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  1. #11
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    Quote Originally Posted by STM View Post
    I see both sides of the argument here but honestly, if that is what the customer, and in your case a friend, wants, then oblige them, what is it going to hurt?
    No. In the future, he may be approached by clients who want photography of hairy men wearing Speedos, are you saying he should oblige them as well? Or perhaps a client who wants children in sexual positions. This is a reputation business, and if you produce crap you're going to have a reputation of producing crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by STM View Post
    This prospective client has something very important called FRIENDS. A very basic business rule of thumb states that good word of mouth reaches 3 people, but bad reaches 9. So do the math for yourself. A happy client tells their friends how much they loved and were impressed by your work, and maybe their friends will be convinced to let you shoot them too.
    Again, no. Your math is right, but your logic is flawed. The entire theme of doing a 1970's Olan Mills style shoot is ridiculous. It will certainly spread via word of mouth, but not in a good way for the photographer.

    Quote Originally Posted by STM View Post
    If you have any aspirations toward making money with your photography, you have to always keep this in mind. I say swallow your pride and do the shoot.
    A huge, resounding NO. We're not prostitutes...even they standards. This isn't about doing whatever the client wants just because they're waving a fistful of dollars in our face. If you take that approach to this business, you're not going to be around very long. There are certain trends that people are looking for. They mark the times. Clients are counting on, and ultimately paying for, your expertise. They are paying you because you can make them look good.

    No client EVER hires a photographer who will make them look bad in their photos, which is exactly what this would do.


    See More: How to tell a client no...
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  2. #12
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    I agree totally with Browncoat. Better to lose a friend AND a customer than your reputation as a serious professional photographer. And even if you weren't a professional, why would you want to produce crap? No, this sounds like a woman that likes to get her own way all the time. She's telling YOU how to do YOUR job. And no...NEVER show all your shots to a client! Just show them the good ones.

    Be persuasive enough to show her the error of her ways. You'll be better off in the long run.
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  3. #13
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/8069/how-to-sell-your-soul-to-the-devil/

    HOW TO SELL YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL

    By Marge Floori on May 5, 2009









    710 Votes


    You can have power, wealth, an attractive mate and virtually anything else you ever dreamed of – by selling your soul to Satan! But how?


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  4. #14
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    Solid advice in here already. If this is a GOOD friend, you should be able to use the advice above and simply state that is not the type of photography you do and take yourself out of the deal.

    A real friend will understand
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  5. #15
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    In an unrelated field I used to free-lance in we call these people, "undesirable clients" and they tend to be bottomless drains of time and creative energy/impetus. The refrain you need to learn is, "I appreciate your interest, however, that's not really the type of work I do."

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  6. #16
    STM
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    Quote Originally Posted by Browncoat View Post
    No. In the future, he may be approached by clients who want photography of hairy men wearing Speedos, are you saying he should oblige them as well? Or perhaps a client who wants children in sexual positions. This is a reputation business, and if you produce crap you're going to have a reputation of producing crap.

    Again, no. Your math is right, but your logic is flawed. The entire theme of doing a 1970's Olan Mills style shoot is ridiculous. It will certainly spread via word of mouth, but not in a good way for the photographer.



    A huge, resounding NO. We're not prostitutes...even they standards. This isn't about doing whatever the client wants just because they're waving a fistful of dollars in our face. If you take that approach to this business, you're not going to be around very long. There are certain trends that people are looking for. They mark the times. Clients are counting on, and ultimately paying for, your expertise. They are paying you because you can make them look good.

    No client EVER hires a photographer who will make them look bad in their photos, which is exactly what this would do.
    Nowhere in my post did I say he has to make a habit of doing this kind of photography. This would most likely be a one-off shoot. Most people do NOT like this kind of photography because it is dated. I am well aware of reputations, I have been doing portraiture for over 25 years, longer than quite a few people on here have been doing any kind of photography. And I agree that the Olan Mills stuff was for the most part cookie cutter crap. But we have available to us now things that could not be done either easily or at all in the darkroom so the quality and innovativeness of work today can far surpass that old stuff. And neither my math nor logic is flawed, for reasons I have already stated. And your example of children in sexual positions is the ridiculous one. That crosses both ethical and legal lines
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  7. #17
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    Since you asked for help in saying no, it is obvious you don't want to create the end result. Did you know what the client wanted before you took your photos? In any case, why not try to help the client/friend get what she wants even if you aren't the one who does all the work?

    This is what I'd do: I'd tell the client that photos are copyrighted and I won't infringe on someone else's copyrights. Plus creating this type of final result isn't something I do. HOWEVER, I'd be happy to photograph the people, supply the photos, and direct the client/friend to a web site that specializes in creating this type of project.

    Here is one I found but I'm sure there must be many more.

    Photo Montage | Arnold Creative Services

    If you accepted the task knowing ahead of time what the client/friend wanted, then perhaps you SHOULD follow through with it. No one wants to hire a photographer who can't deliver the goods.... That would REALLY affect your reputation far more than you following through with everything yourself.
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  8. #18
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    Thanks for all the advice! I ended up sending her proofs of the type of collage she asked for, but I explained that I didn't think they looked very good. (I may or may not have used the term "disembodied heads"...) I also told her that this type of collage is usually better suited to studio photography rather than outdoor photography, in lieu of telling her that it's just plain out of style (and slightly hideous). I told her that a more modern approach to photo collages is to develop each print separately, perhaps on canvas or wood, and then hang them together in her home.
    I just heard back from her and she agrees that they look like floating heads and asked for me to recommend some other options for her. Hooray!
    Also, there are several references in this thread to me as a "he," but I'm a "she." You know what happens when you assume...
    Last edited by JJewell; 10-11-2013 at 08:59 PM.

  9. #19
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    Re: How to tell a client no...

    JJewell....you're a "she". Well that's nice to know. It's hard to tell from here, seeing as there isn't a pic of you in your profile.

    I'm glad to hear that your problem with this woman was resolved without a lot of screaming and whining from her. You've made her see the error of her unreasonable wants. Good for you!
    JJewell and Browncoat like this.
    Jack

    We guarantee quick answers....no matter how long it takes!

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