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Client expectations, will they like or dislike their photos?

During my second year as a wedding photographer, I had the opportunity to photograph a young couple’s wedding ceremony near the lake. It was my second time doing an outdoor wedding photoshoot, and I was excited about it. When I got to the ceremony site, though, I immediately noticed that the setup with the arch and chairs for guests was directly facing the sun. I realized that taking photos in these conditions would be more challenging.

During the wedding ceremony, I had to move around using a Speedlight Nikon flash in some instances and relying on Lightroom editing to enhance the photos in others. Despite the challenges, I felt satisfied with the final result, which. Two months after the wedding, I delivered the photos to the bride, and her feedback disappointed me. The bride expressed that she had expected more from the photos. This hit me hard emotionally. I spent the next two days feeling down, questioning my artistic abilities and whether I wanted to continue taking photos.

Fortunately, I had a strong support system in my parents and close friends. They patiently listened to my concerns and encouraged me to persevere. They reminded me that one client’s dissatisfaction didn’t define my photography skills or worth. It was simply a matter of mismatched expectations rather than a reflection of my capabilities.

With their support, I found the strength to keep going. I realized that setbacks are a natural part of any creative journey, and I shouldn’t let one negative experience overshadow my passion for photography. I continued to refine my photography skills and artistic style, remaining grateful for the opportunity to capture beautiful moments for couples.

Client Expectations, Will They Like Or Dislike Their Photos?

how to manage clients expectations in photography

Now, with extensive experience in communicating with clients and having photographed hundreds of wedding photo sessions, I want to emphasize the following:

As a photographer, your primary task is to produce beautiful, professional, and technically proficient photographs. You’re responsible for delivering high-quality photos, getting the composition right, and ensuring they align with your style. However, once the photos are delivered to the clients, you can’t control their reactions.

Let me explain. As I discussed in my article “What clients like and don’t like your photography portfolio” clients typically choose a photographer based on their portfolio and personal preferences—whether they like the photographer’s style or not. This same principle applies when clients view the final photographs. They emotionally assess each photo, deciding whether they like it based on their tastes.

Only clients with experience in professional photography might discuss the correctness of composition, creativity level and use of lightening. However, most clients’ judgment is based on their personal, emotional connection to the images.

clients expectations photography

When you hand over photos to clients, you can’t always predict how they’ll react.

Photography isn’t just about capturing moments; it’s also about interpreting reality creatively. Since creativity involves emotions, clients’ responses are largely based on their feelings.

So, as a photographer, it’s important to understand that while you can strive for technical excellence and stay true to your style, clients’ reactions are subjective and influenced by their emotions and preferences.

photography psychology

Here’s my advice for you – when you give photos to clients, don’t stress over whether they like them or not. Constantly worrying about their reaction indicates a lack of confidence in your abilities. Instead, focus on performing your job skillfully and creatively.

Remember, it’s the client’s choice whether they like your work or not. Trust that if they chose you based on your portfolio and style, they’ll appreciate your photographs. Worrying too much about their reaction will only drain you emotionally and harm your self-esteem.

As photographers, our emotions play a significant role in our work. So, take care of your emotional well-being, trust in your skills, and don’t waste energy on unnecessary concerns. Focus on delivering high-quality photos, and let your work speak for itself.

Stay inspired,

Elena Sullivan 

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