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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 16 Dec 2013 (Monday) 10:55
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Bride Unhappy with Photos: ADVICE PLEASE

 
KalebA
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Dec 17, 2013 10:13 |  #46

Really intrigued to find out how this gets resolved, should be a good lesson for up and comers on dealing with difficult clients with some clear "what not to do"




  
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Dec 17, 2013 13:18 |  #47

CDI's right on the money there -- phone calls work so much better than e-mails. E-mails can be misread, and often in person or on the phone people are far more reasonable.


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stefesphoto
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Dec 20, 2013 10:14 |  #48

OK, so we have a time set for a meeting tonight to look through the pictures, but that's all that was discussed. We played phone tag for a couple of days and I was finally able to reach her last night. She rushed me off the phone saying she didn't have service, but would like to meet up. I said today would work and that was the end of the conversation.

I feel like I was to have more clarity out there as to what she is expecting from this meeting (other than showing me what she doesn't like with the photos) and what I'm willing to do.

Should I call her back and go over these things prior to meeting her, so there are no surprises or just wait until we meet? I just don't want her coming in to the meeting thinking she is going to show me every little thing she dislikes about the images and thinking I'm going to re-edit all of them accordingly... or even thinking she's going to get a refund.

I'm sorry, I know I'm asking for step-by-step instructions here, but this has been EXTREMELY difficult for me. Like, way more difficult than it should be, I know. I am just not good at or experienced in dealing with upset clients.

Thanks again, everyone.




  
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stefesphoto
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Dec 20, 2013 10:24 |  #49

Also, one of my reasons for wanting to come to somewhat of a mutual agreement beforehand is so I can have a contract of some sort typed up for her to sign at the meeting... so I do not have to meet with her again and so we can continue to move forward as quickly as possible.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 20, 2013 10:29 |  #50

You arent going to get any more clarity until you meet with the client. Trying to force more information out of her prior to meeting her is just going to make her more annoyed than she seems to be already. There really is nothing more too it than her explaining what she doesnt like, and you deciding how to make it right if you think you need to. So stop overthinking it. Just review the images you sent her, view them with a critical eye so that when she shows them to you they are fresh in your mind. Be honest with yourself, and dont be defensive to the point of self delusion, about where any problems might lie. Then go into the meeting and be pleasant and do your best to be open, drawing a hard line just makes this more confrontational that it needs to be. Keep in mind that in your previous emails you can easily mistake a particularly wording as having an inflection that might not be there. Even if her previous communcations were harsh its easier to be a keyboard tough guy than it is to be nasty face to face.

And lastly, at the risk of sounding like a sexist pig, "dont be a girl" about this. Its a transaction, not a social interaction. You want to make her satisfied with her purchase, but you dont have to make her your friend. In my experience men seek agreement, women seek consensus, its a subtle but important distinction sometimes. You are unlikely to completely soothe her ruffled feathers, especially if she has a meddling wedding coordinator egging her on, but you can make her come to see that she got her money's worth provided that you did a good job. As others have said it would be nice to see your portfolio and the wedding in question to see that you did the job up to your own standards, perhaps we could help mount a better defense. Good luck, but dont wreck yourself over every little thing until you've actually met with the client.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 20, 2013 10:30 |  #51

stefesphoto wrote in post #16542323 (external link)
Also, one of my reasons for wanting to come to somewhat of a mutual agreement beforehand is so I can have a contract of some sort typed up for her to sign at the meeting... so I do not have to meet with her again and so we can continue to move forward as quickly as possible.

You cant come up with a contract when you dont know her actual complaints




  
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nathancarter
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Dec 20, 2013 11:15 |  #52

gonzogolf wrote in post #16542335 (external link)
Its a transaction, not a social interaction. You want to make her satisfied with her purchase, but you dont have to make her your friend.

Great advice. Keep this in mind the whole time.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Dec 20, 2013 11:25 |  #53

What I find odd is this lady has all these complaints but doesn't seem to want to do much more than complain about them. Yes, I agree email isn't the best way to deal with this but not responding to emails and playing phone tag seems a little off. When I have an issue with something, especially something as important as wedding photos, I would be calling the photographer myself, not waiting for the photographer to contact me. From my prior experiences, it seems like this lady is trying to scam the OP.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 20, 2013 11:32 |  #54

the flying moose wrote in post #16542462 (external link)
What I find odd is this lady has all these complaints but doesn't seem to want to do much more than complain about them. Yes, I agree email isn't the best way to deal with this but not responding to emails and playing phone tag seems a little off. When I have an issue with something, especially something as important as wedding photos, I would be calling the photographer myself, not waiting for the photographer to contact me. From my prior experiences, it seems like this lady is trying to scam the OP.

Given how detached the bride was from the process, had the wedding coordinator handle most of the important parts, its not surprising that she is placing a low priority on the whole process. I think its a leap to jump straight to the assumption there is a scam here. The OP had her own delays in the process and if I remember correctly the bride asked to get together after the new year which seems reasonable given how busy life can be around the holidays. The OP has a sense of dread and wants to clear the problem, the bride has a complaint, but less at stake here.




  
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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Dec 20, 2013 12:12 |  #55

gonzogolf wrote in post #16542480 (external link)
Given how detached the bride was from the process, had the wedding coordinator handle most of the important parts, its not surprising that she is placing a low priority on the whole process. I think its a leap to jump straight to the assumption there is a scam here. The OP had her own delays in the process and if I remember correctly the bride asked to get together after the new year which seems reasonable given how busy life can be around the holidays. The OP has a sense of dread and wants to clear the problem, the bride has a complaint, but less at stake here.

I agree about the holidays part but the wedding was in October and the OP posted about this for the first time well over a month ago. I just don't get why, in mid November, the bride who was "so unhappy" would want to leave something like this into the New Year.




  
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Dec 20, 2013 12:21 as a reply to  @ post 16532798 |  #56

If I remember correctly the OP was about to deliver a baby, so having a few weeks off was reasonable in this case.


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gonzogolf
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Dec 20, 2013 12:34 |  #57

the flying moose wrote in post #16542554 (external link)
I agree about the holidays part but the wedding was in October and the OP posted about this for the first time well over a month ago. I just don't get why, in mid November, the bride who was "so unhappy" would want to leave something like this into the New Year.

Yes, the bride gave birth, and there was some delay in providing the edited images. I dont think the OP wants to leave it into the new year or there wouldnt be this many forum threads. But its not like she can force a sitdown with a client who isnt ready. You seem to be assuming a level of discomfort on the part of the client that may not even exist. She isnt happy, but a week or two each way isnt going to change things from her perspective.




  
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Dec 20, 2013 14:30 |  #58

stefesphoto wrote in post #16542302 (external link)
OK, so we have a time set for a meeting tonight to look through the pictures, but that's all that was discussed. We played phone tag for a couple of days and I was finally able to reach her last night. She rushed me off the phone saying she didn't have service, but would like to meet up. I said today would work and that was the end of the conversation.

I feel like I was to have more clarity out there as to what she is expecting from this meeting (other than showing me what she doesn't like with the photos) and what I'm willing to do.

Should I call her back and go over these things prior to meeting her, so there are no surprises or just wait until we meet? I just don't want her coming in to the meeting thinking she is going to show me every little thing she dislikes about the images and thinking I'm going to re-edit all of them accordingly... or even thinking she's going to get a refund.

I'm sorry, I know I'm asking for step-by-step instructions here, but this has been EXTREMELY difficult for me. Like, way more difficult than it should be, I know. I am just not good at or experienced in dealing with upset clients.

Thanks again, everyone.

I would take a notebook and let her nitpick the living sh*t out of the images no matter how long the night dragged on.

Better to know EVERYTHING that has her head up over the photos than only hear what you want to hear or are okay with hearing. Maybe you can fix ALL of it in Photoshop with a more discerning eye.


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stefesphoto
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Dec 20, 2013 14:41 |  #59

I actually told her I'd like to get it taken care of before my baby came and asked when a good time to call her would be. Then I didn't hear anything back from her for three weeks.

I now realize that I should have called her right away.

So, now... we're back in contact. We spoke over the phone last night and had a meeting set up for tonight. I just received a text from her telling me a family member had been sent to the hospital and she has to reschedule and will be getting a hold of me this weekend. So, yeah...

Thanks for all of the additional advice, as well.




  
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amccomis
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Dec 20, 2013 14:45 |  #60

Stef

I'm not sure if you've stated what your legal obligation is -- in terms of what was in the original contract. If you don't have one, this could be bad. If you have a bad one, it could be even worse.

But: VERY IMPORTANT -- What you want to take to your meeting later is considered a RELEASE. Not a contract. Spend the $15 and hit Legal Zoom right now to get the template. Do this RIGHT NOW.

https://www.legalzoom.​com …ement-and-release-general (external link)

From that page: A LegalZoom Termination and Release Agreement gives you:
Protection: Prevent future misunderstandings and disputes by providing a definitive end to the parties' commitments to one another.


And, there's a section that allows you to enter what the "consideration" is for the agreement being entered into. Usually consideration can say "in consideration of the sum of $1, the parties agree..." or there are other ways. Read up.

Also -- QUESTION -- has the bride put up the pictures on Facebook and gotten any "Likes" on the images? That would be something to screen print and hold onto.

You can then say "Look here-- you posted the pictures on FB and got 250 likes!"

I'm not a lawyer, but have been down this road before.


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Bride Unhappy with Photos: ADVICE PLEASE
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