You’re fired! What to say when the couple wants to break up with you before the wedding

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Every once in a while, it happens. The couple who loved you at booking has a change of heart. Maybe a parent is pressuring them to choose a more traditional photographer. Maybe your personalities didn’t click at the engagement session. Maybe they hated their images. Maybe you never met half of the partnership, and one of the partners doesn’t like your style.

Regardless, now they want to cancel their contract, and you want to be sure this is what they want, because if they do cancel, they likely lose their deposit (or retainer, depending on which term your lawyer advises). The situation is BEYOND awkward, and while you might not be sorry to see them go if they are this conflicted, you still want to provide the best customer service you can as they wrestle with this difficult decision.

What’s a photographer to say? Here’s a real-life example of a custom letter for a Pencil & Lens client. Identifying scenarios have been omitted here, but this sample will give you a sense of the language to start with as they work through their decision to cancel the contract or not.

You're fired! What to say when the couple wants to break up with you before the wedding

Photo by alphaspirit/iStock / Getty Images

Hi CLIENT,

I wanted to write immediately after we spoke on DATE, but decided to give you some time to think after our call, since you have some important things on your mind regarding your experience working with me to date.

As I said in our call, I am absolutely (PICK WORD HERE THAT REFLECTS THE TONE OF YOUR CONVERSATION OR CORRESPONDENCE) heartbroken, because my relationships with my clients are my favorite part of this career I’ve chosen. I know there would be simpler ways to make a living, but there is nothing that feeds me and my creative spirit like getting to truly know and love the clients I work for in wedding photography.

I want you to understand that you and PARTNER are extremely valued to me, and I want to do what I can to make you feel and believe that. My reason for writing today is to see what I can do to make your experience everything that you hoped it would be when you first chose me.

As I mentioned on the call, I’d be glad to do another shoot for you for your engagement session so you have exactly what you were hoping for in those all-important images. I’d want us to have a very specific conversation about what you didn’t like about your images, so that if there is something in my control, I can make appropriate changes. I do love your images, so I would need your input to talk about a different direction (location? clothing style?) to make them work perfectly for you two.

I know you are uncomfortable with SOMETHING SPECIFIC THAT YOUR CLIENT SHARED ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE. As my client, I am concerned about you, your needs, your priorities and your feelings. Your confidence in me is paramount as we work together, and I’d like to do what I can to create a more client-centered experience for you and PARTNER.

I appreciate the constructive feedback more than you know, and I will be sure to let that guide me in future client correspondence. And, I hope most of all that you feel comfortable, confident and happy in reaching out to me with questions and concerns as we move forward, regardless of your final decision.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.
All my best,
PHOTOGRAPHER

Was this a helpful scenario for you? You’ll find this one and more than 74 other helpful scenarios and email templates in our Wedding Photographer’s Inbox Solution, available in the store at Pencil & Lens!

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