Hiya, all you Monday Lubbers! (Just kidding on the Monday lovers part. My audience would disintegrate exponentially if it were made up of people who loved Mondays.) Howd'ya like that pun? I wanted to lighten the mood a bit before the post that might not be so fun.
Last week I did a little Instagram feature on some tips for a photoshoot that starts to go downhill. I covered some response options for a situation when you have an upset client OR the photoshoot doesn't go as planned to the dual notation of everyone present..
Situation 1: Photographers. Things can go wrong. We get that. Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate. Or perhaps someone in the bridal party gets hit with an unexpected illness. Maybe the children of the family you are photographing fall out with a tantrum and absolutely DO NOT comply....and the shoot is quickly becoming less appealing by the second. Those things are possible- rare- but possible. two options are:
Offer to keep shooting. If you are not booked to the brim or have another shoot right after that one, offer to extend the shoot time and try something different. Most clients would be okay with this and if not, due to a busy schedule on their part, offer a discount or reschedule. It says a lot if you're willing to go the distance.
Encourage the client post-shoot with a note or small gift. It is possible that a client feels bad and perceives that they are wasting your time when something like the aforementioned situations occurs. Encourage them by delivering a small token of thought with their images. You could even offer a discount off their next photoshoot with you. A small token of encouragement can go a long way. :)
Situation #2: You messed up. All your batteries died in the middle of the shoot/wedding. You had to sacrifice CF card space because you filled them all up. You got sick and absolutely could not finish the shoot and your backup photographer was out of the picture. You arrive late. Your camera breaks in the middle of the shoot. All these situations have one thing in common: the responsibility/blame is yours. What's a 'tog to do?
At this point, I strongly suggest you have a contract in place. It is a safety net for you should any of these things happen. I have a no-refund policy in my contract that states a refund is made under my sole discretion. I have backup photographers, cameras, and plans should any of these situations threaten to ruin your shoot/wedding. After all, being a real, great photographer is about the client...not you making money.
Exercise owner/contractor rights to refund the client should you so decide. I am not opposed to recognizing that in some situations, the best rectifier is just to issue a refund.
Offer more time in the form of an extension or reschedule. Again, this is another option and should be made at your sole discretion as the photographer. It's okay to extend a shoot or reschedule. It shows you mean business in the way of pleasing your clients!
The bottom line here is that as the photographer, you are set to do your best to serve and honor your clients as well as hold true to your rights and services as well. I believe in going above and beyond for my clients so they have a memorable experience as well as unforgettable, cherish-able images. If you'd like to see the spontaneous video version of this content, click below! What are your thoughts on this topic?
Enjoy your Monday!