I’m writing the following as if I’m talking directly to you, but it works the same way if you were to ask your client.
Who are you aiming at with your work? The photos should communicate with the target audience in a way that speaks to them, so that they can empathise with whatever it is you want to say.
There are lots of points to consider, and ways to figure out who exactly a client might be. Personally, I love creating (secret) Pinterest boards to really understand who a client is, what they love, where they live, what they do, what they think about, how they spend their free time, what worldview they have, etc. In order not to generalise too much, create various boards keeping just one person mind for each of them - the clients can all be part of a similar group, but they are unique people with different lives.
If you’re working with a creative or visual client, consider giving this a try.
What are you trying to say? What is the point of the photos you’re taking? This relates to what I mentioned in this post - what is the story you want to tell?
Think about your values: what is really important to you about your product/service? E.g. I love natural stuff. Anything from organic food to photos. This is why I want to keep a natural feel to my blog and photos - and it’s why I mostly only shoot using natural light. Apart from that it influences the way I write (trying to keep a personal and relaxed voice), and how I interact with clients. And everything else I do.
Why do you do what you do? Why do you need certain photos? Do you want your potential clients to take a certain action? Do you want to sell something? Or do you just want to create some pretty pictures to illustrate your writing?
When I work with Appear Here I usually document different places in London, capturing the feel and uniqueness of each area. E.g. I photographed the area around Baker St, capturing fancy houses, pretty Regent’s Park, and a lot of Sherlock Holmes stuff. The reason for this was to attract potential clients wanting to open up a pop-up shop in the area - who themselves either aim at tourists, or have a wealthy/upper-class target market.
I hope this example gives you an idea of what the ‘why’ is supposed to answer, and why it’s so important to think about.
In general, it all seems to comes back to the feel and mood you want to create with your photos, and what that will say about your brand.
I really enjoyed writing this post - I love going ‘deep’ with business type questions, and figuring out how and why something is done in a certain way. So, I do hope that these three questions have been helpful and got you thinking, or will help you find the right direction next time you’re working with a client.