Category Archives: Business

Client Insists: No Payment till Images Seen

Dear Stefanie Shutters

How do you handle it when a potential customer doesn’t want to pay upfront for the portrait session?  It’s really three sessions and includes 2 adults, 5 kids and three babies.  I told him my price and he said “That’s not right!” He insisted that no one charges before the service is done.

My studio requires payment up front. We have a no refunds policy, but we do reshoot. I’ve been in business more than ten years. It’s always worked for my clients and my business.

But he wants me to do the job and if he doesn’t like it, he wants a full refund. He doesn’t care that I’ll be out the time for the session, the editing, the cost of printing my proofs – if he doesn’t like the end results he wants his money back.

I told him “that’s now how we work, I’m sorry.”  Am I wrong here?

~Second Guessing Myself


A Friend of a Friend = a Discount?

Dear Stefanie Shutters,

I gave a discounted maternity and newborn session package set to a good friend’s friend. They loved their maternity session, and I had 39 images to show in their gallery. The maternity session package comes with 15-20 images.  The client chose 23 images and when I told her it was $25 for each additional image above the 20 she freaked out at me and said that they would cancel the newborn session with me unless I send her the extra three for free too.  Her logic was that “it’s not too expensive to just send them the extras” and they shouldn’t have to pay because they’re not printed.

My husband says to just give them what they want. It’s a tiny thing on our end to make them happy and willing to come back for the newborn session. We need the money. What do I do?

~ Floored

Friends and Money

Dear Stefanie Shutters,

I did a newborn session for a good friend of mine and she didn’t have the money to pay me at the time. So I agreed to do the session and she’d pay me the week after one she got paid.  The session went well, I have great images, and started editing already too.

This morning she messaged me asking to pay a little bit each week and I’m so annoyed I don’t even know how to reply to her now.  I have been counting on having that money paid tomorrow and now it’s not happening. I don’t know what to do now, and I just feel like she is taking advantage of our friendship.

~I knew I shouldn’t have Done It

Haircut Philosophy and Photography

I had my hair cut and dyed this past week at a salon in the local mall. It cost me $200, after tip. And I feel great, both in how I look and about what I paid. I have zero regrets about what I spent.

To understand why this is blog worthy or photography relevant, you need to know a few things about me first.

What’s Micahel Kor’s Perfume Have to Do With Photography?

I posted to a Photography Facebook group last night the following comment along with the graphic shown above and woke up to over 300 likes on the story and a bunch of comments saying how much the photographer needed to hear that story right in that moment. So I’m now showing it here, because it really belongs here too 🙂