Before starting my photography business, I spent years as a communications professional, so writing letters and providing talking points is second nature to me. Because of this, I receive regular requests from photographer friends, usually starting with, “I cannot believe this client, what do I SAY to her?” From that, one of my dear friends dubbed me “Miss Communication” (pun intended), and the name has stuck!
My “Miss Communication” persona has had the opportunity to help photographers respond calmly, gracefully and courteously to
- the portrait client who wanted a (free) reshoot for her children YEARS later
- the size four bride who wanted her “back fat” removed from every wedding image
- the bride who liked only one smile on her face in all wedding images, and wanted it transplanted into all of her other wedding images
- the portrait client who handed out goldfish and chocolate to her three darlings at the beginning of the portrait session, and then wanted all traces of the offending snacks removed via free retouching
- the wedding client who sent a list of 368 album changes
- the bride who hated her wedding flowers and wanted them changed out in the photos
- the bride who wanted to fire her photographer before the wedding for not being friendly and accessible enough and at the same time not being professional enough
- the newborn client who demanded a reshoot because her baby wouldn’t sleep the first time
While this all sounds like side-splitting material for the big screen, handling these and so many other scenarios can be regular items on the to-do list for the wedding and portrait photographer.
We work in a service-based business, we offer a luxury product and our clients have high expectations of our deliverables and our customer service. Even when a client email message brings out a groan or a giggle, we need to respond as if it truly matters to us, because of course, it does.
So tomorrow, when I launch The Wedding Photographer’s Inbox Solution, you’ll have more than 75 examples of responding to your clients with grace and courtesy. But, I’d love to keep the conversation going here, too–I’m inviting you to send me your “Dear Miss Communication” letters, and I’ll be glad to answer some here on the blog (with details changed to protect your client’s privacy, of course.)