Sorry We Can’t Help, let’s try and find someone who can.

To fellow photographers:

As a photographer, we would love to be able to assist every client that walks in the door, sends an email, or calls us on the telly. The sad truth is though, through bookings and other obligations we are not always able to accommodate all our potential client’s requests for photography services.

Just before Thanksgiving I had a perspective client call asking if I could photograph his grandparents 60th wedding anniversary (married 1956). The problem being as he had stated to me, the few other photographers he had already talked to said they were unavailable due to the anniversary falling on Thanksgiving and didn’t want to help point him in the right direction. I explained to him I was already out of the area for an extended holiday week away and that I would not be able to help him.  Before hanging up I asked if he would kindly give me his email address I would send him the links to a few other trusted photographers I know and that one of them might be able to help him in his quest to find a photographer.

Some might say this is not the brightest of business moves sending a person to the competition. As I see it, we should be striving to help others even if it doesn’t necessarily help us. When I tell a client “no” it does leave a bit of an unsettled feeling. I would truly love to be able to cater to the client’s needs. When I suggest them to other photographer (competition) we should only sending them to photographers we trust. For me these are photographer who are competent, that we would ask to cover our own wedding, anniversary’s and family photos.

If you think about we are not really losing out on anything but maybe the three to five minutes of time to send the email and collect the links to our other trusted colleagues. Also as photographers we a providing a service that it relatively quick and does help a potential client find someone who can help them with their request. It can also help us in the long run, other photographers who we recommended might in return recommend us when they are busy or the non-client we helped find another photographer for might come back to us because we helped.

So consider not just saying “NO” and hanging up the photo but say “NO” and be willing to maybe take five minutes of your time and help out.

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