Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: A Trickey Situation  (Read 15337 times)

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
A Trickey Situation
« on: April 01, 2016, 11:06:56 am »

Hi All,

In a bit of a sticky situation with a photographer at the moment. To cut to the chase I have commissioned him from my employer and he has done a fairly extensive shoot abroad for us.  Some of the images are quite good, others are bordering on the edge of acceptability from a compositional standpoint and perhaps interpretation of the briefing documents issued. 

However the main point of concern is that technically they are not good.  The images in good light are OK with regard to noise / grain etc but the low light images are simply appalling and these are key shots. Huge amounts of noise / grain in flat tones and shadows. All shot on an Aptus 75. I have a few RAW files from the shoot of the key images (I wanted to process these myself and he surprisingly released them).  They are exposed so heavily to the left, presumably in an over cautious bid to protect highlights that they are impossible to get decent results from without massive image by image noise reduction techniques and even then it's not great and details and colours are obliterated by the noise in the original file. The overall look is also not good across the board, undoubtedly we will have re-process the images to make them look nice. 

We have been issued the low res proofs but not high res yet.  So the question is what to do next, do I pay him at all? Insist on a massive discount?  Simply put we will have to re-shoot at some stage and at best these images will be usable only in the interim. I don't want to shaft a fellow photographer but I am seriously unimpressed with the work I am receiving. Be good to have some of your views / opinions.

Ghibby
Logged

MattBurt

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2742
  • Looking for that other shot
    • Matt Burt Photography
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 11:19:19 am »

So to re-shoot, you'd have to fly him somewhere? I usually offer a re-shoot if client isn't happy but in my case it's just been in the same town.

Have you voiced your concerns? I'd try that route first and see what he offers, if anything.
Logged
-MattB

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 11:36:46 am »

My concerns have been voiced, no offer of a re-shoot and he seems to think RAW processing is post production work and is reluctant to even alter this, not snappy on contact either, he is in no rush to issue updates to an unhappy customer.  Undoubtedly I wont use him again. If I were to go to the expense another shoot I would simply go myself or use someone else.
Logged

Christopher Sanderson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2687
    • photopxl.com
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 11:54:12 am »

You would be doing the photographer, any future clients and yourself a favour by being direct and truthful. Unacceptable work is just that - unacceptable. The poor quality of the results should not be hidden.

Dependent on contractual obligation, if the photographer was to have been paid in halves or thirds, I would deny the final payment.

All that said, whoever hired the person bears half of the responsibility - in my opinion.

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 12:09:38 pm »

Hi Chris, in principal i agree, however to add to the saga we used him a few times in the past, he delivered far better images then which is why is was re-hired.  The latest shots were more challenging in terms of scale and location though.  The payment terms are not half / thirds but expenses prior to shoot - all paid up, with remaining to be paid on completion of final images. For him this this represents all of his profit. We do need the images fairly soon, no time for a re-shoot for the next few months so we are kind of stuck with what he has produced. 

The chap is deluded though, I have constructively pointed out the areas that needs to be improved, his response is to say his images are perfect, well considered compositionally and executed to technical perfection! Begrudgingly he re-processed most of the images but even these are not great.  From my perspective it has reached a point that it will be quicker and less stressful to re-process myself as opposed to huge number of nasty emails with no real progress being made. He also had a nasty rant about the quality of photography on the rest of our website which is a mixed bag but the more recent stuff is of good quality, a lot is better than his.  Very poor conduct.
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16908
  • When everyone thinks the same, nobody thinks
    • My website
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 12:42:47 pm »

Hard to comment without seeing examples.

Some people's perfectionism (yours?) might be orders of magnitude different than most people's. Especially those flocking to web forums are known to be pixel-peeping Toms.

And what's up with that "compositionally" barely acceptable? On what grounds? Has the Congress passed a Rule of Thirds Law I am not aware of? Someone chose the photographer based on his previous work and, I presume, his sense of composition was a part of that validation.

Your proper course of action is to pay up and never hire him again.

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 01:31:19 pm »

Hi Slobodan,

By technical standards I don't expect complete perfection but clean and sharp files. The quality I have received is below what I have from other photographers or can get myself out of a old canon EOS 5D ii with TSE lenses. As far as I'm aware the Aptus 75 is based on a similar sensor to the phase 1 p45 so it should be a few notches up on a 2008 era DSLR!

By barely acceptable compositions I mean over corrected verticals and site lines where key features are obscured by parts not relevant and outside the scheme, a few steps to one side would have helped immensely. Quality of the work is markedly below previous assignments and his own website. I am seriously reluctant to say thanks and pay for work like this. I would be embarrassed to submit work of this quality to a client personally.
Logged

pixjohn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 715
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 01:49:13 pm »

As stated before you need to post a sample. As per paying, he delivered images and legally you are obligated to pay. If he files the  and you use them without paying, it could cost you big time. I have only been asked once in 20 years to reshoot 1 shot, and it was the clients mistake on the angle. I sucked it up and reshot the image at my cost. You can then turn around and sue him for the cost of the reshoot.

Hi Slobodan,

By technical standards I don't expect complete perfection but clean and sharp files. The quality I have received is below what I have from other photographers or can get myself out of a old canon EOS 5D ii with TSE lenses. As far as I'm aware the Aptus 75 is based on a similar sensor to the phase 1 p45 so it should be a few notches up on a 2008 era DSLR!

By barely acceptable compositions I mean over corrected verticals and site lines where key features are obscured by parts not relevant and outside the scheme, a few steps to one side would have helped immensely. Quality of the work is markedly below previous assignments and his own website. I am seriously reluctant to say thanks and pay for work like this. I would be embarrassed to submit work of this quality to a client personally.
Logged

framah

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1418
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 01:49:38 pm »

My personal opinion is to refuse any more payments with an explanation as to why and let him decide what he wants to do about it.

You might want to take your equipment out and only take 1 or 2 shots to prove how bad his are.

It would help in any future arguments  if the courts get involved.

To accept his work and make a final payment is only encouraging him to continue to put out poor work. The more times he ends up not getting paid, possibly he might get the hint and work harder to produce a better product.
Logged
"It took a  lifetime of suffering and personal sacrifice to develop my keen aesthetic sense."

Endeavour

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 350
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 01:58:06 pm »

You should do whatever is in the contract.

Without seeing that, and what exactly it is you have commissioned him to provide, its pointless offering suggestions.

Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16908
  • When everyone thinks the same, nobody thinks
    • My website
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 02:11:25 pm »

...encouraging him to continue to put out poor work...

That remains to be established.

The argument and (lack of) proof so far do not support it. What is a "clean" file is highly debatable. Whether it is supposed to be better than "2008" technology is equally highly debatable. There were phenomenally good photographs made with that and any other older technology. "Clean" file might be irrelevant for print quality as well.

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 03:13:04 pm »

Proof of quality is not required for my question. I am asking advice on how to react / respond to the photographer. As a photographer myself I am more than happy with my quality assessment of his work. I deal with photos every day, this is low quality work, my team at work who are not photographers have also commented the poor quality of these images. It's become something of a joke in the office.

While I do agree that great images can be produced on any camera, old or new. This is commercial work, it needs to look modern and vibrant and slick. It looks like crap.

I think I may well make a request for his RAW files and deduct a fee for my time in processing them from his payment.
Logged

Endeavour

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 350
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 03:15:39 pm »

again, what is in your contract? - as this is what dictates what you can/should be able to do regarding payment/delivery

You cant arbitrarily withhold payment if he has met his contractual obligations.

If it isnt in the contract to supply you with the RAW files, he's not obligated to give you those either.
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16908
  • When everyone thinks the same, nobody thinks
    • My website
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 03:18:36 pm »

Sounds more and more like a bridezilla client.

MarkM

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 428
    • Alaska Photographer Mark Meyer
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2016, 03:20:29 pm »

Simply put we will have to re-shoot at some stage and at best these images will be usable only in the interim.

I presume you are working for a large company with thousands of completed projects and offices around the world, right? Chalk this up to a learning experience, learn from it, pay the photographer, and move on. Unless you have an unusual contract, it's unlikely that you have any rights to use the images, even in the interim, if you don't pay for them. Your company's pockets are likely deep enough that it will be an attractive infringement case and you will have a very difficult time convincing someone that the photos are unusable after you have used them.

These kind of mistakes used to happen in the film days from time to time, but they can be avoided today. If you are going to fly photographers around the world, you can insist on doing approvals while they are still on the ground. As a photographer, I like this because it removes some stress you can make sure all parties are happy with the result while the photographer is still on location. Re-shoots will still be highly-inconvenient, but not nearly as expensive. 
Logged

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2016, 04:18:37 pm »

Large company, no, well established but quite small, some global offices. Sadly the company has not valued photography as well as it should have done for last 15 years or so. Things are slowly changing but each commission is disproportionately important as a result. This represents a fairly significant part of the photo budget for the year.

Contract, foolishly from the photographer there is no formal contract. Just acceptance of a job on agreed daily rate, no specifics detailed at all. No mention of file types etc. He has left himself totally unprotected, ultimately at the mercy of the morality of the company. Not really a clever move on his part. Usage rights are unlimited on payment.

We have not used the photos at all, if we decide not to pay we won't use them. As mentioned before I only have low res not suitable for use, just evaluation. I have a couple of full res images only. Again not used as yet, eval only.

Bridezilla, not really, just expect a good job, sure you would to in the situation.
Logged

Colorado David

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1178
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2016, 04:29:44 pm »

 This is a sticky situation and I suspect you didn't get the types of responses you expected in this thread. Usually in a case like this there is blame enough to go around. I have experience with one client who is unable to describe exactly what he wants but will know it when he sees it.  Except that he has no opinion of his own and has to shop the results around his colleagues before he knows that he doesn't have what he wants. That may or may not be you and I don't expect that it is, but it's problematic.  The main thing here is that if you have a work for hire contract then the copyright does not transfer until you've made full payment. On the other hand if you have a license contract then the license does not become valid until you've made full payment.  In either case if you intend to use the images, even temporarily, you have to pay up.  I've had work run in publications before I had payment, but in that case we both knew a check was forthcoming. I have been on your of this situation before and when outsourced work is truly not up to standard, the best choice is to simply not use it at all. We've done that in the past. Although it hurts, it is better than shouldering the liability. I'm with Slobodon in that a forum conversation like this doesn't establish facts, only opinions.

MattBurt

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2742
  • Looking for that other shot
    • Matt Burt Photography
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2016, 05:44:47 pm »

I'm pretty sure that if you had a verbal contract to pay his daily rate for him to shoot photos, that it should be binding. He delivered photos, you now owe him his rate unless you had a (verbal) clause stating otherwise. Something like "We will withhold payment until the photos pass review.".
Logged
-MattB

Ghibby

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2016, 06:20:59 pm »

Hi David,

Yes you are right, not the responses I expected, useful none the less. I think I'll push for the Raw's though. Still undecided what to do on payment though, ie full amt or a deduction.
Logged

DrakeJ

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 79
Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2016, 06:39:35 pm »

Why not learn from this experience instead of putting all the blame on the photographer. Pay the photog and consider where you went wrong. Remember to give constructive feedback as to why you won't be hiring him/her again.

One of the excellent points made in this thread already is that in the age of internet, you as a client can review images pretty much instantly and tell the person you hired if his/her work is up to par or if you need any changes. Client happy, photographer happy.
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up