Clients from Hell

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September 21, 2014
"We don’t appreciate the amount of women and black people included in those stock photos."

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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.

September 20, 2014

Client: It’s unacceptable! There is no way this flyer is in high resolution!

Me: I don’t understand, it’s the maximum quality settings I can get.

Client: Don’t bullshit me kid, I zoomed in to 150% and it’s all pixelated!

September 19, 2014

I invoiced a client for some small amends to a Flash site some years ago. The invoice was for £20 ($33).

Client: The invoice just says “Website updates to” Could you give me a breakdown of what you did to arrive at the price?

I try to make the point that the invoice was too small to warrant a breakdown.

Me: I’d have to list each step I took in Flash which would mean me teaching you how to use the software first.

Client: If you could do that, it would be great.

I’m a senior design student at university, and have had a few internships and some freelance work. My mom calls me to tell me about how she got an artist to do character paintings for her for the book she’s writing. 

Client: Oh my god you should see these pictures he did, they’re so freaking beautiful!

Me: Send them to me, I’d love to see!

Client: He only let me preview them. I can’t have them until I’ve paid him $1200. It’s so damn expensive.

Me: Aw, well that’s usually how it works. You gotta pay the rest of the deposit.

Client: Hey, why don’t I give you the login information and you take a picture of the preview and redo it for me so I don’t have to pay!

Me: Welp.

September 18, 2014

Old Timey: On a very special episode of Clients From Hell, a real-time interpretation of client revisions teaches us that history repeats itself. Spoiler Alert: People have always been this terrible.

We’d like to extend a massive thank you to the guys from Site5 who have sponsored all our upcoming videos. Site5 are also offering a coupon for 6 months of free web hosting and migration of your site, so be sure to sign-up below!

I animated and edited a short video for my clients and it was time to review the rough draft. I put music underneath as a temporary track. The five of my clients and I were all in a room together to watch it.  

Client: We don’t like the music at all.

Me: What don’t you like about it?

Client: It needs more “pep” and needs to be more “upbeat.” This is just not doing it.

Me: I have several other choices we can listen to so I can get a better idea of what you mean.

I proceed to play eight different tracks before finishing with the same track from the video. They unanimously pick the same track I had them listen to before.

Client: Yeah, that one. Why didn’t you use that one?

"In your contract, you have each additional hour costing $350. But in your brochure, it says up to 4 hours $350/hour. Which is it?"