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Old 1st of March 2009 (Sun)   #1
lburnell
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Default Senior Portrait Contract

I have been doing high school seniors for a few years now and have all ways required 50% of the cost when I do the shoot and the remaining 50% when I give the client the proofs ( around 1 to 2 weeks). This has worked fine until this year, 95% of my clients this year have taken over a month to pick up there proofs and some as long as 3 months.

I am thinking of changing my contract to require 50% at the time of booking and the balance at the time of the shoot.

Can others tell me how they do it and what problems if any I may have with this change.

Thank You
Lance

Last edited by lburnell : 1st of March 2009 (Sun) at 10:59.
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Old 1st of March 2009 (Sun)   #2
lburnell
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

Wow no one has any input or opinion on this subject?
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Old 1st of March 2009 (Sun)   #3
Big O
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

Why wouldn't they pick up the proofs in a timely fashion?
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Old 1st of March 2009 (Sun)   #4
lburnell
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

Big O, because they do not have the money to pay the balance due. I understand times are tough but most of them do not even return phone calls.
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Old 1st of March 2009 (Sun)   #5
Jimconnerphoto
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

I am sure you are right, it is probably due to the economy.
I assume these are non-contract?
Changing your payment terms will not, in the long run, change the amount of money your clients have. Being accommodating and allowing time for proof viewing may just save the sale initially.
Many people who do not currently have excess cash to devote to photography may not book sittings right away knowing that a deposit is due when you schedule one. Not having a deposit due gives an individual time to "Save up" knowing that a balance will be due.
I would opt for a 100% due at the sitting appointment before I opted for 50% at time of booking and %50 at the portrait sitting.
all opinion of course. your results may vary...
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Old 2nd of March 2009 (Mon)   #6
lburnell
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

zagiace, thank you for your input on this. Yes I do use a contract but it does not seem to matter. I try very hard to understand that people are having tough times and will work with them on the payment. What really upsets me is that they do not return my calls. I have no problem if they call me and tell me they do not have the money to pay the balance as agreed but will have it in a few weeks. It is when they do not call at all or never seem to answer when I call.
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Old 2nd of March 2009 (Mon)   #7
JulieNick
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

I would go with what you said, 50% at time of booking and the rest on the day of the shoot. You may have less clients but at least you aren't wasting time pping photos that you may not sell or even get the remainder of your fee. You are losing money when doing that and calling clients etc. How many wedding photogs shoot and pp a wedding before getting full payment?
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Old 2nd of March 2009 (Mon)   #8
RDKirk
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

Fifty percent and balance of what? The session fee?

What part of the net you must gross over "cost of sales" is your session fee? What you charge and when should always cover--profitably--as much as you will do for the client before the next payment.

What you charge as a session retainer should cover the cost of the consultation and your pre-session planning. Your session fee should cover the cost of the session and producing the previews, et cetera, so that at any given point your cashflow is positive.

You seem to feel that you're being cheated, but from their point of view, they've paid you money and have gotten nothing to show for it, so they don't believe you should have a problem with how long they wait. If your session fee is sized appropriately, they are right.
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Old 2nd of March 2009 (Mon)   #9
lburnell
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Default Re: Senior Portrait Contract

RDKirk,

I do not charge a session fee on my senior portraits everything is included in a package price.

I meet with the client for a consultation first then when they return for the protrait session I require the first 50%. After the session I prepare the proofs and order them along with uploading them to a site for digtal proofs. I then require the remaining balance when they pick up there proofs.

I can assure you that they are not paying upfront for nothing be done.

Last edited by lburnell : 2nd of March 2009 (Mon) at 14:09.
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