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Author Topic: Walking away from work?  (Read 2654 times)
keith_cooper
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« on: March 09, 2014, 08:12:48 AM »
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I get asked quite often by other photographers about pricing and Ts&Cs for work, sometime directly (which I don't mind) and sometime in the guise of a fake enquiry about work (I can usually spot it a mile off and my response depends on how mischievous a mood I'm in ;-)

After a call last week from a photographer, who had accepted work without working out all the costs, I remembered when I'd nearly took on work some time ago, but walked away from it.

Anyway, I've written up some of what happened, as much as anything to encourage those new to the business, that whilst any of us can be too keen sometimes, having a slightly more formalised enquiry handling process can let you step back and see whether something is right for you.

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/stuff2/?p=2569

How do others handle such things? (I'm a commercial photographer so don't have to deal with the public - no weddings/portraits/pets ;-)
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MrSmith
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 01:48:37 PM »
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Don't take any bullshit. If you are smart it only happens to you once. Grin
I'm quite direct and to the point which is unusual for people in the U.K. But this keeps the return flow of bullshit quite low.
 Been a few times where I have had to say things like "I have looked at the shot list and you are expecting me to shoot each one in 12.5 minutes? What kind of quality do you expect me to achieve in that time?"
"It will be good for my portfolio? Well that's for me to decide and I'm not really interested in 20 cut outs of your industrial products"
"I pay my assistants more than that, don't you have somebody in your accounts department who has a camera?'

Plenty of wannabe's and part timers say yes to everything without thinking, good luck to them.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 01:20:33 AM »
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From Seth Godin (he's written about this a few times): http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/09/unreasonable-clients.html

Mike.
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Walt Roycraft
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 10:44:41 AM »
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"I pay my assistants more than that, don't you have somebody in your accounts department who has a camera?'

That quote made my day Grin
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BobShaw
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 08:02:57 PM »
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It seems to me as simple as "I'm sorry I can't help you this time, here's my card in case I can be of help in the future."
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StoneNYC
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 11:20:52 PM »
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It seems to me as simple as "I'm sorry I can't help you this time, here's my card in case I can be of help in the future."
+1
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~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller
Colorado David
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 11:47:04 PM »
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I have a colleague, now retired, who is/was a tremendous photographer.  Brooks Institute educated with years of experience doing big shoots for big industry.  He would get in arguments with art directors or account executives and get exasperated.  He was always right, but he lost a lot of business that way.  You can't go wrong by being polite and if need be, politely declining a job.
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kikashi
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 02:17:52 AM »
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I have a colleague, now retired, who is/was a tremendous photographer.  Brooks Institute educated with years of experience doing big shoots for big industry.  He would get in arguments with art directors or account executives and get exasperated.  He was always right, but he lost a lot of business that way.

Haven't we all? An old epitaph I like to quote from time to time:

Here lies the body of Jonathan Day,
Who died defending his right of way.
His way was clear; his right was strong;
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.


Jeremy
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Colorado David
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 07:01:38 AM »
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The guy I referenced above and I were driving to lunch one day.  We drive past a big fountain and there's a homeless guy wading around collecting coins out of it.  My friend looks over and without so much as a pause says, "Look, there's a retired photographer."
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StoneNYC
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2014, 07:36:23 AM »
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The guy I referenced above and I were driving to lunch one day.  We drive past a big fountain and there's a homeless guy wading around collecting coins out of it.  My friend looks over and without so much as a pause says, "Look, there's a retired photographer."

Haha!! Smiley

Probably didn't like digital... Smiley
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~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller
Harold Clark
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2014, 08:46:21 AM »
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Some clients don't think things through. I was asked to quote on 300 executive portraits, to be done in  " a couple of days ". I suggested that they might achieve this level of productivity from the mug shot guy at the local police dept.

I have also heard the " give us a deal and there will be lots of work pitch ". My response is if you give me 10 shoots over a year I will discount 10 percent. The first nine are at full price and the the tenth is free. In nearly 40 years in the business I still haven't done the free one. 
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EduPerez
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 02:13:44 AM »
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It seems to me as simple as "I'm sorry I can't help you this time, here's my card in case I can be of help in the future."

This. No need to gen angry, no need to argue, no need to prove anything; just politely decline and move along.

I have also heard the " give us a deal and there will be lots of work pitch ".

I have worked in several industries, and I have worked for small and for big clients; I have heard that pitch a multitude of times, and I have never seen that work come to me. Now, whenever someone brings that song to the table, I immediately assume they are lying to me.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 06:43:28 AM »
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I have worked in several industries, and I have worked for small and for big clients; I have heard that pitch a multitude of times, and I have never seen that work come to me. Now, whenever someone brings that song to the table, I immediately assume they are lying to me.

Oh, so true. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Makes one wonder if they all went to the same school somewhere along the line.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2014, 11:22:39 AM »
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If only I could deposit those promises in the bank. Roll Eyes
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 12:13:40 PM »
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A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

You catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.
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Justinr
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2014, 04:44:49 AM »
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We ought to remember that as much as we like to retreat to our little hill top and bemoan the fact that nobody loves photographers enough to pay them properly the lack of empathy for a contractors costs is a fairly universal part of the human condition.

On a forum in another world I read of a fellow in the construction business grumpily pointing out that he couldn't make any money from a rock crushing bucket because customers either thought it too dear or considered it just another part of his business and were unwilling to pay the extra for its use. In the very next breath he wondered aloud how the manufacturers of said bucket could justify the 9k asking price, which is way more than the standard digging bucket of equal capacity!

Let's be polite and merely suggest that the irony escaped his notice.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2014, 07:41:03 PM »
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"You catch more flies with honey then with vinegar"

Allan as we all know flies eat shit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY
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Simon Harper
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2014, 11:15:20 AM »
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When I was in the construction business, I always felt the building owners were slow on payment, beat us up too much over the price, were ingrates for how hard we worked, the competition were paying people off to get the work we should have gotten, the union tradesmen were getting paid too much,  and I just hated it when I left money on the table when we were low bidder.

After the business, I went to work as an owner's rep.  I use to get a laugh after negotiations for change orders for extra work.  The contractors complained we beat them up and they didn't make any money on the work.  What they were really saying was they didn't make as much profit as they were hoping to get.


I guess it depends what side of the deal you're on.
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