Just like everything else in your business, when you don’t follow your own policies and best practices, things can go south quickly. IPS Horror Stories is a new series created to showcase sales and policy blunders other photographers have made so that you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Here’s the scene:
My client came in for her IPS session. Her husband is a doctor and was running behind, so we started without him. We had our order pretty set when he arrived. He agreed that he likes what they have so far and is willing to go through with the order however he asks that I send him the rest of the files so that he can have them printed in a more "cost effective location."
I put on my big girl business pants and said, "Well, I can sell you the files but unfortunately I can not give them away. One, that wouldn't be fair to my current clients to just give things away and I'd have a hard time explaining to my landlord that I can't pay my rent because I gave my work away. So please understand, my prices are what they are so I can earn a living and provide for my family."
The husband then stood up and stomped out like a small child who didn't get their way. His wife was mortified and apologized for her husband's behavior and paid the bill.
What went wrong:
The photographer didn’t clearly communicate pricing information and policies for selling digital images to the clients before the session.
How to avoid this scenario:
It’s imperative that the financial decision makers, in this case both the husband and the wife, have an explicit understanding of all pricing before the session. Make sure you clearly communicate what the session fee includes and does not include, how much your minimum order is (if you have one) and exactly what the clients can expect during the order session. It’s also a good idea to specifically address digital images and whether you include them, sell them for an additional price or do not release them at all.
Most problems like this are easy enough to avoid if you can anticipate them before they happen. Learn how to tackle scenarios like this and take your sales to the next level with our Ultimate In-Person Sales Course. We’ll walk you through the process of switching to in-person sales, step-by-step and help you avoid all the common mistakes that photographers make along the way. Are you ready? Click here to get started today!
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your road like to becoming a photographer?
Hello! I am a portrait photographer based south of Boston, MA. My passion is capturing mothers and their growing families. Maternity and newborn portraits are the foundation of my business, and I also capture baby milestones, children, and families. Fun fact: I returned the diamond earrings my husband bought me for our first Christmas as a married couple to buy a digital camera.
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.