The Strep Throat Photo

IMG_7575This is a school photo from my junior year in high school. Unlike other school photos, I remember when this was taken. I remember waiting my turn, sitting down on the stool, and smiling. Mostly I remember praying they would hurry up and take it because I felt awful. My head was pounding, my skin hurt and my throat felt as though I’d swallowed sandpaper. Yes, I remember this photo because I had strep throat at the time, and 5 minutes after it was taken, I went home and then to the doctor.

That was many years ago, but when I look at this image, I still see in my eyes how I didn’t feel well. It has become “the strep throat” photo.

Now, no one who received this picture looked at it and said, “Oh, she looks like she has strep throat.” Nobody called my mom and said, “OMG. She looks like death warmed over…why did you allow her to go to school? I’m calling Child Protective Services!” No, no one said that, because to most people, it just looked like an ordinary school photo.

But not to me. Never has, never will. To me, I look sick.  I begged my mom not to buy the picture, but my mom bought it anyway and said I was being stupid and looked just fine. Moms are like that. I could have been covered in mud with a bag over my head and my mom would have said, “You look fine.” But I tell ya true, had the money been coming out of my own wallet, I would have requested a retake.

The same goes for your clients. If a client isn’t feeling well or isn’t happy with their appearance due to say, a haircut from hell,  it is always a good idea to reschedule. And by “reschedule,” I mean cheerfully moving the appointment to a future date. No extra fee. No warnings issued: “Well, I’ll do it this once, but…” No exasperated sighs.  Just a “Get better and we’ll see you soon!” (aka: customer service)

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you think a client “looks fine;” if they don’t FEEL fine, they won’t like their images. And if they don’t like their images, they won’t buy their images.

It’s as simple as that.




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