Sometimes other photographers would ask me – when I tell them that I only ask my clients beforehand, to pay me for the Rights to use my work, rather than for my time & expenses to do the work for them – what happens if after you spend a lot of time and money producing a set of images, the client then turns around and says that they do not want to use of them or pay for the use of them ?
Or what if are now not prepared to pay as much ?
Or what if they want a lot more done to the images first, etc, etc. ?
Well thankfully that doesn’t happen very often, mainly because I would usually try to put everything down in writing beforehand – as well as ask lots of questions about things like:
Who is your target market ?
What does the images need to say to your target market ?
Which media are you planning on using the images in ?
How long are you needing to use them in those media ?
Plus where in the World are you going to be advertising in those media ?
In other words, it’s a bit like the 5Ws.
Because their answers to those type of questions, would then help me understand what it is I need to do to meet their needs.
So it is therefore important that they tell me what they need upfront, and if there is anything specific that they require – be it a look or a style or some retouching done, etc, etc – then that would also need to be put in writing beforehand too.
Because the price I would be quoting them beforehand…
.. for the Rights to use the images that I created afterwards…
.. would naturally be based on that information.
But still I hear you say: “What happens if it all goes wrong” – for whatever reason – and they end up not wanting to pay or they don’t want to pay as much, etc, etc ?
Well first off, I’d probably want to find out why that was – for example, was it something that I did wrong or didn’t get right or misunderstood ?
Or are they now just trying to pull a fast one ?
As a rule of thumb, if someone has invested a lot of their own time and money in a shoot – then it’s highly unlikely that they wouldn’t then want to use the images afterwards.
So therefore I would say, that 99% of the time, if the client did say afterwards that they did not want to pay for the use the images, the fault would lie at my end.
Which I would then naturally want to learn from – as ‘The Goal’ beforehand would have been, to try and produce some images that they (and possibly others too) would actually want to use – and hopefully want to use a lot too – rather than just see if I could take some pictures… which I know I could probably do with my iPhone
Anyway, if I was to say it has never happened or was to say that I have never failed to produce the type of images that a client would want to pay for the use of, that would be a lie – because it has happened and it did actually happen very recently too.
So the question I have to ask myself, is obviously “Why did it happen ?” – because that was not ‘The Goal’ beforehand.
Not always an easy one to answer, because there may in fact be a number of reasons as to why it happened – but the bottom-line is: There are no winners when it does happen.
Because they don’t get what they want and I naturally don’t get what I want neither
And when that happens, then below you can see some examples of what that this lose-lose type of deal ends up looking like:
This is what this page currently looks like on their website…
.. of the Atlantic View bedroom – verses what it could have looked like…
.. if I had been prepared to remove the building outside the window, for the same price as I had quoted them before they asked for that.
Which I obviously wasn’t prepared to do, because to do that well – so as one could not tell that it had been retouched, even when viewed at billboard size or in any media at any size – that would probably doubled the amount of time that I would need to spend on creating the image.
Which obviously they were not prepared to do either with this Uncle Bob image that they are now currently using.
And it was the same here…
.. as a result, this is how that same Suite currently looks on their website…
.. and this is how their Family room looks…
.. which once again, could have looked like this instead…
.. had I been prepared to spend hours replacing what was outside the window… for the same price as I had quoted them before they asked for that to be done.
“Forest for the trees” springs to mind – but there you have it – there are no winners is the answer
Still, we did all really enjoy our stay in their hotel for a few days – which I talk about here: A lot more to it – and I did end-up with some lovely images for my own portfolio
Plus it has given me something to blog about here for a second time – so all is not lost, because I at least have been able to put my work good use