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30 Things You Never Want to Hear from a Client



“We love your style! So we’re going to hire you to do something completely different!” If that sentence makes you laugh, then the 30 statements in this post are going to hit home.

Ah the industry is a fun one! On one hand we get to thrive creatively, on the other hand all of us have to deal with the bad that sometimes comes with it. At least we can all laugh at it collectively! Let’s turn those negatives into positives… so we can laugh at our own misery. Misery loves company, and so here we are. (I don’t know, just go with it.)

No matter how long you’ve been doing this, chances are there are specific things you just never want to hear from a client. We’ve all been through some of these situations.

I asked photographers and creatives to come up with some of their favorites, in the form of actual dialogue or through sarcasm, and they are hilarious(ly sad):

1. “If I pay half can we just cut down half of the photos?” –Bertina Bartlett

2. Client says, “I need these images retouched by tomorrow afternoon, I will send it now.” Client sends them the next day and keeps the same deadline. –Lauren Lesley Bubb

3. “Can you make that in black and white, but leave my nipples in color.” –Danny Tan

4. “Oh, no need to edit photos, we can handle that.” –Haley Rose Tetreault

5. “Hi! We found your work on Instagram and just love it. We are a new (insert stupid company) and would love to send you our a free (insert stupid product). All you have to do in return is take a picture of it and share it with your followers! What do you think?” –Toby Harriman

6. “I talked to that other guy and he takes like half of what you quoted with more stuffs to give.” –Akhilesh Singh

7. “Do you mind if I send over a link to my Pinterest board?” –Nicholas Gore

8. “Can we have the same pose as this?” Referring a portrait taken when the children are still toddlers… about 20 years ago. –Ghene Snowdon

9. “I need a photo… nothing great… just a picture…” –Kevin McGowan

10. “You can make me skinny right?” …says 300lb client –Pat Black

11. “If you can go lower, we’ll definitely hire you.” –Avan Patel

12. “Can you just… turn her head around? She was looking the other way.” –Yash Singh

13. “I’d love to work with you!” I send over my rates. “Oh, I was wanting a TFP shoot!” –Julie Bearce Ray

14. “Please give me everything you shot from the night in raw. The bands prefer their own ‘retouching.'”
“I don’t give out raw files.”
“So can you just export them as JPEGs without ‘retouching?'” –Billy Murray

15. “I have to pay you, but if you put it in your portfolio, you owe me.” –Simi Jois

16. “Since your camera takes great photos, we don’t have to pay you a lot right? –Tony Pardi

17. “Can you Photoshop a jacket on me because I wish I was wearing a jacket during the photo shoot.” –Anonymous

18. “You can shoot my significant other too, right?” –Jose Luis

19. Client books you. Client cancels shoot. Client shoots with another photographer. Client asks you to retouch photos because they suck. –Anonymous

20. “I like the unedited one better” –Jeremy Dexter

21. Client before shoot: “You can take your time, we’re not in a rush.”
Client after shoot: “Can you send me the photos in 5 minutes? I want to use it now.” –Evilona Arts

22. “What plugin do you use to retouch?” –Evilona Arts

23. “I have an idea…” –Tancho Showa

24. Email after the job: “What’s the best camera and lens combo to photograph xxx? And what light did you use?” –Kris Pueyo Fulk

25. “After this, can you also take a photo with this phone? –Chandana Venkatayogi

26. “Can you wait an extra month for your check?” –Mario Rafael Burgos Espeleta

27. “I have the same camera, why should I hire you?” –Erica Carr via her colleague

28. Just give me the pictures in color. I’ll put a black and white filter on them myself!” –Alex Buck Colding Jorgensen

29. “Hi photographer, My name is XXXXX, I’m a prince from Nigeria, and I love your work, I have an upcoming event that I need your services for, do you accept credit card, also because you will do a great job, I will make sure you win our lottery, just send us your social security number first so we can get you to shoot our event.” –Tony Pardi

30. “I just want light retouching, nothing expensive.” –Pratik Naik

For more, check out the full discussion over in the original Facebook thread.

About the author: Pratik Naik is a photographer, high-end retoucher, and instructor. He offers his professional services through Solstice Retouch and his training through Retouching Classes. You can find more of his work and writing through his blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This article was also published here.