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Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?
Nov 26 12 09:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bryan Benoit
Posts: 2,101
Miami, Florida, US


If you started to work on an image before you get notified I think that at the very least you should be paid in full for any work started..
Nov 26 12 09:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,612
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?

You need to start collecting a 50% retainer (NEVER a "deposit") before you ever start the work. If they really want to work with you, they'll pay it. If not, you've weeded them out as a looky-loo. It's a win/win for you and a complete solution to your issue.

Nov 26 12 09:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Is this a common practice among retouchers?
Nov 26 12 09:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,440
Los Angeles, California, US


What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?
Nov 26 12 09:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,612
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Abe Rempel wrote:
Is this a common practice among retouchers?

For those who start the work for free? Yes. For those who collect a retainer, no.

Nov 26 12 09:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Could you elaborate?

Nov 26 12 09:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Digital Artist
Koray
Posts: 6,685
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?

I'm sure I would get brigged if I wrote that tongue

Nov 27 12 12:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,923
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


Get a deposit before you start any work.
Nov 27 12 12:29 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ovidiu Oltean
Posts: 179
Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania


Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?

try to work with 50% payment before, 50% after, works better in those kind of cases.

Nov 27 12 12:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
richy01
Posts: 153
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands


fully agree, for our photoshootassignments we ask a 50% downpayment or startingfee. If someone doesn't show up without a medical reason, it pays for our time.
In your case...I guess you work with a contract/emailconfirmation for your clients?
Then the client is obliged by law to pay the work
Nov 27 12 02:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,769
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain


Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?

Never had that happen...aside from the obvious solution (get a deposit), have you asked them why they back out when you are halfway through?

The first rule of business is to give clients what they want, and charge accordingly. if you agreed on the rate and got the go ahead to begin the work i'll assume they don't have a problem with your price. That leaves your work...

Start there. Find out if it's your work that is the issue and then work backwards.

Nov 27 12 06:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J Welborn
Posts: 2,552
Clarksville, Tennessee, US


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?

+1

Nov 27 12 06:54 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Stephanie M Retoucher
Posts: 276
Portland, Maine, US


Yes, I've had it happen before, but only on a small job (less than $50). We agreed on price, they sent a few photos, I started working on them. I billed them and then they sent me a message saying they went with someone else and wouldn't pay me even though I already finished the work.

Great... thanks...

For big projects I get payment up front. Never had a problem with that before.

For smaller projects like above, it depends, but generally I still just do the work, send a proof, then collect payment before sending a final high res copy. There's always the chance I'll be burned again, but since it's only happened once in my time doing retouching I'll continue to take the chance.
Nov 27 12 09:21 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


I guess I know better than to be so trusting next time.
Nov 27 12 02:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,857
Santa Ana, California, US


Send them an invoice for what work you've done.
If they refuse to pay, send them to collection.
Your contract should have a provision that the client pays all collection costs if you have to send their account to collection. You do have a services contract or engagement letter, right?
Nov 27 12 02:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


John Allan wrote:
Send them an invoice for what work you've done.
If they refuse to pay, send them to collection.
Your contract should have a provision that the client pays all collection costs if you have to send their account to collection. You do have a services contract or engagement letter, right?

No, I do not. I am working on one.

I have sent them the invoice, but I feel like I'm going to be ignored. Oh well, lesson learned.

Nov 27 12 02:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kelli Sweet
Posts: 123
PLAYA DEL REY, California, US


Does anyone have an example of a retouching service contract or engagement letter?  I need one myself.
Nov 27 12 10:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KA Style
Posts: 1,583
Syracuse, New York, US


Get a contract and a retainer.
Nov 28 12 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,021
Portland, Oregon, US


Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?

Consider getting the photographer to sign a service contract which has a clause covering premature cancellation.

Nov 28 12 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JKevinBallard
Posts: 1
Roswell, New Mexico, US


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?

Kinda uncool thing to say. Seems like a legitimate question from someone seeking advice (he said he was still relatively new to it). A simple bit of advice rather than a snarky comment would have been much more productive. I know where NOT to go for advice around here... SMH...

Nov 28 12 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


If I understand this right you weren't charging anything for those jobs. So they really weren't jobs at all.

IF you produced something they liked, great, but there is no investment by the photographer, financial or otherwise.

If you're doing it for free, that's the value that's applied to the service. No different than if a photographer sent an image to three of his buddies and said, "take a crack at these" (actually, much like the Digital Retouching forum where someone posts images and then everybody shares their work). There is no commitment to one person.

You look at it as being hired. But there is no written agreement and no compensation so it's not likely the person providing the image feels the same.
Nov 28 12 09:29 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
If I understand this right you weren't charging anything for those jobs. So they really weren't jobs at all.

IF you produced something they liked, great, but there is no investment by the photographer, financial or otherwise.

If you're doing it for free, that's the value that's applied to the service. No different than if a photographer sent an image to three of his buddies and said, "take a crack at these" (actually, much like the Digital Retouching forum where someone posts images and then everybody shares their work). There is no commitment to one person.

You look at it as being hired. But there is no written agreement and no compensation so it's not likely the person providing the image feels the same.

I was not doing the work for free. The client and I agreed on a price, and then they sent me the images to work on. I just didn't ask for a retainer/deposit or have a contract, so I wasted my time working on an image that they ended up not wanting.

JKevinBallard wrote:
Kinda uncool thing to say. Seems like a legitimate question from someone seeking advice (he said he was still relatively new to it). A simple bit of advice rather than a snarky comment would have been much more productive. I know where NOT to go for advice around here... SMH...

If it makes him feel superior, than let him say what he pleases. As long as it makes him happier about himself, I'm happy for him. smile

Nov 28 12 09:33 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Mike Needham Retouching
Posts: 369
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


It's a no brainer. Personally I ask for a 1/3 upfront with the balance being settled before high-res are delivered.
Nov 28 12 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Peano
Posts: 4,106
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

--- Sherlock Holmes

Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times ...

How many times?

... have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, ...

What, exactly, did they ask you to do? Copy and paste a few email exchanges in which you received these requests and responded.

... only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher.

Quote one or two of these emails.

We agreed on rates and dates,

Again, emails, please. "Data, Watson! I must have data!"

http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/8824/holmesh.jpg

Nov 28 12 05:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


I really do not want to quote the client directly. I know what to do to prevent this from now on, and I've already implemented the suggested methods on some new clients. I won't let this happen again.
Nov 28 12 07:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LMG Images
Posts: 673
Nashville, Tennessee, US


In my past life, I built websites.  I had to get 50% upfront.
Nov 28 12 08:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
bgcfoto
Posts: 5,442
Largo, Florida, US


JKevinBallard wrote:

Kinda uncool thing to say. Seems like a legitimate question from someone seeking advice (he said he was still relatively new to it). A simple bit of advice rather than a snarky comment would have been much more productive. I know where NOT to go for advice around here... SMH...

Not really uncool at all. The questions is very valid.  The OP stated the following "Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher."

OP states "too many times" 

I do design work on a regular basis for many different industries. I promise you it is not for $50 bucks here and there. In my 12 year professional run, I will have never stated the above quote the op stated. I have been lucky with great clients and probably just jinxed myself.  If the OP had experienced this as a one off deal then he may never have posted here.  Since it seams to be "too many times", I can completely understand Kens question for intro/extro-spection of how the op is handling affairs.

Nov 28 12 08:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


bgcfoto wrote:

Not really uncool at all. The questions is very valid.  The OP stated the following "Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher."

OP states "too many times" 

I do design work on a regular basis for many different industries. I promise you it is not for $50 bucks here and there. In my 12 year professional run, I will have never stated the above quote the op stated. I have been lucky with great clients and probably just jinxed myself.  If the OP had experienced this as a one off deal then he may never have posted here.  Since it seams to be "too many times", I can completely understand Kens question for intro/extro-spection of how the op is handling affairs.

It's only happened to me about 3 times. Even the first time was too many times. This happens because I get a lot of work from lower end clients who are looking for the lowest rates.

The way I treat my clients is something I am very proud of, and I am equally as proud of the work I produce for them. However, I understand how tempting it is to assume there is something wrong with the new guy. I am not by any means new to retouching, just new to retouching for pay.

Nov 29 12 06:16 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Paul Snyder
Posts: 87
Columbus, Ohio, US


I've had this happen once or twice before, not exactly in the same circumstances though.

However, I sent them my completed work in a sample anyway, and just sent it to them to see if they liked it.  If they did, I told them upon payment I could send them the high res versions. 

I received payment both times. 

Sometimes you just gotta be better than the guy they left you for wink Make them see what they're missing out on. 

I do agree with a lot of the other advice provided in this thread though.
Nov 29 12 06:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
terrysphotocountry
Posts: 4,062
Rochester, New York, US


Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?

Get a deposit before you even start the job the next time!

Nov 29 12 07:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


We agreed on price and she told me "Ok. Here is the link to the raw file. Can't wait to see what you come up with" and once I told her I was getting started she said "Thank you. Unfortunately I decided to go with another retoucher for this photo. I am sorry for the inconvience."

I had asked the person to pay me a measly $5 for the work that I did, and they ignored and blocked me on ModelMayhem. Unbelievable. I only sent them one message and an invoice.
Nov 29 12 09:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Stephanie M Retoucher
Posts: 276
Portland, Maine, US


Abe Rempel wrote:
We agreed on price and she told me "Ok. Here is the link to the raw file. Can't wait to see what you come up with" and once I told her I was getting started she said "Thank you. Unfortunately I decided to go with another retoucher for this photo. I am sorry for the inconvience."

I had asked the person to pay me a measly $5 for the work that I did, and they ignored and blocked me on ModelMayhem. Unbelievable. I only sent them one message and an invoice.

$5!?

For that low, I would hope you're only doing some color correction or something else that takes just a few minutes to do.

My experience is that people who are looking for something on the cheap are often not worth the trouble. They don't value what you do and so you end up situations like that, where they drop you like a bad habit and refuse to pay for any services rendered.

Pick better clients.

Nov 30 12 09:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
richy01
Posts: 153
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands


Abe Rempel wrote:
We agreed on price and she told me "Ok. Here is the link to the raw file. Can't wait to see what you come up with" and once I told her I was getting started she said "Thank you. Unfortunately I decided to go with another retoucher for this photo. I am sorry for the inconvience."

I had asked the person to pay me a measly $5 for the work that I did, and they ignored and blocked me on ModelMayhem. Unbelievable. I only sent them one message and an invoice.

Just name the MMmember here...let's see what is their side of the story...If it happened 3 times to you it is 2 times to many imho.

Dec 01 12 01:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harold Rose
Posts: 2,925
Calhoun, Georgia, US


Abe Rempel wrote:
Too many times have I had photographers contact me to do retouches for them, only to tell me in the middle of the job to forget it because they have decided to go with another retoucher. We agreed on rates and dates, and they sent me the images to work on, so I just don't get it. I assume this is because they have found someone who will do it for cheaper, but I find it so frustrating and unprofessional.

I just allow them to drop me, because I don't know what else to do. I have only begun charging for retouches a few months ago, so I'm still fresh to this.

I just need some advice on what to do. Do you have any experiences with something similar to this?

I do not hire outside retouchers,   first of all I have not found any that can read my mind,   the photo may change in needs as the work progresses...

You say that this happens often?    Maybe there is a message there... I would guess that the final  would not be PRICE

Dec 01 12 01:20 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Harold Rose wrote:
I do not hire outside retouchers,   first of all I have not found any that can read my mind,   the photo may change in needs as the work progresses...

You say that this happens often?    Maybe there is a message there... I would guess that the final  would not be PRICE

It's happened probably 3 times. It doesn't make sense to me that people keep saying it must do with my communication skills or retouching abilities. The clients and I discuss price, dates, etc and then they tell me that they can't wait to see the retouched image. Why would they suddenly tell me later that they no longer need my services? It's obvious that they've found someone else, may it be because they prefer their retouching style or they're cheaper.

Like I said, it doesn't matter now. I have implemented the 50% deposit, and everything is going beautifully. This was entirely the fault of a client who decided to switch after they told me to start, not the result of bad communication.

richy01 wrote:

Just name the MMmember here...let's see what is their side of the story...If it happened 3 times to you it is 2 times to many imho.

Are we even allowed to single out other MM members? I'd really rather not.

Just to clarify, this has only happened ONCE with the client that I am talking about.

Dec 01 12 09:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,723
El Segundo, California, US


Moderator Warning!

richy01 wrote:
Just name the MMmember here...let's see what is their side of the story...I

No. Do not.

Site-Wide Behavior Rules wrote:
We refer to publicly calling out people for bad behavior as outing. Regardless of where it happened, we don't allow it here.

Dec 01 12 01:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ashish Arora
Posts: 2,061
Delhi, Delhi, India


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?
Koray wrote:
I'm sure I would get brigged if I wrote that tongue

I was actually gonna say that but I stopped. Thank you Ken! big_smile

Seriously, you need to think about it for a minute - Yes, it happens with some people, some odd times, but you should not out it in the open - can be harmful..... smile

Dec 03 12 12:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EdwardKristopher
Posts: 3,353
Tempe, Arizona, US


Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?

:-)

Dec 03 12 12:30 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Abe Rempel
Posts: 96
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Ashish Arora wrote:

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
What does this tell you about either your work, or how you treat clients ?

I was actually gonna say that but I stopped. Thank you Ken! big_smile

Seriously, you need to think about it for a minute - Yes, it happens with some people, some odd times, but you should not out it in the open - can be harmful..... smile

I did not out anyone, even after I was asked to. I had a reoccurring issue, and I needed some advice. That is all.

Thank you so much to those on this forum who are kind and helpful. I really appreciate it.

Dec 03 12 02:58 pm  Link  Quote 
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