More often than not, as a new wedding photographer, you will be abused and taken advantage of by clients time and time again. This is something that technically comes with the territory. Whenever you feel as if you need to go the extra mile just to ensure that your clients really are happy with what they are getting from your services as a wedding photographer, perhaps it’s time for you to step back a little and to rethink your options and the things that you are doing while you are shooting the wedding. Always look back on the contract that you and the clients signed. By now, you should know the contract by heart, page by page.
Stick to the contract.
Take note of the things that are expected from you and the things that you have signed up on and stick to it as much as possible. The moment that you start going over and beyond what you are required to do, you are already exposing yourself to abuse. So your clients befriend you and you already feel as if you are at a certain level of understanding or that you have a relationship that turns out to be more than just a business relationship. You have actually started to hang out with the couple before their actual wedding day. During the wedding, they know that you stop at a certain hour but the celebration went on a little longer than they have actually expected so they requested you to stick around a little bit longer so they can get it documented.
Stick to what you know.
Reiterate to your clients that your official time as a Seattle wedding photographer has already ended and that you should be up and packing by now. However, given the circumstance and given the fact that they would like you to extend, then notify them that from there on out, you will have to charge by the hour based on what the contract states. Of course, by all means, you should do this in a polite and professional manner that will not end up offending them in the process. However, the fact remains that you should not try all that hard to please them especially if it means that you are being shortchanged all throughout that time.
You are a professional and your business is in offering out professional services to your clients.
Your time is gold and your time is precious. If they did not pay for it, then they should not get it. This is something that you really need to be careful about because there will be clients out there who will try to get every bang for buck value out of the money that they have paid you. As sad as this may sound, this is how it works in the real world and that is why you need to go through the motions of really being able to protect yourself.
At the end of it all, it’s really purely textbook.
You don’t have to bend over backwards to please your clients especially if it means you will be getting abused in the process.