Marketing Question of the Day 3-3-07

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Jim Gratiot, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

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    How many of you use formal contracts when somebody hires you... or do you mainly make deals with the proverbial wink and a handshake?

    Any horror stories about situations when you wished that you'd used a contract?
     
  2. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Well, I have two very different pricing structures. One is for weddings and other event photography, and I always make sure to have a contract written up for this sort of photography just because there is a lot more money involved.
    But, for my standard newborn/family/children/senior photo shoots, I don't worry about a contract. I know there are people out there who would probably advise you to do it in all cases, and they are probably right, but a lot of times I don't meet my client until the day of a session and I'm not going to fiddle around with a contract or other form when we could be shooting.
     
  3. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    I won't take any money without a signed contract. I won't show up without being paid first. ;)

    It's the only way to go... it protects both parties. :thumbup:
     
  4. KaraM

    KaraM TPF Noob!

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    I'm not in business yet, but I don't think I could take an assignment without a contract to protect myself (and the client).
     
  5. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    Like April, for weddings I have a contract that must be signed before the date and a retainer paid. For portrait shoots, I have a 'model release' agreement form which I post to them along with the 'booking confirmation' form. They simply bring the signed release form back on the day of the session. It is much shorter in length than my wedding contract! x
     
  6. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I have a model release as well but I normally send it out with the proofs for them to return along with any reprint order in a SASE that I have enclosed. However, I like the idea of making them fill it out and return it to me the day of the shoot.
     
  7. MikeR

    MikeR TPF Noob!

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    Without a Contract and Release, you risk everything. With them you remove all doubt and will not get into arguments over what they thought you said or meant.
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    No formal contract on this end. Not a bad idea, but definitely at the bottom of the list. I have been burned. The jobs could have been saved by a contract. Experience has taught me to explain the work involved and mention that if more time is needed you still have to pay in full. I am still not comfortable telling them to pay in 30 days. Most my clients are businesses like art galleries and design firms. Rights and pricing are clearly understood before the work begins. Generally I have worked with the client for years. Most know the routine. On larger projects there is usually a lot of emailing going on so there is a "paper trail" if the work goes south.
     

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