Upload & Sell: Off
Had two wedding consults on Sunday. First one went fabulous, just a lovely couple, a lot of fun and they've booked us. Second consult was a bride and her mom, with groom around the house not involved. (I work out of my house, so still meeting couples at coffee shops and their houses.)
Bride and mom were complaining about everything before we got started: venues they were looking at (nothing was good enough), dresses, colors, textures, nothing was beyond their reach. Set the tone immediately. I stayed upbeat, positive. She mentioned that I was one of three photographers she was meeting with, and photography was not something she going to skimp on. It was very important. She then ragged on about the first photographer she met with, a friend of the groom who offered a "friend discount" and the price was still outrageous. She wanted an album, 2nd shooter, and video. They live in a rented second floor of an older house, and their furniture was like from the 1950s. I mention this only because her attitude about her wedding was so completely incongruous with her lifestyle.
As I was showing her one of my albums, she said she couldn't even judge the quality of my album because as she was looking at my pictures, all she could think about was the choices the bride made and how she hated every choice she made. She then pointed out my first dance picture, a lovely b&w shot of the b&g blissfully cuddling on the dance floor with a shallow DOF and his parents, slightly OOF, in the background watching them. She points out some drapes, completely OOF in the deep background, and complains about them because of the way they were hanging.
She eventually told me her greatest fear was the photographer horror stories she's heard of her friends who did not get their pictures or albums within six months or longer. She also was majorly concerned about the clause in my contract about my being ill or injured and getting another photographer to replace me. "I'd still pay full price?" she asked. I could see this bride complaining about every aspect of the photography after it was done, and wanting compensation, or writing bad reviews.
She made a comment about the other photographer she met without mentioning his name, and I said, "Oh, that's so-and-so." She asked me about him and I said he was a nice guy.
What I didn't tell her was that I met this photog because he needed someone to cover a wedding for him. He said he had a car accident, but he actually wasn't injured and I don't really believe he had an accident. He later told me he didn't want to shoot anymore, just wanted to send out associates. He never bothered telling the wedding couple that I was replacing him, so it was kinda awkward when I showed, but it all worked out well. I was warned he wasn't very good at paying, and he was not very good at staying in touch. I wanted to tell the bride that she might want to look at his Yelp reviews because they a number of his bad reviews have to do directly with her concerns. In truth, I felt they deserved each other.
I think it would be ironic if he called me to cover her wedding for him. Not that I would do it, but the thought would be funny. So... what do you do in a situation like this? Do you kiss and tell, or take the high road, knowing this bride is going for a bad ride?