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Clients

Signed to Two Agencies at the Same Time

Q:

I am a photographer that is currently signed to an agency, the contract is nearing completion, and they have asked if I want to renew the contract. Another agency has expressed interest in signing me at the same time. Is it possible to be signed to multiple agencies as a photographer/director?

A:

No absolute rule on this, but it isn’t something I recommend for a commercial advertising photographer/director. Other industries may work like this, but clients in our world would be confused. Our goal is to have our clients know, think of, and contact us. If we offer too many contact associations, we may create more of a branding identity mishap vs. a sharp, concise system to register in their memory. 

Impress Your Clients and Crew

Put this in our business toolkit: 

In the midst of crazy production, the human element cuts right through it and can speak volumes. Impress our crew + clients with sincere kindness during stressful intensity to make the best of it and create a lasting impression. 

Image Licensing Rights With No Contract

Question:

My long-time restaurant client plans to publish a cocktail book showcasing their cocktail recipes, all of which I have shot. She asked me about image licensing rights because I was so green when this started and did not send them contracts (I know, big fail). Ideally, I would like to send her a new contract for the images she’d like to use in the cocktail book, and I was wondering if this was the best course of action.

Answer:

The root of the issue with no contracts is how you and the client were both green. Uncontracted clients may assume they own the copyright without needing your usage approvals. The overall solution is to follow up with all uncontracted clients before an issue arises, verifying your image ownership and assuming usage rights. Talk to your clients, make this a two-way conversation asking what they’d like to use the images for in the future and become part of their long-term solution… for a price, of course.

Clients Not Paying to Retouch Work

Q:

A client returned to purchase a second round of images I shot for them. They would not pay me to retouch this 2nd batch of images because it was cheaper for them to outsource the post work. Now the images are live and online without any retouching or color correction… What could I say next time to prevent this from happening again?

A:

I don’t mean to be harsh, but the only thing you can do about this is offer cheaper retouching or request that your name not be associated with the images. Depending on their contractual terms, you can retouch them your way and show them off on your site and IG. Other than that, they have full rights to retouch/crop/manipulate the images you shot any way they choose. 

Your Portfolio Defines Your Clients

PORTFOLIO means the collection of images defining the clients you work with and the style sensibility you will provide clients to reach their goals. 

Continuously striving for this long-term past and future balance will land you jobs. 

Exciting Job, Low Budget

When offered an exciting job for a low budget, you can always offer your time and usage licensing for a discounted rate while having the client handle all production. If you feel you can create high-quality images, these jobs require clear terms of what you are and NOT including. 

Sample Negotiation:

Client: How much would it be to shoot this?

You: I don’t have enough information to give you an accurate price. What is your budget?

Client: We have $2000. 

You: For a $3500 discounted rate, I would do this for one month of social media for four final images within an 8 hour shoot day, and that does not include any production expenses only my time. 

What is Your Special Something?

What is your special something? What do you offer that is your secret sauce, your tipping point, what do you offer that sets you apart?

Maximize your SELLING POINTS by reassuring the client they are in good hands, relying on your specialty to get the job done. 

Showing Clients’ Work With or Without Permission

Q:

After shooting with an international client, I had a frustrating experience when I asked if I could show the images, and the response was that I could not show them. I’m just getting started, so I was excited to use these to help me leverage my career. How are other photographers able to post work they create with large brands?

A:

My unofficial assessment of this issue is some clients say it, and some clients mean it. I’ve never lost a client after being reprimanded for this. Of course, you never want to be surprised by our client’s terms, so read them carefully and adjust your fees accordingly. We have a few options – ask and cross your fingers, don’t ask and claim ignorance, respect not posting on public platforms, or pick and choose to show the images in a pdf or an email promo to a select group.

Usage Rate For A Client’s Social Media Content

Q:

I’m being asked for the usage rate for a client’s social media content – organic vs. paid. How are we scaling the value difference between the two for usage fees?

A:

Social media usage for organic (or owned) on their social media needs to be much higher than “paid” ads usage based on the significant increase of viewers. Rates depend on many elements like the number of images, amount of posts or usability duration, and the type of images. Paid social media should run at least triple the price of organic. 

Knowing the Client’s Budget

Knowing the client’s budget, I like to sneak in $500 more to get as much as possible without my response risk being too high. My response is to stay within their playing field but still do my job to get us paid as much as possible.