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Saying No - How It Can Help Your Business

If you trust me, I will create something awesome for you that is even better than what you think you need!

(Photos from various product shoots featured throughout.)

Let me tell you a story about a recent client and why I kept telling them no.

(Spoiler alert - they thanked me in the end!)

This story starts before this client even chose me as their photographer and demonstrates the importance of knowing your business, trusting your skills and instilling confidence in your clients whilst reiterating your expertise and encouraging them to trust you.

This client has a product and needed new photos for pitches, social media and their website. I received their enquiry asking for a quote and had a chat with their marketing manager so I could find out more about their ideas and what they needed. I LOVE their product, packaging, ethos and fun vibe so I was very keen to book this job. It was a perfect fit for my brand, style and I knew it would be fun and that I could do an awesome job capturing their brand. I already had lots of ideas pinging about specific shots and locations we could use.

Keeley Trae's beautiful vases in Unlimited Shop, Brighton

We discussed my quote for a full 3 hour shoot with images, graphics and a social media plan to help them get the best out of their images. As they already had a marketing and social media manager, they just needed images alone so I was happy to create a bespoke package for them with just 2 hours of photography and no extras to save them some cash.

They wanted some time to discuss it and consider their options, having asked for a few quotes from various photographers.

Rowdy & Fancy's Chocolate Bars


When they got back to me, they had some reservations. They noted that I was not the cheapest quote they'd received, but acknowledged that "there is usually a reason for that". It was a large investment for them and they wanted to be sure they got it right which I completely understand. They also had reservations about whether I had enough experience with product photography and worried my style might be a bit dark for them.

Christmas menu at The Hurstwood

I do tend to favour a rich & vibrant darker edit so I suggested that if they're looking for a very white, light and airy look then I'm not the best choice. I'd much rather decline the job than have a client who isn't happy with the end result so they need to like my particular style.

Salted Caramel Cupcake (made by me - I love to practice food photography)

To make sure they knew what experience I had and to see a good range of my edits, I created a sample portfolio of my product photography and made sure to include a few lighter shots for them to see how my vibrant style looks on some lighter, brighter images which I don't tend to share on social media. You can see this online gallery here: PRODUCT GALLERY.

A brighter shot I took of Click Magazine the first time I was featured

This was their feedback: "The photos you kindly directed us too, are so amazing thank you! What a talent you have!"

Would you like my talent to help you in your business? Book your informal call here:

This client felt encouraged to see the lighter shots and we pencilled in a date but they asked if I could "reduce the price any further, for supplying less shots please?"


This time it was a flat no (delivered with nicer wording of course)...

I'm so glad you like the gallery but I can't adjust the price any more than I already have. As I mentioned, I am very keen to work with your awesome brand, hence making efforts to fit you in at short notice and modifying my offering to suit your needs.

I believe my portfolio and client feedback speaks for itself. I feel confident I can fulfil the brief and if you book me, I will work closely with you to ensure we create a gallery you will love!

I completely understand that if you're really not sure about my style and approach, you may prefer to choose someone else more in line with your budget, please let me know what you decide.

Readers, this wasn't the last time I said no to this client!

A cheeky shot of rainbow shoes for Kickers Kids

3 days later

I received this email along with the deposit...

"I have had 100% faith in you from the get go, and I am so pleased to say that we would all love to go ahead."

"I really look forward to working with you and hopefully this will be the first shoot of many :) "

The Olive Sanctuary spa products


After their shoot, here's what they had to say...

"The photos are absolutely brilliant 🙌❤️✨🥰"

"You really have done the most amazing job!"

“Best shoot we’ve ever done!”

Also, they love the “dark” edits now as it makes the product pop!

I'm so glad they trusted me!!! I love their gallery and how they've been using their new images. It just goes to show that when you hire an expert like me, you can trust in their expertise.

Bignose & Beardy's Spirit of Cider

In Summary

Saying no helped not only my business but also theirs. They trusted me and were delighted with the results, we had a great time on the shoot and they love their new images more than any they've used before!

Believing in yourself really does instil confidence in your potential clients, you have to trust yourself for them to be able to trust you can deliver what they need. I was flexible but stuck to my sustainable pricing model, making sure I get paid what I'm worth based on my costs of doing business, time and talent. The right clients will respect that.

I know what I'm doing, I know I'm good at creating what people need (which isn't necessarily what they think they want) and if you trust me, I can wow you with a gallery that's even better than you hope for!

Sound good? Let's chat about your business and how I can help you get more visible...

Not ready to chat yet? Why not download my free guide on how to prepare for your personality-packed brand shoot?

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