Do you ever reject clients?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by aw2633, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. aw2633

    aw2633 TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone, I'm new to this board. Thank you for your advice beforehand.

    I've been in the business for about a year and half- my prices are relatively low to reflect my experience. I've worked with a lot of different couples, but find this one type always gives me issues after the shoot.

    The most recent was a bride who didn't like her edited photos. The photos were edited in a way that reflects 95 percent of my portfolio. I'm now stuck going back through and changing them to her preference (which I am not fond of).

    So, what I'm asking is if you meet a client and have a gut feeling about the relationship you're about to form isn't going to be real great- do you ever reject them?
     
  2. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Have you heard of the saying the customer is always right
     
  3. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry Im with gsgary here. She is paying for a service and deserves the finished product to be to her liking. Pita yup but you want her to be happy. A happy client will tell a few people, a pissed off client will tell EVERYONE.
     
  4. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, first off... the customer is not always right... oftentimes they are poorly informed folks who understand very little about the goods/services they are purchasing from you.

    On the other hand, rejected customers based upon what will inevitably seem to them to be some arbitrary accessment of their character is bound to piss them off.... and pissed off customers (or pissed off rejects, in your case) are devastating to your reputation by word-of-mouth.

    I would just take the hit this time, do the editing with a great, big, fake smile on your face...and then just take measures to help prevent this scenario from recurring during your first meeting with any further customers from now on.

    For example... "Are you comfortable with your finished product reflecting the style you see in my portfolio?" If they are not, it would at least be a bit more reasonable to deny them service. Rather than just saying "Sorry, I just get the wrong vibe from you", you can instead say," Well, this portfolio reflects the style in which I shoot and what you can reasonably expect." Then they are left to decide for themselves if it'll work for them or not... and they can be told down the road, "Listen, I told you this is the style in which I shoot..."
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's your right as a business person to work for (or not work for) whomever you want to. If you get a bad feeling about a client, then turn them down. Of course, you will probably want to be rather tactful about it....maybe say something like "I don't think I'm the right photographer for you, but here is a list of other photographers who might be better suited".

    Lesser experience should NOT be reflected in your prices...if you are good, then you should charge well for it.
    One of the biggest benefits of charging higher prices, is that you tend to get clients who hire you because they like what you do, rather than someone who is just looking for a deal. And clients who like what you do, are less likely to ask for changes etc.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Customer education is essential in any business.

    The more time you spend upfront describing what you will be doing and discussing what she/they expect before agreeing on a price the happier you will all be.
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In your specific case, did you discuss the look and feel of your images prior to them signing? While I agree that in principle, if the shots reflect your style, then thats what they should be. But if the client isn't happy, then its up to you to make them happy. You are new in business and I find that word of mouth is huge... so be careful.

    Have I rejected clients? A few (not like i have alot haha). Either because I am already booked (easy out) or a few times because what they were asking for I was not comfortable doing as it was my thing. I'm honest with my clients and if I feel their shoot will require something I can't do or am not comfortable doing, I'll tell them. I'll also recommend people I know who can do it, so as not to leave them hanging...
     
  8. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    I tend to give customers exactly what they ask for. At the end of the day they are the ones paying. Bride wants a album full of pictures of the floor, bride gets album full of pictures of the floor.
     
  9. aw2633

    aw2633 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input thus far.

    A few points:

    - I agree the customer is usually right, in these cases they are/were not. Before this bride, I had another who was upset she looked "hot" in the pictures. The shoot took place on a 102 degree day, I asked we reschedule and the bride insisted we shoot that day. What can I do besides my best and bring towels/water for the bride and groom?
    In this particular case I see the bride's point as she likes what she likes. Unfortunately in my opinion what she likes resembles editing from a soft core porn shoot from the 80's (she should have hired someone who edits in this manner). But this is a non-issue as I will give her what she wants- it's just a pain in the ass because I spent 5 hours editing yesterday. I wish she would have said something.

    - I talked to this bride about what she had in mind and she left it in my hands so I did a mixture of editing techniques- she loved my portfolio so I assumed she would love pictures that resembled my portfolio. She let me know this morning, she really hates those editing techniques. (again- would have been nice to know. I'm a photographer, not a mind reader)

    - My prices are in a budget category. 500 dollars for four hours of wedding coverage is on the lower end, but I don't feel comfortable charging more yet. I've only shot six weddings on my own and am just starting to get comfortable. In a few months I will consider raising prices, until then I don't think it's right for me to charge what someone who has hundreds of events under their belt is paid.

    Basically, the bride in this case isn't the issue as I have her handled and will make her happy. I wanted to know if anyone rejects clients based on vibe- all three brides I've had an issue with I have gotten a vibe from. Luckily I was only booked for engagement sessions with them and have never had a problem with a wedding. Obviously to decline working with someone one must be tactful :)

    Again, thank you for the input!
     
  10. aw2633

    aw2633 TPF Noob!

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    I'm actually thinking more 90's. When I was in high school we went on a trip somewhere and it was on television and left quite an impression on me. The focus was very soft and there was a lot of soft light. I can't edit in that fashion because all I can think about is a plumber going to different houses of women and all the women wanting to hook up with him. :)
     
  11. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well you explained much more in an earlier post. If this client didnt tell you she didnt care for your style beforehand her bad. Should you edit them for her again, probably lol since like I said a pissed off client will try to ruin your reputation. Next time you have a bad vibe you can throw out all of these questions that come up and if all else fails say your booked. Otherwise I would love to see some of these shots.
     
  12. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well.. its only fair if we see some of these photos.
     

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