It is a issue that any professional photographer will inevitably will inevitably run into and one that can have a massive impact on your success, what do you do when a client requests something you are not at happy with?
In my experience as a wedding photographer this has occurred over many things, from requests to use a specific place or backdrop as part of a shoot through to how the photos are edited. The most common request is for ‘selective desaturation’. This is a technique I abhor as it adds nothing to the composition of the photograph and just serves to work as a distraction against the image. I have even had clients re edit my images after I have released them, running them through awful instagram-esque filters and then publishing them as their ‘official photographs’ with my name against them.
So, what should you do?
You should do precisely what the client wants.
Because your success depends not on what you know but on what the client perceives.
As long as you are there at their request the only thing that matters is their satisfaction in your service. To be a successful professional photographer you have to rise above any personal artistic visions and produce a product that the client is happy with. That is the only way they will use you again and recommend their friends to you. That is the only way your business will grow.
Thus, if I have to apply a technique that I personally am not a fan of I do it. If I have to shoot in a spot that I know has unfavourable light or backing but the client requests it then I shoot there. Was the client who re-edited my photographs in breach of contract? Yes. Did I pursue the issue legally or even raise it with them? No. Why? I *might* have won in the shot term but I know I would have lost in the long.
It is a hard truth but there you have it. In a market place as viciously competitive as our own it is the only way to survive.
I would be really interested to hear your take on this as I know my opinion leans harshly in favour of the client, please leave me a comment below.