I’m a photographer and I got a referral from a friend who used to work with me. They’d sent me a few of these before and there were never any problems.
I made the mistake of only getting a very quick verbal brief before the job and then turning up and shooting it.
The client was the venue owner and as it was fairly new, he was very busy with setup and making sure everything went smoothly.
Awkwardly, I discovered the event organisers had hired their own photographer, and their guests did not want me taking their photographs. After I explained it to the client, he said just get close-ups of the food, and the wait staff for online usage, I stayed 50% longer than I was paid for, I just had a feeling that he didn’t quite know what he wanted.
I edited and uploaded the job a few days later, only to receive a voicemail, text message and an essay of an email in quick succession at 10pm at night from someone who sounded drunk.
Client: THESE ARE THE WORST PHOTOS I HAVE EVER SEEN, WHAT WERE YOU SMOKING? FIX THIS NOW.
The email was longer, it consisted of the problem with each photo, and why I should not be allowed to call myself a photographer.
I quickly discovered that whilst he’d looked at the photos I’d captured, he had not gotten what he wanted. I still do not know what that is and after three goes at explaining what was wrong and telling me the photos were out of focus because they were shot with a large aperture and complaining that there were no faces in the shots I threw in the towel and said I was sorry to waste his time.
After that job, I made sure to get a shot list from every new client and show examples.