Commercial Photography and Billing Insights and Questions

Started Nov 29, 2006 | Discussions thread
OP pellothed Regular Member • Posts: 426

I think you answered my question much more effectively than I asked it. I do agree that I should include a byline that states that all decisions made by the photographer are deemed correct, although most of my clients know (informally agree to) that if I'm forced to make a decision they don't like, they still have to pay for it. I also left something out, the client that is being a pain is also trying to satisfy a client. In other words, I'm shooting for the manufacturer of a product, who is selling both the product and the "advertising" to the end client. The purpose being that the manufacturer manufactures advertising novelities (t-shirts, pens, clocks, golf tees, etc.) customized with embroidery, screen printing, etc. with the logo of the end client. The manufacturer also provides the printed brochures, websites, etc. to the end client. I guess my problem lies in that while I may satisfy the manufacturer (who provides the art director) the end client still has the option of rejecting my work. This situation is a total pain, and I've asked several times to talk to the end client so that I can meet their needs more directly (problem is, I believe, the manufacturer is re-selling my services to the end client at a higher price and don't want them finding out how much I actually charge).

This explanation also leads me to another problem, the client I'm talking about will call me and require services immediately, which I can usually provide. The problem is that they could hold back, I could shoot all the products at once, and they would save a ton, instead they want to send me 4 or 5 products a day, and expect the same final bill as if I shot all of the images at once. While they are a huge client and I absolutely can't fire them, I'm just not sure how to express to them that they need to hold up certain ends as well. I've trained and retrained them on this and it still winds up the same way.

In the end, I find it strange that this company is so worrisome about spending money as its always recouped, even if it wasn't, this is a mult-million dollar company that can afford it anyway. I suppose, in the end, we'll have to provide fully retouched images at a higher cost. It really does work out the same as far as billing goes for the one client, unfortunately all the clients will have to pay for it. In the end, this will probably drive me to outsourcing retouching to an outside firm.

"The Aggravation Factor." I like this, and have never considered it in my commercial photography billing. As part of my business, I provide wholesale fine art prints to businesses that then resale them. In all of my wholesale prices I include (the buyer's don't know this) a service charge for exactly the same reasons you gave. While it is definitely earned income its not easily billable on the invoice. More or less, a fee just for putting up with the people that are a real pain. I don't like charging everyone for something caused by only a few, but I just haven't found another way around it.

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