In today’s digital age, image is everything. It’s no secret that a good photograph can make or break a professional brand. That’s why it’s essential for photographers and other professionals who rely on high-quality images to ensure that their work is presented in the best possible light. But what do you do when a client decides to filter your photo?
What to do When a Client Filters Your Professional Image
Here are some steps you can take to address the situation.
Love Your Clients and Your Professional Image
Love it. Yep. Love it, like it, comment on it and most of all, appreciate it. That is my first piece of advice when this happens to you. “But why Kara? I took the time to get that photo just right, and they’ve ruined it!” Because in the photography business, CLIENTS ALWAYS COME FIRST.
In the end, the happiness of your clients is more important than being right. You want your clients to feel special, loved, and appreciated, and calling them out for filtering a photo is not the way to make that happen. Plus, word of mouth and client referrals are EVERYTHING to photographers. Don’t blow an opportunity to gain another client by posting a sassy comment (no matter how badly they deserve it). And quite honestly, they probably don’t know any better. So, do the right thing, and smash that like button. Be grateful that your client is happy enough with your photo to share it on social media. And at the end of the day, they probably don’t know any better.
But, what do you do if you can’t just love and let go?
#1. Clarify Expectations with Your Client
One of the most important things you can do as a professional is to make sure that you and your client are on the same page about the expectations for the final product. If you have specific guidelines for how your images are meant to be presented, make sure that these are clearly communicated to the client upfront. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings down the line.
For example, having clear and repetitive communication can assist with educating your clients. This is why having an automated workflow such as these professionally designed photography client workflows and email templates will assist in this, so that you’re not having to manage it all behind the scenes.
Secondly, sending a Session and Style Guide immediately upon booking. Your guide should detail exactly what you need and want from your clients. Examples are definitely key here.
Thirdly, include a photography business FAQ client guide that answers all the questions and outlines (again) the expectations you have of them as a client.
Bottom line, adding little reminders everywhere your clients look assists in making sure this process is smooth and client’s will be less likely to filter your professional work.
#2. Explain the Impact of When a Client Filters Your Professional Photography
If a client does decide to add a photo filter to one of your professional images, it’s important to explain the potential impact that this can have on the final product. Filters can change the colors, contrast, and overall look and feel of an image, which can sometimes result in an image that does not accurately represent your work. By explaining this to your client, you can help them to understand the importance of preserving the integrity of the original image.
#3. Offer Alternatives to the Filtered Image
If a client insists on using a filter, you can offer alternative images that have already been filtered in a way that maintains the original look and feel of the image. By doing so, you can help the client to achieve the look they want while still maintaining the integrity of your work.
#4. Provide Guidelines for Your Professional Photography
If you’re working with a client who may not have a strong understanding of photo editing or how filters work, you can provide guidelines for how to use filters in a way that complements your work. This can include things like providing specific filter recommendations or instructions for how to adjust the filter settings to achieve the desired effect while still preserving the original look and feel of the image.
#5. Protect Your Photography
If you’re concerned about the potential impact that filters may have on your work, it’s important to take steps to protect your images. This can include adding watermarks or other identifying information to your images to ensure that they are not used in a way that you do not approve of.
#6. Consider Copyrighting Your Professional Photography
If you’re working with a client who is using a filtered image for commercial purposes, it’s important to consider issues of copyright (see this full blog on copyright here if you need a deeper dive!). Depending on the terms of your agreement with the client, you may have certain rights to control how the image is used. This can include things like requiring attribution or preventing the use of the image in certain contexts. If you’re in the position to assign your copyright away (maybe it’s a commercial client, or a person of importance, you’ll need this document here).
While it can be frustrating when a client puts a filter on your professional image, it’s important to take steps to address the situation in a professional and constructive way. By clarifying expectations, explaining the impact of filters, offering alternatives, providing guidelines, protecting your work, and considering copyright, you can help to ensure that your work is presented in the best possible light while still meeting the needs of your clients.