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I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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LONG POST --- I'm looking for some input from the folks here. Here is the situation, plese tell me what you would do or what you think of it.

Client contacts me about doing an Art Nude and a Glamour shot for her fiance' as a surprise for his birthday. She indicates to me the shots she would like to get and specifically points out images on my web site that she wants to do. We agree on a date and time and also include makeup artist services. So far business as usual.

Enter the fiance. He's an ex-art director. Used to work at a large NYC ad agency. He tells me that she and he had discussed the shoot (now no longer a surprise) and that he wanted to give me ideas about the shots that he wants us to do. He describes "fun" shots (popping out of a cake, party theme, etc.). He wants them sexy and no "camera tricks" to make her look other than her normal self (hmmm... sounding less like her ideas every second). Tells me she is a cancer survivor and she has had major plastic surgery and that he loves her the way she is. Tells me she is a fun person. I tell him that I don't have a cake for her to pop out of and it would cost him for one if he really wanted it. He said it was just an idea. I contacted the client and told her that he had called. She knew he would but was starting to sound less in charge than she was in the beginning. We once again agreed on the theme and the shots she wanted which included a "baking" scene and 2 different art nudes (again she wanted art nudes too).

Fast forward to the shoot. MUA arrives, client arrives. Client and I sit down and go through some of my portfolios and she confirms the shots she wants to do. We discuss makeup and agree on a glam look but not really heavy. We shoot the art nudes (she liked shots where she wasn't "in your face" nude). Client decides that she wants to do a party scene instead of the baking one. No problem - I had purchased props for it in case this happened. She decided to wear lingerie and not be totally nude. Still no problem. We shot a sexy and fun set of shots and she was commenting all along how much she liked the shots and how much he would too (I'm tethered to the computer so we see the shots as they are taken). She appeared the be very pleased with the shoot at the end. She had a bounce in her step and a smile in her voice as she left. BTW - she is mid to late fifties in age.

Next day I get a note from her that they were only interested in two of the shots and that they were not what they wanted. I get a call from the fiance' who told me he wanted them more sexy and less staged. When I explained that I continually received positive feedback from her during the shoot he said that she was an amateur and she didn't know what she was talking about. I tell him that I'm sorry that they only were interested in two images because I felt the shots showed her in a "fun" way and sexy too. He says that he might want to do a re-shoot and he would like to direct it. I told him that would not be a problem. He says he is going to send me 3 pics he took of here so I could see what he liked. They arrived via email and my reaction was "webcam - dorm look" nudes and shot to make the subject look less than "strong" and beautiful. I politely critiqued the shots as he asked me to do (told me to be VERY honest). I told him again that my client indicated she wanted a completely different style of photos. He again said that she wasn't a professional.

A few emails went back and forth and I finally told him that I could capture any look he and she could make happen but that it would be in a full production studio and the sets would be at his expense. I was polite and left the door open for a re-shoot, but I made it clear that I will shot what he directs. They have decided against a re-shoot and I will print the two images that they selected. In retrospect I probably should have canceled the shoot when he first got involved - I had a bad feeling about it. My client has gone from happy to be doing a surprise for him to a "meek" person, letting him do the calling and all. I honestly feel bad for her. She seemed to be very happy with the images we got and I have several of her laughing and having a good time at the shoot. In all the time I have been shooting this is the first time that anything like this has happened. I feel badly for her because she was so excited at the shoot.

Would you have done something/anything differently?

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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Re: I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 02:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i probly would have done the same thing with the same nagging feeling that it wasn't going to end well.

all i can say is accept it, deal with it, and move.

really nice stuff in your port, btw.
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Re: I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Short answer- move on.


You are a photographer, not a marriage consuler. It sounds like he has control issues, and that he wants to be in charge. The fact he says that she is "an amateur and she didn't know what she was talking about" says what he thinks of her opinion. I hope you made enough from the session, because you should let this one go.

grs
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Re: I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 03:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
You are a photographer, not a marriage consuler.

[/ QUOTE ]

Dang, that is exactly what crossed my mind as I was about to make a response...

Or if you wanted to sing the old Doors song

"People are Strange"....

hopefully, you got paid...
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a shade off this subject...
Old 09-01-2005, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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After a bad experience I declined any future requests for this type of shoot. I've found too often the significant other is less than pleased with the "surprise" to the point of breaking up relationships and threatening bodily harm to the model and/or the photographer.
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Re: a shade off this subject...
Old 09-01-2005, 04:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
After a bad experience I declined any future requests for this type of shoot. I've found too often the significant other is less than pleased with the "surprise" to the point of breaking up relationships and threatening bodily harm to the model and/or the photographer.

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow, that bad, huh? People are messed up.
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Re: I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey, at least she didn't have any black eyes ir bruises while you were trying to shoot her eh? I have it when those doors jump out and trip you.

Toni
(dripping with sarcasm today)
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Re: a shade off this subject...
Old 09-01-2005, 04:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This type of shoot is one of my main sources of income.

During the consultation I usually ask if they are sure the partner will like them doing the shoot... once in a while I talk myself out of a session with this question.

Occasionally I will be contacted by the partner to arrange another session... they want to watch or join in.

grs
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Re: I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've seen similar thing in my profession. Some guys just have to be in control at all times. Forget about it. That's probably why he is an EX-art director.
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Re: I need you thoughts...
Old 09-01-2005, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think you handled it in the most diplomatic way possible, there just was not much else you could have done.

I almost had a somewhat similar situation, but had a pre shot sit down with both tbe model/client and her husband. I noted she said essentially nothing during the meeting. When I looked at her and asked her a direct question, she looked away and he answered, "She thinks ...", "She wants ..." and so on. After about a half hour of this t was pretty obvious to me that 'he' wanted pretty raucus hard core stuff and she wanted no part of it, but wouldn't or couldn't say so.

He got pretty pissed when I said I thought they should find another photographer, that I was not convinced the shoot was a good idea. As he took her by the hand and headed her the door, she turned while he could not see her and quicly mouthed "Thank you!".

I've done countles shoots as surprise gifts for husbands, boy friends, etc and have never been aware of any problems. Many of the guys who were recipients of the gift photos either called or emailed me with their thanks, including one email from a GI in Iraq.

When a woman chooses one of those controll freaks as their SO, there just isn't much a photographer can do.
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