Communication is key, people!!!

tirediron

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About a month ago, I was contracted by a large local auto dealer to do all of their company headshots, publicity stills, etc as the dealership had just been purchased from it's long time local, family owners and was now under the umbrella of a large chain. I met with the manager, got the corporate requirements and we set a date for the first session. I did about 2/3 of the staff that day, and within a week had the proofs to him. I did notice that a lot of the people seemed less than thrilled that I was there, which is odd, my experience is that people in sales are normally used to this and not bothered.

Anyway, fast-forward to yesterday, when I came back to get the rest of the staff, and as I'm setting up on the showroom floor (one of the corporate requirements is having a car in the background), I hear a number of people saying "Oh, he's (meaning me) back, I'm going to get my picture redone". Now as I done around 30 people the first time around I expected there would be one or two 'do-overs', and I normally do these at no extra cost as a courtesy, after all, every one of them is a potential client and I want them to remember me as the photographer who created the nice pictures of them... As I said, I fully expected one or two, but not nearly a half-dozen.

I asked the first do-over what he didn't like about his photo, and he just said, that he'd not been quite ready and now he had a fresh haircut, etc. Okay, fair enough I thought. The next one told me she wasn't aware that it had been picture day and wasn't ready... okay... finally the third one, the young lady who works as the receptionist, tells me that not only did the manager not tell anyone that it had been picture day, despite having had the proofs for over a week, he hadn't shared them with anyone. No wonder people weren't happy... I honestly never thought to tell the manager during our meeting to make sure his staff knew it was picture day (I also now have the receptionist's contact info and her promise that she will get everyone to choose their picture and respond to me).

Lesson? Never assume that just because someone's running the show that they will communicate with everyone who needs it. Always have at least one two lines of communication, one of them preferably with the person who 'gets things done'.
 

Ysarex

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Great lesson -- find the person that gets things done.

Joe
 

Derrel

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Good post. Recently read a Kirk Tuck Visual Science Lab blog post about splitting company picture days over a two-day period, and also tips on how to avoid people getting caught short without the right clothes, decent hair, etc.. Seems like this issue might be more widespread than is realized.
 
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DarkShadow

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Seems to be all to common theses days the lack of communication,I bet if it was gossip it would have spread like wildfire. Even though none of this applies to me as a photographer, its still a good lesson and reminder to communicate as assumption is the mother of all **** Ups.
 
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tirediron

tirediron

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From now on, I'll definitely be ensuring that I remind bosses to tell their staff about picture day and get a second POC to CC on all,correspondence.
 

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