Well, it can happen to everyone – you love the photos you took, but your client isn’t entirely pleased. What should you do when this happens? In this video, Daniel Norton discusses how to deal with this tricky situation, focusing on taking headshots in the studio and resolving the problem on the spot.
Daniel talks about two different types of dislike, so to say. The first one is merely “technical,” when your client doesn’t like how the photos look. They may say that you try something else, like using a different lens or a different light.
If this happens, ask your client: “What is it about the photos that you don’t like?” Ask them to be specific and tell you how they think their suggestion would contribute to the shot. If their answer makes sense, then you should try it their way. Why not? But they might give a response that doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t justify their suggestion. In this case, you should explain to them why your method works for the look they want to achieve. Educate them, don’t shut them down, otherwise, you’ll create tension and that’s never good.
There can also be a “psychological issue” behind the reason why your client doesn’t like the photos. Daniel gives a great example of this. Even though he took some beautiful shots, one of his clients said that she didn’t like them “because she looked like her grandma.” The younger version of it, to be clear. Daniel talked to her and asked why she thought it was a bad thing. And the girl responded: “She was always mean to us.”
In cases like this, you can take a photo of your model from another angle or photograph a different side of their face. Still, if you think that the original images are beautiful, advise them to keep them anyway. When a third party sees them, they will be more objective because there’s no emotional connection. And in the case of this client of Daniel’s – she kept the original headshots and one of them became the most successful one.
Whichever the reason is behind your subject’s dissatisfaction, the key to resolving the problem is communication. Be nice, don’t be a know-it-all, and do things your way without listening to their reasoning. Instead, talk to them, listen to what bothers them, and then either educate them or implement their ideas. This will make them happy and satisfied, they will return, and they will recommend you to everyone. A little kindness and patience go a long way.
[Client doesn’t like the images | Daniel Norton]