How to Deal With Dissatisfied Photo Clients

If you do photography professionally, you are going to eventually have a dissatisfied client. It is something that happens to all of us, and it is not even always your fault. So, what can you do when that happens? This excellent video tutorial offers some helpful advice that will make it easier to handle those difficult situations. 

Coming to you from Beyond Photography, this great video tutorial discusses how to deal with dissatisfied clients. Though you can't avoid every tough client, it is important to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So many situations like these happen because of miscommunications or mismanaged expectations. This is why a strong and clear contract and discussion of expectations and deliverables before the shoot happens or money is exchanged is so important. This generally results in happier clients and a much smoother process for you. On the other hand, even with all the best preparation, there will be times when something goes wrong with the shoot or despite your best efforts, the client simply is not happy with the results. When that happens, it is never a bad idea to try to appease within reason, but on the other hand, do not be afraid to fall back on your contract if the demands are unreasonable. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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7 Comments
John Martin's picture

I owned a larger wedding/portrait stuxio for 12 years. 80 to 100 weddings a year with multiple shooters.
I grew frustrated when digital came on the scene. Clients expected unrealistic miracles. Isuues totally out of our control were blamed on us.
The dress, makeup, the weather, " can you make it look sunny, why not ?" Can you make my hair and boobs look bigger in all of my photos.
Why werent these photos taken ( even though everything started 2 hours late).
Most of the time it simply came down to a client trying to get something for free or a discount . When I shot medium format film we rarely had these ussues.
I guess this was a change in society that has creeped into everyday life. People knowing that the threat of a negative online review can force certain businesses to compensate the client to avoid it.

Gael Toussaint's picture

I've learned to decline jobs ahead of time... sometimes there are signs. Love doing mini sessions to get an idea of how they will be during and after the wedding day.

John Martin's picture

So you dont earn your main income from photography ? Nice to have that side gig.

Gael Toussaint's picture

Not at the moment, but always nice to have a skill to fall back on.

Weston Edwards's picture

Good concise video. Reminds me of a boss I once had who told us "You will NEVER win an argument with a customer."

Morgan Dave's picture

Had a bridezilla wave off at least a third of the pre planned photos as she was tooo cold/tired/hot/hungry/emotional then question why the gaps? Politely reminded her what exactly happened and she came back with "you should have made me do them, you were in charge". Even her husband laughed at that one.

John Martin's picture

Exactly what rhey do. Shift the blame to you when its not your fault.
"My uncle from the other side of the world couldnt make it. Here's an old photo of him. Can you insert him into all of the family photos. Thanks !"
The digital expectation monster.
Ahh I loved my Hasselblad 500CM with 220 backs and VPS 160.