Well, you are not alone.. This happens to literally everyone at some point in their career. Pinky promise! And you’re going to get through it. There are so many factors that go into a wedding day that there is just going to come a point where people don’t like your photos. I know it can be such an isolating feeling when this happens, leaving you wondering how to handle it with grace and professionalism.
But don’t worry my loves, I’m here to share and explore three different scenarios of dissatisfied clients and the valuable lessons they taught us (and how to overcome it!). Remember, no matter how tough the situation may be, there’s always something to learn and ways to grow from it. Let’s dive in!
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Undoubtedly, this is one of the most challenging scenarios to face as a wedding photographer. We’re only human, and sometimes, despite our best intentions, we may fall short. I remember this one time early in my career, I had a couple who weren’t entirely satisfied with their wedding photos. Looking back, I realized that I hadn’t prepared enough and communicated effectively with them about their preferences, which led to a mismatch in what they expected and what I delivered.
And you know what? Instead of beating yourself up, know that it’s totally okay to make mistakes! The key here is to own up to it, maintain open and honest communication, and fix the problem. When a client expresses disappointment, approach them with a sincere desire to make things right. In my case, I offered to re-shoot their bridal portraits, taking into account their specific preferences and style. You need to be willing to make sure that your clients are happy because I promise you that bad word of mouth is going to end your business sooner than taking a couple of hours out of your day to do a redo shoot ever will. Remember, these clients are not just numbers; they’re people trusting us with capturing one of the most important days of their lives.
This situation taught me the importance of conducting thorough pre-wedding conversations, ensuring that both the clients and I are on the same page about my style and their expectations. If you’re unsure where to start, no worries I got you!
Grab our free 9-page wedding questionnaire to send to your couples – this questionnaire will help you gather essential information about the couple’s preferences, important moments, and cultural nuances, allowing you to tailor your photography approach to their unique vision AND set a clear communication between both parties!
Ever had a client who set expectations that were, well, a tad unrealistic? I’ve been there too, trust me..
Dealing with clients who have unrealistic expectations can be a challenging aspect of our profession, but it’s crucial to approach such situations with care and and attentive listening. Offering reasonable solutions is important, but it’s also essential to protect your artistic integrity and your business.
It’s so important for photographers to know that at the end of the day, if you have completed your contract, you are not obligated to go beyond what was agreed upon. Especially if you start nearing the territory where you think your clients are never going to be happy, then it’s essential to set boundaries and be honest about what can and cannot be changed! Always remember that you have the right to stand up for yourself and your work!
In our line of work, we sometimes encounter clients who are just impossible to please, regardless of how much effort we put in, making the job more challenging. Among these experiences, there was one that stood out as particularly difficult.
The couple I worked with had specific insecurities, leading to dissatisfaction with their photos despite multiple re-edits. Recognizing that I couldn’t meet their expectations, I made the tough decision to end the contract, provide a refund, and assist them in finding a more suitable photographer. Unfortunately, the situation escalated on social media, resulting in unwarranted criticism. It was a complete nightmare..
But I’m here to remind you that even in the most difficult situations, it’s essential to stand your ground and know when it’s best to part ways amicably. Trust in your skills and don’t let one bad experience define your career. Come to terms with it, let it go, and keep moving forward (because life always moves forward)! The biggest takeaway from this is to add a defamation clause to your contract and focus on honing in on your ideal clients!
And I’ve certainly gained valuable insights from each encounter – client number one taught me the importance of conducting thorough pre-wedding conversations, ensuring that both the clients and I are on the same page about my style and their expectations. From client number two, I learned the art of navigating re-edits and addressing dissatisfaction gracefully, always striving to find solutions that leave clients happy but also standing up for myself and my business. As for client number three, their challenging behavior made me realize the significance of honing in on my ideal client and communicating clearly to ensure a good fit from the beginning.
As photographers, we have a duty to ensure that our clients have a positive and joyful experience during their wedding journey. While you can’t please everyone, you can strive to provide your best work and genuine care for your clients. Remember, no matter how difficult a situation may be, there’s always a valuable lesson to learn and an opportunity to improve. Embrace these challenges, grow from them, and continue to create art that celebrates love and life.
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I’M EDEN - A DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TURNED BUSINESS COACH, NOW LEADING CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS IN BUILDING A LIFE OF ARTISTIC GROWTH, WEALTH, AND FREEDOM.
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