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.

Tainted Love: Why Photographers Fail

Recently there has been a spate of very sad, and ultimately defeatist articles decrying the “death of photography”. We have no shortage of examples. Seriously. Forces Your Clients to Pay Before They Get Their Images

You've probably heard the horror stories... they go something like this: photographer gets job, photographer does job, photographer delivers images to client, client disappears without paying photographer. It's a tale as old as time, and it's exactly what a new service called intends to stop.

7 Easy Ways to Lose Your Photography Clients

Photographer Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens made this short 8-minute video with 7 easy ways you can lose your photography clients.

"If you do these seven things, you’re going to lose your photo and video clients. I guarantee it," says Morgan. "That's right, I'm going to teach you the 7 best ways to keep your clients from ever hiring you again."

My New Policy of ‘Untipping’ as a Pro Photographer

It occurred to me yesterday that the whole idea of "tips" is a bit lopsided. If someone does a great job, we give them a hefty tip; if they do a terrible job, we give them no tip. In other words, the worst thing we can do to someone who provides a bad level of service is to not give them extra money.

That's... kind of a low bar to set. It's not even carrot-and-stick -- it's carrot-and-smaller-carrot. Helps Take the Pain Out of Photography Contracts

Nothing seems to be a more tedious task than the need to fill out paperwork. Especially if the paperwork has to be sent back and forth between you and a client multiple times. Luckily, is a website that aims at making contracts easy to compile and sign for photographers (and videographers, designers, and more). Let’s take a moment to try out the service and is if it delivers on its promise of simplicity.

Open Letter to Client Regarding the ‘Job Killer’ Quoted Rate

Hello Potential Client,

Regarding your last email in which you said:

“... if they (your client) saw the $700/ $1400 a day fee for the photographer they would dismiss the project immediately... (most of my client’s people make between $25 and $45 an hour)... Showing $100/hr was also a job-killer as you can imagine”.

Well sure thing. I see where you’re coming from... Let’s rewrite the quote to show the actual number of hours I will work on this job, instead of only those spent with my face in a camera. Maybe that will help.

Getting the Clients You Want: Advice from Adventure Photographer Alexandre Buisse

Commercial mountain photographer Alexandre Buisse is a natural adventurer. When it comes to rock climbing or going for his major dream client with a cold call, Alex is a brave soul with immense talent to match. His client roster includes Patagonia, Red Bull, Sports Illustrated, Outer Edge Magazine, and many more.

We talked with Alex about his experience cold emailing and calling, what he’s learned about negotiating licensing rights, and his key marketing strategies. He also lays out the three things a budding adventure photographer should do when looking to get work -- including the importance of a work/fun balance.

Why Picky Clients are a Good Thing

A new client walked into my studio with her three little children, the eldest of which had a session. The little girl was all dressed-up, but very traditionally, so after conferring with mom, we began the session. And it was one of those sessions where everything went right. Happy child, great expressions, and yet, mom was hovering, straightening an already straight bow, smoothing invisible wrinkles in her daughter's tights, "fixing" tiny details, some of which weren't even in the frame.

The Sanity of Craziness: How Your Wild Imagination Can Be Good for Business

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years shooting personal projects as a way to get hired by the companies with whom I really want to work. When I began this process, my images were fairly tame. I assumed that mainstream and technically-correct images were better than free-form zaniness.

But then I started attending portfolio reviews, where I had the opportunity to sit down with industry buyers to find out what it is they really wanted to see. It was surprising to discover that my loopier ideas resonated more, even if they weren’t necessarily in the style of the company to whom I was pitching.

Humor: What Some Photography Clients Act Like in the “Real World”

Here's an oldie but goodie: Scofield Editorial released this tongue-in-cheek video back in 2009 titled, "The Vendor Client relationship in real world situations." It pokes fun at how clients try to bargain with creative professionals in ways that they would never do in "real world" situations (e.g. eating at a restaurant, buying a movie, getting a haircut).

Clients From Hell: A Collection of Client Horror Stories

We've all been there. Anybody who has ever done any work in the creative industry has had to deal with clients who have no understanding of basic business practices, or photography, or a little thing called payment. The above video was put together by the website Clients From Hell, where creatives can go and upload their most entertaining horror stories anonymously.

It's worth noting that the video is from the perspective of a graphic designer (as are many of the stories on the website) but many a photographer has dealt with similar problems.

What Else Can I Do For My Clients?

In a world where everybody wants more for less, it’s hard to justify spending money on things which may or may not make your clients happier. I have always been a believer in the idea that you need to spend money to make money, yet I find other photographers are very split on this subject. I know photographers who are proud that they use the same camera and laptop they bought 5 years ago citing that their clients aren’t complaining so it must be working just fine.