In the creative industries, as in most businesses really, clients can be…um…challenging. Thank heavens for sites like clientcopia.com. Some examples of brilliant client quotes/stories:
“The logo needs to be a square…. a 2″x 8″ square….”
logo design for a client. client loves it, but wants to make a few colour changes. send proof back. client disappears off the face of the earth for months. we assume theyve changed their mind…that is until they ask us to draft up some business cards for them. they helpfully send us their ‘lovely new logo’. which is indeed lovely, but it is not new. it is the one i designed for them, that they did not pay for, and have totally rebranded themselves with.
Or this one, which I think photographers should understand:
INTRO: Client pushes for bare bottom prices on an already tiny one-off postcard
design to promote grand opening. Postcard complete. Looks awesome. Get me
outta here, way more pain than it was worth.
[enter: more pain]
client: “you did such a good job, we’d like to have the file so we can use it for our
new marketing campaign! more exposure for your work! send the files over!”
me: “Um. That’s not how it works. Your options are either licensing for use and
paying for me to design, or paying to transfer ownership rights so can do whatever
whenever you want with the design.”
client: “Why do we have to pay more? We paid you to do it, and the work is already
Another great one is the now-classic ClientsFromHell.net. That one is even more design/creative-related so it’s always good for a groaning laugh, like:
I don’t know why you can’t do this for free. It’s not like it costs you anything.
“In the interests of working together, I would appreciate it if you could do this free of charge.”
CLIENT: “Why is the photo grainy? It looks terrible on your flyer.”
ME: ”You sent me a zoomed in photo of the hamburger using the camera on your BlackBerry. They’re 3 mpx at the most.”
CLIENT: ”Not sure what mpx is, but if it’s like mph, then the photo wasn’t moving. The burger was on a plate. On a table. Not moving.”
And probably the best reason never to quote a day rate again:
Our contract work conditions are based on a day rate. We expect you to work the full 24 hours if necessary.
I think it’s important for us to laugh at things like this, as well as at ourselves. It helps keep us sane. There is a ton of stress in being a small businessperson and a creative one at that–laughter is a great stress reliever.
It also helps us keep things in perspective. When a client jerks you around, don’t take it personally. Don’t even take it professionally, so to speak–I mean, it’s not just photographers who get asked stupid questions, etc. Just laugh, and share it with others, anonymously of course.