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Thread started 05 Aug 2013 (Monday) 01:56
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Bride with unrealistic expectations

 
Phil ­ V
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Aug 05, 2013 12:26 |  #16

There's a point that people are missing here; if you just agree to do it, then she complains that you didn't produce exactly what she was expecting.

Then you have a bride who has a genuine grievance with the work you've produced. You haven't got a leg to stand on because you've promised to do what she wants.

We've been here before but promising anything is a road to hell. And that's vastly different from a licence to fail to deliver. It just means that if they decide they no longer want to play before you've fulfilled her shot list, she can't sue. What happens if she wants to carry on shooting but the groom wants to go to the bar? You could have signed to accept responsibility for the situation.

It's not a high and might art vs customer service issue at all, it's a sign here to promise delivery of something you have no real control over. And that'd be a stupid thing to do.


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Nathan
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Aug 05, 2013 13:12 |  #17

I don't think we really disagree fundamentally. Just make sure there is a contract provision that protects you in case the bride/groom misunderstands what you will deliver. That said, make no misrepresentation about the service you will provide. Put that 150 shots aside and talk to the bride/groom. If after the conversation you feel that you cannot perform to their wishes and desires, then don't take the job. However, if you can explain to them what they can realistically expect and you feel that you can still give them a product they are happy with AND they accept your terms, then proceed.


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bespoke
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Aug 05, 2013 13:32 |  #18

I hate Pinterest. Brides expect the Jose Villa California sunset wedding on a cliff look when they're actually getting married in a hockey arena in November


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golfecho
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Aug 05, 2013 13:33 |  #19

FlyTvr wrote in post #16181989 (external link)
Has anyone ever come across a bride with unrealistic expectations?

Isn't this redundant?


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OhLook
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Aug 05, 2013 13:50 |  #20

golfecho wrote in post #16183237 (external link)
Isn't this redundant?

Yes, but let's get back to discussing photography.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Aug 05, 2013 18:02 |  #21

Nathan wrote in post #16182839 (external link)
I agree with you. It sounded like you were talking more upon principle than upon logistics. The comment about selective coloring tainted your response in my mind - just do what the client wants. I wouldn't walk away from a job or make my client unhappy because it's "not my style".

Oh with selective colouring it is a matter of principle. I won't do that :) I know that turning down work doesn't sit well with some but I have found it means I get the clients who are best suited to what I do and how I work. In turn those clients easily generate the most word of mouth. Which in turn saves me money through advertising less.

The whole point to my ad is it helps set expectations before someone contacts me. Getting a shot list that says "Bride with Dad, Bride with Mum" etc is one thing. But getting a shot list detailing poses and processing based on a Pinterest board is another. The latter I'd refuse every time. I care about my sanity more than the money.

As Phil has pointed out and I eluded to earlier there is huge risk unless every aspect is covered in the contract. Personally I can't see one good reason to put myself under so much pressure at a wedding before I have even taken the first shot.

It is hard enough sometimes explaining to a bride that I can't necessarily recreate my own work (ring reflections) being a perfect example. When I consider that the prospect of 150 shots other photographers have taken... well that is absurd.

Lots of photographers talk about "show what you sell" when it comes to albums. A similar principle applies with the clients/enquiries you get. You get who you are effectively advertising too. Advertise carte blanche that you will do anything and everything and those are the clients you'll get. Advertise with discounts and specials and that is what clients will expect.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Aug 05, 2013 18:03 |  #22

bespoke wrote in post #16183235 (external link)
I hate Pinterest. Brides expect the Jose Villa California sunset wedding on a cliff look when they're actually getting married in a hockey arena in November

Photoshop is your friend :lol:


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Nathan
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Aug 05, 2013 19:50 |  #23

I just think there's a fair bit of speculation going on here. We don't really know what's in the bride's mind. For all we know, she's been innocently collecting images she likes over the past year and some people here are just chastising her for being over prepared. Once the OP talks with her and sees how adamant (or not) she is about getting exact poses or reenactments of what she's found, then he can decide how best to proceed.


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sspellman
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Aug 05, 2013 20:10 |  #24

Whenever a client makes a substantial change to the requirements, deliverables, or schedule of a shoot-then you need to consult with them and adjust your price. When you match the new requirements to the new price, the customer will actually start to prioritize.

I personally love samples from clients because it is the clearest tool to communicate. However, if the samples deviate substantially from your style, then you need to raise the challenge with your client.


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1000WordsPhotography
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Aug 05, 2013 20:23 |  #25

sydneyshooter wrote in post #16183057 (external link)
People who think the customer is always right and do everything they want without question haven't been in business long or won't be.

There is a big difference between customer service and letting customers run your business and tell you what to do.... especially when it's impossible to start with.
Yeah sure, tell them you can do all the pics on their list... then just wait till they come back and you haven't got them.... Then the fun and litigation will really start.

If anyone thinks that sucking up to these clients and not taking control and setting them straight or just watching them walk out the door was the right thing to do, your opinion is likely to be changed..... for good.

The minute you let them be in control, you have opened a can of worms that will bite you in the arse and take out a chunk making the whole thing something you wish you had never heard of.
Ask me and anyone else who's been down that road how we know.

Memories is spot on as far as I'm concerned. Often confronting people ( in the nicest possible manner) and standing your ground is a fantastic way to win their respect and get the job. The clients will then listen to you and you will run the show. I make it a point to disagree with edding clients on something. It shows I'm not desperate for the work, know what I'm doing and have faith in my work and leaves no doubt to whom is in charge of the deal.
If they want a pussy yes man, well clearly plenty of them around.

You can be a door mat and let them walk all over you which many WILL do as soon as they see they can and get away with it or you can be a real professional and tell them what you know isn't going to work, offer a solution to get them pics they will love and still fit in with the realities of the day. Doing that you demonstrate there is a lot more to the game than pushing a button and nodding your head to every stupid idea and request the potential clients have and you will earn their respect and eliminate a lot of problems in the process.

Lots of shooters will want to argue and dispute that.
At least till they work out much to their dismay that it is true and they wish they had kept control of their business and clients that is.

There is a midpoint, the customer can be right and you can control your business. These are not mutually exclusive things.

Being inflexible and unbending is not the recipe for a successful service based business unless you already have a staunch following.


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1000WordsPhotography
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Aug 05, 2013 20:27 |  #26

sspellman wrote in post #16184132 (external link)
Whenever a client makes a substantial change to the requirements, deliverables, or schedule of a shoot-then you need to consult with them and adjust your price. When you match the new requirements to the new price, the customer will actually start to prioritize.

I personally love samples from clients because it is the clearest tool to communicate. However, if the samples deviate substantially from your style, then you need to raise the challenge with your client.

Spoken like a PM!

If you present the client with a cost for what they want you often find they will make up their own minds about what is really important and modify either their wish list or their budget.


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kryptic4l
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Aug 05, 2013 21:25 |  #27

I'm gonna just speak from the other side of the fence, I don't think most of general public knows much about photographers, and what is realistic to expect from them aside from what they have seen from there friends or social media.

Weddings as far I have seen have always produced unrealistic expectatiations on everything from the cake to the food to the decor. I believe it is the professionals responsibility to educate the client on what is reasonable expectations.

As far as my wedding was concerned I was handed a list of shots we might like and we checked off the most important ones. And I think we had a second list of shots we would like, but Were not guaranteed. And our best and most favourite shots were of candid unplanned moments because they show our true personality, not because they look like like so and so's pictures.

I have one shot from my wedding which is a palm tree making a heart, a year later my buddy got married and has the same shot, I'm sure millions of others are the same, it just feels so generic and boring now.




  
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mkville
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Aug 06, 2013 07:17 |  #28

bespoke wrote in post #16183235 (external link)
I hate Pinterest. Brides expect the Jose Villa California sunset wedding on a cliff look when they're actually getting married in a hockey arena in November

hahaha, awesome spoken like a true Canadian :)


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Aug 06, 2013 08:14 as a reply to  @ mkville's post |  #29

Request from bride = RUN AWAY


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bespoke
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Aug 06, 2013 16:52 |  #30

mkville wrote in post #16185174 (external link)
hahaha, awesome spoken like a true Canadian :)

I was going to say the curling club but I thought my fellow Americans might not understand :D

Ps. We actually have weddings in the local curling club and hockey arena but I've never shot them thankfully. I live in a small town outside of Toronto


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