I won’t lie, this shoot nearly broke me. The booking process was on steroids: only a day or two from an interest email to me shooting this beautiful family in their home. To boot, they were referred to me by two photographers I am very, very inspired by who boast extremely successful LA careers. Normally I have weeks where I correspond with the client before I shoot them, where I send very specific instructions for a successful shoot together. So naturally I was running ragged and forgot to send the proper ‘prep documents’ to this new mama here. And if you are a mother reading this, you know just how cloudy those first weeks at home with a new baby are, and how any advice is welcomed with open arms.
So the point of this story is that despite how beautiful and luminous I think the photos are, I dropped the ball with the client because she didn’t quite agree. I was a day late and a dollar short and with this amazing opportunity to win over new, LA clients (and everyone in their network <—— enter sad, crying face here), I missed my mark. Lesson learned? Dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s isn’t overrated and neither is honoring your process as an artist/ business person/ freelancer. With a toddler at home and a bi-coastal career, I can’t do anything successfully at the last minute.
Costumer service is my top priority in working with new clients, and in my 7 years as a photographer, I have only had one client who actively communicated that they weren’t happy with their images. Photography is a ‘people’ business so one unhappy client can certainly affect your prospective client base. That said, I ended up refunding everything but the retainer to these clients here. They were impressed and respected that decision which helped mitigate any further damage and it also helped to repair my bruised ego. I share this story with you because freelance life is very glamorous on the surface but can be filled with lots of sleepless nights and perpetual angst. I appreciate each and every one of you readers, whether you are friends, clients, colleagues or all of the above!