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Photography Clients Ghosting You?

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Photography Clients Ghosting You? Here’s What to Do

As a boudoir photographer, I know firsthand that there’s nothing more frustrating than a potential client ghosting you. 

You get all excited to work with them, putting in the work to get them started with success and planning how you’ll make them have an unforgettable experience…for nothing. It sucks!

But the thing is, it’s gonna happen. People get busy or distracted, and their needs may change as they do. Getting ghosted is just a part of working with clients. 

The good news? There are ways to prevent it. 

In this post, I’m going to break down five of the most common ways photography clients can ghost you, and how to handle it (so you can avoid it happening to you again!).

Ready? Let’s dive in!

#1: Joining Your Email List, Then Not Reaching Out

The first way a potential client might ghost you is by joining your email list but not reaching out otherwise. Which, to be honest, is pretty common. 

You get excited about that new booking, and it never comes. Bummer, right? 

But make sure you’re not the one ghosting them—which is what you’re doing if you don’t have any sort of welcome sequence. With it, you stay top of mind and remind them why they were interested in the first place. 

Again, people get busy and forget, but it’s up to you to remind them. 

Psssst…Need help formulating your welcome sequence? Follow me here to get the guide!

#2: They Inquire About a Session But Never Book

As photographers, I think this one upsets us the most because it leaves us second-guessing ourselves.

Was it our prices? Our personality? Our quality of work? What’s the issue?!

You may never know — sometimes people ghost and really are gone. But usually, it’s pricing. So you have to be on your game and know what to say when they ask about it. 

Don’t get offended, don’t assume. Just like you’re trying to vet them out, they’re doing the same and want to make sure you’re the right photographer for them. 

To be clear, I don’t think you need to JUSTIFY anything, but sometimes, some potential clients need to be educated a bit to understand why photographers are a bit more expensive than they might expect.

Side note: You can always follow up and simply ask if you want to know why they didn’t end up booking. Just don’t pester them about it!

#3: They Ghost You After Booking a Session

Okay, this one can always feel confusing. If they already booked a session, why not follow up? Why ghost instead of just letting us know they can’t make it?

You may be surprised to know that a big reason why this happens is your CRM software and client management process. 

I know from firsthand experience because it happened to me all the time before I switched to Acuity Scheduling.  

My old process went like this:

  1. The client would inquire. 
  2. We went back and forth several times before choosing and securing a date.
  3. I sent an invoice to hold the session for 72 hours while I waited for them to pay the invoice.
  4. After they paid, I would send the portrait contract.

I lost retention the most during the invoice payment or signing of the contract. I constantly had to follow up on both of those things. And many times, I never heard back!

But when I switched to Acuity Scheduling, things changed. Instead, they had to secure their session date, pay the invoice, and sign the contract in one go. 

Having a process like that in place doesn’t stop people from canceling in general — life still happens. BUT it does ensure you don’t have bookings on your plate that go nowhere. Because if they sign up, they’re really signing up, ya know?


While I highly recommend switching to Acuity, I know switching or signing up for new software may not be an option right now. 

If that’s the case, try a follow-up/reminder email sequence instead.

Once booked, the session fee must be paid within 48-72 hours (or less), but keep it low. The more time you give them, the more likely they are not to pay the invoice.

You can send out emails at the 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour mark. Just remember, the shorter, the better  — and that NOTHING is set in stone until BOTH the contract and invoice are paid!

#4:  You Get Ghosted Before Ordering Their Photos

Now this just sounds crazy, right? Like…do people not want to see their photos??

But it does happen! It happened to me last fall! The client just got super busy. 

However, the best way to prevent this from happening is to book the client’s ordering session before she leaves your studio. That way, distractions won’t keep them from booking. 

But what about when a client reschedules but never follows up? 

For one, don’t offer any sneak peeks until after the ordering session. If they aren’t paying for photos, why show them photos? Then, send them a reminder email. Sometimes, people just need a gentle nudge! 

#5: They Don’t Pay For Their Entire Order

The fifth way a potential client might ghost you is after they’ve chosen their photos and still need to pay for the entire order. 

Yes, this happens. Not very often — I’ve run into this problem maybe eight times out of almost 1,000 photoshoots — but it does. 

A few of the photography clients who ghosted me like this happened very early in my business when I was unclear about how my process worked. That was one of me, which is why I say systems/processes are important. 

Since then, I’ve learned to lay things out very clearly and to include them in my contracts. While I have payment plans, nothing will be retouched or ordered until the order is paid in full.

But sometimes, it’s for a reason. 

One client’s fiance passed away after her ordering session, right before I ordered her album.

She contacted me and asked if I would cancel her order because she didn’t want to be reminded of this time in her life. This was totally understandable, and I canceled her order.

So, meet people with grace. Don’t let clients walk all over you, but you just never know what people are going through and why they want to cancel. 

Stay Booked Out and Keep the Ghosting at Bay

I know getting ghosted can be SUPER frustrating. But just know it happens to the best of us. That’s why it pays to be prepared! You can’t control what happens, but you can control how you respond. 

Having a system in place during the booking process and beyond also reduces your chances of being ghosted. And finding the right leads can help reduce ghosting dramatically! 

Think about it — they’re excited to book and want to pay your prices and work WITH you. 

But if you aren’t sure how to go about doing that, I recommend checking out Forever Booked Out. This course will show you how to find your ideal clients and ensure they stick around from inquiry to final delivery. 

If you’re interested in learning more, you can do so here!


Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.


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