A Professional Approach To Professional Photography

| Right | March 12, 2015

Customer: “I want to get these photos copied.”

Me: “Okay, I can copy these, but these ones here I can’t unfortunately, due to company copyright policy.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “This is a professional photo, so I can’t copy it without permission from the photographer.”

Customer: “Oh, no, you can copy it.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t.”

Customer: “But one of the people in that picture is dead now!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that, but our company’s copyright policy is actually pretty strict; it goes until 50 years after the death of the photographer. I honestly don’t feel comfortable copying professional photos until they are at least 65 years old.”

Customer: “Well, this photo is 65 years old.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this picture isn’t that old. I can do these photos for you, though.”

(I go through the stack of pictures and find some school pictures, which I put aside.)

Me: “I can’t do these ones, though.”

Customer: “WHY NOT!”

Me: “Because these are also professional.”

Customer: “No! They’re school pictures!”

Me: “Yes, that would be professional.”

Customer: “But these people died in 1992!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry about that, but that doesn’t mean I can copy the picture.”

Customer: “YES, IT DOES!”

Me: “Maybe you didn’t understand me earlier when I said—”

Customer: “YES, I DID UNDERSTAND YOU!”

Me: “Then why are you telling me this person died in 1992? That doesn’t change the fact that the photographer has to be dead for 50 years before I can copy it.”

Customer: “THE PHOTOGRAPHER IS DEAD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Then why are you copying this one?” *points to a photo that looks like it was taken with a point and shoot*

Me: “Because it’s not professional.”

Customer: “Yes, it is! A photographer took that!”

Me: “Well, it didn’t look professional to me, but since you’ve told me that it is, I can’t copy it now.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “NO! YOU CAN COPY IT!”

Me: “You JUST told me it was professional, after I JUST told you that I couldn’t copy professional photos.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager, then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My manager proceeded to tell the customer EVERYTHING I had already said, and the customer yelled back at him everything he had yelled at me. He left in a huff.)

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