When you contact me via my website, a few drop-down menus offer some options for the services you might be interested in. It helps me sort jobs and gives me some more initial info on what the client wants.
I received an email from a client telling me they’re after a single half-hour profile shoot, which is offered for people that need a couple of headshots for business or LinkedIn profiles, etc.
This being such a small service, there’s no need for a face-to-face, so we correspond by email. She asks me to meet her at a particular time and place. She wants the natural light offered by the location, and doesn’t need external lighting. I bring my basic kit: tripod, monopod, DSLR, a couple of lenses, and a flash for fill light if needed.
I get to the location. The client is wearing a wedding dress and is surrounded by six other women in matching bridesmaid dresses. She stands up and thanks me for coming. I’m assuming the worst, but I ask anyway:
Me: What’s with the wedding getup? Is it a fitting or a dress rehearsal and I just happen to be getting some profile shots at the same location?
Nope. It’s actually her wedding day, and she’s hired me as the photographer. She starts telling me all about how she wants shots of the people mingling outside, her and her bridesmaids, the groom and groomsmen, and how I ‘should be able to work out the usual stuff on my own.’
I asked her why she told me it was a profile shoot when it was actually a wedding, saying I was dangerously unprepared for a wedding shoot. She tells me - proud of being so cunning - that she figured I’d charge her wedding rates, so she’d get a better deal if she told me it was just a cheaper shoot. I told her that’s not how it works, and gave her my usual price for a wedding. She just shook her head and said:
Client: I’ll give you the price we agreed to and I signed a contract for. Besides, you said you were unprepared - a real pro would be ready for anything!
I chose to leave.