Photography Blog Post

What You Should Do When a Client Puts a Filter on Your Photo

First off, let me just say I totally get it. I do. It happens to all of us, and it’s really frustrating to see all of your hard work destroyed with a simple click of an Instagram filter. We cross our fingers and hope it doesn’t happen, but, sometimes it does. And it’s happened to you. So, now what?

Should you comment and tell them they’re a terrible person for ruining a photo that you slaved over for hours editing, and they should take it down RIGHT NOW or your head will explode? Even though you probably want to take this route, take a deep breath. I have two pieces of advice for you. You may not like them, but here they are anyway:

1. Love it. Yep. Love it, like it, comment on it and most of all, appreciate it. That is my first piece of advice when this happens to you. “But why Kara? I took the time to get that photo just right, and they’ve ruined it!” Because in the photography business, CLIENTS ALWAYS COME FIRST.

In the end, the happiness of your clients is more important than being right. You want your clients to feel special, loved, and appreciated, and calling them out for filtering a photo is not the way to make that happen. Plus, word of mouth and client referrals are EVERYTHING to photographers. Don’t blow an opportunity to gain another client by posting a sassy comment (no matter how badly they deserve it). So, do the right thing, and smash that like button. Be grateful that your client is happy enough with your photo to share it on social media.

2. Take the necessary steps to prevent the next filter disaster. Really, the only thing you can do is tell your clients over and over and over…and over again to resist the urge to edit or filter their photos once you’ve delivered them. Make sure they’re aware of how much work you put in to make their photos look perfect and (#nofilter) Instagram ready. You can communicate your wants in a few ways. Afterall, communication in any relationship is crucial.

First, send a Session and Style Guide immediately upon booking. Your guide should detail exactly what you need and want from your clients. Examples are definitely key here. Second, in your sales email, gallery delivery email, and your business FAQ section, tell them. Tell them there is no need to add a filter or edit, because you’ve already done it. Add little reminders everywhere they look so your wants are visible throughout the process. These are just a few subtle and gracious ways to communicate this wish with your clients. 

Alas, even after all that effort, it still might happen. It will be less likely, but still possible. If (when) another filter foul-up happens to you, try to remember one thing: your clients are human. They probably had the best intentions, and as painful as it may be to click that like button, it’s the right thing to do.