I wrote a post previously sharing tips for photographers on how to let your clients know that you don’t Photoshop their images extensively.
Wait, I mean edit their images extensively; “Photoshop” isn’t a verb.
It also isn’t a term every client out there knows what it means.
That’s the problem though, right? Because it is a term you use all the time, common language in the photographer industry, it bleeds over in to marketing materials, in to conversations, and in to client meetings.
This leaves clients feeling like they should know what it means, so they nod their head and go along with it. Or, possibly even worse, they think it means one thing when you mean something completely different.
I received a comment today on that blog post from a client of another photographer, stating that, “Unfortunately it now seems the work on her website is not reflective of the level of editing she gives to her clients. Her words were “the images i sent you are edited, i have tweeked (sic) the one I uploaded”… In reality the ones she wants me to accept are a completely different colour, and my daughter has blotches all over her face in some of them. In another shoot my daughter’s white cardigan is slightly overexposed, but the edited one on her website has perfect colour and contrast. Is this normal and acceptable? To advertise images edited differently to what you then sell to clients?”
I responded that there is no industry standard. What is normal editing for one person isn’t for another.
The REAL PROBLEM though is the fact that the photographer didn’t explain this to her client!
If you look through your marketing terms on all of your materials, your pricelist, anything that you put out there, do you have words like this in it? Are you explaining what you offer, what you include, how the process works, in a clear manner that someone not in the industry will understand?
You need to explain your process.
Stop assuming your clients know what you think they know!
Are you leaving things open for interpretation?
If you’re a photographer, stop expecting people to know anything about retouching terms – Photoshop, how you do a “light edit”, how you color correct, cull, or any of it. Take it off your pricelist, and if you have to talk about it in your marketing materials? Make it easy to understand by non-photographers!
When you pristinely retouch every photograph that you show on your website, but then turn around and hand your clients digital files that look like they came straight out of the camera?
You’re confusing the hell out of your clients.
When you brush them off afterwards and just point them back to your promo that they purchased with the confusing language on it? You’re guaranteeing that not only will they not return to you, they will also tell all of their friends to avoid you too.
Speaking of what you deliver, photographers? “High-Res Digital Files” – your clients have NO IDEA what this means. Hell, half the time I don’t even know what you mean by this. Your High-Res Digital File and mine might be two different things. You’re causing yourself more headaches than it is worth with this one. You need to clarify!
Find where you’re causing your clients confusion!
This is important, no matter what industry you’re in! Have friends that aren’t “in the know” read what you are putting out there and tell you what they think it means.
You might be surprised about the confusion you’ve been causing people.
What terms do you see people using often that leave you feeling confused about what they are including? Have you ended up disappointed after you made a purchase when you found out what it really included?