To quote Jason Newstead of Metallica when asked if the band had sold out.
"Yes! Every seat in every stadium. Every night."
Artists pour their souls into their work. If someone is willing to pay to enjoy it, the artist should not feel bad one iota at depriving them, fairly, of their money. The artist earned it if the people will get enjoyment from it.
For a moment, I thought you were going to say that you had shot it digitally, and printed it on an inkjet .
In my mind there is a fundamental difference between delivering work that you would like the chance to improve upon, and delivering work that you consider to be sloppy and second rate.
The first is really a reflection of your desire to both excel and give superlative value, while the second would be a symptom of laziness and a general lack of care - clearly not the situation here.
From what you have posted, I infer that you feel that the photograph chosen by the client is one with a good level of quality - just not the photo you had envisioned.
In my experience, clients who buy photographs often value things that photographers (and frequently third parties) don't value nearly as much.
And sometimes, the only evidence available that the client has any good taste at all is that they hired you!
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
First of all congratulations.
It is so wonderful when people appreciate one's artistic endeavours financially. Perhaps you are being a little too hard on yourself.
I have come to think that I can always improve upon a print and that I've never taken the perfect photograph ... yet.
This is perhaps important to keep us striving for excellence in our work, but like my dissertation there will come a time when I have to say enough is enough and hope my supervisor agrees.
Thank you all again for your encouraging words and Matt, if you ever hear that I have gone digital, you will know that the end of the world is near and the comet is just minutes away so hide but first shoot the messenger for the liar he is. Thanks