Editor’s Note: This story was submitted with the client comments in green comic sans, which was impressive to include, but something I don’t want to subject our readers to.
I work as a photographer in the Middle East, where aesthetic value is depressed across all industries. The demand for Western imagery is low, so I usually take what I can get to pay the rent. I agreed to shoot a one hour portrait session for the CEO of large food distribution company, a service offered for free by the middleman I work for so he can acquire future business. I asked a fee less than my standard rate, as I would be working for this client in the future. After having the middleman hang over my shoulder, dictating every small detail for 300 shots over two exhausting hours, I asked him for payment for both hours. He proceeded to pull my ear and giggle before walking away.
Wanting to get the project over with, I edited 90 very redundant images (the standard portrait crop of 15 or 20 does NOT exist here) and sent them at 4MB via Dropbox.
I then received multiple emails (in lime green Comic Sans), asking for all 300, in color, b/w, and unedited, (in case he wanted to edit them).
Client: Hi pls remove the shadow behind him. need all the photo colored black white need all the photo high realization big big as u can urgent soon as u can this photo and i need the all of them tomorrow pls
He insisted he come with his ‘usb hard stick’, where he would take all images at maximum possible size (which would be hours of him sitting at my dining table, trying to talk me into a pyramid scheme his family joined while images transfer. It’s happened before). I sent about 5 emails explaining how this process is usually done, and I explained that what I sent was more than sufficient considering his needs, my pay, and the free nature of the service.
After ignoring what I was saying, he started blowing up my phone, which I ignored. To which I received:
Client: OH CAN U CALL ME ON PHONED RESPECT MY PHONE CALL http:// ALL
I sent him a final email explaining that I have no interest in working with anyone who devalues my time and undermines my skill.