When you make a mistake?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by JLEphoto, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I did my first "people" photoshoot yesterday as charity work for a church youth group. There were thirteen families and everything went just fine with two exceptions. The focus of the first two families I did was way off. The location was inside a movie theater and several of the lights were burnt out. As you can imagine it was difficult to see. The camera seemed to focus fine but after the first two families I decided to zoom in and check (yes, should have done that first). Oh, they were bad out of focus. The rest of the day I used a flash light to shine in their eyes to focus properly so no more issues (yes, it was that dark).

    I contacted both families and apoligized for the poor performance and offered to redo the shoot at no charge.

    My question is this: what can I do to salvage my reputation? Any suggestions on making this right?

    Oh, and how do you not let something like this kill your confidence?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  2. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey JLE,
    I'm really sorry to hear about your 'misfortune'. It really can shake your confidence when you are just starting out and something like that goes wrong. I think the fact that it was charity work and for a church group was a good thing. Did ppl pay for it, or were they receiving it for free? If they paid, offer them a re shoot or a refund and just explain that you were doing this as charity work and you are fairly new to that type of shoot, and are still learning and appreciate their understanding and patience. If they did not pay anything for their shoot, apologize and explain the same way, but just offer them a re shoot, like you already did.

    Don't be too hard on yourself!! You would be amazed at the mistakes you can make for the first many many shoots. BUT you have, have HAVE to take it all as a learning experience. I bet you'll NEVER forget to check your focus again, eh? With each shoot you do, you will learn something new. Some things you will learn from big mistakes, but the key is to get up, dust yourself off, 'make things right' if possible, and move forward with new knowledge. Good luck! I hope everything works out for you.
     
  3. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the response Sunbeam. It helps.

    There was a 10.00 setting fee that went directly to the youth group. With luck I will be able to make this right and keep these families as future clients. At least 11 out of the 13 came out acceptable.
     
  4. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have been in nature/wildlife photography for a long time now and this is WAY different! I will learn as I go.
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The fact that you called and are trying to redo the shoot to get them some good shots salvages your reputation in my book. I wouldn't think it would hurt you much as the first two families see the type of conditions you were shooting in and surelyl saw that you were having a difficult time with the lighting. Offer to reshoot and do something nicer to make up for it. Meet them at a nice outdoor location (park or something) and redo the shoot a little more unique to make them feel like it was made up to them above and beyond.
     
  6. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Nice suggestion NateS.... I actually just contacted them again and offered to meet them anywhere for the shoot.

    I take it stuff like this has happend to a few of you out there?

    It is easier with Nature/Wildlife because if the shot is bad you just delete it and no one is the wiser.... Attention to detial is what I have learned from this mistake.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I, too, am just starting to do portrait shooting and I screwed up a shoot just a couple of weeks ago in a similar way. I was using manual focus and after shooting a pose I moved back a little for a different pose. I forgot to re-check focus and so all of the shots for that pose were unacceptable. I tried to save them in post but it was a lost cause.

    Fortunately the other poses were fine and no one noticed the missing pose except me.

    I think you are handling it exactly the right way. Now just make sure you follow up with those 2 families and get them scheduled.
     
  8. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks Keith... I will certainly not let this fall off the radar.
     
  9. swoop_ds

    swoop_ds TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah I think you've saved Dave by simply apologising, and re doing the shoot. They paid ten bucks, it can't be the end of the world.
    -dave
     
  10. JLEphoto

    JLEphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks... I know it was basically a free shoot but I still want to do the best job for them as possible. Live and learn! Now, if I make the same mistake the next time I go to a dark unforgiving theater then I will have learned nothing.
     
  11. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My father taught me that people generally do not understand the value of "free".
    Try to remember that for the future.

    I would not be concerned at all about what happened. Keep your confidence up and remember EVERYONE makes mistakes.
     
  12. templatephotoshop

    templatephotoshop TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would offer to go and do it on location. Really over and above in every possible way. That way when they are completely BLOWN away buy your customer service they will not only come back to you, but tell an amazing story about the great lengths you went to make it right.

    Quick story: We had a customer who's neighbor picked up their gallery wrap because they were moving. During the time the neighbor had it, it got damaged, when the neighbor called us to replace it, she asked how much it was. I heard an audible gasp when I told her it was close to $1000. She ordered it anyway. (What a great neighbor!) When she came to pick it up, we refused to take her money. She was flabbergasted. I just told her, that the next time she has a need photographically to please keep us in mind.

    Since then we've photographed 2 weddings and her son's senior pics that I know were direct referrals from her. She felt she OWED us big time. And all that cost me was $200 for the gallery wrap. Over 12,000 of buisness, not a bad marketing expense!
     

Share This Page