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View Full Version : Ever Been Burned by a Client?


Staszek
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 19:22
I was all set to shoot some spec work for a youth ballet performance this weekend, when I received a notification by a parent that I've been burned. Supposedly there was an e-mail sent out by the director that a dad is "exclusively" taking photos for the performance.

Wait, what? I was set to do spec work. Which I usually don't do but there was enough parent interest to make my time worth while.

I guess I've been burned by another parent with a camera. Thats not even the part that bugs me. I'm upset that the director didn't even let me know directly :mad:

Brandon72
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 20:00
Have you contacted the director? If you haven't seen the e-mail and the director told you you would be allowed to shoot and hasn't contacted you to tell you otherwise, then this sounds a little odd.

david lacey
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 20:49
I would have got right on the phone and if I could not get the director on the phone I just would have showed just to make the situation more awkward. I like straight and honest communication.

david lacey
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 20:52
I got burned on an engagement / proposal shoot once go figure they have never even seen the pictures and it went good, well for me anyway for the male client I don't think it went so good but I will probably never know.

Staszek
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 21:07
Have you contacted the director? If you haven't seen the e-mail and the director told you you would be allowed to shoot and hasn't contacted you to tell you otherwise, then this sounds a little odd.

I've attempted. The director hasn't responded to any of my communication attempts starting a month ago. The media coordinator who "pushed everything to the director" hasn't contacted me either, yet took the time to e-mail the parents that note.

I would have got right on the phone and if I could not get the director on the phone I just would have showed just to make the situation more awkward. I like straight and honest communication.

I'll call him tomorrow to get a straight answer as I like straight answers.

Skrim17
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 21:09
So you had no contact for over a month but were still going to do it?

NewHorizonPhoto
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 21:11
Got burned on a maternity/family shoot. Scheduled out 2 months in advance, talked with client 3-4 times including confirming our appointment 2 days before the shoot. Drove about 45mins (right on the edge of my service area) waited around for about 45mins, called her number repeatedly and left several messages before I took off. She never returned any of my calls. Did get a few candids of people in a park though. :/

david lacey
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 21:17
Staszek, it is weird if the director would have just called you with as much notice as possible and explained the situation it would be so much easier and there probably would not even be any hard feelings. Some like the hard way but they think it is the easy way.


Just looked at the ballet pictures on your site, they are good. I hate to wish anyone bad luck but it would not hurt my feelings if it blew up in the directors face and the other guys pictures sucked. I can't wish for this because it would not be good for the dancers but it could happen.

redflash
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 21:23
I got burned on an engagement / proposal shoot once go figure they have never even seen the pictures and it went good, well for me anyway for the male client I don't think it went so good but I will probably never know.

Maybe she bride to be changed her mind and gave him the flick! :(

david lacey
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 21:58
Maybe she bride to be changed her mind and gave him the flick! :(

I think that is exactly what happened. I had never done one of those before so I had fun even though I got stiffed with the bill.

Staszek
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 22:02
So you had no contact for over a month but were still going to do it?

I've been in contact with them over the past month. Only within the last week have they stopped making contact.

Its spec work, there's not much to it. I'm not charging the director to be there. I charge the parents for prints if they are interested, which they are.


Staszek, it is weird if the director would have just called you with as much notice as possible and explained the situation it would be so much easier and there probably would not even be any hard feelings. Some like the hard way but they think it is the easy way.


Just looked at the ballet pictures on your site, they are good. I hate to wish anyone bad luck but it would not hurt my feelings if it blew up in the directors face and the other guys pictures sucked. I can't wish for this because it would not be good for the dancers but it could happen.

Thanks David. I think even if he blows it, the director won't care. She's too self-centered from my experience in the past.

Bearmann
30th of November 2011 (Wed), 22:19
Staszek,

I enjoyed your ballet photos too. I suspect that they will be disappointed with their new exclusive photographer, and will want you back for the next ones...that is if they are not too embarrassed to ask.

Staszek
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 00:22
Staszek,

I enjoyed your ballet photos too. I suspect that they will be disappointed with their new exclusive photographer, and will want you back for the next ones...that is if they are not too embarrassed to ask.

Thanks. I appreciate your compliments. Lets hope they come back for the next show as I enjoy shooting youth performances.

Csae
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 04:55
Got burned on a maternity/family shoot. Scheduled out 2 months in advance, talked with client 3-4 times including confirming our appointment 2 days before the shoot. Drove about 45mins (right on the edge of my service area) waited around for about 45mins, called her number repeatedly and left several messages before I took off. She never returned any of my calls. Did get a few candids of people in a park though. :/

Thats what Deposits are for :D

Staszek,

I enjoyed your ballet photos too. I suspect that they will be disappointed with their new exclusive photographer, and will want you back for the next ones...that is if they are not too embarrassed to ask.

+1, i liked your ballet shots as well. Sometimes getting burned once can mean getting a lifetime client, sometimes its better to get an early warning sign ;)

Staszek
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 05:03
Thats what Deposits are for :D



+1, i liked your ballet shots as well. Sometimes getting burned once can mean getting a lifetime client, sometimes its better to get an early warning sign ;)

Thank you :D I'm now working on a contract with another youth company two weeks out. Lets hope this one converts!

Dan Marchant
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 09:01
Its spec work, there's not much to it. I'm not charging the director to be there. I charge the parents for prints if they are interested, which they are.

The curse of free. He's not paying you so to him you are of zero value. Obviously you were hoping to make some money from the parents but that doesn't change the fact that to him you are exactly the same as the dad who also isn't charging.

sspellman
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 11:32
I've attempted. The director hasn't responded to any of my communication attempts starting a month ago. The media coordinator who "pushed everything to the director" hasn't contacted me either, yet took the time to e-mail the parents that note.



I'll call him tomorrow to get a straight answer as I like straight answers.

Its not a Client or a job if they won't communicate with you. Are things that desperate in SF?

-Scott

sandpiper
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 11:40
The curse of free. He's not paying you so to him you are of zero value. Obviously you were hoping to make some money from the parents but that doesn't change the fact that to him you are exactly the same as the dad who also isn't charging.

If the dad has been given exclusive rights, there is a good chance they actually paid for them. Otherwise, there is no reason for the director to not allow both to shoot on spec. In which case, the difference is the OP is not paying and the other guy is, sometimes you just have to live with the fact that somebody else is prepared to pay more for the exclusive rights, in order that they can make more sales.

Staszek
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 14:29
The curse of free. He's not paying you so to him you are of zero value. Obviously you were hoping to make some money from the parents but that doesn't change the fact that to him you are exactly the same as the dad who also isn't charging.

True and if the dad is a long time customer, they'd go with him out of loyalty. Initially, I had a proposal for them but since I lost contact, I figured I could go and work on spec. My day is free and its the local youth ballet school.

Its not a Client or a job if they won't communicate with you. Are things that desperate in SF?

-Scott

No its not that desperate. See above. Free day, local school, high parent interest in my service.

If the dad has been given exclusive rights, there is a good chance they actually paid for them. Otherwise, there is no reason for the director to not allow both to shoot on spec. In which case, the difference is the OP is not paying and the other guy is, sometimes you just have to live with the fact that somebody else is prepared to pay more for the exclusive rights, in order that they can make more sales.

They aren't paying him. The dad shoots the shows for fun - motor driving through the show, then throws the photos on SmugMug, and hands them out for free. This is based on what I've seen from two past performances over the last two years. So technically, he's not doing spec work, he's just shooting for fun.

I am friends with the videographer who shoots the shows every year because his daughter is in the school (which is also why I know several of the parents, school, etc.). He told me the director wants him to pay her for shooting :eek:

sandpiper
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 14:41
They aren't paying him. The dad shoots the shows for fun - motor driving through the show, throws the photos on SmugMug, and hands them out for free. This is based on what I've seen from two past performances over the last two years.



Sorry, I think you misunderstood my comment. I meant that the Dad was possibly paying for the exclusive rights, not that he was getting paid to do the shoot.

However, as you now say that he gives the images away for nothing, I can't see any reason for him to pay as he would have no way to recoup his money. Equally though, I cannot see why they would grant him exclusivity without him paying for it.

Do you get sufficient sales that you could leverage an exclusivity contract yourself by paying them either a fixed fee, or a percentage of sales? That could swing the deal your way instead, and cut his freebies out of the loop leaving you more potential sales. Even if your shots are better, there are always people who will prefer free to good, so stopping him shooting could more than cover your costs for the exclusivity.

Executive Images Photo
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 15:08
Contracts, Contracts, Contracts. There is a reason for them. If you had a contract then you wouldnt have to make an issue over this. Have your clients sign a contract and make a deposit. Then if they dont follow through with the contract you keep the deposit and sit on your butt all day. :-)

Staszek
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 15:21
Sorry, I think you misunderstood my comment. I meant that the Dad was possibly paying for the exclusive rights, not that he was getting paid to do the shoot.

However, as you now say that he gives the images away for nothing, I can't see any reason for him to pay as he would have no way to recoup his money. Equally though, I cannot see why they would grant him exclusivity without him paying for it.

Do you get sufficient sales that you could leverage an exclusivity contract yourself by paying them either a fixed fee, or a percentage of sales? That could swing the deal your way instead, and cut his freebies out of the loop leaving you more potential sales. Even if your shots are better, there are always people who will prefer free to good, so stopping him shooting could more than cover your costs for the exclusivity.

I see what you're saying, thanks for clarifying. I thought you meant they paid him.

My proposal had an opportunity for the director to make a portion. However the director nor the media contact has responded to me to give me a chance to share my proposal.


Contracts, Contracts, Contracts. There is a reason for them. If you had a contract then you wouldnt have to make an issue over this. Have your clients sign a contract and make a deposit. Then if they dont follow through with the contract you keep the deposit and sit on your butt all day. :-)

Thanks for your input but have you read the thread at all?

Executive Images Photo
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 15:31
Thanks for your input but have you read the thread at all?

Yes I did. Would you like me to cliff note it for you, mr smartass?

If you show up to any place without any contractual backing then you are just asking to be burn. Show me a person who as never lied in their life and ill show you a pink flying unicorn...

Staszek
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 15:47
Yes I did. Would you like me to cliff note it for you, mr smartass?

If you show up to any place without any contractual backing then you are just asking to be burn. Show me a person who as never lied in their life and ill show you a pink flying unicorn...

What's with the name calling, Matt? Better yet, how are contracts relevant to spec work?

My idea that you did not read the thread is based on:

Contracts, Contracts, Contracts. There is a reason for them. If you had a contract then you wouldnt have to make an issue over this. Have your clients sign a contract and make a deposit. Then if they dont follow through with the contract you keep the deposit and sit on your butt all day. :-)

In case you aren't familiar with spec work here is the definition:

Describes work that is done for a client without a contract or job order, for which the client will pay only if the work is to be used. When a job is done on speculation, the person doing the work takes the risk in the hope of making a profit, gaining a valuable credit, or for some other reason. In the advertising business, creative talent will often work on spec in order to establish a name in the industry.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/on-spec#ixzz1fJlbv57d


In that sense, your post about contracts and deposits is irrelevant. Now, do you want Cliff Notes or a childish name?

Executive Images Photo
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 16:07
What's with the name calling, Matt? Better yet, how are contracts relevant to spec work?

My idea that you did not read the thread is based on:

In case you aren't familiar with spec work here is the definition:

In that sense, your post about contracts and deposits is irrelevant. Now, do you want Cliff Notes or a childish name?

First off, childish name? Please, you were acting like a smartass, so you were called one. Sorry I see it how it is. Ill send flowers if I hurt your feelings <-----Smartass coment. :lol:

Second, you said spec work, you're right. I read it, I understood it, I got it. But if you look at your OWN definition...
When a job is done on speculation, the person doing the work takes the risk in the hope of making a profit, gaining a valuable credit, or for some other reason
how can you sit here and talk about getting "burned" when the whole job was based on the HOPE that you would get something out it? :rolleyes:

I HOPE I win on this lottery ticket I just bought...but if I dont does that mean I should get mad over it? Moral is you THOUGHT you were going to get something out of this job and didnt. You claim you got "burned" but in reality you just didnt get what you THOUGHT you were going to, thus is why I mentioned CONTRACTS. Contracts keep you from wasting time, effort, and money when you are in business. Plus, contracts are for cool guys like this guy ----->:cool:

Oh and they keep people from making threads like this...:rolleyes:

Csae
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 16:14
There is a point in the above though, if its spec work, competition should be expected.

Having another photographer there doesn't mean a lowblow or broken promise, it means competition, and with your photos, you should of floored the competition.

Staszek
1st of December 2011 (Thu), 16:41
First off, childish name? Please, you were acting like a smartass, so you were called one. Sorry I see it how it is. Ill send flowers if I hurt your feelings <-----Smartass coment. :lol:

Second, you said spec work, you're right. I read it, I understood it, I got it. But if you look at your OWN definition...

how can you sit here and talk about getting "burned" when the whole job was based on the HOPE that you would get something out it? :rolleyes:

I HOPE I win on this lottery ticket I just bought...but if I dont does that mean I should get mad over it? Moral is you THOUGHT you were going to get something out of this job and didnt. You claim you got "burned" but in reality you just didnt get what you THOUGHT you were going to, thus is why I mentioned CONTRACTS. Contracts keep you from wasting time, effort, and money when you are in business. Plus, contracts are for cool guys like this guy ----->:cool:

Oh and they keep people from making threads like this...:rolleyes:

You're right Matt.

There is a point in the above though, if its spec work, competition should be expected.

Having another photographer there doesn't mean a lowblow or broken promise, it means competition, and with your photos, you should of floored the competition.

Good point. Thanks for the insight.