"The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity." —Amelia Earhart

Business of PhotographyBit of a vent (and relief)

The place for working professionals and enthusiasts to come together and discuss the Business of Photography.
Learn from the pros what it takes to build and maintain a successful professional photography business.
User avatar
Onslow
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:42 am
Reputation: 15
Location: Whyalla, South Australia
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, you can edit but ask me first
Contact:

Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby Onslow » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:44 am

Back in late August, I was approached by an out of town construction company to take some images of a new building they had built. The owners wife contacted me for the shoot and we met the following day at the location to discuss the images required. We walked through the building discussing images, angles etc. There were three small rooms that she didn't want photographed as all three were small and added nothing to what the client was after. One image had to be be taken and delivered the next day as a catalog for the state was held up until it could be supplied. I gave her the terms of my work, payment terms, hrly rate, delivery route via dropbox etc. I quoted 1.5hrs shooting and .5hr editing and delivery. She was very appreciative and knowledgable as she had worked in a pro studio before marriage. I had to meet her husband the next day who would show me the urgent shot to be taken.

I turned up and we discussed the image. He then had a walkthrough where he wanted 7 of the interior shots to have the non-existent skirting to be painted black as if it was finished. I pointed out I could do that but it would be extra editing time on top of the .5 hr editing. He became quite sarcastic and dismissive. All you need to do is photoshop it for fucks sake was one of the things I recall him saying. I pointed out it wasn't jsut a matter of that at which he became dismissive of the time needed to edit them. Discussion proved pointless and foolishly I did the shot required. Over the next 2 days I completed the other images for a total of 19 delivered images out of about 50 taken.

The images were delivered electronically via dropbox as agreed and an email with invoice sent. No reply, several more emails were sent with no reply. Finally after 6 weeks I sent an overdue invoice. I received an abusive phone call complaining he hadn't received them and he wouldn't pay until he had a usb stick with them. He indicated he was hopeless with computers (his words) and dropbox didn't work. He also said that I didn't supply enough images and that he could have done better with a mobile phone. This raised flags as if he couldn't get the link to work, how would he know how many files there were and how would he know about the quality? He then said that he wouldn't pay the agreed price but would negotiate a big price drop as I hadn't photographed the three small rooms as his wife had said not to. He blamed the wife and said he told her she had to have those rooms photographed. She had to sort this mess out. By now, my patience and belief was wearing thin. He said he would be back in my city in the next few weeks to sort it out and negotiate.

Anyway, I checked his site and saw one of my images up. A bit sus now I thought....

I fell crook around that time and this had been put on the backburner. After attempting to ring him recently a few times and receiving no reply, I decided that 5 months was enough. I enlisted the aid of a debt recovery service. After discussing my situation with them, they said what had occurred was quite common and they explained the process they could undertake on my behalf. I sent them all of the details and they sent the firm an email of a Letter of Demand. Within half an Hr I had an abusive phone call from him saying that I was threatening his businesses credit rating and its ability to recieve credit etc. He was really quite abusive. I waited until he vented and then said that IF your issue is the dropbox link not working would a USB stick constitute delivery of the final product? He said yes.

I made a USB and sent it via registered post. I saw today it was received 9 days ago. I was getting ready to call the debt recovery firm tomorrow to go further. I checked the bank account though tonight and see he made full payment.

What a bloody run around. He had had the images and was full of anger and bluster.. How dare I threaten his business etc.....

Well, at least I still have a 100% payment rate for my invoices. Left a bad taste though in my mouth......

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Peritus
Mentoris Peritus
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Reputation: 7
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby Steven G Webb » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:56 pm

What a nightmare. I'm glad for you that it all worked out. We just never know what makes some people tick.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
TomCofer
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2748
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:42 am
Reputation: 35
Location: Fredericktown, MO
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby TomCofer » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:28 pm

sorry to hear about your troubles John, but not real surprised. I've had a couple of jobs that I never seen the money out of.
Redneck Enthusiast Photographer on a shoestring budget.

thcofer@charter.net

Failure means you tried. Success means you need to set higher goals for yourself.

User avatar
Wind
Mentoris Peritus
Mentoris Peritus
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:37 am
Reputation: 0
Location: Whyalla SA
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby Wind » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:05 am

It's times like this where all the other work you put in causes you to lose your hourly rate in all the other efforts that are involved. Glad it worked out in the end.

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1564
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Reputation: 146
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby Duck » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:35 am

Not only am I glad to hear you received your due amount but also that you had the discipline to keep your cool and not sink down to his level. Unfortunately, like the debt collector mentioned, this is not uncommon. Sadly enough. The sad thing also is that an encounter like this often causes unseen damage by word of mouth from this guy who will likely be venting to his friends and colleagues how "unprofessional" you were. Hopefully that is short lived and won't affect you in the long run. Although...

Years ago I was production artist for a screen printer in my home town. We handled a lot of imprinted products directly to small business on a regular basis but we also did a lot of contract printing for resellers. One particular client was particularly nasty to deal with. The dreaded nightmare customer. He never had anything good to say, was very picky beyond accepted margins, complained about pricing, about product quality of the substrates we printed on (of which he specified), and more. I had to give credit to my boss, Jeff, for keeping his cool in front of this jerk but I did see the after effects this bastard had on Jeff's nerves when the guy left the shop.

My boss put up with this guy for almost a year before finally deciding to give the guy the boot. Rather than tell him he wasn't interested in doing business, Jeff sent him a form letter saying that due to increases in material costs, yada yada, we would be going up in our contract pricing schedule for the new year. He padded the prices to a believable point but one he knew this guy wouldn't accept. The fall back was that if for some reason this guy persisted in using us, the inflated price would pay for the agitation. Basically a win, win situation.

As suspected, the guy bitched and complained about the rise in rates and said he couldn't see himself continuing to do business with us. Victory! We were rid of a thorn in the side. We thought we'd never hear from this guy again so it was a surprize when over the next several months we had more than a couple new customers come in telling us we were recommended to them as "the best in the area" by... the thorn in the side.

Who would have thought?
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

PeteD
Mentoris Praefectus
Mentoris Praefectus
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:54 am
Reputation: 7
Location: North Carolina
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby PeteD » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:36 am

So glad you got paid. Typical bait and switch. Wife wants you to do the work for her husband, then the husband is the bully , finds plenty to complain about and you never see or hear from the wife again. I would have politely asked him about dropbox however. If he did not know how to use it, how did he get the image that was on his site?

But you handled it admirably. I would personally not have done so. Kudos to you

User avatar
Onslow
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:42 am
Reputation: 15
Location: Whyalla, South Australia
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, you can edit but ask me first
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby Onslow » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:36 am

Thank you all for listening to the complaining. Not my usual thing but I was annoyed. I guess I like to treat people the way I would like to be treated. Occasionally though it bites me on the arse when people show their true colours...

User avatar
mikec
Mentoris Initio
Mentoris Initio
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:06 pm
Reputation: 4
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Re: Bit of a vent (and relief)

Postby mikec » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:37 pm

Glad you got your money, even though you had some grief. Although not as a photographer, (accountant), I alway require a retainer up front for one off jobs. If they balk at that it puts me on alert immediately.

Mike
Mike C
Enjoying the sun and sea in Miami, FL


Return to “Business of Photography”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests