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Thread started 11 Jan 2013 (Friday) 14:05
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Lost a client

 
tbsguy18
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Jan 11, 2013 14:05 |  #1

I have a friend who asked if I would take her daughters 1 year pictures. Nothing too elaborate...We agreed she would come over to my house, I would spend about 25 minutes just shooting some pictures, another 2 hours editing, and I would just give her the pictures on a CD to print off however she would like. She asked how much, so I said $75 would cover it. I figured that was fair for me and fair for her. Being a friend, I didn't want to over charge or anything, and this was something we could both live with. She agreed to the price and everything was good to go. She was suppose to be over today...Just got a phone call about a half hour ago saying she changed her mind. It was too much money. And her fianc├ęs sister is going to take the pictures since she just got a camera for Christmas. FRUSTRATION!!! I'm not mad at her, and its not like it wasted my day (actually gave me 3 hours of free time lol) but the situation is quit irritating. Same thing happened about a month ago as well. A friend of a friend wanted some pictures of her son, we discussed how many pictures, and a price, but she decided against it because Walmart was cheaper. Just had to come on here and rant! Thanks POTN :)


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awad
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Jan 11, 2013 14:07 |  #2

having contracts would solve this for you.


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Stuuk1
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Jan 11, 2013 14:08 |  #3

There are such things as 'love jobs'.

Being that I'm an electrician, I have to do plenty of these and just bite my tongue.


I'm not as think as you confused I am..

  
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juicedownload
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Jan 11, 2013 14:15 |  #4

It's hard to market to this type of market. There's always someone who will be willing to do it cheaper or even for free. Work your skills, grow your portfolio, then start marketing to people who care more about quality photographs. That's my goal at least, reach people who care about photography, not so much about price.

Also, an upfront booking fee may also help attract a market that is a little more serious.


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cYn
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Jan 11, 2013 14:23 |  #5

I don't think you should be too frustrated. This happens ALL the time and in every profession.


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tbsguy18
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Jan 11, 2013 14:24 |  #6

Having a booking fee might help, and I do use a contract 9 times out of 10. I just figured with my friend, a contract was kind of a non issue. I guess not a non issue exactly, but with the simplicity of what she wanted, I didn't really worry about it. Nothing horrible went down, I didn't lose any money, and we're still friends lol. As for the friend of the friend, it never really got to the point of signing a contact. I basically gave her quote, asked her when she wanted to do it, and in the end, it was too much for her.
But i'll just keep plugging along.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jan 11, 2013 14:27 |  #7

I had several of these kinds of annoying experiences occur when I was getting started in photography.

It was only later that I realized that I was largely responsible for it.

Are you a professional photographer ? How many portraits have you done for money ? It may very well be that the 'client' ended up not really seeing a distinction between the level of professionalism you would bring to the job vs. another person who wasn't a professional. Given the option between 2 non-professionals, wouldn't you choose the free option ?

If you're still in a portfolio-building period of your professional development, maybe shooting for free at this stage was your best move, particularly given that this was a friend.

Edit: I also shifted very early on to a position that classified 'clients' as only those people who signed a contract. Everyone else was 'prospective'. Ha--it's obvious sound business principle to do this, but it's also linguistically defensive--I can always argue to myself that I've never really lost a client :D



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FerozeK
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Jan 11, 2013 14:29 |  #8

Dont even think about it. I loose clients to pakistani's on a daily basis who charge 1/10 of what I do. Those same clients are back within a month.

What you need is a hook, a certain signature look that makes them not go anywhere else




  
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gonzogolf
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Jan 11, 2013 14:29 |  #9

We have to remind ourselves that while we offer good quality and reasonable prices, its still a great deal more than the standard package price at walmart/kmart/etc. They run $10 specials where the client gets two sheets and then the upsell starts. Yes they are crap images, but some people cant see that as any photo of junior is precious.

In the case of the OP she couldnt see the value you bring, its a variation on the "your camera takes good photos" compliment. Her friend has a good camera so the results will be good right? Dont worry about it, nothing you can do in these cases but show her other jobs you do and let her know what she missed.




  
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gjl711
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Jan 11, 2013 14:30 |  #10

Friends and family I would either do it for free, or decline to do it. As soon as money enters into a friend/family relationship, things can go sour quickly, as you found out.


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tbsguy18
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Jan 11, 2013 14:36 |  #11

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #15475785 (external link)
I had several of these kinds of annoying experiences occur when I was getting started in photography.

It was only later that I realized that I was largely responsible for it.

Are you a professional photographer ? How many portraits have you done for money ? It may very well be that the 'client' ended up not really seeing a distinction between the level of professionalism you would bring to the job vs. another person who wasn't a professional. Given the option between 2 non-professionals, wouldn't you choose the free option ?

If you're still in a portfolio-building period of your professional development, maybe shooting for free at this stage was your best move, particularly given that this was a friend.

I don't think I would necessarily call my self a "professional" yet...I guess that would depend on your definition of professional? I still have a full time job, and shoot for money when my schedule allows it. I've only done 5 paid gigs in the last few months.

As for my friend, I would have gladly shot for free and I told her that. But she insisted on paying me. So I guess thats the part that bothers me most. She wanted to pay me, but then changed her mind cause it was too much. I should call her back and tell her its free and see if she changes her mind. I'm by no means the nest photographer, but my pictures will definitely look better than the ones taken by her future sister in law.


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RandyMN
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Jan 11, 2013 14:41 |  #12

Sort of inconsiderate to wait so late to let you know she changed her mind. Otherwise, it's pretty normal these days, but if I made arrangements with a friend, I'd show up and pay them just because that's what I said I'd do. Chances are good she will cancel at the last minute with the other friend just because she could not have the kid ready.




  
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Kronie
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Jan 11, 2013 14:46 |  #13

I have three weddings this year where the bride has a relative with a DSLR. One of them wants to take pictures at the wedding. I said sure, as I need a second shooter anyway. But the other one is more troubling because we were going to do an engagement shoot but she is three hours away so she is having her "friend with the camera" do the engagement shoot and see how it turns out. I have her retainer already but no contract yet.




  
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FerozeK
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Jan 11, 2013 14:49 |  #14

RandyMN wrote in post #15475859 (external link)
but if I made arrangements with a friend, I'd show up and pay them just because that's what I said I'd do.

or she might simply be in a situation where she had to choose between pleasing a friend and a future family member....




  
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RandyMN
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Jan 11, 2013 14:54 |  #15

FerozeK wrote in post #15475896 (external link)
or she might simply be in a situation where she had to choose between pleasing a friend and a future family member....

One can always keep both happy.. Not like there won't be more occasions for breaking in that new camera.




  
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