The Silent Treatment

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by kirsten_sinkins, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. I had a wedding in August that's really drawing out.
    Unfortunately I experienced one of my SD cards corrupting and although I managed to retrieve 98% of the images
    the bride is clinging to the last 2% as those were of the entire wedding group. I explained to her that it's not salvageable and said I was sorry for not being able to get it back. Since then she's asked me again two more times if there is something I can do and I've explained all over again.

    Since then I've had nothing from her, I don't know if she is angry if she's accepted it or if she's just plainly ignoring me.
    To try and move things along I have lifted her image restriction on her USB (she has 500 photos instead of 400) - nothing
    I also discounted her for the inconvenience asking for £100 less than the amount on her contract which covers my time and the USB from my supplier - nothing
    The last message I sent her gave her a deadline for receiving her image choices of she wants her photos on the USB before Christmas. She has until the 25th of November to make her choices. If I don't receive them by then I'm planning on cutting my losses and giving her the entire collection on the USB whether she wants them or not just to put an end to it.

    I'm getting really frustrated because I feel like she's holding out for me to miraculously make the missing images appear but I've exhausted my resources trying to retrieve them - there is nothing I can do.

    Have any of you had a client give you the silent treatment? What did you do?

    Backstory - she booked me 6 days before her wedding as hers cancelled on her and as a favor I wavered the request for full payment before the wedding since I wanted to be helpful.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks
  2. Just curious ... what have you done so far to try and recover the lost images?
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    1. What does your contract state in regard to your liability for system and equipment failures?
    2. What were the Subject(s) and Situation(s) of the 2% of total images that are missing?
    On the face of what you've written, I cannot see any advantage in giving her everything, without receiving (any?) payment from her, just because she is not responding to you.
    If she doesn't respond with a selection by the due date and if there is not a designated refund liability stated in your contract, I think a better strategy would be to rescind all discount offers because they were not taken up and just wait. I'd advise her in advance that is your intention - to rescind the discount offers if she does not make choice by November 25th.
    This is a business choice for you and it has little to do with any 'frustration' that you feel as to how or why she not responding to your correspondence: in fact, from a business perspective the storage of the all wedding files is costing your business very little and I think that if it really draws out, you could advise her that there is an end time for you holding the files and that the files will erased on [insert date].
    On the backstory - I assume that you've learned a valuable lesson not to deviate from your standard business protocol. There were/are obviously reasons that you choose to set up your business in such a fashion that full payment was required prior to the event.
    The main point to convey to you is, I think that you are inserting emotional choices into your business decisions without thinking of YOUR BUSIENISS as AN ENTITY.
    For example, you wanted to be helpful to this Client because you felt sorry for her that the previous Photographer quit: felling empathy and sympathy is good and wanting to assist a Client is good too, but denying your business its full payment according to the rules that you and your business agreed upon, was an act of you defaulting on your agreement with your business - if you think of your business as AN ENTITY, then I think that it will be easier for you to first seek to always protect it. . . accordingly, reiterating on what has been written I don't see any need to just give away all the files that belong to your business, just because you are frustrated.
    In general, I advise you to take a look at the whole situation from your BUSINESS's point of view - not your personal and emotional point of view.
  4. I can't give you any advice as you are not from the US and the laws of course are different here. Actually they are different
    from state to state, which is even more confusing.

    I can offer this advice to ALL wedding photographers. Dump these dang cheap cameras. You are pro's or you are suppose
    to be pros. Act like one. Get cameras that write to dual cards. Even if they are a slightly used pro camera. Stop taking
    chances because it will bite you for sure. Maybe not today or next week. If you are really lucky, never, but I haven't seen
    this happen. Buying backup cameras is fine. Those should be the same, able to use 2 cards.

    I just don't get it, because in 2 or 3 weddings you've paid for it. Maybe only one wedding. In the film days cameras were
    much more expensive. Carrying $25,000 worth of Hasselblad gear was very common. Then every time you took a photo it
    costs a dollar. Now you can take 10,000 shots for free!
  5. Great advice about 2 slot cameras, especially stay away from single slot SD card cameras. SD cards are not as durable as CF or the new XQD type cards.
  6. YES - Shawn is soooo on correct on many levels! CF cards are much better. If you use an SD card use the cable that comes with most cameras and hook the camera to the computer. Hopefully your camera and your computers have this correct cable connection. Then for
    added safety NEVER take the SD card out of your camera. Use the cable system. Yes I know not all of the computers
    and cameras have this setup. Part of becoming a pro, get the correct gear, take your computer to a repair shop and have a special card inserted. The cost for the card is $20. The labor is up to the repair shop. $25 to $200? It takes less than 10 minutes to install on a bad day. 2 minutes is about average for me.

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