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Author Topic: A Trickey Situation  (Read 15336 times)

mitchino

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2016, 03:52:21 am »

I'm sure I speak for many when I say - show us some of the shots!
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Endeavour

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2016, 08:06:57 am »

Still undecided what to do on payment though, ie full amt or a deduction.

Be prepared to be sued - because I would.

as previously said. If you didn't specify a review of images and you've hired him to take & deliver photographs he has fulfilled that obligation and you need to pay him.
you're talking of withholding payments because you dont like the images. Unless they are truly useless (heads chopped off, vastly underexposed, unprintable etc) you have no right to withhold any payments. If its a subjective dislike of the results then are not in a position to deny payment.

Getting the raw files from him should be a separate negotiation - not one suddenly added as a condition of you releasing his original payment

I'm sorry to say but it sounds like you are trying to get one over on the photographer here because you screwed up your contract.

Pay the photographer - learn & move on - get a contract in place next time.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 08:45:54 am by lotusEsp »
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Rob C

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2016, 10:41:49 am »

The photographer you commissioned should be covered by his own insurance for some failures - even professional negligence; what are you covered by if you fail to pay up?

I have no idea if you are a professional shooter or not; if you are, why didn't you do the shoot if you are capable?

Rob C

P.S.

Hey, wait a minute; didn't we all notice the date of the post...?

Endeavour

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2016, 10:57:17 am »



Hey, wait a minute; didn't we all notice the date of the post...?

I did, but :
a) money is never a joking matter ;)
b) I was always told to end your joke by noon, or you become the fool
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BradSmith

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2016, 02:48:54 pm »


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.


You say that the photographer was foolish for not having a formal contract.  Why doesn't the same logic apply to your firm?  Seems to me that your firm also foolishly did not execute a contract with the photographer.  Many of the comments here have referenced what might have been included (or not included) in your contract.  Seems it was only a verbal agreement to be reimbursed for travel expenses up front and a daily rate with unlimited usage rights on payment.  You don't even state if there is any definition of what the deliverables were to be.  In my opinion, both the photographer and your firm are at fault for the contractual non-contractual bind you are in.

I'd tell him that the firm is not happy with the result, and want the RAWS to further refine them, and then pay him.  Net result, you're both harmed.  He gets paid, but loses a client.  You get work that will probably be usable, but you must put additional unbudgeted effort into "saving" the images.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2016, 03:15:26 pm »

In absence of examples under debate, I'll provide some of my own.

A client sent me to shoot a commercial property. Prior to that, they showed me photographs they commissioned (and paid) a local photographer to do previously. Upon arrival, I tried my best to mimic what I saw the other photographer did, just for the sake of it* (the first shot below). The next two are my efforts to shoot it in the best possible light, angle, etc. I think you can guess what the client liked the most and which ones ended up in their promotional materials.

But which one is better is not the point. The point is that what the other photographer did was (contractually) sufficient for what he was asked to do: go shoot a property. He was paid, I was paid, but I got to shoot all their other properties across the U.S., and he never got hired by them again.

EDIT: * And, of course, to demonstrate to the client the difference between a minimum effort and an appropriate one.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 01:51:39 pm by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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MattBurt

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2016, 01:35:03 am »

You had me worried with that first shot before I read the text! The other ones look great.
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Chris D

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2016, 01:29:26 pm »

I'd withhold payment, and negotiate a kill fee...  In spite of not having a contract, you are obligated to pay him, but he's obligated to produce work that looks and feels like the work in his portfolio.  Neither one of you want to go to court...

And next time insist on a contract to protect you both! 
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2016, 01:48:48 pm »

About contracts... I had a chance to talk to one of the most renowned (and well-paid) architectural photographers currently, during his workshop. We asked him about contracts. His answer: "I never had a contract in my life. A client can only cross me once." And mind you, in his case, we are talking about tens of thousands of dollars. He simply relies on relationships.

Not that he didn't have trouble occasionally, but mostly with client's assistants who tried to prove their worth by being holier than the Pope and trying that stinky maneuver the OP (and some here) are contemplating or advising: "Your images are not that good, so we will not pay you unless..." That would be usually resolved by talking to the client directly. The assistant would then usually end up pursuing "other career choices."

Jeremy Roussak

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2016, 03:30:03 am »

About contracts... I had a chance to talk to one of the most renowned (and well-paid) architectural photographers currently, during his workshop. We asked him about contracts. His answer: "I never had a contract in my life. A client can only cross me once." And mind you, in his case, we are talking about tens of thousands of dollars. He simply relies on relationships.

In fact, he probably had a contract for every job he did. He was confusing having a contract with having a written contract, forgetting (or not knowing) that in most circumstances, the writing is mere evidence.

Jeremy
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JoeKitchen

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2016, 10:18:36 am »

About contracts... I had a chance to talk to one of the most renowned (and well-paid) architectural photographers currently, during his workshop. We asked him about contracts. His answer: "I never had a contract in my life. A client can only cross me once." And mind you, in his case, we are talking about tens of thousands of dollars. He simply relies on relationships.


In most cases, the courts would rule on the side of the client, not the vendor without a written contract.  Yes, verbal contracts are binding, but since there is no record of it, it would be difficult to argue the intent of it in court beyond a doubt.  Even written contracts can be hard to enforce, which is why contracts have such precise and exact language. 

I had a lawyer once tell to always get a contract.  If someone says, "we don't really need a contract," that is when you should be most worried.  If someone is truly intent on paying you and providing their side of the bargain, why would they be troubled about signing a contract? 

Now with architectural shoots, yes I sometimes proceed with me sending along a proposal and the client emailing me that they agree, not printing, signing, and scanning it back to me.  However, local architectural projects are pretty inexpensive to produce.  Usually it is just the cost of driving there and paying an assistant. 

Any travel or ad work involves a lot of expenses on the photographer's part.  I don't consider the project a go until I get a signed proposal and a 40% retainer. 
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2016, 12:27:42 pm »

...  I had a lawyer once tell to always get a contract...

Shocking  ;)

Endeavour

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2016, 04:11:39 pm »

Shocking  ;)

doesn't negate the advice though
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2016, 04:14:20 pm »

doesn't negate the advice though

Contracts are like prenups, kill the relationship before it even starts  ;)

MarkM

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2016, 04:45:55 pm »

Contracts are like prenups, kill the relationship before it even starts  ;)

They don't kill relationships, they turn them into business arrangements - some people find that unromantic when it comes to marriages.

Maybe it's time to watch this again - especially where he talks about trust and contracts:
Mike Monteiro: F*ck You, Pay Me
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JoeKitchen

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2016, 07:14:22 am »

Contracts are like prenups, kill the relationship before it even starts  ;)

I'm not sure how you can write that with a straight face; I hope you are joking. 

If not, think about it this way.  I highly doubt any of your clients are providing services without a contract.  I know not a single architect I work with would do any design work without out one.  Additionally, every ad firm I have ever talked to maintains contracts with their clients and usually will have some type of ND they have signed by their vendors. 

So to imply that a contract is going to prevent you from getting business is absurd.  You're merely doing what it is that almost every client is doing as well. 
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Ghibby

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2016, 07:54:17 am »

Resolution has been found.  We decided to pay him in full.  His email exchanges to us have been frankly shocking and rude, he is clearly very angry at having his work criticised.  My feeling is that in a creative position constructive criticism is part of the process and really should be viewed as way to improve / develop and shift with the times. I work as a designer and a photographer, criticism in the design world is part of the job, it is an essential part of project development. It seems more polarised in the photographic world, photographers on the whole seem to take offence to criticism more easily than designers, perhaps itís part of being your own boss. 

I gave him zero choice on handing RAW files over, he was OK with it.  The files show me someone who is shooting in a rather unstructured way. Every shot is heavily bracketed (6-7 exposures). Typically 3-4 of these have no value to the final image as they are so dark that the extreme highlight info is in the left third of the histogram, there is usually one shot that you can judge to be close to the right exposure, then another couple massively over exposed for shadows. He is making a lot of work for himself in RAW processing.  Dark / low light images are another matter, all massively underexposed and grainy as hell. All images exposed at ISO 50, he needed to crank up to 200 for the darker shots, perhaps even 400 with optimum exposure on the Aptus 75. He needs a service to the camera too, huge numbers of hot pixels in exposures beyond about 10 seconds at a guess (full metadata not embedded in rawís). 

A nasty situation to be sure, I am sure all parties have learnt from it.  I would have normally have shot the project myself but my design work commitments to the company didnít allow the time on this occasion.  TBH just glad the whole mess is over.  In the meantime I have had some excellent images from another photographer looking for work in the same region. Next time he gets the job if I canít do it.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2016, 08:21:36 am »

Resolution has been found.  We decided to pay him in full.  His email exchanges to us have been frankly shocking and rude, he is clearly very angry at having his work criticised.  My feeling is that in a creative position constructive criticism is part of the process and really should be viewed as way to improve / develop and shift with the times. I work as a designer and a photographer, criticism in the design world is part of the job, it is an essential part of project development. It seems more polarised in the photographic world, photographers on the whole seem to take offence to criticism more easily than designers, perhaps itís part of being your own boss. 

I gave him zero choice on handing RAW files over, he was OK with it.  The files show me someone who is shooting in a rather unstructured way. Every shot is heavily bracketed (6-7 exposures). Typically 3-4 of these have no value to the final image as they are so dark that the extreme highlight info is in the left third of the histogram, there is usually one shot that you can judge to be close to the right exposure, then another couple massively over exposed for shadows. He is making a lot of work for himself in RAW processing.  Dark / low light images are another matter, all massively underexposed and grainy as hell. All images exposed at ISO 50, he needed to crank up to 200 for the darker shots, perhaps even 400 with optimum exposure on the Aptus 75. He needs a service to the camera too, huge numbers of hot pixels in exposures beyond about 10 seconds at a guess (full metadata not embedded in rawís). 

A nasty situation to be sure, I am sure all parties have learnt from it.  I would have normally have shot the project myself but my design work commitments to the company didnít allow the time on this occasion.  TBH just glad the whole mess is over.  In the meantime I have had some excellent images from another photographer looking for work in the same region. Next time he gets the job if I canít do it.

Just some advice on processing the RAWs. 

First, all CCD based cameras (along with any Sony CMOS based cameras) are IOSless.  Meaning that if you take an ISO 50 file that was under exposed by 2 stops and push it 2 stops in post, you will get the same exact IQ as a properly exposed ISO 200 file. 

All CCD based cameras, except for the P45+, IQ 260, IQ 360, and IQ 380, are really bad at long exposures.  Heat builds up faster on a CCD, and unless the camera captures a black file and the sensor is designed for long exposures, you really can't do long exposures.  30 seconds is the limit, but noise from heat will start to show up earlier.  You can use C1 to remove any single pixel noise to a degree, but he really should have done those exposures at a higher ISO to avoid noise from heat.  If it is too bad to deal with, push a shorter exposure; as noted above, it really does not matter where the push occurs (in camera vs. in post). 

I would recommend C1 v. 8 (if not v. 9) for the processing.  C1 v. 8 was really a great jump ahead with noise reduction; C1 v. 9 is slightly better here, but the increase in the amount of tools you can use is a real advantage. 
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Endeavour

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2016, 08:24:14 am »

Glad to hear the matter is resolved.

You've upheld your end of the deal and he has given you his RAWs for free. Best result in the circumstances. Him being miffed at the criticism is something he has to deal with.

Next time I would strongly suggest you get a contract in place spelling out what is expected of both parties.
Contracts are there for when things go wrong or at least to make it very clear what is expected of everyone.

without one, its very easy to get bogged down in email ping-pong and misunderstandings. Its also a way to make sure there is no abuse:
"Hey we dont like the images you took, so we're not going to pay you in full - but we're still going to use them for a while until we get some 'proper' ones taken"  sucker
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Endeavour

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Re: A Trickey Situation
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2016, 08:34:53 am »

Just to add:
I've been freelancer for many years, and I havent always used a formal contract. Often I've been secure enough (or the job was small enough) to be able to ride out any issues.
but once I left myself open without a contract and was stung and lost about $20,000

A contract doesnt need to be 50 pages of legalese - its just a good way to be open and upfront about what is required and what is being paid for (and hopefully when)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 09:51:34 am by lotusEsp »
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