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| p.1 #1 · Critiquing the Client |
I've added a section to my "newbies" sticky about this subject, but I'd just like to put this out there for those of you who have already read the sticky, because it's become a significant problem lately. Steve has had to remove multiple posts/threads over this issue in the past few weeks (including one of mine), and I know I've sent a few PM's suggesting that people adjust their wording in various threads,
There has been a rash lately of people making comments that are either explicitly derogatory to the subjects of photos, or, in the very least, ambiguous as to whether they refer to the photographic techniques used or to the client.
FredMiranda.com does VERY well on Google, folks. I have had a number of my non-photographer clients find this forum and my posts, and mention it to me. This is a public forum that anyone may view. Your comments WILL be seen by the public at large, and in some cases the subjects of the photos.
Much of the intellectual commerce of this forum centers around critique, and in order for it to be a useful forum, participants must be free to make critical comments as well as laudatory. However, critical comments absolutely MUST explicitly refer to the photographic techniques used, and should be worded in such a way to spare the client's feelings should they happen across the thread.
Bad: "The bride looks fat in #5"
Better: "Your choice in posing #5 made the bride look larger than she needed to"
Best: "You should have chosen a more flattering pose in number 5, given the bride's body type. Consider trying...."
This is ESPECIALLY true for our brides, who are in many cases EXTREMELY self-conscious about their appearance, given the high expectations they have developed for their wedding day. Comments that we as photographers understand to be critical of technique (i.e., "he's obviously referring to posing, FL choice, etc") may not be viewed as such by a sensitive bride. Thus, always err on the side of caution when making your comments: if the subject was your sister/wife/mother/daughter, is it possible that she might take the comment badly? Anyone who has ever been asked "does this dress make my butt look big?" should understand how carefully one needs to approach some of these types of comments.
Different people have different attitudes toward critiques. Personally, I have a pretty thick skin and don't mind harsh comments. Heck, I've had people shoot at me and didn't take it personally . However, I have absolutely zero tolerance for anyone making comments that might conceivably hurt the feelings of my clients.
Lets keep it classy FM. We're better than this.