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  1. #1
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Photo business question - fire the client?

    Several months ago I engaged a potential client in discussions about shooting some product photography for his business. We discussed the requirements, I informed the customer of my day rate for shooting such a job, and gave an estimate on the length of time. We came to a casual agreement about the job, and were waiting on a mutually agreeable time to schedule the shoot. I just got a new email today, saying that the customer had found several models, and had a location lined up, all of which was fine with me - I'm happy not to have to deal with hunting down models and bearing the responsibility of them flaking. The kicker? "I will have you and another photographer there. He is my sisters fiancée and he owns a photography business". This was NEVER in the original discussion, and frankly, I find it a bit insulting. My initial response was to reply, 'What is your address so I can send you a contract, which you can return along with a check for the 50% non-refundable deposit". I think that will kill this gig anyway (if this was done in an effort to save money, he's not going to want to pay my day rate), but should I pre-empt and just say, "on second thought, NO, go with your sister's fiancee and let him do the job"? This may have been done out of ignorance - this is to the best of my knowledge his first time hiring a pro photographer - and as such I'm inclined to cut a little slack and explain why what he did was unprofessional and rude, but maybe it's just best I turn down the gig with no explanation and save the kerfuffle.

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Just send a new estimate of the project cost reflecting the addition of another photographer. Something along the lines of the signs found in repair shops;

    Cost per hour: $45
    Cost per hour if you want to watch: $65
    Cost per hour if you want to help: $90
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I already quoted him a day rate of $1500/day. So I guess I'll have to factor in a "supervising second shooter" fee. I think I'm just going to rescind the offer and say thanks but no thanks I don't work with a competitor.

  4. #4
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I'm inclined to cut a little slack and explain why what he did was unprofessional and rude, but maybe it's just best I turn down the gig with no explanation and save the kerfuffle.
    That, nothing more and walk away. The second part of your sentence merely wraps up the deal as you see it.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    Fair chance the fiance is there to learn from you so you won't be needed more than once. If you don't want to consider your day rate a price for a workshop educating this photographer, don't do it. If you want to get paid to educate this guy, it's up to you.

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Some clients appreciate being educated.

    Talk to the client, and explain the problem.

    If that doesn't go well, then fire the client.

    If it does go well, they are a good client.
    Matt

    “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

  7. #7

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    Never do business with friends and family.

  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    It feels to me like the old problem when dealing with models of the model's boyfriend/girlfriend coming along on the shoot and then deciding to tell me how to run the shoot. I sent a follow-up email saying that I thought it was unprofessional, that it was the equivalent of bringing your car to the shop to have it fixed and then telling the mechanic, "oh, by the way, here's my in-law; he's going to be doing half the job while you work". I do teach - but teaching is a VERY different mindset than working. If I'm there to shoot a job, I'm there to shoot a job, not to teach someone else how to work with strobes and set lighting ratios (I have no idea how much this other guy knows, but that he agreed to do this shoot this way says that he's NOT the "professional" that my customer claimed.

  9. #9

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    I also think that it's very likely he doing this as a favor for his sister and that the other photographer is no real professional.

    And while I think your view (post #8) is valid, your email is one that should have been written - then revised when in a calmer mood. A response along the lines of "too many cooks in the kitchen" and "this inevitably results in more expense and a poor product" would have been more appropriate. You could have finished with something like you don't feel you could provide the results he wants with this arrangement and suggest he utilize his sister's fiancees services.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  10. #10
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Photo business question - fire the client?

    I would reply with an email saying something like this.

    Your last email mentioned you plan in having another photographer at the shoot as well as me, I foresee that this will show down my work therefor I am updating my quote to add an additional day of shooting. Here is the estimation with the additional day (give them a number doubling your original estimate. Please make arrangements with the models and location for additional day.

    I agree with the others that it's rather obvious that she is doing a favor for her sisters fiancee so that he can learn from you. A response like I sagest is a good way of telling saying if you want me to play teacher it is going to cost. It's doubtful she will be willing to pay double for the shoot just to do her sisters fiancee a favor.
    Last edited by Light Guru; 05-18-2014 at 11:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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