Have you ever turned a wedding down because of the wedding planner they've hired? I have an inquiry and the client is working with the a planner that makes me want to hide in a dark hole. She was incredibly disrespectful to me in our first interaction, I was hired by the restaurant owner to capture details and environment shots for their site/marketing promotion, before anyone from the wedding arrived. When they did arrive I packed up my gear and tried to introduce myself to her before heading out. She yelled: “DELETE ALL PHOTOS!!!!” “If I so much as see one of my wedding photos anywhere I'm coming after YOU!!” Obviously I deleted the cards immediately. My tummy turns still at the thought of working with her and this couple sounds amazing, but the dreaded time has come where I have to choose.
Dear Tumultuous Tummy,
When I read your email, my stomach rumba'd right along with yours. Why? Because I recently had a terrible experience with a wedding planner. So awful was this encounter that I found myself wanting to cry in a bathroom basement during the wedding reception. And I'm not exactly a crier.
In short, the coordinator followed me around the entire night telling me what to shoot, she berated me for “missing the bride hugging her mom” (even though JD was shooting the exact moment while I was shooting something else), and yelled at me in front of guests for shooting with a light during the first dance (even though the light belonged to the videographer, not me). Not only was she extremely difficult to work with, her attitude was unprofessional.
When the 13-hour wedding commenced, I walked into the bathroom and cried from frustration. Then I promised myself to never work with her again. The perk of running your own business is the ability to choose who you want to work with…and omitting things from your life that cause inordinate amounts of stress. Or at least we should.
Often we worry or second-guess the luxury of making such a decision, but–as creatives–it's difficult to fulfill our artistic potential when we dread the process of creation (or the people we're working with to create). In the span of life, your career is too short to work with people who make you miserable. Value your time and defend your sanity because it's one of the few priceless things you possess.
This is like Pepto Bismo for your Business,
**Edited to Add**
I failed to outline HOW I respond to a client when I decide not to work with her because of another vendor she hired, so here it goes…
When a prospective client inquires regarding my services, I respond with an email template requesting preliminary information (you can find the templates here), and one of those questions is listing the coordinator. If I see they are working with a vendor who I know would impede me from doing my best for the client, I respond by saying I'm unavailable…and give at least three recommendations for other photographers. I should also note there are just a very few people I'd prefer not to work with. For the most part I consider myself malleable and accommodating, but when I feel bullied or disrespected, I draw a line in the sand. 🙂