Is this a bad Business Move?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by onedayillknowbetter, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so a couple weeks ago, I didn't have anything to do on a Friday night. The DJ I recently did press photos for was performing at a local club she used to have residency at, and invited me to come and take pictures. She put me in contact with the promoter, and she called and formally asked me to come. I didn't get paid, but she gave me a couple drink tickets, and that's what we agreed on, and I was cool with that and the exposure as payment. She also agreed to hire me for future parties she promotes. I was there from 10.30-2, and taking pictures the whole time. It actually was a good time, especially in comparison to the clubs I'm usually at.

    Either way, I was on my bike home (I live in a big city, and no I wasn't wearing a helmet, and no I wasn't drunk-2 drinks over the course of 3.5 hours+ at least 40oz of water and frequent bathroom trips made for a mildly buzzed, but not at all drunk ride) and as a cab drove by me, one of the passengers stuck his hand out of the window hit my back, and pulled on my shirt. I, needless to say, lost my balance when he let go while still moving, and fell pretty hard. My camera was ok, and I am too, but I fell and found myself on the ground with all my stuff around me, not really remembering exactly how I fell. There were two people on the street that helped me and put my bike in a cab, and I got home safely, but I spent the next week at home (the first two days in bed, missing my one day of work that week, and unable to look at screens or read.) It was really fun.

    I really don't want the promoter to think I'm blaming her, or charging her for my misfortune, but I don't know if I made the right move or not. She text messaged me tonight asking if I would mind burning the images onto a CD for her and she could pick them up this week. Normally, had I been paid for a gig, this would be part of the deal. Otherwise, the photos are up on my site for viewing and download, but with a border. I wasn't paid, though, (and wound up with broken glasses, an expense I really didn't have the money for, and I really couldn't work for a week) and I need to make ends meet somehow. When I could look at screens again, I made a page on my site where there's information on purchasing a print. Lots of people have been asking about buying prints, so I thought it would be a good time to do it.

    When she asked, I responded by saying that all the photos are available for free download off my site, and there is also information on purchasing prints and digital copies there as well.
    Should I have said something else? Did I spoil a potential business deal? Or was that totally within reason? I just want some input.



    as a side note, I'm not getting back on my bike til I have a helmet, and my cousin I randomly saw for the first time in 2 years said she has an extra. I'm also only taking cabs to and from nightlife gigs from now on.
     
  2. StillImage

    StillImage TPF Noob!

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    If you could put what your saying in paragraphs I would give an opinion but just to hard for my old eyes to read. I tried to read through it, just can't.
     
  3. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    Fixed it. Originally, I had put it in paragraphs, but I guess it didn't like it that way.
     
  4. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    First off - I'd forget the bike fall and trying to relate that to the photo shoot. By that I mean, you say your glasses were broken, day off work etc but claiming that you need to make a living.
    I fully sympathise with your bike fall (I'm a cyclist too) but it's not connected to the photo shoot so I can't see how you're connecting the two by saying you would normally have burnt a CD but now, having had the additional expense, you want to charge for the disc.

    That aside, you agreed to do the shoot for the price of a couple of tickets and publicity - so how much would you charge for a CD? You've already agreed to the deal and taken the shots which presumably you'd have given to the club owner anyway (otherwise, why take them?). So if a CD is a few pence (or cents) then burning one isn't going to make you a huge amount - a few pounds or dollars?

    I think you did the right thing on your first shoot - agreeing to the publicity and tickets. And burning the disc is something that I'd have thought would have been included unless you specified at the time.

    Hope you get more work through the club but for the next time maybe a written contract with an agreed price and number of images on CD would be a good idea. Possibly x number on the CD but charge extra for additional images? Just a though.

    As a sidenote - I actually feel naked on my bike without my helmet - not wearing one makes me feel really unsafe although in all the years I've been cycling, i've never come off the bike and the helmet save me.

    Good luck
     
  5. StillImage

    StillImage TPF Noob!

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    I think she has a right to a CD but that being said you have a right to sell them also since this part of the agreement does not seem to be stipulated one way or another and you are the copyright holder. Was it a smart business move only time will tell but I would suggest sitting down with her next time before the shoot and working out an agreement. She has a right to a CD if you did the shoot for drinks and publicity but it does not mention you gave up the right to sell the work. I really think you should give her a CD, and with that I would put a small water mark on each image (or a small banner on a corner) and give her medium quality ones.

    People seem to forget that even when you make a verbal agreement is still is an agreement but it is not how you should ever do business. It takes no time to throw together a workable written agreement so both parties know where they stand. You should hand over copyright privileges to her so she can print and use what she wants. Since you stated you would get promotional recognition you have a right to mark each and every photo.

    As far as being buzzed and being on a bike no ones fault but yours, the people in the cab are asses, but if you were not buzzed maybe you would have been able to avoid it. I was in a hospital last summer in the emergency room and the police had brought someone in who was drunk and was on his bike, he hurt himself and the police charged him with impaired, this is a Canadian (Ontario, since it provincial jurisdiction) law but it might be the same where you are.

    Always view each and every working relationship as that, you are running a business and small jobs like this one without anything in writing can end up causing more grief then they are worth, just write it down and the specifics so you cover you ass. Also just talk to her and set things straight, she sounds reasonable and so do you so just talk to her and get it sorted out rather than guessing or worrying over something that you may not need to worry about. Seek clarification and if an issue does arise explain what you thought the agreement was, maybe next time neither of you will deal with it in such a hap hazard way. Your obviously both business women so deal with even these minor jobs as you would any large one.

    PS: One other thing not a chance in hell I would bring my expensive camera and or lenses on a bicycle anywhere, if I had to I would use public transit first, one wipe out can be the end of your photo career if your equipment lacks insurance. You seem intelligent and even when your working never do it for drinks, alcohol and business do not mix. In club with your camera you need to be aware of your surroundings and all the drunken fools around you, being sober allows you to be more aware, even a minor buzz is a level of intoxication. I may party but only after my part of the job is done. I don't drink so not much of an issue I just have other vices shall we say lol. Even for those never until the job is done.
     
  6. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    I think that it is very related to the night. Typically, I charge $150 for what I did for this woman for free, and my cab fare is covered. I was working that night for the publicity for myself and my website, and as a sample job thing because I found out about the job two days ahead of time. My point being that had she paid me I would have had a CD made for her, but when I go out for myself the deal is that they get the images free for download on my website to help promote themselves, but they do not get any on CD without paying--those images could be used to promote a club or party that brings in thousands of dollars and they feasibly wouldn't even have to ask me to use one first, and I wouldn't get paid--no thanks.

    I was working for a promoter who was at one certain club promoting a party. I was not working for the club itself. I know this is kind of a novel concept, but a lot of people have been making a living going around taking pictures of people at parties etc., and I'm one of them. The point of going out that night was to hand out my business cards that link to my website, where all the images from that night are viewable and savable for use as a MySpace photo or whatever. If they wish, they can look at my other work, purchase a print, hire me for their next event...whatever. I also sell digital copies of the photos for $8 each.

    Actually, this was by no means my first shoot. Going out to parties and clubs and taking pictures is how I make a living.

     
  7. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    The bike fall is irrelavant to this issue so forget anything pertaining to that. What was the original deal , did you say you were going to give the club/promoter a cd or did you say you would ljust put them online. Sounds to me like you did this for exposure but if you want positive exposrue you should treat this free gig like a paid one. To say you will do something for free and then treat it as such is no way to make a name for yourself, if you do a free gig do your best so next time you can justify yoyur cost.

    If I had someone do free work for me and they did a poor job I would not pay them for the next gig.
     
  8. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    But what happened to you on the way home is nothing to do with if you should ask for more money for a CD. And that's your question - should i ask for more for the CD? And the reason you're asking is because you lost money due to some idiots on the way home.
    You say that "had she paid you, I would have made a CD for her". Fair enough but since you took tickets etc on the night then it's difficult to now ask for money since you'd effectively be asking her for payment twice - on the night in the form of hospitality, tickets etc and again later on for the CD.
    You still haven't really explained why you mentioned the bike accident if what I'm thinking is wrong.
    Why bring the accident up? - it is not related to whether you should charge for the CD of images.


    If you've done plenty shoots then you'll be in a better position to judge how easy it is to get new business than most people here. If it's really easy to get business then you could charge quite easily - assuming it was mentioned in your original conversation when you were hired.
    If business is slow and difficult to come by then maybe the free CD is a good move to kick start things.

    Why not
    • make a CD or reduced resolution images
    • full size images but with a copyright message across them
    • charge her a reduced rate for the disc but make it clear it's reduced rate

    Alternatively, if it's your business then charge her and don't feel guilty about it.
     
  9. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    That's why I told her if she wants the images they are all savable from my website but can't be modified or cropped (they have a border as the watermark thing). Otherwise if she wants a CD of all the images, they would have to be bought.

    LIke I said, on my website each and every photo is savable for Free!


    There really was no way for me to avoid people coming up behind me, grabbing onto my shirt, and pulling me along with a moving cab. In a city bike lane, typically, I keep my eyes forward when I'm riding, not constantly glancing over my left shoulder to make sure there are no cars coming...that's what the bike lane is for. The give you a ticket for DUI here (driving under the influence) but you actually have to be above the legal level of drunk, which I was not.


    I have a Terms of Agreement, but I'd like to look at others to make sure I've got everything covered. Any good ones you could direct me to?


    I guess you could call me a revolutionary, then. Public transit. at 3am. I don't want to be a jerk, but haven't you ever heard of crime? I had no money for a cab, and there was absolutely NO WAY I would wait for a bus and a train in West Chicago AND THEN ride it home. I'm a 22 year old 5'5" 115lb girl, with over 2 grand in equipment. Absolutely no way. I think I'd rather wipe out than be attacked by some smelly on the train. I am well aware of the risk that I put my camera in, but it was either that or nothing. After that night, I decided that who ever I am shooting for has to pay for my cabs. As far as drinking while working, well, I guess I'm a revolutionary again, because it works for me. May not seem very professional, but I'm working in a nightclub. It sounds like you've been to a club to party, but never to work, and it's totally different. Again, I don't get drunk at jobs, but I DO have 1-2 drinks because everyone in the room is drunk, it makes the night more fun, and I have yet to be dis-satisfied with my photos. (even from a night where I DID have too much to drink)
     
  10. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    The deal was that I come and take pictures and hand out cards that link to my website, where for the fourth time, THEY ARE DOWNLOADABLE FOR FREE!!!! I filled every part of what she wanted me to do, and then she asked for more, and I said pay me. That's what I want to know about, but now I don't even care.

    Who said anything about doing a poor job??
     
  11. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    Not more money, money! I worked for free that night. Bike accident aside, I worked for free, did my part, and she wanted more. So I said pay me. I'm not asking her to pay me for my time that night, I'm asking her to pay for the images themselves if she wants them to promote future parties. They would bring her thousands of dollars, why should I just give them to her for free?
    I brought the accident up because it sucked and was a part of why I told her she could purchase them. Though its not her fault, I still need glasses to take pictures. If she wants to hire me in the future, I would need to take pictures, something that glasses would be necessary for. What I was saying was that if she at least didn't pay me for my time, she would pay me for the work.






    If you've done plenty shoots then you'll be in a better position to judge how easy it is to get new business than most people here. If it's really easy to get business then you could charge quite easily - assuming it was mentioned in your original conversation when you were hired.
    If business is slow and difficult to come by then maybe the free CD is a good move to kick start things.

    Why not
    • make a CD or reduced resolution images
    • full size images but with a copyright message across them
    • charge her a reduced rate for the disc but make it clear it's reduced rate
    Alternatively, if it's your business then charge her and don't feel guilty about it.[/quote]

    EVERY SINGLE IMAGE I TOOK THAT NIGHT IS ON MY WEBSITE, SAVABLE DOWNLOADABLE, FOR FREEEEEE!!!!!!
    PLEASE READ WHAT I WROTE!!!!!
     
  12. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    At any rate, this is the dumbest thread I have posted. I already did what I did, and there really was no point to this. Sometimes this forum is great, but sometimes it sucks. I'm doing something with my photography that hasn't really been done a lot, and I am making a living off it, and having fun. I wish people read my responses instead of acting like they do and then post something else that requires me to type the same effing thing 4 times.

    Frankly, I don't care anymore if it was a good move or not. I did what I did, and I did it because I need the money, and I don't think she should use my photos to promote without paying me something. I think it would have been a worse business move to give her the CD for free, because then she would expect that every time, and not expect to pay me either.

    And thanks for all your comments on drinking and working and taking my camera on my bike, even though that's totally not what I was asking about and hoping to avoid.
     

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