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Author Topic: Awkward spot here... What would you do?  (Read 7859 times)
Dansk
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« on: May 07, 2008, 09:54:55 AM »
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I have a week long shoot booked with a long standing client. Its a big shoot on location with an 8 person crew and about 90 models. The awkward spot is the client wants to bring out their in house designer guy to set up a second camera station.

  My skin is crawling at the thought to be honest its stressful enough running a shoot of this scale let alone deal with some hanger on who wants to snag my tricks and crash my vibe.

I told the client that another lighting set up would mess up my strobes with slave effect and the guy countered by advising to pocket wizard each and every strobe. So I tried to tech reason out of it and now I'm kind of stuck as I really dont want this guy around messing with my atmosphere and cramping my style.

  I've spoken with the account director about this but short of just telling the client i dont want him there I am at a loss for how to handle this?

  Of course I now have a conf call at 4pm to discuss it and I really dont know what to say. Any ideas or experience from you guys?

Thanks
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Anthony R
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 10:06:28 AM »
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I have a week long shoot booked with a long standing client. Its a big shoot on location with an 8 person crew and about 90 models. The awkward spot is the client wants to bring out their in house designer guy to set up a second camera station.

  My skin is crawling at the thought to be honest its stressful enough running a shoot of this scale let alone deal with some hanger on who wants to snag my tricks and crash my vibe.

I told the client that another lighting set up would mess up my strobes with slave effect and the guy countered by advising to pocket wizard each and every strobe. So I tried to tech reason out of it and now I'm kind of stuck as I really dont want this guy around messing with my atmosphere and cramping my style.

  I've spoken with the account director about this but short of just telling the client i dont want him there I am at a loss for how to handle this?

  Of course I now have a conf call at 4pm to discuss it and I really dont know what to say. Any ideas or experience from you guys?

Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194133\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Sure the situation sucks, but a lot of weight is put on 'easy to work with' photographers when booking jobs. I'd just buck up and let it roll on so as not to jeopardize your relationship with the client.

The in-house guy will tank and you'll look all the better. This sounds like a catalogue shoot no?
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 10:14:23 AM »
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I have a week long shoot booked with a long standing client. Its a big shoot on location with an 8 person crew and about 90 models. The awkward spot is the client wants to bring out their in house designer guy to set up a second camera station.

  My skin is crawling at the thought to be honest its stressful enough running a shoot of this scale let alone deal with some hanger on who wants to snag my tricks and crash my vibe.

I told the client that another lighting set up would mess up my strobes with slave effect and the guy countered by advising to pocket wizard each and every strobe. So I tried to tech reason out of it and now I'm kind of stuck as I really dont want this guy around messing with my atmosphere and cramping my style.

  I've spoken with the account director about this but short of just telling the client i dont want him there I am at a loss for how to handle this?

  Of course I now have a conf call at 4pm to discuss it and I really dont know what to say. Any ideas or experience from you guys?

Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194133\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There can only ever be one boss on a shoot; anything else is a route to disaster. I have the feeling you are being set up as a trial to doing future work in-house. Be honest with the client. Also, will the client want to pay for cancellation of such a shoot? I think not.

Once you allow people to walk over you they lose respect and you canīt get it back, ever. But, as with all such things, itīs your call...

Rob C
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Dansk
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 10:25:16 AM »
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Yeah its a damn tough one. I have worked with many photographers in the past and even partnered with one for a few years BUT never without meeting and working together in private shoots and certainly not on set with such a big production we would rotate days to stay out of each others groove and assist each other on off days.

  Anyways I realize the guys work will be what it is ( probably a joke ) but it cheapens the shoot IMO and because this guy is so "new" I can just see him strutting around as most new fish do the second they get an ounce of power. I loathe this and fear it infiltrating the vibe and that will seriously affect my mood which is really all I care about. I dont want to have anything affect my work if the guy wants to learn go to school or assist another shooter but dont crash my party.

  I think I'm going to flat out tell the client this I just need to figure out the most diplomatic way possible.

Yes catalog shoot
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Stuarte
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 10:27:28 AM »
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How do you know the other person wants to snag your tricks and crash your vibe?

In your call check out what your client's expectations and intentions are.

Be realistic and honest and dispassionate about how this new development may impact the project.

Discuss and agree ground rules that you can live with, get them in writing and make sure all parties stick to them when it's time for the shoot.
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Dansk
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 10:35:33 AM »
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How do you know the other person wants to snag your tricks and crash your vibe?

In your call check out what your client's expectations and intentions are.

Be realistic and honest and dispassionate about how this new development may impact the project.

Discuss and agree ground rules that you can live with, get them in writing and make sure all parties stick to them when it's time for the shoot.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194143\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

  The client came right out and said he wants to learn from me and use this shoot to help develop his portfolio hence the radar firing off. If the client had of just said out right we're setting up another camera in another space using the same models I wouldnt have blinked what do i care? Its this leechy, spying over shoulder, in my face sneaky business that bothers me.

Dispassionate.... Great word and even greater idea.... Difficult for me I am a very passionate guy ( probably why they hired me in fact its a big energy shoot )


I am going to practice being dispassionate all afternoon in prep for this call thanks for that tip!
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Stuarte
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 10:49:54 AM »
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Dispassionate.... Great word and even greater idea.... Difficult for me I am a very passionate guy ( probably why they hired me in fact its a big energy shoot )
I am going to practice being dispassionate all afternoon in prep for this call thanks for that tip!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194147\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Passion and dispassion - as a professional you can use them as use you use light and dark to get the effect you want, without going overboard on one or the other.

It's a physiological fact that when emotional energy levels get high (anger, fear, excitement) the cognitive (i.e. thinking, calculating) functions of the brain are impaired.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 10:50:13 AM by Stuarte » Logged

James Godman
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 07:52:39 PM »
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I don't understand the nature of your shoot, but I'm guessing catalog right?  What is in your contract?  Sounds like you have given them an estimate and they have signed off, so what are terms?  There are copyright issues here as well.  Or is this work for hire (hopefully not)?
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Dansk
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 08:16:14 PM »
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I told them no as politely as I could in a conf cal this afternoon and it was accepted. I got the feeling during the conversation that the client was placed in an awkward spot about it and was merely playing along to avoid ruffling feathers. Everyone involved from the creative director on down to me was against this for many reasons but today I had to play the bad cop. Unfamiliar territory for me I am usually very diplomatic but this had a giant "kick me" sign attahed to it right from the first mention of it so I nipped it in the bud as politely as I could. I had the other guy laughing a little during our talk so I think I faired well.

 Thanks guys
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Roscolo
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2008, 08:51:14 PM »
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I've experienced a similar situation. Here's my advice and how I handled it:

Take the job as described. Take the "vibe crasher" guy under your wing; be nice to him, tell him you'll show him the ropes, etc.

At the shoot, send him on an "important" errand. When he gets back,  be sure to really tell him what a great job he did, how he really saved the day. After an hour send him on another "important" errand, etc. You get the picture.

You crash his vibe, he doesn't crash yours.

Good luck.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 04:29:33 PM »
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IMO, if you went along with that situation, you wouldn't be doing the next job.  The in-house guy would be pitching that he can now do the work and it will save the client a lot of money.
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wlong
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 06:00:20 PM »
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This may be a bit late, I'm a commercial photographer in Australia and encountered the same issue in the past.  I now have as a standard term and condition of all my quotes/contracts, I state this:

Exclusive Capture: Longshots Photography reserves the right to be the sole photographer on the shoot for the client.
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Dansk
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 06:30:26 PM »
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Thanks for the input guys I do appreciate it. Funny thing you know this is a looong standing client of mine and you never expect things like this to drop in your lap and this one sure blind sided me thats for certain. Anyways I did what I had to and said no as politely as I could and oddly enough i am working on new terms and conditions right now and will be including coverage for this issue. I dont enjoy being placed in awkward spots and this is one situation I'd just plain ol' rather avoid having to ever deal with again.
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Stuarte
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2008, 07:51:34 AM »
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I dont enjoy being placed in awkward spots and this is one situation I'd just plain ol' rather avoid having to ever deal with again.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196176\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't like awkward situations either, and I've always tended to avoid them.  But I suspect that in the long run, the effort I've put into avoiding them might have been better invested in learning how to handle them.  I've recently spent some time with a Dutch friend/client who's masterful at it.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 06:38:54 AM »
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This may be a bit late, I'm a commercial photographer in Australia and encountered the same issue in the past.  I now have as a standard term and condition of all my quotes/contracts, I state this:

Exclusive Capture: Longshots Photography reserves the right to be the sole photographer on the shoot for the client.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196172\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is by far the best answer. If it is too late for the current situation, it is definitely something to keep in mind for future assignments. Either get the client to agree with your requirement BEFORE signing a contract, or know in advance what the shooting situation will be like. This is no different from scouting a site before a shoot and be prepared to deal with what/whoever is present.
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