Saturday, August 11, 2012

Missing: Fly By Night Photographer Leaves Client Hurt and Hardened {New Braunfels Photography}

I got a heart wrenching call today. And you know how I like to share my heart-wrenching calls from clients with you.

Today's call came from a very sweet lady, in her 50s, who hates having her photograph taken. "I was the one who always ran and hid from the camera as a child," she told me. So it was really hard for her to make this call. She had her portrait taken a few months ago by another local photographer (I'll leave her name off here because I'm not going to go there). The photographer gave her a little sneak peek of one of those images and it turned out beautifully. She couldn't wait to give it to her husband.

Then that photographer went silent. No more e-mails, no more phone calls. She didn't put up a gallery for this lady. Wouldn't return her calls. Silence. For months.

So today she decided to look for another photographer. She'd been burned. She wasn't sure if she wanted to try again. She was out money for the fee she paid the other lady. She was out confidence. She was out time. It had taken her years to work up the confidence to schedule that session in the first place. She was apprehensive to say the least.

So she called me. She loved what she saw on my website and wanted me to assure her that if she went through this again, she wouldn't be burned again. I told her that I've never shot a session for a client and then disappeared. That I'm in this for the long haul. This is my life. This is my career.

By the end of our conversation, this lovely lady decided to send me the one photo she got from the other photographer so I can see the type of image she was looking for. I won't duplicate it. That's not my style. I'll better it, no doubt. This lady deserves to be blown away by her next session. She deserves to be pampered and reassured.

And to the photographer who ditched her and to other photographers who set up shop and then bail on their clients, shame on you. You give us all a bad name. And to anyone who's been burned in the past. I promise you, that's not the norm. I can give you a list of photographers who are dedicated to their clients and to the profession. Who won't leave you when you need them.

It's too easy for anyone to pick up a nice camera and hang out a shingle and declare themselves a photographer. I see it every day, it seems they pop out of the woodwork constantly. Most of them are out of business within a year or two. They realize it's not a get rich quick business and it's not all glamour and baby smiles. It takes more than photography talent to run a photography business. Those of us who stick with it are here for you. Even if you don't decide to hire me, I'd be happy to refer you to others who are serious about photography and won't run and hide when they get bored. Call me.

Lisa On Location Photography


  1. I'm looking for more of this story. What was the motivation for the other photographer to bail on this lady? Was it a scam from the start? Did she just take the money for the sitting and run? Does the client have any recourse in a case like this?

    1. I have no idea what made this photographer decide to bail. My guess is she got disillusioned with photography. Maybe she wasn't making enough money, wasn't getting enough business, maybe it was harder than she thought it would be. Maybe her interests changed. I don't believe it to be a scam from the beginning. I believe she really wanted to be a successful photographer at the early stages of her business. But for whatever reason, gave up on it and failed to tell her client. There's not much recourse for a client in this case. She could take the photographer to small claims court, but that would cost more than the session is worth.