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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk
Thread started 08 Jun 2015 (Monday) 10:29
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Poll"When do you require payment"
More than 30 days prior
2
16.7%
1 Week to 30 days prior
9
75%
Day of event
1
8.3%
When delivery images
0
0%

12 voters, 12 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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When do you require payment

 
Littlejon ­ Dsgn
Goldmember
3,207 posts
Joined Feb 2012
Sandy, Oregon
Jun 08, 2015 10:29 |  #1

I had a customer that was not to happy with my payment schedule and it got me thinking. I require a 25% non refundable retainer when the contract is signed to hold the date. I then require payment in full 30 days prior to the event (this is spelled out in my contract which is available on my website). Now this is the first potential client that has ever complained (she is a photographer, has shot a dozen weddings, but admits to never being paid for any of them). I was helping her out in a bind (2 weeks before her wedding) for half of my base package because I really wanted to shoot the venue she was using. I gave her a link to my website and agreed to meet her the next day to sign my contract. I showed up at her house (she was moving and things were chaotic to say the least) she and her boyfriend signed the contract after he skimmed over it. I agreed she could call me that evening to wrap things up in regards to the payment. 2 days passed and I sent her a message, that's when she went off on me about how unprofessional it was to require payment before the event, and she advises all her brides not to pay until they see the images. Her go to response for everything I said was "what if I am not happy with the images".

We stuck to our contract and apologized but decided not to continue as the photographer.

That leads me to this question. Are we way out of line in requiring payment. I currently have 6 other weddings on the books this season and not one of them has even batted an eye at the payment terms. I see myself as any other event vendor.




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memoriesoftomorrow
Goldmember
3,843 posts
Joined Nov 2010
Jun 08, 2015 11:00 |  #2

I have a $1000 deposit and the balance due 2 weeks prior to the wedding. Anyone who doesn't like those terms isn't my client. In eight years I've had one person who enquired who had a problem with them.

Bottom line from speaking to many other photographers... the only clients who have a problem with payment upfront are the ones you are going to have trouble getting paid what you are owed after the event should you change your terms for them.


Peter

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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
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Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Jun 08, 2015 11:13 |  #3

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #17588804external link
(she is a photographer, has shot a dozen weddings, but admits to never being paid for any of them).

LOL

you did the right thing.

I generally have "due on delivery" terms with my corporate customers, unless it is a big project and I will require 50 percent with remainder due on delivery

I was planning to do 50% with remainder on delivery for wedding clients. Depending on how this thread goes, i might get more aggressive.


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benji25
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Joined Jan 2010
Twin Cities
Jun 08, 2015 11:32 |  #4

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17588855external link
Bottom line from speaking to many other photographers... the only clients who have a problem with payment upfront are the ones you are going to have trouble getting paid what you are owed after the event should you change your terms for them.

To expand on this - pretty much every service provider the couple chooses for the wedding will require payment before as well so it isn't out of the ordinary.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Sandy, Oregon
Jun 08, 2015 11:33 |  #5

As soon as she said "What happens if I am not happy with the photos" the red flag when sky high. I have enough work on my website that she knows the quality I would deliver.




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tim
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Wellington, New Zealand
Jun 08, 2015 15:36 |  #6

$500 booking fee, balance due 1 month before the wedding, no exceptions. If an album is in the package I allow payment of a small portion before the album is ordered, but the default is payment in advance.


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Amadauss
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Lehigh Valley Pa
Jun 09, 2015 23:09 |  #7

30 to 50 percent down with the agreement signed, depending on the amount agreed upon, and the rest due the day before or day of the wedding.


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dche5390
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Sydney, Australia
Jun 17, 2015 18:20 |  #8

I've varied depending on my situation. I have asked for 100% upfront (and most couples do not bat an eyelid). I have done 50% now and 50% upon delivery (which I regretted as cashflow died). I have done 75% upfront and 25% 30-days prior (creates admin). I tend to find 100% just works for everyone :P


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Roamingbull
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Joined Oct 2010
Oregon House CA
Jun 17, 2015 21:14 |  #9

Your right on. This one would be nothing but trouble. She does weddings free, she expects hers done for free. Given that, I find it odd that she advises her brides to not pay before delivery? If she is not charging, then would that be nothing on delivery?

My contract reads the following

non refundable deposit (30%) to secure the date.
Payments toward the balance are OK, but all payments received are non refundable.
Payment in full three weeks prior to the wedding date. I am thinking of expanding this to one month or 30 days.

If an album is in the contract, I DO allow this portion of the contract to be paid later, but before the album goes to print. This also includes other physical materials such as canvas prints or whatever it is they want in their package. This is NOT in the contract, but something I work with them on so they can afford the services.

You did right... This headache will be someone else's.


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rincon
Member
236 posts
Joined Apr 2009
Tucson, AZ
Jun 18, 2015 09:34 |  #10

Like the others, my contract requires a 1/3 non-refundable retainer to secure the date at the time of contract signature. The full amount due not less than 2 weeks prior to the event. I further state that cancellation less than 30 days prior to the even forfeits all payments received by that time. Yes, I do work with my clients and will take payments over time as long as the full amount is paid by the stipulated 2 weeks prior to the event.




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nathancarter
Cream of the Crop
Joined Dec 2010
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by nathancarter.
Jun 18, 2015 11:44 |  #11

Smells like trouble... and I sense that she has already decided that she won't like the images.

I think you made the right choice by not continuing.


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cliousa
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Jul 09, 2015 15:01 |  #12

Definitely before the event.

50% retainer when the wedding contract is signed and the remaining 50% 14 days before the wedding. This way, you are paid before the wedding and feel very good about it. The bride also doesn't have to think about bringing you a check on the wedding day neither you not being paid on time after the wedding because the bride blew all her money already.

Works like a charm.


Cheers


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Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Mountain View, CA
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davesrose
Title Fairy still hasn't visited me!
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Atlanta, GA
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by davesrose.
Jul 11, 2015 16:50 |  #13

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #17588804 (external link)
then require payment in full 30 days prior to the event (this is spelled out in my contract which is available on my website).

This is the only thing that seems unusual to me. My perspective is from a graphic artist and not professional photographer, but my contracts tend to ask for 1/3 of payment during the initial phases, and the remaining amount is 30 days after delivery. Some corporations will take a lot longer because their billing cycles are quarterly. So it pays better if you're flexible and can accept payment after the event. Also, I think there's a lot of potential getting money from prints. You do have a set amount of payment from the event itself, but you should try to advertise and get more money from online galleries.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Sandy, Oregon
Jul 11, 2015 17:36 |  #14

davesrose wrote in post #17628226 (external link)
This is the only thing that seems unusual to me. My perspective is from a graphic artist and not professional photographer, but my contracts tend to ask for 1/3 of payment during the initial phases, and the remaining amount is 30 days after delivery. Some corporations will take a lot longer because their billing cycles are quarterly. So it pays better if you're flexible and can accept payment after the event. Also, I think there's a lot of potential getting money from prints. You do have a set amount of payment from the event itself, but you should try to advertise and get more money from online galleries.

I have no problem taking payment after the event for corporate stuff. But for private party type events I have less trust in people and require payment before I do the work.




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davesrose
Title Fairy still hasn't visited me!
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Atlanta, GA
Jul 11, 2015 17:42 |  #15

Littlejon Dsgn wrote in post #17628256 (external link)
I have no problem taking payment after the event for corporate stuff. But for private party type events I have less trust in people and require payment before I do the work.


Yeah, it's probably just me being used to corporate clients. Can understand that for private individuals, you should try to get the cash ASAP.


Canon 5D mk III , 7D mk II
EF 135mm 2.0L, EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF 24-70 2.8L II, EF 50mm 1.4, EF 100mm 2.8L Macro, EF 16-35mm 4L IS, Sigma 150-600mm C, 580EX, 600EX-RT, MeFoto Globetrotter tripod, grips, Black Rapid RS-7, CAMS plate and strap system, Lowepro Flipside 500 AW, and a few other things...
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