I’m a photographer specializing in “boudoir” and sexy-style shots. I’m a woman, and most of my clients are other ladies looking for someone supportive since taking semi-nude photos is sort of vulnerable.
I actually get a lot of referrals from my city’s burlesque scene, which is super cool, and I’m worked with some really cool folx this way. Normally, it’s a lot of smiles, laughs, and good times. Not so much this time.
This client reached out to me because someone had mentioned my name – I’m not sure who. Things took a turn when I showed up.
Client: You’re late, kitten.
I arrived at 3:01 PM with all my gear. We’d said 3:00.
The client second guessed every decision – all the lighting, all of my gear, everything. I couldn’t do anything without her demanding an explanation.
Client: I’m a pro, honey. Don’t try to pull a fast one on me.
I honestly couldn’t tell if she was hitting on me or not. It was kind of right on the line. Anyway, she had me take a few photos of her in her “signature” burlesque costumes, and… I want to be nice, but I’d worked with a lot of girls, and these costumes weren’t very good. She was very pretty, but they didn’t fit well, and they looked super costume-y. Still, I didn’t figure she’d appreciate me telling her that, so I kept my lips zipped and did the shoot without comment.
When I sent her all the photos, she was furious.
Client: I look TERRIBLE. You made my outfits look cheap! I hate to say it, but this is amateur hour, sugar.
I don’t mean to brag, but I’m good at what I do. I’d taken countless photos of her colleagues and they all looked great.
She gave me two options: an entire reshoot or a total refund. I opted for the latter.
Next time I did a shoot with someone else in the scene, I dropped her name just to see what would happen. They screamed.