Category Archives: Clients

New and Need Clients

Dear Stefanie Shutters,

How can I get clients? I’m a beginner and am looking to book sessions, but it’s hard! I’ve only gotten one paying client so far.

I put my photos on Facebook and Instagram, but what else can I do to share my business?

~Clientless

Good Customer Service or Too Accommodating?

Dear Stefanie Shutters,

I was contacted by the mother of one of my child’s classmates for a last minute session. She called me at 8pm for a session the next morning… but since I was available I agreed to set it up. We discussed the pricing and what was included on the phone, and while I normally take payment in advance agreed that she could pay me at the session since it was such a short notice booking. 

We had the shoot, but at the end of the shoot she said she didn’t have the money to pay me and handed me $10 ‘as a deposit’ towards the rest!  I was floored. She’d agreed to the pricing just hours before. I was even giving her a HUGE discount! 

She walked out and is now contacting me and refusing to pay at all claiming that she didn’t agree to that date or the price.  I’m livid and have no idea what to do.

~Feeling Abused

How Long Do I Hold the Date?

Dear Stefanie Shutters,

Last November, I was contacted for a wedding inquiry from the grandma of a good friend of the family who had moved out of state.   So I sent her my pricing, and in January the bride contacted me to go over the process.  The wedding is in July. I told her that I require half the package amount upfront with the signed contract.  Since they’re a friend of the family, I blocked out the day and the travel time needed. 

Now it’s July and the wedding is in less than a week away and I haven’t heard a thing! 

Photographed an Event… But NONE of the images turned out!

Dear Stefanie Shutters

How do you respond to a client who isn’t happy with the pictures and then asks to buy your SD card to get all the pictures from the event?  I don’t really want to do that, but I’m not sure what to say.  The event was a family party and we did formal pictures outside and then I went in and took some pictures during the party itself. The outside ones were fine but the inside ones were dark and blurry. I gave her the best of what I was able to capture but I didn’t have enough light to get anything good. I’m a beginner and I just need some advice!

~Tried My Best

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