Cancellations: What to do?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by RMThompson, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Today, I was on my way to do a photoshoot for a customer. She was doing a calendar for her boyfriend stationed overseas.

    She called 20 minutes before I was supposed to be there to ask if she could delay an hour. I agreed, and she seemed genuinely excited.

    I waited, and drove, nearly 15 miles away from where I was, and literally MINUTES from the location of the shoot, her friend called me and told me that her boyfriend, the one overseas, had called to BREAK UP with her and she had to cancel.

    So, now, I understand this girl doesn't want to make a calendar for someone who just broke up with her - but wtf? I am OUT gas/time/ energy. I was supposed to go out with my wife today, but switched around my plans so I could go to this photoshoot for this girl today.

    This is the... 4thcancelation on me out of my last 7. I don't know what to do. Up until this point I've been very open and let people pay when I get there, I am not a huge "pro" I sort of just do this semi-pro on the side, but its getting to the point where I am going to need to ask 1/2 up front!

    Anyone else go through this?

    Anyone think me asking for a non refundable deposit of 25 dollars or half the entire shoot at least 72 hours in advance is unreasonable?

    Any OTHER suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Ryan - Sad because I didn't take any pics today!
     
  2. shundaroni

    shundaroni TPF Noob!

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    Common policy among pro photographers is to require an up-front, non-refundable deposit. Most of the local talent asks for a 50% appointment holding fee, just for cases like you've described.

    I'm in the process of writing up my business plan, and I'm absolutely charging an up-front fee.
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Yes, absolutely necessary.

    skieur
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    If you're scheduling for a paying client, require a non-refundable deposit up front.

    If you schedule a TFP/TFCD shoot and the model doesn't show, suck it up and move on. Flakes happen.
     
  5. The Digital Mage

    The Digital Mage TPF Noob!

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    Once I knew a kid who wanted to become a cop. He asked me what I thought. I told him if he became a cop he would choose to fill his world with scum to the point that, within a year, he would not believe there are any good people in this world. He just looked at me... like I had three heads. Saw him a few years later. He had quit the cop biz and was eager to thank me.

    Money... BUSINESS... sullies everything it touches. You love to take the peek-turez... but not the peep-plez... not the liability / copyright / contractual issues... Not the cancellations... not the motherzilla of the bride(zilla)... not the business end of it.

    I present myself as an honest person. I say that my honesty demands that I make what I am willing to do and what I expect in return clear, to the point of putting it in writing. And I do - EVERY TIME.

    If you wanna be a pro (and maybe you don't!) act like one. If you just want to enjoy your photography, the last thing you want to do is to become a pro! Getting paid for it certainly is not indicative... of anything. Some of the sorriest work I have seen was done for money.

    Sadly, there is no middle ground. Just as many people have been shot at poker games where there were nickels and quarters on the table as hundred dollar bills - lol If you get sued, saying "But, I was just part-timin'..." will not do you much good!

    My goal was, quite simply, to allow my "hobby" to pay for itself. Now I make a good portion of my income from photography. It really doesn't matter. If you get paid, even once, you need a contract and you need to conduct yourself as a business person. Period.

    Yes, get a deposit! 25% does it for me. Ah, but the contract says that if I am unable to sell the date of any cancellation they owe full price. I am free to fail to enforce the contract, of course...

    It's funny how things really work. When I started using my contract (and it's not exactly friendly!) I began to get respect from my clients. They began to perceive me as a professional. Incredibly, their level of satisfaction with my products rose, as well as their willingness to be directed (posed) during the shoots.

    I say again - there's nothing wrong with doing it for fun; with going over there and just shooting 'cause you want to. But when the first penny changes hands, the rules change! Guard your bird, at all times.
     
  6. adolan20

    adolan20 TPF Noob!

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    Yea definitely a deposit beforehand because right now you're out of luck. It doesn't seem feasible to say "Yeah I know your boyfriend just broke up with you but can I have some of the money now."
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :lmao::lmao::lmao:
     
  8. KristinaS

    KristinaS TPF Noob!

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    I agree with getting some of the money upfront and having a written contract. I think people are less likely to cancel if they already have money invested in it.
     

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