I booked an 18th birthday party and in the beginning I was really hoping that the mom wouldn't call back.
I need some feedback from my photograher's community here on what you guys would do if in my shoes.
It's a long story but, in a nutshell, here are some cliff notes:
Initial proposal, she said it was expensive. I didn't budge and kept my pricing
A few weeks go by and she called again and asked if my quote was the best price. I said, "you called me because you liked my work and yes, that is the best price". (The price I gave her is almost 60% of what I would charge becuase a DJ friend referred her, and it was a 18th birthday party so I figured the lesser rate because of the event workflow).
We meet and go over details with the husband to clarify my package. Again trying to bargain me down. I modified the package a bit, she pays the deposit, but takes the contract home and said will sign it and email to me.....weeks go by and she was renegging on what's on the contract trying to reduce the cost by nickel & diming my add ons to her package.
A pre-event shoot was included in her package for her daughter, the celebrant. She somehow twisted the shoot to include an entourage of the birthday celebrant & her friends. In addition, she called be within the week to reschedule the shoot from 8/11, because all the kids can't make it. I said 8/25 is the last date I can shoot because my schedule is booked for other weekends. She wanted to do a weekday...I said I am not available on weekdays.
So we shoot on 8/25. I made all the kids submit a model release and consent form from parents if under 18. I asked if she had the contract. She played it like she forgot.....I knew she would play that game and I brought a copy with me. No worries, I still kept cool and the shoot goes well with the celebrant and her friends. Also, ended up removing a guest sign-in book from the package to lower her cost which we already agreed to from our meeting. A ploy to why she didn't sign the contract in the first place.
So here is what really gets me fired up....She sends me a message "asking" if I had an easel for her daughter's portrait at the reception. I said no, I do not, but the hotel usally can provide one for you. She says the hotel doesn't have one (I checked the hotel and they HAVE one to rent out for $20). After I said that the easel is not part of my deal and I don't own one to provide her. She had the nerve to say "I thought you were a professional, why can't you provide a complete package to include an easel and frame with the portrait. (I include an enlarged print of the celebrant but no frame) This was made clear at our meeting with her husband. I refrained from responding right away as I was so pissed off and worked up. I replied a few hours later to say "let me ask around if someone has an easel". So that got her out of my hair for almost a week.
She messaged me today "any luck with the easel?", I said "not yet"...."by the way, the hotel can rent one out to you" She replied back with "That's added expense!".
So I again refrain to lash out at her and instead log in to here and type this to cool down and respond intelligently.
I have never in my 5 years of pro-shooting have I encountered a very unreasonable and demanding client who will take your arm when you offer a hand.
Sorry for the long back ground story but would like to hear your thoughts.