As long as there have been photographers, there have been those clients, mostly women, who keep asking for MORE!  If you are taking a family portrait session and have agreed to do a certain number of groups for the sitting fee, she is the lady that comes up and says, “well we have these other family grouping we would like you to take!”   If you do seniors and your sessions come with a certain number of clothing changes, you will hear, “but she really wanted to be photographed in these other two tops!” And of course you really find them at weddings, where most women over the age of 35 become a wanta`be wedding coordinator, explaining how you should do more family grouping, stay when your time has ended and general see if they can milk just a few more images out of you before you leave.

In all of these scenarios, the woman/person that wants you to take more images, is most often not the one paying for the images and seldom do these extra photos result in extra sales.  You simply get a, “oh those are so cute, I am so glad you took them!”  I wish we could take all of these people who ask for more photos to be taken than they have paid for, put them together and have them go in to their job on their day off and not get paid for it and then when they complained, we simply say, “you are a school teacher, don’t you love your job soo much you would do it even if you didn’t get paid for it?”  And when she said, “that is ridiculous….that is the craziest thing I have ever heard, working and not getting paid for it!”  Then we could respond, “now you know how I feel, so shut the hell up!”  That was humor, we don’t talk that way to potential clients, although sometimes we would like to!

The two simplest way to handle the woman who always wants more is to hit them right in the pocket-book.  I have learned you never say no to a client, you simply set a fee for everything they might want and let them decide how much they want it.  When you are photographing a family of 75 people and one of the distant cousins yells out, “now let’s do each family…we have a newborn!”  you can simply say, “we can do that…. each additional grouping will be $50, $150, whatever!”  The same thing with seniors.  When a mother or sister tries to get another outfit, we have a price for additional clothing changes added on before the images are taken and additional clothing change and images taken if they mention it after the session is over.  If I still did weddings I would post and additional services price list on my back, just so everyone would know before they ask!

The idea here is to not be nasty, (which most photographers get when they don’t plan for these people), or nickel and dime your client to death.  You get an idea of what your client wants, you give a price for the session, wedding etc.  If it is a really good client that has spent a considerable amount of money, I will always do a little extra for them and I don’t mind a bit.  However, when someone is out to see how much they can get for free or when someone who isn’t paying the bills is fishing, I know how much I charge for each additional service and I am happy to take the credit card at a moments notice!

A few more things about dealing with these types of situations, the more professional you are and the more specific you are up front, the less these types of situations happen.  When I do a family, knowing that someone in a large group will bring it up, I (well actually my staff) will explain about the cost of extra family groupings when the appointment is made and they can only be done if time is permitted.  When there is a price put on what people might want and they know it isn’t free, that woman/client that always wants more will most often not ask!


~ by jeffsmithbooks on April 20, 2011.

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