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Thread started 19 Oct 2016 (Wednesday) 17:39
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How do you manage a pushy client?

 
atsilverstein
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Oct 19, 2016 17:39 |  #1

This was my first corporate client and I also this person. I'm just curious as to what is considered being flexible for someone you know (and knowing you is the reason for why they contacted you) and standing your ground with your process. Do you treat every client the same or do you bend a little to avoid potentially ruining a relationship because you already know them? For example, if you say, I will give you the 5 best unedited for you to choose one for me to edit, but they say, No I want all the photos from the session.

I definitely don't mind working with a client to get them the end product they (and I) are happy with, but I definitely don't want to be walked all over either.

Thoughts?


It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
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joedlh
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Oct 19, 2016 17:49 |  #2

This sort of thing is best worked out before the shoot and set in stone in a contract. I've done shoots for friends without a contract. But there was a clear understanding of what was to be delivered. Nobody asked for more.

Generally when I hear that a client wants "all" the photos, I take it that they were not happy with the result. They have this idea that the photographer is holding something back. It's a gross misunderstanding of what motivates a photographer. We want to show our best stuff. Holding back is for car salesmen offering options.


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atsilverstein
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Oct 19, 2016 17:58 |  #3

joedlh wrote in post #18161470 (external link)
This sort of thing is best worked out before the shoot and set in stone in a contract. I've done shoots for friends without a contract. But there was a clear understanding of what was to be delivered. Nobody asked for more.

Generally when I hear that a client wants "all" the photos, I take it that they were not happy with the result. They have this idea that the photographer is holding something back. It's a gross misunderstanding of what motivates a photographer. We want to show our best stuff. Holding back is for car salesmen offering options.

Yes, lesson learned about a contract, even with a friend. In my previous career I was a dog groomer, and so I learned about how my name is "attached" to every dog. In that light, not only is it a good idea to always put in a full effort, but to also guide a client where they have a look I might not want my name associated with. It could be cool to make a mohawk if that's what they want, but not so much if they wanted their golden retriever in a cocker clip (shaved back and neck). So I don't want to let the client choose whatever they want because they could pick a photo that is not flattering and not what I would want out there.


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Scott ­ Spellman
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Oct 22, 2016 09:26 |  #4

atsilverstein wrote in post #18161476 (external link)
Yes, lesson learned about a contract, even with a friend. In my previous career I was a dog groomer, and so I learned about how my name is "attached" to every dog. In that light, not only is it a good idea to always put in a full effort, but to also guide a client where they have a look I might not want my name associated with. It could be cool to make a mohawk if that's what they want, but not so much if they wanted their golden retriever in a cocker clip (shaved back and neck). So I don't want to let the client choose whatever they want because they could pick a photo that is not flattering and not what I would want out there.

Since the client is hiring you to get a specific result, you can only make them happy if you let them pick their favorites. Commercial/corporate work is not about your art-its about executing the clients' vision. If you don't get this, maybe commercial photography is not for you.

The client is not "pushy" they are goal oriented. You should quote your price based on their requirements. If the requirements change, then quote another price.




  
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Capn ­ Jack
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Oct 22, 2016 12:18 |  #5

Corporate client? I don't have enough information to provide reasonable advice.

Sometimes, art and beauty is second to clarity. For example, when making a manual, an image that may not be the best image to look upon is chosen because it shows something in the image clearly. They may want all of the images so they can see what they need for their application.




  
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kjonnnn
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Oct 22, 2016 12:39 |  #6

Its on you to be firm. Just say, "Sorry, but its my policy that the client doesnt get all of the images." Stand firm on that. If you want to leave yourself wiggle room say, "Sorry, Its my policy to not give all of the images, but you want all of them, my services will cost more.".

Frankly, I'd just stick to you dont give out all the images under any circumstance. There is no reason you have to explain.

If is a steadfast belief of yourself, let them take or leave it.




  
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Alveric. (6 edits in all)
     
Oct 22, 2016 12:54 |  #7

I'm with Scott Spellman on this one, so I won't repeat in my own words what he said.

However, I don't know why you are reluctant to give the client the other images. And this is something you need to explain to him.

In my case, I simply tell them that my package conditions are so and so, or that the contract specifies so and so and I don't take kindly to scope creep. Scope creep is a no-no, simply because it requires more work.

Many clients have this notion that all we have to do is click a button. Thus, when we're reluctant to shoot more they think we're lazy or that we want to nickel-and-dime them. They fail to see, or choose to ignore, many times that each shot requires preparation: this is all the more true with commercial shots, which are mostly staged and require careful placement of subjects, lights, and fine tuning of big and small details. We have to explain all this to them and sometimes it's not easy, and some still remain upset even when they can't deny the evidence.

Same thing goes with post-production. I tell the clients that my rate includes minor retouching of only a number of images, and because retouching takes time, any major retouching of a final image, or additional images with minor retouching will cost extra. This is clearly spelled in my communications under Terms & Conditions. Again, some will still remain upset: so let them. It is what it is. If we were to a car dealership and asked for an extra car just because we're buying their flagship SUV, they wouldn't give it to us, would they? So why should you?

Do note, however, that at length my reasoning behind my actions relates to work (fairness) and the client's interests (good service); MY personal image factors very little –if at all– into all that. If I were to tell a client that I don't want to give him his favourite photo from the shoot because it is not 'consistent with my branding', or 'doesn't really shew "my style" ', or that it plainly makes me look bad, he'll conclude that I'm a self-conceited egoist and he will have a genuine and perfectly justifiable reason to be upset.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Left Handed Brisket. (2 edits in all)
     
Oct 22, 2016 13:23 |  #8

Expecting all of the photos is just as rediculous as sticking to a policy of providing only five.

Without knowing the context it's hard to provide advice, but if the client can give a very specific reason they need all the files I MIGHT give them all the files. It would have to be very unique situation, one that I have never come across as either a buyer or provider of commercial photography services.

Likewise if you can't provide a specific reason to give them only five, maybe your policy is flawed? Sounds like you need to sit down and get a better understanding of what they NEED and then tell them how you can meet their needs, or possibly not meet their needs.


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Oct 22, 2016 13:42 |  #9

People will more readily accept a "No" if it comes with at least one reason that makes sense to them. Just saying "My limit is 5" sounds arbitrary. It's better to say that the agreed-on fee covers a fixed amount of work, as was suggested, or that some photos will be duplicates where you were progressively adjusting the settings and lighting.


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atsilverstein
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Oct 22, 2016 13:50 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #10

It was for one group photo for their website and to mail out to existing clients of theirs. I did some research as to what other photographers do in my area and honestly there seems to be a huge range, so not much that I could call a starting point. I agree I'll have to sit down and hammer out a better arrangement. I am not against working with clients needs hence I agreed to give her "all" the photos (which I told her I eliminated the unsuitable ones first like people blinking, scratching nose, looking down etc. I just was thinking to help the client by streamlining the process. 5 very good choices for one selection seemed reasonable to me, plus I do want to put a value to my time. This was done same day she requested that I come the day she contacted me, so I had to scramble to collect all my studio things together and drive to her location.

BTW the photo came out well and the client was happy with it.


It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- William Ernest Henley

  
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Scott ­ Spellman
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Oct 22, 2016 16:04 |  #11

atsilverstein wrote in post #18163928 (external link)
It was for one group photo for their website and to mail out to existing clients of theirs. I did some research as to what other photographers do in my area and honestly there seems to be a huge range, so not much that I could call a starting point. I agree I'll have to sit down and hammer out a better arrangement. I am not against working with clients needs hence I agreed to give her "all" the photos (which I told her I eliminated the unsuitable ones first like people blinking, scratching nose, looking down etc. I just was thinking to help the client by streamlining the process. 5 very good choices for one selection seemed reasonable to me, plus I do want to put a value to my time. This was done same day she requested that I come the day she contacted me, so I had to scramble to collect all my studio things together and drive to her location.

BTW the photo came out well and the client was happy with it.

It is important to guide to the client towards good choices by picking your top 5 or 10-whaterver was agreed. This improves the client efficiency and shows your skills towards helping them with the best result. After that, you can provide them with a Dropbox, Smugmug, or Zenfolio for delivery of the rest of the images for the client to select a few more for final editing.




  
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texkam
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Oct 23, 2016 23:56 |  #12

There is a difference between making pictures and capturing images. Clients need to be made aware of the difference. Quotes should be submitted accordingly.




  
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How do you manage a pushy client?
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