Client: How did you vote?
Client: Never mind, I think I know.
Client: Once you finish this phase of the project, I think I might go a different direction.
STORY TYPES Absurd Requests
Client: I'm not happy with this website. The writing is terrible.
Me: I didn't write it. This is all content you gave me.
Client: You didn't fix it?
Me: I fixed the spelling errors but I'm not a writer or an editor and it wasn't part of our contract.
Client: Well then why did I hire you?
Me: To design and put together your website.
Client: Isn't the writing part of the website ?
Client: I feel like you're trying to win on a technicality.
Takes one to know one.
A few days ago I did photoshoot for a pole dancing school. The shoot was for three coaches, and I was supposed to shoot them as they danced, demonstrated moves, etc.
The schedule of the day was always to begin taking natural shots, and when that was done I would swap out the lights for some moody portraits.
Half an hour into the shoot and the first coach said that she had to go. I'd already taken a number of photos, so I let her know I would send her what I had but that she wouldn't get anything from the second set. She left.
Two hours later, I finished the rest of the natural shoot and changed the setup for the moodier shoot. That went well, and after a couple of days where I edited everything I sent them off. The first coach, the one who left early, responded:
Client: Hey, can you make photos of me look like moody/mystical photos you took of the owner?
Me: I can try, but that was a very different lighting setup.
After some dodging, burning, and other Photoshop magic, I came with something that looks like she wanted. Her response:
Client: I want it to look more natural.
1) Moody/mystical and "natural" are pretty different vibes 2) you left partway through the shoot. I don't know what you want me to do for you.
I had a client who liked to meet at coffee shops. He was a real coffee snob, and every time we met he would suggest some out of the way place that charged $6 for a pour over coffee and took me 50 minutes to get there. I proposed alternate spots a few times, but he would dismiss them with "this place is really good, let's do that.
The last straw was when he proposed we meet at coffee shop that was at the end of a weird street peninsula, where two road forked. It had very limited space, so all the seats were lined up bar-style. I got there on time, but he was there already... sitting in the only open chair in the place.
He made me stand and talk to him in the middle of the coffee shop floor while I presented my ideas for the next print project.
A bride called and asked if the artist I work with can do oil paintings at her wedding. He does wedding paintings. She liked the ones on the website. They take 25 hours to do one.
Client: I want a painting of each guest they can take home as a memento.
Me: That's a massive job, and I don't think anyone on earth could do it.
She also complained that $2500 for an 18" x 24" oil painting was too high.
Client: You're the expert, but I want to run it by my friends.
Client: You're the expert, but my friends didn't like it and have some suggestions.
Client: You're the expert, but let's do something completely different from what you came up with.
Is "you're the expert" the new "no offense"? You can't just say it and assume it does the job.
It's been a while since I've met any clients in person, but I've been remembering when I would. This happened a few years ago now, but I still think about it. Not the worst client I've had - not by a long shot - but memorable.
The client was running late for a meeting:
Client: If it's okay, I'm going to stop for coffee.
Me: That's fine.
Client: Do you want me to pick you up anything?
Me: You know, I'll take a black coffee. Sure! Thanks, and see you soon.
She showed up in twenty minutes and gave me a coffee and a muffin the size of a boxing glove.
Client: This place has the best muffins, so I got you one.
Me: Oh, thanks!
How nice! How thoughtful! Until the end of the meeting when we talked budget:
Client: Okay, so figure out what you want to charge me and knock off $7.89.
Me: Oh, okay... why $7.89?
Client: That's what I paid for your coffee and muffin.
Ah yes, the muffin I didn't ask for.
This was indeed a red flag - the client would go on to do LOTS of things that SEEMED considerate but were not actually at all.
I created a music video for a local musician. I thought the job was over when they contacted me with a complaint about the file.
Client: The file you sent me won’t play.
Me: It seems to be working for me. Do you need a different format?
Client: I don’t know! I sent it to the Radio station and they said it won’t work.
Me: You mean the original song?
Client: No! The music video you created!
Me: On the radio? Not the station’s website?
Client: Yes, the Radio! Can you send me a video they can play?
Client: That was the whole point! I told you this was going to be played on the radio!
Me: I thought you meant the song.
Client: What good is the song if they can’t see the story that goes with it?