Tips on how to handle Difficult Clients as a Photographer
by Eguaogie Eghosa Sep 19, 2021 Views (246)
What should you do if you have a demanding photographic client? “This is how I want things done!”, “This is how I want it to be done! As a working photographer, I'm sure you can relate to or reflect on clients that were tough to work with or who presented difficult situations in your normal routine. Clients will try to instruct you on how to perform your duties (especially those who googled a few things on photography and wanted to display knowledge). They will try to persuade you to sacrifice your professional standards or alter a contract that has already been signed. 

Not to mention the wedding photographer's headaches and the bride's ego! (laughs). Looking back on those events today, they seem quite amusing, but they were not amusing at the time. Photographers are subjected to this stress at some point due to the nature of their work, which requires human engagement, social networking, and feedback. They say that the finest teacher in life is experience.

This is why, in this article, I'll discuss how to cope with problematic clients or how to avoid them altogether. There is no fixed rule, but I can promise you that these are basic guidelines that may be used in almost any situation and yield excellent results.

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Let's get started.

1. Listening
This is probably not what you expected to see. It's probably not fun, but it's one of the most effective methods for dealing with a tough client. This is the viewpoint: make the customer feel at ease and get her to chat.

Listening and demonstrating that you are paying close attention genuinely puts clients at ease. They will be less combative and belligerent. It does not fully eliminate conflicts or the client's vexing attitude, but it does significantly minimize friction.

2. Endeavor to Educate Your Clients
This is how I perceive things. Ineffective communication is the most serious issue, and it is the primary cause of problematic clients. It's much worse when the client has no idea what his or her requests mean in terms of science, art, or profession. This is why you should give the client some technical information and explain that photography is about much more than having a wonderful iPhone or pushing a camera's shutter button. You could, for example, break it down into basic terms. What it means to shoot and output in RAW, as well as the ramifications for software. Explain how to use natural light, flashlight, and other types of artificial illumination.

3. Know and Show Your Stuff
If a new client is inquiring or ‘trying' your work for the first time, it may be vital to demonstrate that you know what you're doing. The way you talk, the phrases you use, and the way you explain things can all influence whether or not the client trusts you. For established photography companies, this may be a simple walkover, but for newer ones, it may be a severe issue. The client must have faith in your ability to complete the project.

4. Say No
Take my word for it if you've never imagined it. When interacting with a client, the word "NO" is extremely significant and can make all the difference. This may be challenging for new photographers, but as you progress in your industry, you will discover that certain clients' requests are either unachievable or humiliating. They may ask for too much for the money they pay. Most clients want to make additional requests or add-ons after signing a contract. If you continue to give in to them, you will find that you are losing money and losing your job. The term will draw then if it is utilized correctly in the right situations.

5. Offer Them Other Options
You can provide other viable answers to such requests or alternative possibilities as a wonderful follow-up to the word "no." Clients may have only one option in mind, despite the fact that several possibilities are available. Other choices are available to you as a professional.

6. Document Your Agreements
Don't just take your client's word for it, no matter how pleasant they seem. Reduce it to a signed and written contract. This isn't a hookup via a dating service; it's a business transaction. Even dating sites have regulations, and couples must sign prenuptial agreements. Please don't be that gullible.

Making a set of policies and putting them into your contracts is another option to consider. A formal agreement will undoubtedly prevent you from future troubles and will aid in the protection of your rights from being ripped off or exploited.

7. Making Sure They Know What to Expect
With all of my experience as a photographer, I can guarantee that my personal policy of reviewing the contractual conditions with the customer and ensuring that they understand exactly what they will receive following the execution of the photo session will never fail. When a customer's expectations aren't satisfied, it's a deal-breaker. Even though it is not your fault, they become sad, gloomy, or angry with you. Most of the time, this occurs when they expect they will receive a specific service but never inquire since they believe "all photographers offer this service!"

Remember that when people are dissatisfied and irritable, you have no clue how much negative business they can bring to your business.

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