Dealing With Difficult Photography Clients
As with any small business, there will be difficult customers when you are a photographer. Although most of your customers will be reasonable and honest, there will still be some who are rude and irritating.
Everyone can work well with normal people. That’s no reason to be proud. Your success as a photographer will depend on how you handle unreasonable or ignorant customers.
A good camera is essential.
Customers tend to give the camera more credit than the photographer, even if they like the photos. This is strange because people don’t believe that the hardware can produce great results in photography. Nobody takes a bite out of a tasty cake and proclaims that the baker must have a great oven. Nobody gets life-saving care from a doctor, and everyone applauds his stethoscope.
This is the biggest problem with customers who are struggling to get past this habit. A good camera can only produce amateur quality shots, but it’s not easy to explain. This can be a sign of ignorance or a way to reduce the value of your services. You can’t charge too much, and you could be replaced with a high-end camera!
It is important to be patient when dealing with this customer. It is important to remind them that the camera doesn’t position the lights. They can choose the angle and set the scene, but they don’t have to learn how to pose models for years.
My Nephew/Uncle/Brother-in-law Can Take Better Pictures
This is often an attempt to make you undervalue your services. It is best to call their bluff. Invite them to interview the nephew and ask if you would be interested in the photos. They might try the nephew if the comment is genuine ignorance. They might not bother to try the nephew if the comment is motivated by malice or manipulation.
The Late Payer
Companies and individuals can pay their invoices in three, four, or five months. Unsecured invoices are very expensive and difficult to collect. Late payers can be a double pain: You don’t have money, and you must stop doing productive work or marketing in order to collect what is owed.
There are two things that can help you deal with this customer. Step one, make sure your invoices and contracts include interest and collection fees for customers who don’t pay. The second step is to require payment before final photos are delivered in order to avoid collection.
Even if the option is in your contract, you can’t always win when it comes to the payment before the delivery option. This is why you need the backup collection clause. The exact nature and meaning of the language will depend on the laws of your country. However, if you have laws that do not allow for collection expenses to be recovered, make sure it’s included in your contract.
Small businesses will have to deal with difficult customers. You will need to be patient and have solid contracts in order to deal with them.