I talk a great deal about learning through LIFE vs learning in school.
And today i want to give an example of what i read in facebook post.
Basically, this post was made by a Photographer in a Wedding Photographer’s group. He had lost some of the photos and was looking for suggestions on how to deal with this situation.
HELP!!!!I’m experiencing every wedding photographers worst nightmare.Somehow not all of the images came off of one of my cards and I am missing all the group portraits and most of the large family combinations.My cards have been formatted and re-used multiple times since this wedding 2 months ago and I am not having any luck with recovery software.I know that I have messed up in a huge way and that does not sit well with me. I am so overwhelmed with work right now that I did not notice they were missing nearly soon enough.
My question is for anyone who has been in a similar situation on the best way to handle this and word the email to the couple.Would it be beneficial to immediately offer a partial refund?I am absolutely gutted and terrified of this conversation and my heart is breaking for my bride – I want to handle this in the best way possible…Thank you in advance.
Now read excelletent suggestion and post by one member in the group
This is happened to me, basically the exact same scenario. From now on you will know to keep your files on your cards until the job has been delivered and you know nothing is missing, but I too had to learn this the exact same way you’re learning this now. It totally sucks.With regard to what to do now, the only thing you can do at this point is make it right.For me I started with an initial email, after the client already had the gallery and saw all the other beautiful photos, that way the first thing they heard from me was not “hey I lost some of your stuff“, but the invitation to the gallery with all the beautiful images that did make it.And in the email I said something like “it has been brought to my attention that a small sampling of photos was corrupted on the cards. I want to give you a heads up that I am working on steps on my end to try to recover the data off of the cards. It amounts to the eight family groupings that we did after the ceremony, and the one photo of the two of you in front of the Banyan tree. I have already been in contact with a data recovery company and I’m shipping the cards to them in hopes that they can restore them. We are not 100% sure what happened, if there was a glitch in the media itself, if there was damage to part of the chip, or if it was a file transfer error. Either way, their diagnostic will be able to help us get to the bottom of it, but either way I wanted to let you know because it will take some time. I will keep you updated as I get more information.”I would recommend sending this even if you already know the answer.
Because, for me, it worked out because the client really appreciated all of the extensive steps that I went through, rather than just emailing them and being like “oops, some of the files are missing“ and leaving them to wonder “well did you try everything possible?“By sending this initial email, it not only buys you some time until you figure out what the remediation, refund, or re-shoot situation looks like, it also puts a little bit of a buffer between the initial shock of the news, and some distance in them being able to enjoy the other amazing photos that you DO have.In my case, the files were never able to be recovered, but by the time we had exhausted all options, a full six or seven weeks had gone by, during which time they had enjoyed their slideshow, posted photos on social media, and otherwise enjoy the rest of the images. So, when the final news hit that we were in fact not able to get these images back, it was a little bit of a softer blow I guess that’s what I’m saying.For me, what I did was give them multiple options.I said “ultimately the important thing is that you have memories with your family. Obviously the perfect case would be that we still had the family photos from the wedding day. Since that is not an option, I propose several alternatives.Option one, I will be happy to arrange a date in which we can set up a full family shoot with you and your loved ones, in your hometown, and I will fly there at my own expense, pay for you to have your hair and make up done, and if you would like to wear your wedding attire again, I will also be happy to cover the cost to have it re-cleaned a second time. We can capture all of the family combinations that you would like, and then I will edit and deliver those images.Option two, if this is not possible or not something you want to do, I recall from our conversations that you guys visit here regularly, in which case I would be happy to offer you a complimentary photo shoot with either just yourselves, or any one you would like to bring with you, either in your wedding attire or anything else you choose to wear.Option three, if you aren’t necessarily worried about those specific photos, then please let me offer you a complimentary product credit so that you can better enjoy the beautiful photos that we do have. As you may recall, your initial wedding package just included the coverage of the day, but I recall you mentioning that you may eventually like to add on an album. I would be happy to design and print a beautiful wedding album with up to 50 of your favorite images and have that delivered to you at no charge.Lastly, if none of these options is suitable, then we can fall back to the contracted terms, which states that in the event a segment of images is unable to be delivered due to data loss, you are entitled to a refund equivalent to the percentage of the files missing. In this case, the eight groupings & Banyan tree shots account for about 35 minutes of photography, or 14.5% of the 4 hours of coverage. 14.5% of the $2200 paid, would equal a refund of $320.Obviously none of these is superior to this not having happened in the first place, and this is literally the worst possible conversation a photographer can ever have with their client…. Admittedly in the over 16 years I have been a professional photographer and out of hundreds of weddings I have photographed, I have personally never had to have this conversation before, but regardless of why or how, I want you to know that this is very important to me and I will do everything in my power to Find a suitable solution.”In my case, the clients were appreciative of the many options, appreciative of all the effort that I took to recover the files, how often I kept them updated, and In the end decided to get the album.But again, I think you have to be very careful with how you word things, and don’t be overly nonchalant about it nor be overly dramatic and end of the world about it. They will take on whatever energy and attitude you have towards it. If you act like it’s the worst possible thing that could’ve ever happened in the history of weddings, then they will believe that as well. If you are factual, practical, and logical, they will be as well.I hope this helps.
So what are our take aways from this ?
- Contextual learning
- Behaviour learning
- Experiential learning
- Can we replicate this in classrooms?