I really hate photographers sometimes…
The kind who take your money and then leave you high and dry.
Last night I had a meeting with a prospective client. At the end of our conversation she mentions one of her friends might also have a look at our portfolio, being in need of a wedding photographer. “Well that’s great” I think to myself while proceeding to inquire a bit further. It turns out the photographer with whom the couple signed a contract and gave a $900 deposit, simply dropped off the face of the Earth after their engagement session and less than three months before their wedding. The emails and phone calls simply go unanswered so her friend is obviously upset and thinking of getting the photog into the small claims court.
After a pause to think it over, I’ve offered to shoot this couple’s wedding and postpone payment until they get their money back from the no-show guy.
It always irks me to no end when I hear stories like this (and it seems to happen more often nowadays). The damage these kind of people do to our industry reaches much farther than the simple anecdote. In an age of instant social networking and free wedding blogging the anecdote travels far and hits hard. It puts unnecessary question marks over our profession in the minds of our clients. Yes, in case anyone wonders, I’ve been asked a number of times what guarantees we could offer so the couple is confident we will actually show up come wedding day. How the heck can you answer that? Of course you will show up and do a good job, of course you will deliver the goods but in your client’s mind there will be always a sliver of doubt, until the day you finally deliver their albums. That day you will be loved and recommended to everyone they know which is absolutely fantastic from your individual point of view but generally your clients will still think they were lucky to find you. That’s simply not true however. Rather the opposite actually. Every single one of my peers I came to know and respect, take great pride in their craft, staking their reputation on their work ethic.
It takes only one of us however to pull a stunt like the one above and the label gets applied to all the remaining great mass of photographers. This is what’s rubbing me a long way, the wrong way.
The not so many freakin’ bad apples.