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123last
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


Ok -- I've been on this forum probably since I started photography or close to it...

I've been in business about 7 or 8 years - it's slow but steady growing and I love what I do..

The problem is that I don't love people.

I love creatiing images for people, I love having people in my studio.. but I just don't like dealing with the bs that you get from some people before you even meet them or the bs you get from them afterwards... 

Have any of you closed your doors because it's probably not the business, it's you?
Feb 24 13 04:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,929
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Julia Gerace wrote:
The problem is that I don't love people.

At least you know your problem and not ashamed to admit it.

That is a great start to fix it.

...and your problem can be fixed.

You don't have to give up anything if you know something can be done about it.

smile

.

Feb 24 13 04:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
T Urban Photography
Posts: 267
Somerset, Pennsylvania, US


Is there any chance you can hire someone to deal with the customer service aspect of your business?  Lots of the more successful studios do that.
Feb 24 13 04:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


I'm just not sure what to do about it.. I mean I have the best intentions normally but then something happens and I just can't figure out how to deal...

If you were to ask honestly what I thought my problem was, I would have to say that it's from years of giving people the benefit of the doubt and being let down regularly, combined with just not digging people that I find irrational...

I know I shoot myself in the foot, I know that it's self sabotoge, I know it stems from holding past experiences in mind but I'm lost...

and then I reach this point where I just don't want to shoot anymore...

a client emailed me a few days ago inquiring about a session but she wanted an in person consultation...  I said, very nicely, that I don't usually do in person consultations because people usually regret not just scheduling the session once they are already there and that I'd be more than happy to talk to her on the phone - I attached all my session info for her too -- so then she says she wants to meet up, see the studio and my 'book' and gives a date...   I say o.k but I can not meet on that date and I give her two other dates and I explain that I don't have my book, it's at an auction right now but there are plenty of samples in my studio of my headshot work as well as my other sessions...

I don't hear from her so... I wait a day and email to very friendly inquire - did you get my last email with dates?  to which she replies - I scheduled with another photographer ---   so, I nicely asked who referred her so I could be sure to thank them in the future...


there you go... why she felt the need to not talk to me first is beyond me... no, 'let's talk and then meet' or talk and then shoot, nothing...  now, personally, I don't care... I don't want to work with someone who won't be upfront with why they would want me to change my policy just for them....  I mean, if she had said she had stranger anxiety and wanted to meet up, I'd be all over that - sure thing...  I even asked if she had any specific concerns that she wanted to ask....

and it's stuff like that that triggers an internal thought that, no, I'm just not meant for this....

and that's just a small incident....I won't get into the theater that I've been donating three years of work for only to not even get a thank you when they realized it....
Feb 24 13 04:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


dp
Feb 24 13 04:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


T Urban Photography wrote:
Is there any chance you can hire someone to deal with the customer service aspect of your business?  Lots of the more successful studios do that.

I don't have the money to do that, though I sure wish I could...


one idea is to only take clients with personal recommendations - I can downsize the overhead of the studio with some changes and then narrow down the clientele to be more selective.... there would definitely be some cache to that too...

Feb 24 13 04:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
curiosa des yeux
Posts: 1,457
Seattle, Washington, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
Ok -- I've been on this forum probably since I started photography or close to it...

I've been in business about 7 or 8 years - it's slow but steady growing and I love what I do..

The problem is that I don't love people.

I love creatiing images for people, I love having people in my studio.. but I just don't like dealing with the bs that you get from some people before you even meet them or the bs you get from them afterwards... 

Have any of you closed your doors because it's probably not the business, it's you?

I'm curious what kind of bs you deal with. I have an idea, but would like to know more before I can make any suggestions. I, too, have been on MM pretty much since the beginning (I have another profile from early 2006 as well) and have found that things have changed a bit since then.

For quite a while now, I haven't really had any problems with the people that I actually work with, more the ones that don't show up. Generally, before a shoot I have about a dozen back and forth emails, then the model shows up and we shoot (takes about 3 hours), then I send them the images and that's that. I rarely hear anything from a model once they've downloaded their photos unless they want to shoot again.

One change I've made a couple years ago that helped (I think) is that since I've started shooting film, I just scan every shot and make them all available to the model. If we take 72 images (two rolls of film), then I put all 72 of them up for their use. Some shoots only produce one roll, or 36 shots. The main thing with film has been that I don't do any retouching at all, and it takes the same amount of time to scan them for proofs as it does to just make a final scan anyways. By eliminating the proof stage I no longer have any of the drama involved with models wanting 30 shots retouched when I told them they would get 6. This also provides a very short turn-around for the shoot, so the models seem to be quite satisfied by that as well.

As for those who don't show up, the last few years seems to have produced models who are more prone to going through all the pre-shoot emails, etc., only to have them not show or even message back after they were supposed to be there. I find about 1 in 3 models seems to do this these days, though I do about 99% trade shoots and have rarely actually hired a model (I suspect paid models would obviously be more reliable, and I've never had one no-show).

Feb 24 13 04:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rebel Photo
Posts: 11,446
Florence, South Carolina, US


I think at this point, and the way this site has degraded, non-association with MM is a smart business move. With social Networking in a boom, you're far better off. Not to mention the stigma this site has accrued.
Feb 24 13 04:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,171
Salem, Oregon, US


we shoot for pay and haven't had any major problems. i've had much worse trouble as a programmer and graphic designer than as a photographer. you need to have good business practices and be clear about what people will (and more importantly WON'T) get for their money. and sometimes you get a lemon customer and just try to make peace with them (even if it means giving money back) and live to shoot another day.

to me the most important thing for a photographer is the interaction with the subjects. if you don't like interacting with people as a director that's bad. for my part i find models fascinating. i'm always trying to figure out what makes them tick, why they like doing this, etc. plus they have great stories to tell.
Feb 24 13 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
joeyk
Posts: 14,570
Seminole, Florida, US


T Urban Photography wrote:
Is there any chance you can hire someone to deal with the customer service aspect of your business?  Lots of the more successful studios do that.

I know plenty of studios where the photographer does only that, the photography. Employees do everything else.

I realize that costs money...

Feb 24 13 04:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


Oddly enough this doesn't have to do with MM or models....it's more actual people that are just so rude, so challengingly stupid sometimes - I have hard time kissing up - always have, it's a major fault...
Feb 24 13 05:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


ontherocks wrote:
we shoot for pay and haven't had any major problems. i've had much worse trouble as a programmer and graphic designer than as a photographer. you need to have good business practices and be clear about what people will (and more importantly WON'T) get for their money. and sometimes you get a lemon customer and just try to make peace with them (even if it means giving money back) and live to shoot another day.

to me the most important thing for a photographer is the interaction with the subjects. if you don't like interacting with people as a director that's bad. for my part i find models fascinating. i'm always trying to figure out what makes them tick, why they like doing this, etc. plus they have great stories to tell.

I love my clients during a session - find them fascinating....love to get in their heads to get great expressions and also to enjoy who try are or that brief time...Nd I do have all my sessions policies on PDFs that are given to them and gone over I the preconsultation as well....

Feb 24 13 05:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,171
Salem, Oregon, US


why kiss up? just tell them to f*ck off. toxic people (including toxic clients) can ruin everything. get rid of them ASAP. don't let anyone steal your joy. there are some horrible people in the world but fortunately they aren't the majority.

Julia Gerace wrote:
Oddly enough this doesn't have to do with MM or models....it's more actual people that are just so rude, so challengingly stupid sometimes - I have hard time kissing up - always have, it's a major fault...

Feb 24 13 05:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steve Lim
Posts: 63
Falls Church, Virginia, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
Oddly enough this doesn't have to do with MM or models....it's more actual people that are just so rude, so challengingly stupid sometimes - I have hard time kissing up - always have, it's a major fault...

You can't fix stupid. I have met enough similar people. Rude and unprofessional. I had a potential client and out of my willingness to help gave out my concept for his cd cover (aspiring singer). After that, boom. Gone with another photographer with my concept. smile. Am i happy? No, but wouldn't stop me from photography. Money and wealth will go our way if it is meant to be.

Feb 24 13 05:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,090
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


Raise your prices.

Higher prices gets you a better clientel and better compensates you for the BS. You get BS in every job as someplace you have to deal with people.

I think it is always good to take a look at the areas of BS you have to put up with and find out why it happens. Someplace along the line is poor comunication either in your explaining or their understanding. If you know why you can take steps to eliminate the problem.
Feb 24 13 05:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,727
Santa Ana, California, US


It sounds like possibly a lot of your stress might be resulting from not having well thought out firm policies, which you just don't deviate from. So your left with the stress of dealing with every situation from the ground up. Not to mention situations that compound because you didn't have the firm ground rules to begin with.

You said in your OP that you said "I don't usually do that".  If you don't do it, say "I don't offer that".
Point them to your website to review your work. If you think you might want to offer potential clients to come to a pre-visit, then set a firm minimum dollar figure that is worth it to you to provide that option. And, stick to it. You don't have to tell anyone what that figure is.

Having a firm hold on and pre-knowledge of your parameters goes a huge way in reducing the stress of new situations.
Feb 24 13 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,177
Atlanta, Georgia, US


If you like photography and creating  images why do they need to have people in them?    Why not shoot products or food for example?
Feb 24 13 05:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,566
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
I'm just not sure what to do about it.. I mean I have the best intentions normally but then something happens and I just can't figure out how to deal...

If you were to ask honestly what I thought my problem was, I would have to say that it's from years of giving people the benefit of the doubt and being let down regularly, combined with just not digging people that I find irrational...

I know I shoot myself in the foot, I know that it's self sabotoge, I know it stems from holding past experiences in mind but I'm lost...

and then I reach this point where I just don't want to shoot anymore...

a client emailed me a few days ago inquiring about a session but she wanted an in person consultation...  I said, very nicely, that I don't usually do in person consultations because people usually regret not just scheduling the session once they are already there and that I'd be more than happy to talk to her on the phone - I attached all my session info for her too -- so then she says she wants to meet up, see the studio and my 'book' and gives a date...   I say o.k but I can not meet on that date and I give her two other dates and I explain that I don't have my book, it's at an auction right now but there are plenty of samples in my studio of my headshot work as well as my other sessions...

I don't hear from her so... I wait a day and email to very friendly inquire - did you get my last email with dates?  to which she replies - I scheduled with another photographer ---   so, I nicely asked who referred her so I could be sure to thank them in the future...


there you go... why she felt the need to not talk to me first is beyond me... no, 'let's talk and then meet' or talk and then shoot, nothing...  now, personally, I don't care... I don't want to work with someone who won't be upfront with why they would want me to change my policy just for them....  I mean, if she had said she had stranger anxiety and wanted to meet up, I'd be all over that - sure thing...  I even asked if she had any specific concerns that she wanted to ask....

and it's stuff like that that triggers an internal thought that, no, I'm just not meant for this....

and that's just a small incident....I won't get into the theater that I've been donating three years of work for only to not even get a thank you when they realized it....

How do you expect to get business- and have people be comfortable with you, if you don't want to meet them in person first? Does it *really* cost you THAT much time to have a pre shoot meeting with them? I do pre meetings all the time for my business- and everyone loves it. Could you not have said "Ok, we'll meet at this time- bring your stuff in case you'd like to do the shoot directly afterwards" and so on.

You have to remember, people aren't just booking you for your work. They're booking you because they like YOU. If you aren't going to be able to be personable (being personable and sucking up are two different things) then you shouldn't be shooting what you're shooting. Try something different- but no matter what you shoot, you're going to have to deal with people. It's a fact of life.

It sounds like you really do need to step back and take a long-term break, and maybe try something else. It sounds like you're giving a lot, but expecting a lot back- which in this world you don't always get. Never do pro bono work you don't enjoy, and never expect to get paid work from Pro Bono work. Once you give something for free, they're always going to see you as someone who will work for free. Do pro bono work you enjoy, and love, and that's personally worth it to you... but dont' expect anything out of it.

Feb 24 13 05:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
THRobinson
Posts: 869
London, Ontario, Canada


Ha... I have the same problem. I'm still relatively new and would love to do more than I currently am, but, as much as I like shooting models and having people in my photography (vs landscapes and nature)... I can't stand dealing with people. Quite the quandary.
Feb 24 13 05:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio 277
Posts: 131
WINSTON SALEM, North Carolina, US


I used to let people bother me...alot. But as I have gotten older, I have gotten to a point that people don't bother me now.
Some "truths" that I have learned the last couple of years....
1) You are not going to chance anyone's point of view by debating them in online forums.
2) It takes at least 2 people to argue or fuss. If those around you want more than you are willing to give, just politely tell them and move on. If you debate them or negotiate too much the BS will just go on and on.

Good luck to the OP. Just keep doing what you do best.
Feb 24 13 05:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JimBobLc
Posts: 199
Martinsburg, West Virginia, US


A non-refundable deposit to schedule a session would get rid of people who are not serious and make you feel better when someone doesn't show up as you know they had a real problem otherwise they wouldn't forfeit the deposit. You can also get a 'virtual office' type arrangement where you pay for a 'virtual receptionist' to take calls go through a script pretends to be in your office even though she might not even be in this country, and she gets the customer to pay the deposit for a session. Virtual assistants don't cost that much.
Feb 24 13 06:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,737
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Julia Gerace wrote:
Ok -- I've been on this forum probably since I started photography or close to it...

I've been in business about 7 or 8 years - it's slow but steady growing and I love what I do..

The problem is that I don't love people.

I love creatiing images for people, I love having people in my studio.. but I just don't like dealing with the bs that you get from some people before you even meet them or the bs you get from them afterwards... 

Have any of you closed your doors because it's probably not the business, it's you?

Hire an agent to do the personal (business bits) for you. Then all you have to do is be charming for the shoot until they exit the studio.

Or you can be a politician...they don't like people either.

Feb 24 13 06:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 21,680
New York, New York, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
Have any of you closed your doors because it's probably not the business, it's you?

One of the most important skills of a photographer, and one of the least recognized, is the interpersonal skill... and if you don't like people... actually, if you don't LOVE people and to interact with them...

Then you should really close your doors and search out a profession that won't force you to interact with humans... or at a minimum level.

How can you even create images of models, or people that connect with YOU/the camera, that are expressive if you have all but disdain for them.

Or... get a business manager, so that you can focus on the fun part, if you can find some fun in working with people in front of your camera!

Feb 24 13 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,723
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
Oddly enough this doesn't have to do with MM or models....it's more actual people that are just so rude, so challengingly stupid sometimes - I have hard time kissing up - always have, it's a major fault...

These people are found everywhere.

Feb 24 13 06:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
London Fog
Posts: 6,567
London, England, United Kingdom


Rebel Photo wrote:
I think at this point, and the way this site has degraded, non-association with MM is a smart business move. With social Networking in a boom, you're far better off. Not to mention the stigma this site has accrued.

Speak for yourself, over here MM rocks! FB and all the other shitty waste of space and time social networking garbage is where the reall BS is at!

Feb 24 13 06:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


thank you all for the great replies!

to clear up a little: 

I do have good policies and how I run sessions but, you're right, I will waffle..

I don't have a problem with people not showing up - most people are on time, prepared, ready to go.... it's the 5% that don't follow the policies that create issues...

I do a very nice pre-consultation on the phone, though some clients are pretty satisified with just online talking and that's o.k too....  I have met with clients in the past but when they see the studio and meet me, they always say, I just wish I scheduled - so it's kind of a waste of time...  With this one person mentioned above, I really tried to be open for her to ask her concerns etc etc and the fact that she couldn't express it over the email or on the phone, to me, is a red flag that this might indeed be an extremely high maintenance type of person -  and I did give her three other times that I could meet up with her, I just couldn't do that particular morning because of a dentist appointment...

l think I have good policies in place - everything is there for a reason and I feel pretty confident.... am I unwilling to bend? no..  but I don't give out a disk and that has been a deal breaker for a couple of agencies...(and, yes, a disk of all the hi-res images from a session - and the proofs are online, it's not like they couldn't even cull through and pick their top whatever - no, they want all 200)

this is where I know I'm the problem....   I feel good about what I've set up for myself - I feel it's fair to the clients, I feel it's good all around... I get sooooo frustrated when people push me past what I'm offering... they want more and they want what they want... hey, I understand that, I really do....but I have to draw the line and a lot of problems start with that...

and, also.. I really do love doing things for my clients -- I have no problem doing the odd session because of some family crisis, I have no problem throwing in extra wallets if I know they want more, I have no problem rushing a job if I can do it I will...

I let the minority of clients get to me and throw my whole game off...and then I'm just super stressed...

My lease is done in June and I really think I'd either like to stop altogether or downsize to a smaller studio with much lower overhead and only take on what I want...

I am just truly so tired right now...
Feb 24 13 06:21 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 20,902
New York, New York, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
If you like photography and creating  images why do they need to have people in them?    Why not shoot products or food for example?

Lol, I shoot still life (product and food) and I deal with jerks every day.

Feb 24 13 06:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


ontherocks wrote:
why kiss up? just tell them to f*ck off. toxic people (including toxic clients) can ruin everything. get rid of them ASAP. don't let anyone steal your joy. there are some horrible people in the world but fortunately they aren't the majority.

If you're trying to make money, go ahead and follow this advice. I'm sure it will work out famously.

Feb 24 13 06:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
If you were to ask honestly what I thought my problem was, I would have to say that it's from years of giving people the benefit of the doubt and being let down regularly, combined with just not digging people that I find irrational...

Human beings are irrational creatures by nature. If you have expectations of your clients before they even walk in the door, you're setting yourself up for trouble.

Julia Gerace wrote:
a client emailed me a few days ago inquiring about a session but she wanted an in person consultation...  I said, very nicely, that I don't usually do in person consultations because people usually regret not just scheduling the session once they are already there and that I'd be more than happy to talk to her on the phone - I attached all my session info for her too -- so then she says she wants to meet up, see the studio and my 'book' and gives a date...   I say o.k but I can not meet on that date and I give her two other dates and I explain that I don't have my book, it's at an auction right now but there are plenty of samples in my studio of my headshot work as well as my other sessions...

Some clients are always going to want a face-to-face consultation before setting up an appointment. It's part of the business model and something you need to take into account. Get an inexpensive tablet and keep a running portfolio on the device.

Julia Gerace wrote:
I don't hear from her so... I wait a day and email to very friendly inquire - did you get my last email with dates?  to which she replies - I scheduled with another photographer ---   so, I nicely asked who referred her so I could be sure to thank them in the future...

Snarky attitudes when you're trying to make money... yeah, you said it best. You're shooting yourself in the foot.

If you tolerance for stupidity is REALLY that low, then being in business for yourself, dealing with the public, probably isn't the best choice of career.

Feb 24 13 06:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


udor wrote:

One of the most important skills of a photographer, and one of the least recognized, is the interpersonal skill... and if you don't like people... actually, if you don't LOVE people and to interact with them...

Then you should really close your doors and search out a profession that won't force you to interact with humans... or at a minimum level.

How can you even create images of models, or people that connect with YOU/the camera, that are expressive if you have all but disdain for them.

Or... get a business manager, so that you can focus on the fun part, if you can find some fun in working with people in front of your camera!

I love everyone when we're shooting.....

what I don't love to use a MM example is agreeing with a designer that we're picking the 10 best shots from the session and then after the session they demand all the hi-res images because now they do all their own editing - this has happened twice to me and once when the same designer was working with a friend of mine (another photographer) she didn't demand a disk from her at all...

so, yes, I loved the model, I loved what I was shooting, I was very appreciative to be doing what I love doing.. however, changing the agreement afterwards? not cool...

no. Udo, I think you have me wrong on this one.... I do care, very deeply about what I do and I love when I'm working - it's the extraneous bs that I find so tedious...

Feb 24 13 06:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,415
Los Angeles, California, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
Oddly enough this doesn't have to do with MM or models....it's more actual people that are just so rude, so challengingly stupid sometimes - I have hard time kissing up - always have, it's a major fault...

Get some professional help . . . . you are not the only person in business that has problems dealing with people. There are professionals out there that can teach you some techniques and give you perspectives on things that will make a difference.

KM

Feb 24 13 06:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,723
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Julia Gerace wrote:
thank you all for the great replies!

to clear up a little: 

I do have good policies and how I run sessions but, you're right, I will waffle..

I don't have a problem with people not showing up - most people are on time, prepared, ready to go.... it's the 5% that don't follow the policies that create issues...

I do a very nice pre-consultation on the phone, though some clients are pretty satisified with just online talking and that's o.k too....  I have met with clients in the past but when they see the studio and meet me, they always say, I just wish I scheduled - so it's kind of a waste of time...  With this one person mentioned above, I really tried to be open for her to ask her concerns etc etc and the fact that she couldn't express it over the email or on the phone, to me, is a red flag that this might indeed be an extremely high maintenance type of person -  and I did give her three other times that I could meet up with her, I just couldn't do that particular morning because of a dentist appointment...

l think I have good policies in place - everything is there for a reason and I feel pretty confident.... am I unwilling to bend? no..  but I don't give out a disk and that has been a deal breaker for a couple of agencies...(and, yes, a disk of all the hi-res images from a session - and the proofs are online, it's not like they couldn't even cull through and pick their top whatever - no, they want all 200)

this is where I know I'm the problem....   I feel good about what I've set up for myself - I feel it's fair to the clients, I feel it's good all around... I get sooooo frustrated when people push me past what I'm offering... they want more and they want what they want... hey, I understand that, I really do....but I have to draw the line and a lot of problems start with that...

and, also.. I really do love doing things for my clients -- I have no problem doing the odd session because of some family crisis, I have no problem throwing in extra wallets if I know they want more, I have no problem rushing a job if I can do it I will...

I let the minority of clients get to me and throw my whole game off...and then I'm just super stressed...

My lease is done in June and I really think I'd either like to stop altogether or downsize to a smaller studio with much lower overhead and only take on what I want...

I am just truly so tired right now...

Don't let them get to you.  If you don't like them tell them to go elsewhere.

Feb 24 13 06:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


[quote/]
Snarky attitudes when you're trying to make money... yeah, you said it best. You're shooting yourself in the foot.

If you tolerance for stupidity is REALLY that low, then being in business for yourself, dealing with the public, probably isn't the best choice of career.

(quoted from above)





yep. then I guess it is time to hang it up....   June can't come soon enough..

Feb 24 13 06:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,723
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Julia Gerace wrote:

I love everyone when we're shooting.....

what I don't love to use a MM example is agreeing with a designer that we're picking the 10 best shots from the session and then after the session they demand all the hi-res images because now they do all their own editing - this has happened twice to me and once when the same designer was working with a friend of mine (another photographer) she didn't demand a disk from her at all...

so, yes, I loved the model, I loved what I was shooting, I was very appreciative to be doing what I love doing.. however, changing the agreement afterwards? not cool...

no. Udo, I think you have me wrong on this one.... I do care, very deeply about what I do and I love when I'm working - it's the extraneous bs that I find so tedious...

If they demand this raise your price for the images!

Feb 24 13 06:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GH-Photography
Posts: 9,420
Brunswick, Georgia, US


Hire a studio manager. Let them deal with the tedious aspects of the business, while you focus on the photography.
Feb 24 13 06:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


Greg Holt Photography wrote:
Hire a studio manager. Let them deal with the tedious aspects of the business, while you focus on the photography.

If I could just get to the next step, I probably would...

Feb 24 13 06:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,266
Glens Falls, New York, US


There are a lot of ways to make a living with photography that have nothing to do with clients.  That means that you probably need to deal with galleries, dealers, and buyers, but that's a whole different kind of BS, and it might suit you better.

Whenever I get stressed about photography, I put my business camera down for a few days.  Then I pick up a different camera (anything at all - just something I haven't used in a while) and spend a week or so walking around town and taking pictures.  That usually helps me to clear my head, and remind me that the paid photography is part of what I do, but it is not ALL I do.
Feb 24 13 06:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julia Gerace
Posts: 1,889
Monroe, Connecticut, US


as long as it's in the convo:

a studio manager: -- at one point, I had a person who would help answer emails, phone calls and schedule things - eventually she was going to do sales as well... initially it was for trade (new mom) and then for money...we never got that far, unfortunately..

but then a photographer I consider quite successful said -why would you trust your initial meeting with a client to another person? the client is calling for you and want to reach you - not some assistant'

thoughts?
Feb 24 13 06:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lovely Day Media
Posts: 3,691
Vineland, New Jersey, US


Julia Gerace wrote:


there you go... why she felt the need to not talk to me first is beyond me... no, 'let's talk and then meet' or talk and then shoot, nothing...  now, personally, I don't care... I don't want to work with someone who won't be upfront with why they would want me to change my policy just for them....  I mean, if she had said she had stranger anxiety and wanted to meet up, I'd be all over that - sure thing...  I even asked if she had any specific concerns that she wanted to ask....

I find that people in general aren't honest.  Part of the dishonesty is them being afraid to say how they feel because it's not politically correct.  Most of their dishonesty comes from them not being in touch with what they're feeling and/or why. If they know what they're feeling, they don't know why or can't put it into clear and concise enough words so they don't feel like an idiot saying it.

  It's easier for them to just deal with someone else so they don't have to say what they feel or why.  It took me eons to figure this out.  Since I did, when it happens, I chalk it up to their being whatever it is they are ... stupid, ignorant, afraid or otherwise.  If they want to pay more for less because they're afraid to say "I'm not available on Friday but I am available on Monday", well, I'd love to have their money but I can't exactly grab them by the ankles and shake them upside down.

  I recently discovered that one of my clients now uses someone else's inferior services (their words) because they go to the same church and their pastor said they should patronize each other's businesses before seeking out someone outside the church.  It boggles my mind a bit as to why a person would pay more for less just because their pastor says they "should", but again, it's their money.

  In my case, it's not about the money.  It's about them satisfying their feelings.  That's the case a lot of the time.  I don't know what the problem is in 100% of your (the OP) case, but I can almost 100% guarantee it's not worth giving up your photography business.  You may have to change your focus (no pun intended) or find a different type of client but I think giving up is the last thing you should do.

Feb 24 13 07:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,177
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Paramour Productions wrote:
Lol, I shoot still life (product and food) and I deal with jerks every day.

Lol I know a product guy who has not seen his largest client in years. They FedEx him new products, he shoot it, FTPs the images, and send the products back on their FedEx account.  Hundreds of SKUs a year without much of any communications.

Feb 24 13 07:14 pm  Link  Quote 
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