you from making a plan during Glam Time.


During the tour, make sure to POINT OUT:

1) Hygienic liners in the dressing room (client should be instructed to use a liner with each pair of panties, toss when done & then put panties into laundry bin).  You can mention that bras or other items don’t need to go into laundry bin, unless necessary

2) She-Emergency items - these are for the clients to use.  Point out the hand towels & different face washes/washcloths if they need to remove their makeup after the session.



Take a before picture during the tour, or if necessary, in the Glam Room with the white curtains behind.



Put them in a robe & offer a beverage (you can get their drink while they change).


THE CLIENT (if early or on time) SHOULD BE IN THE CHAIR, READY FOR HMU AT THEIR SHOOT’S START TIME or within a few minutes.  Creative Artists should be waiting in the Glam Room & ready to start & should remain with them for the duration of their session.   (Team members should be prepping/organizing/cleaning if they are clocked in.)  



Go through the questionnaire on the client's sheet & make sure to ask:  “Do you have any specific ideas, poses, inspiration pictures that we need to try to capture?”  Find out if there's specific props or sets they'd like & if they brought anything personal to incorporate. 


Based on feedback, clients need to feel that you are listening to them, not just deciding for them. ​ Make sure that clients do not feel pushed into a choice.

Make sure to have a plan (at least mostly) in place & written on the client's sheet in the first 1/2 hour of glam time.  Try not to get chatting & leave this until the end.


Have the client watch the "Watch to Expect" video in the first 1/2 hour of their glam time.  Try not to "re-iterate" what the video says, unless the client has a specific question.


Help each other with getting outfits/props ready, if necessary.  On busy days, or days when there is only 1 girl working on HMU, another team member should spend more time in the Glam Room, getting things ready.  WORK TOGETHER as a team & with a client to choose outfits.  If a team member's strength is NOT choosing outfits, trade "spots".  If you're not sure, you can always ask another team member: "What would you like me to pull out?"  


Ensure that that client feels like they have time to choose outfits & are being helped through the selection process.

Shoes & accessories should be chosen ahead of time, whenever possible.  While they are in the Glam Room chair, pull a couple shoes that would work with the outfits and pull thigh-highs, jewelry, etc. (It works great to hang necklaces, etc. right over the hanger).  If there wasn't an opportunity while they were in the chair, pull while they are in the dressing room.




Please ask EACH CLIENT what their vision is for HAIR (curly, more beachy, bigger, more natural?), and MAKEUP (natural, dark?).  Make sure during (and right after) HMU that they have the chance to tell you if they don’t like something - better to fix it, then to have them complain later.


Extensions should be used for 98% of clients (with the exception of super naturally curly hair, extremely short hair, unique color, etc.)  We don't want the client to feel like they “missed out”, and want to ensure that we did everything we could to ensure they do actually get that extra glam factor.  

Note on the client checklist which extensions were used (or a note if they didn't want extensions or if it's a mini shoot).


If client does not want victory rolls, please make a note of that on the client checklist & take the time to do old school waves or give them more time shooting.  (See Evernote for ideas)


Please no dark lips - ESPECIALLY for older women.  Maybe for one pose at end.  THAT’S IT!  For older women especially, think:  brighter, lighter, fresher.


Brushes, makeup & tools must be cleaned/sanitized after each client's use.  The makeup area needs to be picked up (cleaned & organized) between clients.

1. BRUSHES:  For concealer, liquid foundation and gel eyeliner brushes; clean with Tiger's Eye Brush Soap bar.  For powder and eyeshadow brushes; use baby shampoo with Sigma mat or Tiger's Eye Brush Soap bar. 

2. SPONGES:  Wash with Dawn's dish soap or Tiger's Eye Brush Soap after each client. Must be washed until all sight of foundation has been removed. If sponge starts to loose its color and appears stained with foundation it must be thrown away. 

3. STAINLESS PALLET & SPATULA:  Spray with Cinema Secrets Cleaner after each client and wash with Dawn's dish soap at the end of each day. 

4.  FOUNDATION/CONCEALERS/CREAM CONTOUR:  Pour or Scoop out foundation with spatula and place onto pallet, then apply foundation onto client with clean foundation brush or sponge. 

5.  GEL EYE LINER:  Scoop out liner with spatula and place on pallet, then apply liner onto client using an eyeliner brush.

6.  MAKEUP PALLETS (eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers and highlighters, eyeliner and lip liner pencils): Spray with Beauty So Clean after each client.

7.  LIPSTICKS & LIP GLOSSES:  wipe onto pallet and use lip wand or brush to apply on client. 

THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE: during shooting


The photographer should have the first set, lighting, computer & camera READY as soon as client is ready to shoot.  Get the set ready immediately as they are being glammed up or changing.

Keep the client's questionnaire form with you AT ALL TIMES.  We had a client that requested smiling shots on her questionnaire, but got ZERO smiling shots in her first look & maybe 20% in the rest.   



Check on the client during the shoot.  This way, you can make sure that we are not forgetting anything   Make sure that if they had any special requests, poses, props they wanted - that we incorporate that.  Ask, “How are you feeling?”  Make sure SOMEONE is nearby and ready to help when they are in the dressing room.  Make sure the client’s pre-shoot questionnaire is with the team at the computer cart.


Clients MAY NOT be left alone in the Glam Area (+ dressing room/bathroom).  Someone should be IN or NEAR the area, cleaning/putting things away, etc. - ready for client, so they aren’t alone if they need help or are alone. 


Someone should be asking them if they need help & be READY to escort them to the next set.  Clients feel awkward in dressing room/standing alone by set. If you DO need to step away, please let them know you’ll be right back & they can wait in that area & you’ll come get them.

Emphasize the need to choose an outfit & change quickly.  A team member should ALWAYS walk them to the dressing room, to make sure they know what outfit is next, and be nearby to help.  This is a good opportunity to urge them to move quickly.



Check out shooting notes in Evernote!



Have the client watch the "After Your Session" video.  Give them some products to look at & point out your favorite!  Show them the book with products and some general pricing (its the champagne floral book) as a good reference too.

Collect payment, have them sign the autograph board & give them some swag.  Initial the client checklist.



The Closing Duties checklist must be completed EVERY NIGHT.  This should take about 15 minutes.  Use the online form & hit submit when completed to be paid.


In the Notes box, you can let us know about issues; if it took extra time to complete, and if so, why.




For an early arrival:  You can nicely say, “We’re not quite ready for you yet, but there’s some cute shops”….


If client brings a guest: "Since you're not doing a shoot, we can give you a quick tour of the studio, but then we need (client's name) all to ourselves.  There's a cute coffee shop nearby & fun stores.  She'll be done around...."


If a client has a question & you are not 100% positive of the answer, ask someone or refer to store, website, policies - help them find answer or call us.  



Make sure the Glam Room area (including the dressing room, bathroom) is cleared/cleaned between clients.   Studio must be left in order at the end of each session!  Check the Opening Duties checklist to see if things are in order.  


1.  Clear dressing room (put all items behind the privacy screen).

2.  Sanitize makeup/styling tools.

3.  Put hair away by color code properly in cabinet.

4.  Clear & clean top of makeup cart (put random items back in their proper storage place).

5.  Clean camera cart (put random items back in their proper storage place: jewelry, hairspray, etc.)

6.  Clear Studio (put random items back in their proper storage place: shoes, robes, outfits, etc.)

7.  Clean bathroom - make sure there is a clean towel, trash is disposed of, etc.


  1. Personal items may ONLY be kept in the office area.  Personal items may not be in the studio or glam room area (cell phones, food, etc.).  Items left overnight that are not stored properly in black cabinet may be disposed of.

  2. Studio glasses may not be used (glass or plastic).  Unless provided in the office area, please bring your own glasses/dinnerware, and clean/take home/store in the back cabinet.

  3. NO FOOD or EATING is allowed in the studio or Glam Room.  You may have a personal beverage, as long as it is stored properly or disposed of after use, and is NOT placed on the computer cart at any time.  You MUST clean up from food/beverages/eating in office area.  DO NOT eat while you are working with a client.  

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