As long as the client likes it....

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Christie Photo, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "As long as the client likes it.... that's ALL that matters."

    I've seen this statement MANY times as a response to critiques. REALLY? Does anyone really feel that's all that matters?

    I can't help feeling it's a "cop-out." Further, settling for just satisfying the client doesn't advance the state of the profession, much less our own skills.

    Doesn't anyone else here want the bar set higher?

    -Pete
     
  2. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I agree with you. I always hold myself to my own standard. If I dont feel its my best than I do not want to stand behind it. If a client is an idiot and thinka poor job is fantastic then yeah on that job you got by but what about the people who see that job? They may have higher standards than the client and consequently feel that you are not a good photographer. I go under the idea that I must create the best I can do not just enough to please a client.

    Think of it this way if a client has low expectations and you just surpass them the client is happy and thats it. If you blow your client away he/she will be amazed and most likely highly recommend you because you did an amazing job in their opinion. I love a client with low expectations because when I give it my all they absolutely love the result
     
  3. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    Well, yes and no. How's that for specific? Of course I want my client to be pleased and sometimes they'll have a different opinion than you and you need to honor it because as the saying goes, the cusotmer is always right. BUT I do also want my work to be oustanding not only to those who know nothing about photography, but also to those who know a lot about it. Does that make sense? Really, my goal is to be artistic in a marketable way. I want to please myself and my consumer and also strive to better my craft.
     
  4. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    No!... nononono!!

    I was about to add to this thread earlier but i had to go take a shower... and what i was about to write is an example of 'crossed industries' which demonstrates why the above phrase should NEVER be used outside of what the phrase was originated for RETAIL!!!


    An example: I am a graphic designer as im sure many of you are aware... i use to work for an outdoor advertising company doing large billboard size adverts... the 'boss lady' i worked with knew 2 things about advertising and design... jack and s**t.

    I would get a customer now and then that wanted to include thier entire company background on thier adverts... we are talking, everything they do, every service they offer, a description of the products etc etc...

    I would sometimes get into an arguement with the 'boss lady' becuase she told me to do everything the customer asked... and used that awful phrase 'the customer is always right'...

    I told her that phrase only ever exsisted for retail... its how shop assistants are told to respond to an angry customer... it has NO place in the design world.
    In the end i sent 2 designs to this particular client 1 'as requested' and 1 as it should have been.. minimal info, boldly designed that a member of the public would take in, in under 5 seconds.
    I explained to the client why they are wrong... after all, what does the client know about advertising?... thats why they came to us in the first place!

    Needless to say after 2 months of the advert being active they were over the moon with the response.
    So, fact: i know better than they do... thats why i am right and customer is wrong.


    The morel of this story is... the customer is not always right other than when they want their $5 refund.
    The exact same applies to photography, even if a customer does like a photo you have done, you have to make a decision... you either sell it to them and hope they never use it for anything public, and also NEVER use it in your own portfolio if you know the shot isn't really very good.
    OR... you go through all your images yourself beforehand and only give them the very best of what you have to offer.

    At the end of the day you are in a business where other people will see your end product... if the person that bought it likes it but everyone else hates it you are not likey to be doing business with them.... there is also the matter of keeping an edge to your style and keeping ahead of your competitors.
     
  5. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    Hmm in some ways I agree. As long AS it meets my standards.

    For instance. I take 150 pictures at a session. I put 8-15 up to choose from. Those meet MY standards of quality. Some I don't like the pose/expression, but I think that the client will.

    I have to take into consideration that within my personal opinion, that I have to serve the client too. Such as, a shoot I just did... I had a picture of a baby in a basket under an arch from far off. I LOVED it. I also got one up close, which the client loved. Personal preference. I knew the client would love a close up, as every mom usually does, so I mold to that as well.

    There are certain compromises I will make, such as request for soft focus (though I don't like it much) or an insistance at an article of clothing being worn.

    I am confident about my abilities as the photographer to think this or that isn't my style, but I am willing to work with a client if I feel I can get a good quality product in the end. If I feel I cannot and that it would compromise something with me, then I explain so.
     
  6. mamarazzi_hrd

    mamarazzi_hrd TPF Noob!

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    I agree with ARCH, I also was a graphic designer/printing mananger and most of my clients knew nothing about advertising, design, color schemes or any of that. In fact, if they brought in a job on disk that was 'camera-ready', I would still try to talk them into letting me design something different. There were a select few that knew what they were doing.

    I know that in the end, if our client DOES NOT like it, then we are wasting our time, but I always try to improve and pick the best of the best that I think is the best. We should NEVER just settle for what the client likes. The client will not be the only one seeing it!
     
  7. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    I always try to shoot what the client wants and then what I want as well. Then I present both and let them pick what they want.

    That way, I'm satisfied that I did my best and if the client still prefers their own then good on them.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is all very interesting, but.....

    What I was really asking about is when an image is offered HERE for critique. Portraits, candids, commercial work..... I'm always frustrated when ANYTHING is justified with the phrase, "The client liked it."

    It my be true enough, but it doesn't necessarily mean the image cannot be improved... or is even up to professional standards.

    It just makes it hard for me to take time to offer anything further when it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

    -Pete
     
  9. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    If a client has asked for something then its fine (even if its nasty) but if you take a crap picture and the client likes it because they dont know better then yes its a copout
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BUT... should that "nasty" image be offered here for critique only to be defended with, "That's what they wanted"?
     
  11. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    hmm, ahh I see what you are getting at.

    I actually have said that on one of my critiques, where I had done a soft focus though I didn't particularly care for soft focus.

    I guess it's a fine line... I'm not sure how far you can take the "client likes it" mentality, only so far I suppose.

    I dunno. Need to think on this more.
     
  12. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    We see variability of opinion in the forum about posted pics...
    Happens quite often that I see pics offered for critique where some people like 'em and some people don't...
    Get's to me when under-exposed, flat, blurry, OOF, poor DOF, crap colour-images are critiqued as "spot-on:good colour rendition; great comp" etc... so I guess they must have eyes like the "clients" who would pay good money for shoddy goods...
    On another perspective though: clients (esp parents) see photographs differently - not through professional eyes, but with goo-gah adoration and would probably accept photocopy quality images of their kids - simply because it's "their" kid...
    I think that if a parent specifically requests (say) pics of their kids in soft focus or Sabattier effect, then give 'em what they ask for - but, hey... give 'em the very best quality images you are capable of... That's a very lot different from screwing-up the focus of an image and passing it off as "soft focus" - "Oh... i was going for soft focus..."
    Jedo
     

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