**An old story but trying to get the wording right for email

 
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bubs
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: **An old story but trying to get the wording right for email Reply with quote

Design firm hires me to shot some images of a client of theirs for a printed brochure. Their client is cheap and old school.
While I'm there (we have you for a half day right?)(btw I never do half days), they want me to take a couple of images for use in a trade magazine. I tried to start telling him about copyright and usage but it went straight over his head. "We're paying for you to be here so the photos are ours". I was feeling weak and didn't feel like pissing off my client (design firm) so I told him he could have the magazine images if he wrote me a cheque today. He did so I gave his PR woman those images.
Four months later he wants another image for an online directory, here is the email

Hope your well. Couple of quick queries for you…

If I want access to a couple of photos from the ones you took for us how do I go about it? We advertise on yell.com and there is the facility to download some photos with the advert, I was thinking shots of the vans etc…

Also I would like some family photos taken as we have a 9.5month old girl – not sure if this is the sort of thing you would do but thought I’d ask you first!!

Look forward to hearing from you


I responded with,

good to hear from you
my images from that shoot are archived away, off site
you could probably get a copy of the cd from Bob @ABCD Design faster

congratulations on the baby girl
my assistant shoots portraits
His name is Joe
he can be reached at. . .


Hoped that would be the end of it. I didn't really care if he just used the image for the online directory( I know he would have had them all but this guy was a royal pain and I didn't feel like bickering over things).
Except I got into the office tonight and got this,

ABCD Design are trying to charge me £35.00 for a copy of the disk, while I don’t mind paying a fair price for something thats due, I don’t like paying for something that sounds to me like money for old rope – as the saying goes!

To get the same thing from you – albeit there may be a time to wait for them – would you be charging me?? The disk you gave ABCD Design surely should be free of charge to me since we paid you and the photos are of our company….

Appreciate your comments


Was going to draft an email with the whole usage thing, spend my time writing and extend this whole event. They are just a small company and I know I should teach them a lesson but gawd the energy I have to spend to do this just doesn't feel worth it.

signed
X hausted
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tcphoto
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps something to the order of... as a freelance photographer, I do not have an employer provide a 401k or health care. My images "old rope" are my assets and I license the use of them. This revenue provides the funding for those items and I cannot give those assets away. Best of luck, XXXX
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Yes, the disk will be free, but it will cost $150 for my time to access and burn it for you."
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bubs
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just responded with this
Hi Davey
sorry you feel that way
but
and please don't take this the wrong way
On that day I was paid to take 10 photographs for a preset layout for Slater.
I was approached by yourself and your PR lady for more images.
I was feeling very cornered by both of you and agreed to take the images at no extra cost (I just asked for immediate payment which you did, thank you).
I am not an employee of anyone. I therefore pay my own insurance, health care, dentist, equipment, travel etc.
I charge on a creative basis, not a timeline. Therefore when clients ask for images for a specific use they get that price. If they want to have it for different uses then they get a different price. The images, even though they are of you and your company, legally belong to me under copyright law. That is the way it has always been. It is the only way freelance creatives are able to make a living. If we gave away the farm on every job we would be out of business in under a year.
Put it this way; if you asked Slater for the files from your printed brochure so you could use them in an ad in a magazine they would charge you.
This is the same scenario. . . sort of
I don't have a problem for you to use my images for yell.com for free but I have to take the time to retrieve those specific files and burn them; its just a matter of our time costing. For the £35 pounds I will also re make the web gallery so you can find the specific image you are looking for. That's a deal
now
you were looking for the van by itself?

hope you understand

all the best



we'll see what happens next
r
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bubs
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just received this

Sorry didn’t mean to be having a go at you – we were very pleased with the work you did. I just felt when I contacted ABCD Design for a copy of the photos that they were trying to put the arm in – afterall they have the disk which they aren’t using and asked me for £35.00 to burn them to another disk – which I could do for them , supplying the disk / dvd in no time at all!

If however the money they were going to charge me for this is because that money would then go to you I would completely understand.

Regards

Davey


to which I responded

that amount, £35, is a standard amount the world over. Trust me I know. In the US and Canada it is anywhere from $50-100.
For anyone to pull an employee off a job to go back into files, sift and sort through, then burn to dvd/cd and ship it costs.
Its totally standard costing.
That money that they charge stays with them and I have no problem with that, they earned it by doing that leg work.

either way its up to you
don't worry I'm not having a go at you either
just standard practices that we keep

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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that even though it's still going back and forth, they are amazingly restrained compared to my experiences. I can understand their misunderstanding of the situation and your education was perfect in my opinion.
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you handled it well. It does seem that when you tell clients that something is standard industry practice, then it makes more sense. Most of the time they just want to know a reason for something.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon Moat wrote:
I think you handled it well. It does seem that when you tell clients that something is standard industry practice, then it makes more sense. Most of the time they just want to know a reason for something.


Whenever an agency tells me "industry standard" it reminds me of my mom saying 'because I said so". Hard to argue with...
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bubs
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is industry standard in North America, the EU and most of the rest of the world is not here.
This is the land of £500 day rates and £25/image unlimited usage.
I'm trying to change the mentally and most of the art and creative directors see my points but the existing clientele have been paying those prices for so long. They do feel that when you are hired, you become their employee and everything you create is their property. Its crazy.
Basically what it boils down to is commercial and advertising rates go out at editorial prices. What I surmise is that some where along the line, maybe when digital came into effect, they started to charge £25 to process the image (instead of obviously charging for film and processing). At that point I think clients just figured they were paying for usage since "what could be involved in 'processing' a digital image?". From there no one stepped forward to set things straight and its been that way ever since.
I know its crazy, Northern Ireland is part of the UK (and is in no means small beans) and borders with the ROI (Ireland). Both the UK and ROI have "normal creative fees and usage but Northern Ireland can't shake this primitive pricing structure.
What is even more baffling at time is that more clients from the UK and ROI don't take advantage of this ridiculous pricing.
So, £35 for a dvd burn might seem normal to us but to folks around here, who can go to Tesco's and buy a spindle of dvd's for £12, the numbers just don't add up.

One last thing.
Be happy you get what you get, when you get it. I have a few clients who pay in 30 but a lot more who take it to 60 or 90. I in fact have one that I do a fair amount for and bust my nutz over quite a bit, that has "terms" of net 60 after month end of date of invoice. Now that's their terms, so depending on what date of the month you shoot you could get paid in 61 or 89 days, in theory. My first job with them took me over 5 months to get paid.

my rant is finished
thanks for listening
and
no
he didn't email back for the dvd

r
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tcphoto
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There simply comes a time when you have to catch up to the rest of the world. I am not a bank or business partner with my clients, although I am in theory and cannot finance their jobs. I require half my fee up front on commercial jobs and the balance within 30 days. The editorial jobs are due within 30 days of delivery of images. I do factor in the usage of my images and encourage every photographer to do the same. We are not conducting business as if it is 1972 and day rates died long ago.

It is time to draw the line in the sand and use current terms as in creative fee, usage, term of use, copyright, retainer and so on. If your clients refuse to pay a decent fee then it is time to find clients that understand paying a decent fee for art/illustration or whatever term they chose. If you cannot find clients that are willing to pay a living wage then perhaps you need to look inward and determine whether your skills are on the level to do this as a profession. That statement is not directed toward anyone in particular but sometimes you've got to determine if you are contributing something positive to the creative community or simply feeding off of it.
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bubs
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There simply comes a time when you have to catch up to the rest of the world. I am not a bank or business partner with my clients, although I am in theory and cannot finance their jobs. I require half my fee up front on commercial jobs and the balance within 30 days. The editorial jobs are due within 30 days of delivery of images. I do factor in the usage of my images and encourage every photographer to do the same. We are not conducting business as if it is 1972 and day rates died long ago.

It is time to draw the line in the sand and use current terms as in creative fee, usage, term of use, copyright, retainer and so on. If your clients refuse to pay a decent fee then it is time to find clients that understand paying a decent fee for art/illustration or whatever term they chose. If you cannot find clients that are willing to pay a living wage then perhaps you need to look inward and determine whether your skills are on the level to do this as a profession. That statement is not directed toward anyone in particular but sometimes you've got to determine if you are contributing something positive to the creative community or simply feeding off of it.


I've been doing this for over 20 plus years in NA. I have just completed my first full year over here.
I know all of what you are saying. I'd love to draw a line in the sand except their is only one person on my side of that line. Even the local photographers who are decent, I've talked to about rates and they just don't want to rock the boat.
I'm not changing professions, not ever. And I'm not complaining about the situation in Northern Ireland, just bringing it to light to others. I live in a market where most clients feel a photographer is someone at their daughters wedding or chases ambulances down the highway. For many of them they are happy to hire one of the above to shoot their commercial work. It isn't until they see what I or the handful of others here are are trained and are truly professionals can do, do they start to understand the art and concepts of imaging.
All that said, I've had a blast over the past year; back and forth to CA shooting on both sides of the Atlantic regularly and having some very decent billings.
Love my job (career, lifestyle whatever you call it) and I'm not going anywhere.

r
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