Bumping Heads

, , , , , | Right | June 19, 2020

A lady in her late fifties comes in with an old photo she would like restored and prints made from. While I’m looking at it, she sees a framed maternity portrait I had shot hanging on the wall. This is a very modest portrait; the mom-to-be is wearing a full-length skirt and a white cotton shirt with just her belly showing out. The only skin visible is her face, arms below the elbow, and belly; it’s definitely “G” rated.

Client: “How dare you have that picture hanging there; it’s disgusting!”

Me: “Which one?”

Client: “That horrible one with the belly hanging out! It is immoral!”

Me: “Maternity portraits are very popular; a lot of women want to capture that special time in their lives with a tastefully done session.”

Client: “It is not tasteful; it is disgusting and filthy!”

Just because I don’t want to deal with her anymore, my yet-to-be said price for the work she wants done goes from $40 to $125 in the hopes she will leave. To my surprise, she agrees to the price and leaves the work for me to do.

She comes back a few days later to pick up the finished restoration.

Client: “Why is that still hanging there? I told you it was disgusting; you should take it down or you’ll lose business!”

I am trying to be diplomatic and get her out the door.

Me: “Well, I’ve been busy and don’t have anything else ready to put up right now.”

Client: “I am horrified about that photo! We have standards in this community!”

Me: “Sorry, the mom-to-be loved the portrait. People tell me all the time how much they like it. I’ve gotten many bookings for similar sessions in the area… so the community that I consider my clients belonging to likes them.”

The client is now furious.

Client: “How dare you expose me and the innocent minds of children to such pornographic photos! That slut doesn’t mind showing her disgusting flesh to the world from her sin-filled shame but I don’t have to look at it! I would never be so disgusting to let the world see me like that!”

The model is a friend of mine who spent years with her husband trying to conceive a child and they are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I look at the customer, look down and up, and then make strong eye contact.

Me: “You are in no danger of ever being asked by me to model, so no need to worry about it.”

Her head almost exploded; she grabbed her photo and stormed out. It is good owning the place and being able to decide that there are just some people who I really don’t care if they ever come back. And as a bonus, any friends of hers aren’t the kind of clients I want, either.

This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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