How do you tell a client...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by rthomas, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    That you don't want to work with them under certain circumstances?

    I have been doing some product photography work with a client for almost a year now, to our mutual benefit. However, I don't have a studio and I usually go to his office. For our last shoot, however, we went to his house. It seems to be a permanent party, which I have no real problem with in and of itself (even though I was trying to work). BUT, there were a variety of illegal things going on that I want no part of.

    How would others here handle this?
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Ask for a return to onsite shoots. Explain that you need the space, privacy and security his office provides.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're using available light, you can always say the light's better at the office.
     
  4. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Just say it like it is: You are uncomfortable working in somebody else's house.

    You can phrase it in several different ways.
    ...It's not professional.
    ...You don't want to be liable for loss or damage to somebody else's personal property.
    ...You don't want to be accused of wrongdoing if something bad happens to the homeowner's friends, family or children.
    ...You don't want to haul your equipment to somebody else's house where it might be damaged, lost or stolen.
    ...You feel like you can do better work in a quiet environment.
    ...Any one of a hundred things...

    You want to give your client the best value for his money that you can. You can't do that unless you are working in a place that makes you comfortable. If you're not comfortable and that makes you produce work that isn't up to par, HE is going to be unhappy with you, making you lose your client.

    Just be nice and polite. Thank him for his business. Thank him for inviting you to his home but tell him, calmly and nicely, that you don't want to work in his house then ask him what solution the two of you can work out.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you could just tell him you would rather work in the office ...
    if he insists on knowing why ..

    make something up like ... you adopted a former police dog or tsa pig / dog
    and it freaked out when you got home when it sniffed you ...
    say it took a long long time to regain the dog / pig's trust again so
    you can't go through that again ...
    if you don't want to make up something crazy or inane, just tell him the truth ...
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Adopted a police dog? If you're going to lie, make it believable. Better yet, don't lie. Doesn't mean you have to tell the whole truth. Randy's advice is on target.
     
  7. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    Man, join the party...
     
  8. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    .
    Methinks, It's A Partay !!!

    Ron
    .
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Tell him the truth - that the environment isn't conducive to doing good work and that your preference is not to be working around the illegal activities.

    Why would he object to your preference?

    It is not like you are telling him that he cannot make the choice to be involved in those activities.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I want to come!:smile:

    Jeff
     
  11. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    In my (non-photographic) professional work, I've sometimes had clients ask to see me at my home rather than at my office (they are some miles apart and it could be more convenient for them).
    I just say something along the lines that I don't have my files or computer/office facilities at home, or simply that it's "not very professional" to see them outside my own or their offices. It's never caused a problem.
    (And there is the question of insurance when working at home, or outside one's own office...loss, damage, public liability, etc.. All of these would, of course, be genuinely more significant when using photo lights, tripods and other gear, rather than, as I do, just a laptop and a few papers.)
     
  12. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I would not mention any "illegal activity" whether it is a concern for you or not. Words like "illegal," "law" or "police" can be triggers for an argument.

    The truth is that you don't give a rat's ass what a grown person does within the confines of his own home but that doesn't mean you are obliged to participate.

    What would you do if you sat down to eat dinner with somebody and they tried to serve you raw monkey brains? You would politely say, "Thank you but no thank you." If you felt like puking at the site of a monkey skull being split open, you would, hopefully, wait until you got outside.

    Okay, okay... Silly example. I know but the same principle applies.

    Just politely decline to participate in activities that make you uncomfortable.
     
  13. sdotkling

    sdotkling Member

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    I'd raise my price A WHOLE LOT. If he goes for it, think of it as combat pay...and laugh all the way to the bank.
     
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  15. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Tell him it violates the term of your parole... :smile:

    Seriously, tell him it's not a conducive environment to produce the quality of work he expects from you.
     
  16. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    get a studio. there are reasons for this that you are only just starting to discover!
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it was a joke ...


    you certainly can tell the truth, say you don't want to work out of HIS home
    because you can't do your work in that environment ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2011
  18. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    Hey, By the way! What are the illegal activities? illegal downloading? robbing fruit to the neighbor? or any of these:http://www.dumblaws.com/

    If it´s these things loose the client, that´s life

    if it´s just smoking a porro, you are alllllright!
     
  19. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. It was a party partly in that there were a lot of people in and out, not to mention several large dogs who kept wandering into my set. Yes, a studio - and a darkroom - are very much things I need now. As to what the illegal activities are, it's nothing mundane - certainly not illegal mp3 files or stolen apricots, not even a certain herb.

    Like Vito Corleone said, "It makes no difference to me what another man does for a living. It's just that your business is a little dangerous." What another person does in his or her home really isn't my concern. Let's just say I DON'T want to be there if the police DO show up. So I will politely request that all future shoots take place at his office, as we've done in the past.
     
  20. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Doing business at a known place of criminal, organized activity, and returning, could be seen (I strongly emphasize "could") as complicity, even facilitation. His cash to you on that site could potentially be a form of money laundering. I would advise not to return. I am speaking from some experience here having had to deal with the fallout from grow-ops in Vancouver relating to real estate and utility transactions, watching willfully ignorant tradespeople given the nth degree.

    The local cop is not always going to listen to you or read your contract if your name comes up as having been to that site. He's going to follow the money and the personnel at that site.
     
  21. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Time to get a studio, if you are photographing anything small enough to move it should be done in a studio.

    As for the why, I would just say it was that it is a lot easier to work in a studio that is already setup for you to just insert a product than it is for you to setup at another site. If we are talking small low value items, offer to pick them up at his office and drop them off with the proofs.

    Mention that you like quiet. Also it is probably easier to transport several products than it is to move a studio.
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It all depends if you trust the client, whether you feel comfortable working in such an environment and are you willing to walk away from the client. If there's no trust nor feeling at ease working there and you're willing to walk, do so. Only you can answer these questions for yourself. But be open to talk about your working relationship. You might gain more respect from them by doing so.
     
  23. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

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  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I thought I heard some heavy breathing Jeff :laugh:
     
  25. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Oh man, even I let that one go...
     
  26. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Just be upfront...
    If there was pot smoking and meth cooking, and I wasn't shooting a "story" on the same... I would just leave.
    I have a wife, kids and good little life... I don't want to be associated with anything that could take that away from me.