What would you do?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Cinka, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    2 months ago, I took a job with a client to shoot the images for his catalog and design it as well. The original scope dictated that the job would be completed in 4 to 6 weeks - which was fine since I wasn't all that busy at the time. Since then, he's rejected everything I've sent him. He asked for a lifestyle shoot with two girls. It came out lovely and he hated it. I paid for the shoot out of my own pocket (I know, big mistake). I recently sent him a 3rd reshoot of the first batch of items and he's rejected it.

    At this point, I feel like I'm done! He quibbling about the angle in millimeters (literally). As far as I'm concerned, all the shoes look the same. They look fine. I know what I'm doing. I shot shoes for 3 years, everyday, 5 days a week.

    I'm not sure what to do. He wants me to shoot a shoe while he's on the phone, edit it, and then send it to him...all while he's on the phone, guiding me the whole way. He wants to do this with about 4 shoes and THEN he'll let me do it on my own. What? Am I child?

    First off, I'm insulted that he wants to babysit me through the 4th reshoot - which was never accounted for in the original contract. I feel like I can't make this guy happy. He requires weekly visits to his office as well. Nothing's getting done and this project has gone way passed the original scope.

    Do I fire my client or renegotiate the contract? A friend suggested I go ahead and do the 3rd reshoot, but charge him for every reshoot. Can I do that? Obviously, he might change his mind about reshooting if I charge him for it, but is that possible?

    Two months ago I had the time to give this guy 24/7, but with the holidays and new work coming in, that time has passed. Now what? Anyone have any advice?

    Help?
     
  2. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Scotland
    You've obviously spent a lot of time on this, tried your best and gone out your way to try get what he's looking for. If you feel you've followed the brief to the letter and produced more than acceptable work here's what i would do:

    I would do the 4th shoot with him, but I would get him into the studio in person and make sure he doesn't leave until he's completely happy with the process and final results for each image. If he's not willing to spend the time to do that then I would tell him that the previous work follows the original brief and the quality is up to standard and that you can go ahead and finish the job as is, otherwise, you'll have to start charging extra for your time due to his unrealistic demands/requirements that fall outside the original contract & brief.

    Something like that perhaps. He sounds like one of these hard to deal with people that don't part with their cash until they're 110% satisfied (which is never!).

    I don't know, I haven't had to deal with anything like that yet!.. I guess it just depends on how tight your original contract is?


    p.s. I found you URL funny, i read it as "Kristen is Mental" at first :lol:.. makes it memorable :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  3. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Oh yes, we've definitely gone outside the original contract - I included space for 1 reshoot per phase and allowed for him to check in at each phase. We haven't gone passed phase 1 since this started 2 months ago. Can't seem to get off the ground. The original contract - which he signed - states only 1 client review after all the items were shot. We've had approx. 5. So there you go.

    Since we're outside the bounds of the contract, I suppose I should start charging him extra and for every reshoot. That makes sense.

    I know I probably shouldn't, but I feel offended that he wants to waste my time and stand over my shoulder after the 3rd try. Lame. I'm going to see what he says about getting charged for the reshoots. I'm sure he'll change his tune.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    I generally make sure the client is with me during the initial shooting. I definitely make sure they are very pleased with the work before I start post processing. At times I have bent of backwards for my clients. It was worth it every time.

    My clients pay a lot of money for my photos. If they want 45 re shoots that is what they get. I am not in this business to argue with the client. My shoots begin and end in an understanding of THEIR photo needs. I can light it, shoot it, edit it. The rest is up to them.

    My advice is to work with this guy until he is happy.

    Love & Bass
     
  5. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Craig, that would make sense if I was getting paid to do 45 reshoots. I think there comes a point where you need to draw a line. If the client is being too picky to the point where the project is dragging on and not actually going anywhere, I don't think I have the time to waste on babysitting this guy. In the end, I'm losing money and so is he. I agree it's not helpful to argue and I've tried to be amiable, but it's gotten to the point where I'm not able to work on anything else. Maybe if the money was better, I'd feel differently. He's already getting a really low rate for this amount of work.

    I know what you're saying and generally I do my best to accomodate clients, but this, as far as I'm concenred, is getting ridiculous. Millimeters? Sheesh. The catalog pic will only be a few inches high. Talk about knit-picking. We're talking about difference no one but him will notice. When is too much?
     
  6. viridari

    viridari TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's OK to fire a customer if they are bad for your business. I don't know if your contract addresses what to do in a situation like this. You can try to invoice him but you may end up having to eat the cost. Depends how bad you want to go after the $$ but it doesn't sound like you have a strong basis for finishing the job.

    On the flip side, if the customer knows you're serious about walking, he might just pay you to get what you've shot so far and use it. Just don't work with him again.
     
  7. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I sent him a rate for reshoots. He hasn't replied yet.

    The good news is, I've learned to include a better safety net for myself in future contracts that will include specifications for reshoots and an "out" clause.

    I guess we'll see what happens.
     
  8. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Metro Atlanta
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The problem with firing a customer, or not being able to please a jerk like that, is that you have to outrun all the negative comments and berating you as a photographer that will come from him in the future.

    Even if totally undeserved, it might still affect your reputation as a photographer.

    People talk about their perceived bad experiences with someone far more than they do the good experiences.

    What if you could find some way to please him, or at least try to reach a compromise?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I agree with K Pugh, get the guy in your studio and let him oversee the process. Yes its a pain and all, but your other 2 options are dropping the job (which will lead to bad publicity and possibility of not being paid) or constantly reshooting and falling further out of pocket plus inhibiting you from taking other jobs.
    Once he is in the studio and has seen the work done to his satisfaction at least then you can finish the job and call it over.
    Also remember that whilst you are in the studio you have to both keep your temper and your control - remember that he is the client (your paycheque) and so should be kept happy (or at least content) so don't snap at him (he can walk out too). However remember that you are the photographer so if he makes an unreasonable demand of your or your kit then tell him its not possible (though try to offer alternatives).
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    GREAT! Then you will learn exactly what he wants... what he's concerned with. It seems he knows just what he wants. I'd want to completely understand so I could deliver exactly what he's looking for.

    Your feelings/ego don't matter. He just want's his photographs, and he should have them by now. Be grateful he's willing to continue working with you. He apparently likes working with you... maybe it's the style of your work, it could be your prices, or maybe it's your personality.


    Only if he agrees. Personally, I wouldn't ask him to. I'd be relieved that I still have a chance to do what I promised.


    I think you may have bit off a bit too much. I took time to review your posts from the past several months, and I think you're really on your way. But with the kinds of concerns you've been asking about, it seems this job will be tough.

    Hang in there Kristen! Take a deep breath, find out exactly what this guy expects, and go make the photos. You'll gonna feel gratified when you've successfully completed this one.

    -Pete
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I tend to agree with those who are saying that you should do your best to make the client happy and finish the job. Even if you have to grin and bare it.

    Then, if the client comes back in the future, you can either choose to not work with them or give them a price that will justify all the extra.

    We do this all the time (at my day job). If we know a particular client will be picky and more demanding than an average client, then we know to expect that it will take longer and we increase our quote accordingly. Sometimes you don't know how the client will be, but remember the saying: 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'
     
  12. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    No such thing as too much. We have all had clients like this. Hate to say that it will happen from time to time. Your professionalism (is that a word?) is extremely important in this biz. Long story short; we voiced our thoughts. Only thing left is your decision. Let us know how it works out. Situations like this are at least a learning experience.

    Love & Bass
     

Share This Page