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Ripsnort Nov 1, 2006 10:47 AM

Names withheld to protect the company involved:

We were "verbally" scheduled (no contract) to shoot the Washington State Soccer Assoc. Presidents Cup semi-finals and finals. Then I got this email from the pres:


Hello Brian,

I apologize for not getting back to you but I am still working on the schedules.

The Presidents Cup is a WSYSA Program and they have a contract with (Name withheld in this post)Sports Photography to do all pictures. I have contacted (Name withheld in this post) and am having them take pictures.

However, I am not sure that they will be able to cover all matches so I am hoping that you may be available for some photography.




District III

VP of Competition

Prez Cup Rep

So I replied with this note:


I'm sorry to hear that Bill, and worse yet, you won't be getting the quality action photos you get from our business as seen in the examples below:

(Name withheld in this post) action photography sample photos (Football-note the under-exposure and lack of proper framing)

[(Name and picture website withheld in this post)

Nic's Pics and Lifetime Memories action photography sample photos (Football)

You see, (Name withheld in this post) is a Sports portraits photograhy studio that also happens to shoots Sports action pictures. We are anSports Actionphotography business that does not do portrait photography except for team shots.

We also offer a speciality service that (Name withheld in this post) does not, Digital Montage Photography. You can see the sample on this link below:

Let us know if you have enough coverage, we'll be glad to pick up any games that you do not have covered, because once we display some of our montage artwork, I have no doubt we'll outsell (Name withheld in this post).


Lifetime Memories Productions and Nic's Pics

Lake Tapps, Washington

Did I sound too cocky? I had nothing to lose really...Just a side note; this competing Chain photography studio recently signed the contract for this years finals so I am told by a photographer that works for the chain. I will be following up and getting on their list of of preferred businesses for future events.

JohnG Nov 1, 2006 1:44 PM


Let me preface my response by saying I feel your pain regarding losing work to what you perceive to be inferior work. I hear you.

Now, having said that, if I were the recipient of your email, I personally would react negatively to it. The reason being is that the tone of the email comes across to me as "you screwed up" by signing the other company ('you' being the VP in this case). Rather than a tone that says:

I'm sorry to hear you've decided to go with another company. For future contract considerations, I'd like to take a moment to highlight some competitive advantages we bring to the table: and then list out the services or product offerings that you feel are a competitive advantage.

The reality is: the guy isn't likely to change his mind for this gig - that's tantamount to admiting he made a mistake which people don't like to do. But, planting those seeds of competitive advantage (especially with samples of the work) can work to your advantage next go-around.

I like the fact you looked to work the additional games but again, maybe a better choice of words was in order: "we'd be happy to share sales volume and customer satisfaction details after the event so you can compare them to company X when evaluating the success of your partnerships. We're confident the services and products we provide will result in increased sales volumes and customer satisfaction as compared toother vendors you will be partnering with. "

With this type of approach you're still making the same claim it just isn't as 'in your face' and most importantly you're offering up empirical data to back up your claim. And, again - the message is NOT that the VP screwed up by using this other company it's that you've offered to prove in this "test case" you provide a more saleable product so when the next contract is awarded you're the logical choice. This way, their ego can let them off the hook by saying "hey, I made the best choice with the information available" but here's a better choice for next time.

My choice of words isn't the best - I'd spend a lot more time wording it - but the message I'm trying to get across is: the email as stated would put me on the defensive if I were reading it and that can cost you future business.

Ripsnort Nov 1, 2006 1:51 PM

Thanks for your input JohnG. I felt I was alittle harsh after sending that, thus my post. I'll take my time replying next time, as suggested by you. Thanks again.

Mark1616 Nov 1, 2006 6:42 PM

Brian that is a total pain in the *** and fortunately not something I have come up against as yet (probably not good enough or putting myself to the right places) but I know I would not be totally chuffed to have been ousted!!

I agree with John that the reply was not the best wording but it does show expected unhappiness. Now with my business head on (weekdays 9-5) rather than photography (fun at the weekend) you might consider another email apologising for your slightly strong reply, recognising that you were frustrated as it felt you were being pushed aside as you knew you were more than able to produce the goods. Now it depends how you feel, but I have manged to retain/win some good size contracts be being honest and letting clients know that I am human and am also passionate about my work. Humble pie can taste a little bitter however there can be sweet deserts at the end of the meal!

Hope it goes well.


Ripsnort Nov 10, 2006 1:25 AM

Just received this email today! Looks like we on for the Soccer Tourney! There isa good chancethat we'll get published in local sports publications for this event as well!


I have just today received notification from Legends Photography that they will not be doing the District finals tournament photos.

If you are still available and want to consider this activity, pls let me know.

I will be meeting at Starfire today at 10:30AM if you want to coordinate on site.

Note that the NWAACC tournament is also the same days and location so it could be another opportunity.

Bill Worden
District III
VP of Competition
Prez Cup Rep

Mark1616 Nov 10, 2006 4:10 AM

Great news..... show them what you've got and you could get it all back :cool::-):-):G:D

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