I recently had to do a reshoot for a client and it wasn’t a happy experience. That’s why I wanted to share it with you to tell you what I learned from it. Maybe it can prevent you from going through the same painful experience.
Here’s what happened: I did a photoshoot for a client one night after business hours, and they wanted preliminary (unretouched) images the same night for internal approval before opening the store. I had a few more days to retouch the images. The client had asked for a number of interior images, some exteriors, as well as elevations (one-point perspectives). They had very few instructions, but they did send me examples of other photoshoots.
I should have asked more questions.
I sent some preliminary images, picking shots that would show most of the space. The next morning, they told me that I sent mostly one-point perspectives and that they wanted angled views. I sent them a few, but they wanted more shots and wider compositions. At that point, I had to tell them that I did not have more shots to show them and I offered to do a reshoot. There were not happy, so we planned a reshoot for the same day.
While I don’t think my client told me what they really wanted, the fault is mine. I should have asked more questions. It is my job and my responsibility to find out what my client wants. As photographers, we need to understand what our clients want, even though they might not know it themselves. Ask questions, show them examples, look at their website for examples of photography they commissioned. Do not hesitate to clarify everything.
Our clients don’t necessarily express what they want verbally. In my example, I should have studied further the examples they sent me. I would have realized that they did not have any tight shots and I could have planned my photoshoot differently.
Ultimately, the client is always right.
Having to do a reshoot is bad for the relationship with your clients, but it will also cost you time and money. In this case, I had to extend a rental for some gear I was using, on top of having to shoot on a Friday after 9:30pm.
Ultimately, the client is always right, especially if you hope to keep working with them. So do everything to not be in that position. In this case, I really don’t know if they will hire me again. Time will tell.