| Tempo: Second Guessing |

Time’s Up

Purely from a professional perspective: Your client left unhappy, and that’s not good for business.

Last Week:

“Your family is beautiful,” I say, walking backward toward my car. “We got absolutely perfect pictures. I’ll edit and send them to you for choosing. Thank you so much, be well!”

And then I face forward and hightail it out of there.

I wish I could have stayed. They had been so accommodating when I was sick, and I really do think she kept her kids home that first day when I had gone and canceled on her.  But they came 20 minutes late, wasted more time looking for the bow, and I’m not in a position where I can ask Nachi for any more carpool help.

The Rotbergs are upset right now, but I think when they have their photos, they’ll be okay. And I really don’t think there was any way I could have stayed to make them happy.


It's About Choosing What to Prioritize

Rivka Basch, Lakewood, NJ

Penina did the right thing by not staying overtime at the photo shoot. It was unpleasant for her to do so after they'd been so gracious about her last-minute cancellation when she was sick, but it was still the right thing. She made it clear to the Rotbergs in the beginning what her time frame was.  And although it’s always nice and more pleasant to be as gracious to others as they are to us, at the end of the day, family and the related responsibilities come first. If she wants to second-guess herself and see what she can do differently next time, here are a few suggestions:  1) Don’t schedule photo shoots with such a tight time frame.  Why didn’t they start at one thirty or two?  She can even have a policy stating how late she will start a photo shoot.  2) If she wants to have the strong, healthy, and friendly marriage that she witnessed in the Rotbergs, she’s going to have to first change her attitude toward her husband. It’s a well-known truism that you get more of what you focus on. Penina spends a lot of time focusing on her husband’s faults, and even though she may think  it doesn’t matter since she doesn’t say anything aloud, it’s impossible that all those negative thoughts do not translate into her attitude and interactions with her husband, and much of his negativity may just be a reflection of her own attitude toward him.


Risk It for Your Work

R.F., Toronto, Canada

I think Penina was extremely unprofessional for not taking the couple's picture at the end of the photo shoot.

When you agree to take on a client, in any field you choose, you are agreeing to have a relationship with them. Especially in the field of photography, where a rapport is required in order to build trust and produce a high quality product.

Not to mention that her clients were extraordinarily understanding about her flu.

She should have found a way to stay longer even if her kids needed to be picked up. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

She was upset with her husband for viewing her job as a hobby? Well, show him you take it seriously. Risk something for the sake of your work.


Not Good for Business

Y.Y., Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem

I understand that it would have been unpleasant to ask your husband to pick up the slack so you could stay later at the photo shoot, especially when he's already dismissive of your job. Shalom bayis issues are tricky and no one knows what is going on in someone else’s life. But purely from a professional perspective: Your client left unhappy, and that’s not good for business. Not only that, but you point out that she was a genuinely nice person. I think it’s time to offer compensation, maybe give her a mini-shoot or five extra edited shots. But don’t just walk away, leaving a disappointed family behind.


She Owed It to Avigail

B.L. Lakewood, NJ

Penina is not wrong for leaving when she needed to, but she could have spent a few extra minutes taking that couple’s picture — it would not have taken a lot of time. At most she would have been three minutes late for carpool. After Avigail was so nice and accommodating when Penina inconvenienced her, she owed it to Avigail to work it out.


Bring Along Your Kids


As a photographer myself, I’m insulted that Nachy calls Penina's life calling “silly hobby.” (He doesn't sound like a very nice husband altogether.)

My job brings simchah into my life, it breathes life into me. The days I have a photo shoot are the days my family has the calmest, happiest mommy and wife. Everyone should be as lucky to have a job(hobby?) where they have fun while earning money. A husband would do well to recognize the good it brings to his wife's well-being.

Here's a little tip: If you can't schedule a photo shoot around your kid’s lives, then bring your kids to the shoot with you (as long as they’re past the toddler age, so you can concentrate on your job without worrying about them running off and getting lost). They can help you with holding props or making the babies smile. I've been to shoots where the baby isn’t in the mood for pictures no matter what I or the parents do, but then my kids play with him or her and we end up having gorgeous shots of a happy baby. It might sound odd and unprofessional, but that's what works for me.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 892)

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