Me: Could you please answer this important question?
Client: (in a reply to the email asking the question) Hey I haven’t heard from you in a while. What the hell?
I’m a freelance photographer and last summer I worked at a wedding for my aunt. Alarm bells should have been ringing when the bridal party fired the girl they had booked only a week before the wedding.
So I did the event for free – because it was family and I was just starting out – and spent a decent amount of my free time getting them ready to print. I hand over the work to them and I hear nothing back.
A week later my cousin posts every photo on Facebook.
I wouldn’t have minded except she cropped out the watermark I placed on the images and makes no reference to me at all.
TL:DR: Could have been a bridesmaid, ended up an uncredited photographer.
I had the pleasure of speaking to a guy who would make an obnoxious buzzer noise every time I was suggesting anything he didn’t like, instead of saying so like a human being.
Me: So how about we make the background a light blue?
Me: Um, alright, you seemed to like green?
Luckily the project fell through.
Client: My boss asked you to grant me access to this software, but it’s still not working! I can’t do any work without it!
Me: Ok, I’ll check your account. Can you please hold the line a minute?
Client: Yes, but just a minute, ok? I really need this access quickly!
Me: Your access is indeed not granted, but I can’t find the approved request from your boss. When was it sent?
Client: Well, when I started working on this department, obviously, since I need this software to do my job.
Me: Can you tell me on which date you started, then?
Client: Can’t remember exactly, but it was about 2 or 3 years ago.
Me: … and you can’t work without it, right?
I used to color comics professionally. When I started out, I was like most young, brand new freelancers: I had no idea what I was doing and signed on with a shady company. They paid me very little but kept giving me loads of work.
Eventually, they asked me to do a bunch of lettering work for $1/page. After a few projects, I convinced them to up it to $2/page.
After working with them for about a year (when I had started to wise up to this being a shady deal), they asked me to draw, color and letter a whole project for about $20/page. They only asked if I could draw, without ever asking to see the extent of my skills.
They never asked for my character designs, sketches, or updates. They just wanted me to hand in the finished inks before coloring them. So I set myself a time limit on each page that would make the fee at least marginally reasonable.
Ultimately, they were pissed at the quality of work I turned in, and I have never been so happy to be “let go” by a company.
I’m a wedding photographer, but a friend from high school asked me to film her wedding after the videographer she booked said he couldn’t make it. I don’t do video much at all, but I didn’t feel like I could say no. She was very sweet about it and said she’d pay well for my trouble.
The wedding itself went fine, but the reception was less so. My friend’s dad spent nearly all his time micromanaging any step I took.
Client’s Dad: Hey, make sure you get a good shot of Cassie and the cake, ok?
Me: Of course.
I had been standing. Next to his daughter. As she prepared to cut the cake with her husband. I guess he thought I was just enjoying the view.
Client’s Dad: Let me see what you have so far.
Client’s Dad: Let me check your progress.
He stood there until I’d conceded and showed him every clip I had.
Later in the night:
Client’s Dad: Excuse me, but you’re too close to the dance floor.
Client’s Dad: You’re getting in all the pictures people are taking of the dance floor. Please move.
It was almost like I was trying to get PROFESSIONAL FOOTAGE OF THE DANCE FLOOR.
I couldn’t believe this guy. Finally, the night ended, and a while after the wedding, after I’d sent the bride a download link for the completed video:
Client’s Dad: Hello, I can’t seem to print your video. Do you have another version of it or something?
Me: Do you mean you want to print some stills from the video? I can help you with that.
Client’s Dad: No, I want to print all of the video.
Me: …I don’t understand what you mean.
Client’s Dad: This is why I told Cassie not to book you. You were very unprofessional at the wedding. I’ll never recommend you to anyone after this.
I didn’t hear from him again, and honestly, I’m okay with that.
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.
I work in Tech Support for a fairly large hosting/domain company on the phone. I was working with a customer on a billing issue he claimed he had and was pulling up his payment information and going over everything with him. From what I could see, there was no problem.
So after about fifteen minutes of us talking and going over it he gets angry out of the blue:
Client: Do you know who you’re talking to? I’ve already been on this call for an hour and I make $300 an hour to do consultation for companies that wouldn’t wipe their a** with you! I don’t have time for this you f***ing moron!
At which point he hung up on me. Which meant the next time he called he had to wait on hold through our queue again until he got an agent who would do the exact same thing as I did and get the exact same result (I know this because I added a note to the account about my results so the next guy doesn’t have to do anything).
Best part of it all, the issue he had was over an $11.20 commission check that wasn’t due until the end of the month. It’s the 28th right now, the check should go out tomorrow or the day after.