What the scammers should really be writing to photographers when they text us to photograph their family reunion and pay by credit card

WhattheScammers-wide

If you haven’t received it yet, you will—and maybe even 40 more times. You know, “I’d like to see what your availability is to photograph my family reunion some time next month, and, by the way, do you take credit cards?”

It’s the photography world’s version of helping the Nigerian prince move his $10 million fortune into your bank account.  I’ve seen brilliant replies from photographers everywhere, saying they’ve reported the scammer to the FBI, or they’ve messaged the scammer back saying they’ve been subscribed to “Fun Fish Facts” every hour via text or just general messing with them. Most photographers I know have a pretty amazing sense of humor, so I don’t think photographers need any help writing a response to the text scammers.

But every photographer out there knows they could write a better scam letter than the ones they are getting—(WHO PLANS AN EVENT AROUND THE AVAILABILITY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER?) so here’s a P&L freebie for all you scammers out there. Photographers, refer back to this page in case you start getting believable scam messages!

Dear PHOTOGRAPHER,

(Hint: Use our names. We know you know our name, because you went to our website and got our phone number.)

I saw your RECENT BLOG POST with the wedding at LOCATION, and I just love your work.

(SCAMMERS: I know it feels like a lot of work to personalize this. But guess what? It might work better than what you’ve got going up there!)

I’m getting married (My advice? Skip the family reunion line. We don’t want to photograph your family reunion, because we’re pretty sure you won’t want to pay us what our weekend time is worth.) on PICK A DATE at LOCATION NEAR THIS PARTICULAR PHOTOGRAPHER. BONUS POINTS IF IT IS AN EXPENSIVE OR OTHERWISE DESIRABLE VENUE.

Yes, scammers, we might be booked if you specify a date. But guess what? We know that NO ONE plans an event around the schedule of a photographer they don’t know, especially one that they text without using their name. See where I’m coming from?  If you’re worried that we will be booked on a prime weekend, make your fake wedding date a Tuesday, and explain why!

Yes, I know that’s a Tuesday, but my intended and I are busy (WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS/EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTORS/EVENT PLANNERS/POLICE OFFICERS/RESTAURANT OWNERS) and we have a hard time getting the same weekend day off. Are you available?

Our budget is between $5k-$7K, and we’re hoping you take credit cards, because we’re trying to earn airline miles for the honeymoon! (Go easy on the credit card thing–leading with it hurts our feelings and makes us feel like you don’t really love us, but you just want our gullible selves to take a credit card payment, and run it for more than just our services, since your venue doesn’t take credit cards, right? Ease us into it, romance us, like this.)

If you’re available, would you send me a text back with our next steps? I’m ready to book, and I’d love to know this part of the wedding planning is all set. I can’t really talk on the phone at work, so I’d prefer to keep our communications to text messages, if that works for you. (This is a more plausible explanation of “text only” communication, since we get LOTS of messages from people telling us they are hearing impaired, and, well, that only works once.)

Thank you! Sabrina and Dave

(Sign a first name, or even be cutesy and sign from the couple togetether. Trust us, this is a believeable detail!)

This is a parody and only a parody, written in October, the month in which wedding photographers most need a laugh. I’m not really trying to help the scammers, nor do they read this blog. But just in case, scammers, we’ll still see through this, so you probably shouldn’t REALLY use this letter.

Pencil & Lens

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