Why I Love UNSATISFIED Clients

On October 25, we covered the burial ceremony of one of our client‘s brother. Our client – a 73 year old woman – had hired us as the main photographer because she was impressed with the coverage we gave her for her 70 years birthday 3 years ago. Artistic, organized, well-packaged, creative….those were some of the words she used to describe the 70 birthday album.

So it was a no-brainer for her regarding who to call for a “creatively artistic” coverage of his brother’s burial. I would later discover that she apparently had a photographer that she had worked with for over 30 years: Uncle J Photos. Apparently Uncle J had been hired as the backup photographer.

Fast forward to the week of November 14. We called her to book an appointment so she could view the designs before we printed. She went through the digital designs, gave some corrections and gave us the go-ahead to print.

4 days after the album was delivered, I put a call through to her to ask what she thought of our latest artistic endeavor. It was almost as if she had the answer premeditated because I was barely through asking the question before she blurted out a LOUD “NO”. I was shocked. I thought we showed the pictures to her before we printed.

She told me that when compared with Uncle J Photos’ album, that our album was not “a detailed coverage of the event”. I wondered what she meant by “detailed” coverage knowing that the album was just a summary of what we assumed to be key moments of the events. I concluded I would visit her on November 26 to see Uncle J’s album.

I eventually discovered that November 26 was the day her husband will turn 80 years. She didn’t want us to bother coming because she didn’t want to pay for something she wouldn’t be satisfied with again. Upon arriving there, they had just finished praying for the husband. The main celebration wouldn’t be until December 15 and I have a second chance to re-deliver a more “satisfying” album to her if I wanted to be part of her husband’s birthday.

I eventually saw uncle J’s album and was very surprised that it wasn’t necessarily “finer” than ours; it just had more pictures on each page than ours. Apparently the client wanted us to cram more pictures on each page of the album. By so doing, we would have proven to her to have done a “detailed coverage”. I gladly collected the album we gave her and assured her that I’ll do my best to please her (a promise I now realize might be difficult to keep when dealing with a 74-year-old woman).

She appreciated my kind gesture and spontaneously introduced and recommended me to 2 of her best friends sitting with her. “Elophotos is one of the best photography outfits in Nigeria“, she muttered to her friends. I was surprised she was recommending me despite the fact that I had not completely satisfied her. What if I had not showed up that day to ask for the album back? Perhaps I would have lost the opportunity to have another 70-something-year-old as a client. I’m learning to be more patient on this job.

It then occured to me that it is clients like these that please me. I appreciate clients that challenge me to do better than what I delivered for them the last time. I appreciate it when they give me feedback on how they feel I can satisfy them better even if the feedback is contrary to my artistic beliefs. At the end of the day, when I’m able to satisfy these “unsatisfied” clients, they will provide the funds that I will use to send my daughter to Harvard primary school, buy my wife’s N500 bathing soap and ultimately get my BMW 540i Active Hybrid classic. If I’m not ready to challenge myself to satisfy them, I might as well close for business and relocate to my family house in the village (Abeokuta).

May God give me the grace to satisfy the unsatisfied clients that come my way. For in doing that, I will ultimately be raising an army of eloPhotos passionate ambassadors and marketers. May the God of Light help me on this photographic journey.
Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

The Day a RAT Stole My Bathing SOAP

I know, I know, it sounds like a catchy title to get your attention and make you click to get here. Funny thing was, I didn’t believe it myself until….. Well, here’s what happened that faithful Saturday morning.

I had to sleep over at the office so I could get a little headstart on getting to the wedding I was to cover on September 7, 2013. After meeting with a colleague from Abuja, I headed to the bathroom in my office to get cleaned up before heading out. It was then I noticed my soap was gone. At first I tried to retrace my steps to see where I had placed it the last time I used it. Although I know I had been having issues with my memory (enough to prompt me to order THE MEMORY BOOK), I could have sworn I was 99% sure I placed the Tetmosol Baby Soap where I was looking for it.

Could it be that the bathing soap I bought for my princess Ebenezer (which was rejected by my Queen because it wasn’t “sensitive enough”) was attractive to someone else. Or perhaps it was the security man that borrowed it and forgot to return it. Or was my mind playing tricks on me? For about 10 minutes, I searched the entire office with a towel wrapped around my waist (stop trying to picture what I looked like).

Finally I returned to the bathroom to examine the location for more clues. It was then I decided to put on my CSI hat. To my surprise (ok, maybe I wasn’t really surprised), I discovered rat poopings in the area I had placed my soap. Was it possible that a starving rat ate my soap and left 12 crumbs of poop as evidence? Should I collect the “evidence” for further examination or perhaps send them to the lab for scrutiny? I concluded that the rat that had been entering my office through a hole in the ceiling must have been culprit in THE SAGA OF THE STOLEN SOAP.

Question now was WHAT SOAP AM I TO BATH WITH? Time was of the essence. I didn’t have the luxury of an extra 15 minutes to dress up again and go out to purchase another soap. I had to make a decision and I had to make it fast. After looking around for a few seconds, I came across a discovery that will suffice as a savior of the moment: OMO detergent. It was as if 2 forces were fighting in my head. To use or not to use OMO to bathe, that was the question.

It was then I remembered a weird cousin of mine who had used the washing detergent to bath about 15 years ago (there’s probably still a good chance that he still uses it). I realized that since his skin did not react to the experience and since he’s still alive today, there was nothing to loose. I needed to leave the house squeaky clean for this wedding I was to cover. It isn’t every weekend I get to cover weddings and when such an opportunity arises, it helps if my body odor isn’t what makes the groom or bride irritated.

4 minutes later, I was through bathing with the OMO detergent. Thanks to the rat that stole my soap, I would discover that the washing detergent isn’t that bad for my skin (as long as I use it once in 35 years). I felt an air of confidence envelope me after the experimental shower. Perhaps that helped in the CLEAN pictures I got during the wedding. Perhaps it didn’t. Either way, I was determined that no rat, soap or situation will stop me from achieving whatever goal I wanted to achieve (the goal of the moment being to be cleansed from my unrighteous body scents).

Moral of the story: do not let your LACK of things inhibit you from achieving your desired goal. If you exercise your brain cells well enough, you’ll realize to your surprise that you have more options than you ever thought were available. Keep an open mind and you’ll always know what to do whenever a RAT STEALS YOUR BATHING SOAP.