I thought I was doing a couple's photos...

Diddy2theJJ

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So, an acquaintance of mine from college emailed me about doing their wedding photos and told me to mark down the day in my calendar to shoot their wedding. I marked it down since I know her, but nothing is ever final until I receive the down payment and the signed contract. Then she asked if I do printed proofs or just proofs on CD. I told her that I don't include printed proofs in my wedding package, but I do offer them for a little extra.

I try and keep my package prices low by cutting out added expenses like printed proofs when, in my experience, most people only want the digital versions.

So, I was looking on facebook the other day and she had engagement photos posted from another photographer in town. I don't ever have a problem with people going other places, because it's all about styles....different styles fit different people and that's cool. And maybe she had her engagement photos done there and they'll have me do their wedding, but it seems like it should be the same person to do both. If they did get someone else to do their wedding, wouldn't you think they would at least tell me about it so I could take it out of the calendar and not be expecting the down payment etc though?
 

Bossy

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If you don't have a contract, then you're not hired. Take it off your calender :)
 

e.rose

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If they did get someone else to do their wedding, wouldn't you think they would at least tell me about it so I could take it out of the calendar and not be expecting the down payment etc though?

It would seem to me that NOTHING should be on your calendar, until you receive their retainer. Then you don't have to worry about anything until you actually *receive* it. Problem solved. :lol: :sexywink:
 
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Diddy2theJJ

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That's true...I think what I sometimes will do is put it in there because I know them (even though not that well I guess). But I need to learn to treat friends and acquaintances the same as I do with clients that I don't know. And so it shall be removed from the sacred calendar! :)
 

jamesbjenkins

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but it seems like it should be the same person to do both. If they did get someone else to do their wedding, wouldn't you think they would at least tell me about it so I could take it out of the calendar and not be expecting the down payment etc though?

I always sit down face to face with serious potential clients and get to know them and their specific desires before we talk about contracts and deposits. However, if you already know this person, than it's even easier.

However, your first mistake was not getting your friend on paper IMMEDIATELY upon a perceived agreement, and especially before you put anything on your calendar. A contract exists to protect both the drafter and the signer. If you don't have a written, signed contract with deposit in hand...acquaintance or not, you have nothing.

And as far as them telling you that they selected someone else...good communication goes both ways my friend. This is a tough lesson, but learn it fast. My grandfather was always fond of this saying, and I've never forgotten it. "If it's not in writing, it never happened."
 

bogeyguy

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So why don't you call or e-mail and ask her if you should still save the date and if she says yes, talk business?
 
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Diddy2theJJ

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I like to sit down with clients face to face as well. Which is what I did with almost every wedding client last year. This year, it seems as though people just want to set things up via email and they want me to email the contract to them, and they will sign it and mail it back. Everyone is so busy these days it seems that if they don't have to go out and do something they will avoid it. But maybe I should be a little more encouraging about setting up a time to meet instead of sending them a contract?

Yes, I will definitely ask her if I should still save the date and then we will talk business if she says yes.

Good point about if it's not in writing it never happened. That's the way it is, especially in business.
 

MLeeK

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Send a note saying something about the contract. Something like "I have another inquiry about your wedding day. Seeing how I haven't received your contract and deposit I wanted to check with you...blah...blah...blah"

I like to sit down with clients face to face as well. Which is what I did with almost every wedding client last year. This year, it seems as though people just want to set things up via email and they want me to email the contract to them, and they will sign it and mail it back. Everyone is so busy these days it seems that if they don't have to go out and do something they will avoid it. But maybe I should be a little more encouraging about setting up a time to meet instead of sending them a contract?

Yes, I will definitely ask her if I should still save the date and then we will talk business if she says yes.

Good point about if it's not in writing it never happened. That's the way it is, especially in business.
You need to get control over your business here... I would not be shooting a wedding I couldn't sit down at the very least on skype and hash out every detail with the clients on. It's the key to success on the wedding day and in the images I produce. When I have one that is like that all I have to do is explain to them how this works and how vitally important that meeting is to what they will get in photographs. I choose my clients carefully-something I have learned over the years. I don't work with someone who isn't a good fit for me or I am not a good fit for them. If I did they wouldn't be happy and neither would I. It would show in the images.
Because I am very detailed in what I require from them and what they will be getting from me everyone knows exactly what to expect. It also adds to their confidence in me to produce their wedding photographs.
 
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Diddy2theJJ

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MLeek, thanks for your reply. I ALWAYS meet with clients before the wedding, but some of them want to get the contract signed and the down payment taken care of, and then meet later on. But....people like to put things off too and in one case in particular, I had met with the for the first time only a month before the wedding, which for me is cutting it a little too close for comfort.

When I meet with clients, we talk about schedule, how outgoing they are and what sort of photos they like and dislike etc, but for me it's mostly about just getting to know them a little bit before we spend a whole day together in a such big event in their lives.

What other sort of details do you go over?
 

thecarrettos

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Agreed. A wedding date isn't final until the contract is signed and the retainer is received.
 

DiskoJoe

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So, an acquaintance of mine from college emailed me about doing their wedding photos and told me to mark down the day in my calendar to shoot their wedding. I marked it down since I know her, but nothing is ever final until I receive the down payment and the signed contract. Then she asked if I do printed proofs or just proofs on CD. I told her that I don't include printed proofs in my wedding package, but I do offer them for a little extra.

I try and keep my package prices low by cutting out added expenses like printed proofs when, in my experience, most people only want the digital versions.

So, I was looking on facebook the other day and she had engagement photos posted from another photographer in town. I don't ever have a problem with people going other places, because it's all about styles....different styles fit different people and that's cool. And maybe she had her engagement photos done there and they'll have me do their wedding, but it seems like it should be the same person to do both. If they did get someone else to do their wedding, wouldn't you think they would at least tell me about it so I could take it out of the calendar and not be expecting the down payment etc though?

I have a friend that did a douche move like this. She contacts me to do a shoot for her little daughter who does a small bit of modeling work. Tells me she is trying to save some money cause the gigs her daughter does are in exchange for clothes because they cant pay for such a small child to model. So I do the shoot for them really cheap since they came to my place. It went smooth/ My friend loved the pictures and the person that send does business with loved them even more. Then the next week her daughter has a birthday party and she went and hired a professional to shoot to party. So I'm wondering why did she tell me she is trying to save money when she is obviously wasting money. The pro she hired does crappy work too. All the pictures were over exposed and they did not edit anything even in the slightest way.
 

Robin Usagani

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Looks like you lost it. I usually encourage them to sign a contract and put 25% retainer for me to put their name on the calendar so I dont book other wedding. I also tell them I will throw in engagement session if contract signed at least 4 months prior to the date.
 

DiskoJoe

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Looks like you lost it. I usually encourage them to sign a contract and put 25% retainer for me to put their name on the calendar so I dont book other wedding. I also tell them I will throw in engagement session if contract signed at least 4 months prior to the date.

When Schwetty talks, Chuck Norris listens!
 

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