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How To Deal With A Client Who...


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#1 Jessica A Tomlinson

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:42 PM

Most of my clients have been happy to let me do my thing, direct them how and where to stand, take the photos, and get the job done.  Occasionally I get a client who seems uncertain of my ability to take photos and wants to take over the photo shoot and direct their family how to pose (even wanting them to pose in unlfattering ways) and totally disrupting the shoot.  I make every effort before a shoot when talking with potential clients to show them the quality of work I can produce via my portfolio, answer questions they have, and get a solid idea of the type of photos they're looking for, as well as directing them where to meet, how to dress, etc.  But I still get the odd client here or there who gets out there and within 2 minutes of the shoot starts to get awkward. 

 

For example, I was doing a family photo shoot this last fall.  I had a mom who once we got out there refused to smile, acted like she was fed up and irritated with me, and started posing her adult children.  All of this before I even got to take one photo.  Typically I have no issues interacting with clients and our shoots are a lot of fun and the clients have fun.

 

So my question is, how often do you come across clients like this, and how do you deal with clients like this.  Obviously we got through the shoot and got some beautiful photos, but it was a difficult hour.



#2 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:56 PM

I am just starting to get hired for paid family shoots, so my experience is limited.  I did have two challenging shoots though.  The first was a mom and two daughters.  The sisters really, really did not get along.  They were 12 and 14, and were physically going at it during the hour I was shooting.  They would pinch and try to hurt each other. I did manage to get a few good shots with the mom in between them, and even a couple of just the two sisters, but it was hard work.  The second was a mom with her 3-yr-old who simply does not smile.  I worked on that little girl for a good 30 minutes before I got an expression that was not a frown.  I'm hoping these situations are the exception and not the rule, but clearly a family photographer needs exceptional people and diplomacy skills.  If you can't handle this aspect of the work, I imagine it would be very, very hard to make a go of it.  



#3 Jessica A Tomlinson

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 08:19 PM

Generally I'm very good with all my clients, especially the kids, but this one woman just wanted to take over the photo shoot, and the entire time I was thinking, if you don't like the way I do things, why did you hire me?  You know what my portfolio looks like, if you don't think I can produce good pictures, why hire me?  She made it difficult for me and her children.  We did get through the shoot and got a lot of photos, but it could have gone a lot easier.

 

I am just starting to get hired for paid family shoots, so my experience is limited.  I did have two challenging shoots though.  The first was a mom and two daughters.  The sisters really, really did not get along.  They were 12 and 14, and were physically going at it during the hour I was shooting.  They would pinch and try to hurt each other. I did manage to get a few good shots with the mom in between them, and even a couple of just the two sisters, but it was hard work.  The second was a mom with her 3-yr-old who simply does not smile.  I worked on that little girl for a good 30 minutes before I got an expression that was not a frown.  I'm hoping these situations are the exception and not the rule, but clearly a family photographer needs exceptional people and diplomacy skills.  If you can't handle this aspect of the work, I imagine it would be very, very hard to make a go of it.  


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