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What Happens When a Client Doesn’t Trust You?

May 2, 2013 - Business, Photography

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Dear Jasmine,
I am shooting my first wedding this May and I have complete confidence that I can shoot it and do a great job, but the mother of the bride doesn't trust me. I went to visit the venue with her today and she literally told me where she wanted family portraits, where she wanted bridesmaids portraits, and she was just controlling everything and it was stressing me out because she knows nothing about light or photographing a wedding.
I tried telling her I had second shot at many weddings and that she could trust me but she didn't even seem to hear me. She wants it done her way and when I tried explaining that light was a very important part to a good photograph, she really didn't seem to care very much.
How am I supposed to tell her I'm in charge without making her or the bride angry? My worst fear is that she's going to follow me around all day on the wedding day and tell me how to photograph things. I know I can express to her that I need to do my job and that I CAN do my job but I feel that she won't care and will still tell me what to do.
Sincerely,
Mama Drama

Dear Mama Drama,
I can remember the sweet, early days of starting my own wedding photography business…and the stress that came along with getting clients (and their families) to trust me. I'll never forget the first time I received a five-page, single-spaced, font 11 shot list itemizing every photograph I should take. As I reviewed it, my heart sank. I was in deep. It wasn't the list that made me sad, it was the fact she didn't trust me. She wasn't confident I could capture her wedding day.

This is what I suspect is occurring in your situation. But I caution you: think like the brides's mother. No doubt the bride's mom has waited her entire life to see her daughter marry the man of her dreams and the family has invested in a photographer who has never photographed a wedding on his/her own. Say what you will, but it's a risk. And the bride's mom is trying to do everything she can to minimize the risk.

The key is to: 1. be sensitive; and 2. do everything you can to put her at ease (and this most likely won't happen with mere words). As photographers, we know the power of seeing, so we must enable our clients with the same capability. If you want to stress the importance of light on the wedding day, put together an online gallery or a slideshow of photos that reflect your ability to photograph beautiful images in ideal light. If the mother of the bride is worried about family photos, put together a different online gallery or slideshow showcasing your family portrait skills. In short, curate portfolio pieces that speak directly to your clients' fear. If, after seeing your work, the client is still worried about your ability to succeed on your own, it's time to prepare on how you'll deal with bad light at the location they want to shoot.

At the end of the day, it has less to do with the mother of the bride worrying you can't do your job and more to do with preserving her daughter's wedding memories. In light of this, curate specified samples of work to make her see your words. Yes, it will require work on your end, but I believe it'll give you the freedom you desperately want on the wedding day. Show her what you can do, speak confidently, and work your @$$ off at the wedding. Soon enough, the bride and her family will be singing your praises. Promise.

Stay Fabulous,
j*

To read more Dear Jasmine posts, feel free to click HERE.

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Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

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FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
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