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Author Topic: Contract signed, job tomorrow, no payment  (Read 8817 times)
JMCP
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2009, 05:30:40 AM »
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Quote from: ChrisJR
Miracously, this morning a few hours before the preshoot was supposed to happen (they decided against the pre shoot as we had torrential rain here in Edinburgh) another payment came through.


This is kind of what we have decided. We'll do the photography and I'll process the images (benefitial for my portfolio), but I won't provide them with anything at all until the full balance has been coughed up. I agreed before that I would create them their own private webpage for which I may need but with watermarks or water-effect style rollover which will prevent them doing anything with the images. My watermarks will be virtually impossible to remove from the images.



I very much suspect they will have paid for the venue/food/band etc in full. Especially considering they are having the wedding at a very expensive hotel with it's own private golf course. Now some more money has come through we are definitely more positive.

Interesting about calling it retainer instead of deposit, I wasn't aware of the legal implications of calling it "deposit". Generally I think people here call it deposit and I do state in the contract the deposit is non refundable but I'll definitely look into this more before another wedding (or whatever kind of photography work I'm paid to do) contract is signed.

Thanks
Chris



Hi Chris,

in the UK, it would be called a booking fee rather than a retainer, this booking fee would not be refundable in the event of a cancellation whereas, as has been mentioned above, a deposit is something that could be enforced to be returned in the event of a cancellation.


Cheers John
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Justan
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2009, 10:50:00 AM »
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They said they were worried about me ripping them off but also the groom (who I've had the most contact with) had been stressing about the cost of the wedding.

The 2nd part is their primary motivator and the first is a reasonable comment, but mostly a smoke-screen.

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I'm fairly disappointed they would like think that of me but I can understand to an extent. Anyway, more money has now arrived and we did the pre-shoot on Thursday which turned out great, so I don't think getting the rest of the money will be a problem.

Excellent! Itís important to point out that you should never take comments of this kind personally. A lot of people get way over their heads on weddings, both financially, and especially emotionally. That is part of doing this kind of work. It is always smart to keep a cool head when others around you arenít doing that.

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As people have suggested, they are right that I should still shoot the wedding. I've only been shooting weddings seriously for a year or so now and I definitely can't afford to take a negative hit. Plus the images should be totally beneficial for my portfolio.

There are always more upsides to a job well done than downsides. I'm glad to read that it is moving foreword okay.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2009, 08:53:01 AM »
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After struggling with similar cases I now encorporate a £50 late pay fee in the contract if the full balance is not paid either on or by the day of the wedding. I don't have the time or patience chasing up cheques after the event. Of course until the full fee and any extras such as this late pay charge are paid I don't even touch the images.
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ChrisJR
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2009, 04:56:40 AM »
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Quote from: Justan
The 2nd part is their primary motivator and the first is a reasonable comment, but mostly a smoke-screen.



Excellent! Itís important to point out that you should never take comments of this kind personally. A lot of people get way over their heads on weddings, both financially, and especially emotionally. That is part of doing this kind of work. It is always smart to keep a cool head when others around you arenít doing that.



There are always more upsides to a job well done than downsides. I'm glad to read that it is moving foreword okay.
Indeed it's a smoke screen. I've just discovered their cheque, which was received two days before the main day has no bounced but I've told them I won't release anything until full payment has now received.

Funny thing is they were great to work with on the day but a real pain in the ass to deal with otherwise.

I've shot quite a lot of weddings now as well as undertaking quite a few other forms of photography and have never experienced this much hassle before.



Quote from: pom
After struggling with similar cases I now encorporate a £50 late pay fee in the contract if the full balance is not paid either on or by the day of the wedding. I don't have the time or patience chasing up cheques after the event. Of course until the full fee and any extras such as this late pay charge are paid I don't even touch the images.
I think I'll have to incorporate late fee's into my future contracts. I also definitely don't have the time or patience to chase up cheques and nor does my partner (we both work approximately 50-60 hours per week each).

I'm touching up images that are beneficial for my portfolio but that's it.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2009, 05:24:16 AM »
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Quote from: ChrisJR
I'm touching up images that are beneficial for my portfolio but that's it.

I meant that I won't 'touch' the images, i.e. process or print or web or anything until I'm paid. They'll sit there as naked RAW's until that cheque has cleared, just as I wouldn't have sent films for development until paid in the old days.

Cheque bounced? Ouch!
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ChrisJR
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« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2009, 07:40:25 AM »
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Quote from: pom
I meant that I won't 'touch' the images, i.e. process or print or web or anything until I'm paid. They'll sit there as naked RAW's until that cheque has cleared, just as I wouldn't have sent films for development until paid in the old days.

Cheque bounced? Ouch!
I know what you meant. Normally I wouldn't touch RAW images at all, but some of the images will be beneficial for me. The couple won't have access to any images at all.

Cheque bouncing is very annoying indeed. I called the couple yesterday only to receive a message that they are going on holiday for ten days  
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Justan
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« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2009, 11:47:02 AM »
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> Indeed it's a smoke screen. I've just discovered their cheque, which was received two days before the main day has no bounced but I've told them I won't release anything until full payment has now received.

I canít tell from your comment if the check bounced or not. If it has, check your local laws. Around here you can recover up to 3x the amount of the check if it bounces. You can probably also go after the newlyweds for fraud. Doing so will get their attention and likely their compliance in very short order! They will come up with some embarrassed excuse. You can learn a lot from watching how some try to wiggle out of responsibility.

> Funny thing is they were great to work with on the day but a real pain in the ass to deal with otherwise.

Been there before. My condolences!

> I've shot quite a lot of weddings now as well as undertaking quite a few other forms of photography and have never experienced this much hassle before.

I had a couple of cases like yours. I always give best efforts, and in trade for that, politely require accountability on the part of the buyer. When I first started my company, I found the best contract I could (from a large computer retailer), changed the wording so it would fit my company, then had an attorney review it. After that I had a 2nd attorney review the first attorneyís work. The cost was me doing some work for free for the attorneys. And in over 20 years I've never had a challenge to the contract that required me to say anything more than ďread the contract.Ē

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ChrisJR
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« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2009, 05:12:21 AM »
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Quote from: Justan
> Indeed it's a smoke screen. I've just discovered their cheque, which was received two days before the main day has no bounced but I've told them I won't release anything until full payment has now received.

I canít tell from your comment if the check bounced or not. If it has, check your local laws. Around here you can recover up to 3x the amount of the check if it bounces. You can probably also go after the newlyweds for fraud. Doing so will get their attention and likely their compliance in very short order! They will come up with some embarrassed excuse. You can learn a lot from watching how some try to wiggle out of responsibility.

The cheque did bounce. I went to my bank Monday and it has been returned stating the client had insufficient funds in their account. Working right now but will try to find time to go to speak to my bank later

Thanks
Chris
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kikashi
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« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2009, 12:26:10 PM »
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Quote from: ChrisJR
The cheque did bounce. I went to my bank Monday and it has been returned stating the client had insufficient funds in their account. Working right now but will try to find time to go to speak to my bank later

Thanks
Chris
Be philosophical. You're not in a worse position than you would have been if you had followed my advice (and that of others here), and done the day without payment.

You could sue on the bounced cheque and win without any difficulty. Whether you'd ever see the money is another matter, since many small judgments go unpaid, and you'll then have added court fees to your loss.

However, you did the day; the atmosphere was not spoiled, since you thought that there were no money worries; and now you have them over a barrel. Until they give you a cheque which clears (and obviously you don't release anything until you have cleared funds in your account, which usually takes three or four days), they have no photographs of their wedding day. If they pay, great. If they don't, well, you chalk it up to experience and you've lost nothing but your time.

My sympathies. People are bloody awful to deal with sometimes.

Jeremy

I'll bet they paid for their holiday, though!
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kaelaria
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2009, 12:31:28 PM »
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Pffft - not getting images from us is NOT leverage for cheap people.  I still have a pair of weddings from over a year ago that didn't order a thing.  Luckily I ALWAYS get full payment for time up front, so I wasn't out anything but it boggles my mind that they didn't order anything yet (if ever).  In communications they say they just don't have the money, and as with all weddings there were tons of guests shooting, some over my shoulder - which IS good enough for some people.  Most likely they just took the free route.

The worst-case here, he gets stiffed for the shoot and loses money, and that is a possibility.

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ChrisJR
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« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2009, 04:38:13 AM »
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Quote from: kaelaria
Pffft - not getting images from us is NOT leverage for cheap people.  I still have a pair of weddings from over a year ago that didn't order a thing.  Luckily I ALWAYS get full payment for time up front, so I wasn't out anything but it boggles my mind that they didn't order anything yet (if ever).  In communications they say they just don't have the money, and as with all weddings there were tons of guests shooting, some over my shoulder - which IS good enough for some people.  Most likely they just took the free route.

The worst-case here, he gets stiffed for the shoot and loses money, and that is a possibility.
Funny thing is the couple do have money, clearly from the venue they chose. I've already been asked for loads of paid prints and I'm hopeful the full money will come through. Problem for me right now is I can't turn down any work due to responsibilities I have. If anything comes along, of course I want to get paid full money for them and more money has been assured that it's coming through.

I've notified the couple nothing is for sale until the full balance is received.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2009, 07:09:27 AM »
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I completely understand your situation and sympathize with your need to do whatever job you can - but that doesn't change the fact you may get stiffed because you didn't follow safer procedures.  Your need for money doesn't make them give it to you.

I hope this turns out alright - just be aware of the other possabilities and prepare for them.  Hope doesn't pay the bills.
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