It's not unusual to get the odd request concerning my photography. An example being, "I see you have this picture of downtown Charleston, do you have one of Scranton, Ohio?" Or - "I notice you do landscapes, could I hire you to photograph my pet bunny?" - Honest to God, a true story.
One lady asked me if I did family Christmas card photos, when I told her I did not have the talent to photograph people, she was incensed. "But my family would be easy, we are all so photogenic."
I had the owner of a gym call me out of the blue and ask me to come discuss a project doing a series of macro shots of equipment, sweaty arms, taut muscles, etc. After spending a good 90 minutes with him, he asked when could I start on the project. I asked if wanted me to give him finished pieces (ie canvases or prints) or did he want the digital files he could use to produce whatever he wished? He gave me an odd look. I went on to explain how much each medium would cost him. He was shocked - not at the price, but that I would charge him a fee for the photography. "I had no idea you would charge me, since I gave you the idea," he said.
Rethinking it I said, "Oh, so if I do this - then I can sell the photos?'
"Oh no," he replied, obviously aggravated. "That's not what I meant at all. It was my idea. I just need you to come do the photography. I thought you would enjoy the experience. The prints would all be mine. In fact I may sell them."
Needless to say, this project never went any further.
Then there was the lady who had her heart set on one particular print, but did not like the frame. No problem, I was quick to change the frame to a more suitable one. She was thrilled but wanted to take the picture home to see how it looked in her hall. The following day, she called to say that the picture looked great but the canvas was too "thick" and could I order her a thinner one? I agreed to do so.
Then she asked if she could keep the one she had for the next day or two, she was hosting her supper club and the photograph just looked grand in her hall. Being the polite southern girl, I agreed. After all, I knew my Aunt Kat would have told me that was the right thing to do.
Three days later, the new canvas was in, The following day she called to complain about the frame - it had a "mark" on it. This would be a mark neither of us had noticed when she first saw it, when she took it home, or while it was on her wall before her dinner party. Long story short - she returned the framed canvas. I ordered new frame and let her know when it came in. To this day, she has never come to get the newly reframed picture, on the canvas I especially ordered for her.
But the winner of all time (so far) came in an email through my online store. The inquiry concerned an image I have of red bicycles and a rickshaw. The question was, "How much does the rickshaw weigh?" I did some quick research and saw that the shipping weight was 1.1 lbs, so I replied that I could only estimate, but my best guess would be somewhere around 1 lb for the 16x20 size.
The customer responded fairly quickly, "Oh, there is some confusion here, I thought you were selling a rickshaw for $189. The price looked so good, I just wanted to see how heavy it was." (As an aside, over the years I have received no less than 3 similar requests to purchase the rickshaw. Each time I have clarified that it is an image for sale, not a rickshaw.)
Perhaps I should add a line to my policy statement, "No kids, no pets, as is, where it is, and what it is. Any questions, refer to former statement."
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