Upload & Sell: Off
I suppose this is as good a reason as any to get some studio space.
I met a prospective client and her mom tonight at a local bakery/coffee place. We sat at a round table big enough for three; there were tables behind mom, and a booth behind me. The booth behind me was occupied by a big fella and his wife, who had a laptop and other equipment on their table, not going anywhere.
The bride, mom, and I talked for a good hour about their goals for photography, about the wedding day schedule, about my shooting style. They watched a little slide show on the iPad to see some samples. They asked questions about products.
At one point, the bride made a remark that mom and I found amusing. As we were all laughing, mom said, "...at least we're entertaining this man over here," and pointed to the guy sitting directly behind me, in the booth.
It quickly became apparent that he had been conspicuously listening in and observing us, and mom was indicating that he was laughing along with us.
As I turn to see what's going on, he announces, "Well, I'm also a photographer, so I'm enjoying watching you all discuss your daughter's wedding."
At this point, I begin to experience an odd sensation -- a strong desire to behave in a way that I can only describe as merely suicidal, given the sheer size of the guy speaking (I'm a pretty small guy). The sensation heightens considerably when, instead of politely withdrawing, he continues to address the mother:
"And I agree with what he's (pointing to me) saying about the value of wedding coordinators. In my experience, you want a coordinator, and I'd go even further and say that moms make the worst coordinators, because they need to be ..." and he goes on about this for a considerable time.
Maybe this wasn't a "photobombing," so much as a "photojacking."
There's more. Mom and the bride engage with him and ask him a question or two, and he proceeds to scare them with a little list of things to worry about. This just cremates my approach, which of course is to address client concerns, and reassure them. So, now, near the end of our conversation, instead of feeling calm and happy about meeting with me, the bride is considerably more nervous than she was before.
I finally politely wrest control of the conversation back, and we spend our last five minutes or so wrapping up. As I stand up, this guy interjects again, and in a big, friendly voice, says, "You sir, I need your card." I give him one. His wife reaches for her pocketbook and hands me his card, which I accept, and thank them, and turn to get the clients out the door.
And that's when -- I'm sure you've now seen it coming -- his wife reaches around behind me and hands his card to mom, as well.
And a number of bad words are all struggling against my strongest filters to escape my lips. I kept them bottled up, though I may have let a few escape when I got in the car.
Tell me, FM, how is this even possible? Are ethics dead? And manners? What planet am I on?
Edited on Aug 17, 2012 at 04:09 AM · View previous versions