I got an SOS call from a colleague asking for feedback on a client situation. She’s a successful photographer who had just completed a head shot assignment (150 miles from her hometown). She had emailed the final images to the art director for the brochure he was designing.
He immediately replied, “Where are the conversation shots?” meaning photos showing the businessperson not only in a formal head shot, but also in informal gesturing situations.
My friend had delivered just the formal poses. There had been no signed contract requesting more than these, so she thought she was in the clear.
But his insistence that more was called for got her nervous. Rectifying the situation would have required a trip back to the company, clearing the time with the featured executive and setting aside her own additional time–not a happy prospect for anyone.
She took several actions to resolve the situation:
- She called the art director for greater clarity.
- She called the client for whose brochure these shots were being taken.
- She reviewed her email history to see where that piece of the assignment was first mentioned (only once and never in a signed document).
- She called me, her accountability partner, to get neutral feedback.
In other words, she did her due diligence. She didn’t hide and she didn’t make excuses–behaviors I’ve seen over and over–to cover her fear.
The outcome? She had taken some informal photos during her shoot. She had deleted them because she hadn’t thought there was any need. She retrieved and forwarded them to the art director who was able to use them. She didn’t have to travel back, disturb the executive or spend another day shooting.
When she wrote to tell me the outcome of this dilemma, I immediately wrote back to her with these words:
Thank you for letting me know, and what a great outcome. When we hide in fear and denial our demons dance. You took action, did the next right thing and now YOU get to dance, not your gremlins.