No One Likes to Be Ghosted, Especially Photographers

There's been a trend going around in the dating world. You've probably heard of it. It's called Ghosting. If you don't know what ghosting is, here's Urban Dictionary's definition:

"Ghosting: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested."

I can hear you all now. Lindsey.... you're a wedding photographer. Not a relationship therapist. Why the heck are you talking about ghosting? I'll happily tell you why.. Because ghosting doesn't just happen in dating. It happens in a lot of different spheres of life. The sphere I'm going to talk about: client/photographer relationships.

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For those who aren't photographers, I'm going to illustrate this scenario from a photographer's perspective. It might be a little dramatic for effect, but I'm a dramatic person... so there's that. ;) Here we go:

Our inbox lights up with a notification. It's a new wedding inquiry from a potential bride. Our heart starts racing. We get so excited. We immediately respond with the most cheerful welcome email explaining who we are and what our wedding investment is. We ask the potential bride to tell us who she is, how she and her fiancé fell in love, and all the wonderful wedding details she's been planning thus far. We want our welcome email to be perfect because we absolutely love our job, and are so excited when a new prospective client inquires. (Sidenote: if you inquire with me, that's exactly what you'll receive back. A super excited email with lots of questions and exclamation marks because I'm genuinely stoked to start getting to know you!)

After hitting send, we wait a few days, excitedly refreshing our inbox more than necessary. When they respond with excited interest our hopes go up even more. We start chatting back and forth about their big day, talking like old bff's. We start doodling images of what their big day will look like in our journals.... Okay so maybe that's a little dramatic... We don't do that... Or do we..? ;) Then something happens out of the blue. We realize the last email we sent was a week ago. We start to get nervous. We send a "Just checking in" email to make sure they received our last one, and to let them know we're still awaiting a response. After there's still no response after another week or two, our hope sadly depletes all together. No response. We feel conflicted. They most likely went in another direction with their photography needs, but we can't be sure because we received no closure. Sending a third email just seems ridiculous, like an old girlfriend pining after her long lost lover. Even though this isn't a dating scenario, it feels strangely similar to one as we realize we've just been...ghosted.

Now I'm happy to say that this scenario isn't every client interaction. It doesn't happen too often, but when it does it's super frustrating. For photographers, the main emotion ghosting brings out in us isn't usually sadness from not booking the client, it's frustration from not knowing what we did (or didn't do) that sent them running. (Can any photographer's out there relate?)

Because here's the deal. We will totally understand if you go in another direction, I promise. That's your choice as a bride, and we respect that. If you feel we aren't the best fit for you, then please don't book with us. I never ever want a bride to book with me and then have reservations leading up to her wedding day. I want my brides to be absolutely stoked that I'm the one photographing their wedding or elopement, so that's why I don't get heart broken when a client says no. I understand we weren't the best fit. But when a client just drops off the face of the earth with no explanation, aka, ghosting, then those feelings of frustration and "what did I do wrong?" take over.

So brides, us photographers aren't saying you HAVE to book with us. By all means, please only do so if you think we're a match made in heaven. What we are graciously asking is if you do realize we aren't the best fit, please send us a email telling us so. It doesn't have to be long; it doesn't have to be filled with apologies; all we ask is to kindly not leave us hanging. :)

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If you skipped to the end, here's the spark notes: I'm just a photographer....sitting in front of my computer....asking a bride to tell her yes or no.

(Name that movie!)

I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments below! And if this made you laugh, taught you something, or resonated with you fellow photographers, please feel free to share!


Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and intimate elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.