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first123
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,781
Houston, Texas, US


Vampman Studios wrote:
I should mention that his band is no longer in Chicago, and the client just wants me to send the refund via paypal.

Well they have the product. are they willing to delete all the files and sign a statement that they will never EVER use any of the footage? Or the fee will be triple what they paid you originally.

  Kind of hard to take back what can easily be copied exactly..

BUT if you feel you didn't do your best.. ..but it sounds like you tried your best.... they got what they paid for.....

I'd deduct any expenses and send the rest back.. IF you feel they are legitimately not liking the work and you get a signed a statement that they are all take financial responsibility for any reproduction and/or publication of the images/video..

If you can't get an agreement. IN a timely manner.. don't refund the money.

oh my top of the page! smile

Feb 15 13 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,381
Portland, Oregon, US


Look, I'm just saying that this "arrangement" was amateur hour from the get-go:

...  No agreement documentation.
...  RAW files handed off.
...  No backup copy kept by the photographer.
...  No way for the photographer to prove that the images/video was his.
...  We are asked to believe that 9 minutes out of 140 were bad, but how
     does the photographer know this if he doesn't have the files?
...  No performance criteria or satisfaction guarantee documented.

I'm just saying the photographer should cut his loses, end the drama, and learn from his experience.  If he refuses to refund the guy's fee, well, that has the potential of prolonging the drama.

Finally, treating this "client" with disrespect also extends the drama and is (in my opinion) unprofessional.

But the OP is welcome to do whatever you want.  I'm guessing that the OP has already decided his course of action.
Feb 15 13 03:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vampman Studios
Posts: 358
Chicago, Illinois, US


Andrew Thomas Evans wrote:
Why not? If all you're getting paid to do was shoot footage then why step in and make it more work to edit that footage?

Plus, other than safety and backup, why would you need the footage if you got paid?




Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

I keep copies of all my work for my demo reel. Most of the footage was quite good, so it's a shame that I don't have a copy to put on the reel.

Feb 15 13 05:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,654
Salinas, California, US


Vampman Studios wrote:

Correct. My camera records 20 minute clips, then switches off and records another 20. It takes like 2 seconds to hit the on switch. And my camera card was a 16 Gig card. It's maximum recording capability is 100 minutes, I learned. I had to dump my files of the first set of his performance (90 minutes) onto his computer during the break (which he wasn't very happy with) to make room for the second set, which lasted 60 minutes.

Ok, I didn't know that he only paid you $120!  You did the right thing after all.  I know we didn't get his side of the story, but he sounds like a cheap SOB and got his money's worth! 

I just have a suggestion for you to think about though;  If you are going to continue to use that same camera ... then post some samples on Youtube (if you haven't already!)  so that people are able to see your video work and get an idea of what to expect.  another possible choice to make if you are going to continue to do more video work, is to purchase a couple more professional video cameras.  Put together a crew and get at least a two camera feed going so that you can greatly improve the quality of your videos.  Recording audio separately on pro equipment or hooking into their sound board to get a better audio is also advisable.  Go all out so that you can charge the big money or else you'll still be known as the cheap video guy!

Feb 15 13 06:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vampman Studios
Posts: 358
Chicago, Illinois, US


Patrick Walberg wrote:
Ok, I didn't know that he only paid you $120!  You did the right thing after all.  I know we didn't get his side of the story, but he sounds like a cheap SOB and got his money's worth! 

I just have a suggestion for you to think about though;  If you are going to continue to use that same camera ... then post some samples on Youtube (if you haven't already!)  so that people are able to see your video work and get an idea of what to expect.  another possible choice to make if you are going to continue to do more video work, is to purchase a couple more professional video cameras.  Put together a crew and get at least a two camera feed going so that you can greatly improve the quality of your videos.  Recording audio separately on pro equipment or hooking into their sound board to get a better audio is also advisable.  Go all out so that you can charge the big money or else you'll still be known as the cheap video guy!

Well, that's another thing... he did see my work. When I answered his ad I left a link to the video portion of my website, and a few days later he said my work was good and hired me for this gig.  The only thing about the videos I have... they're ALL edited. Not one of them is a raw file.

Feb 15 13 09:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Darren Brade
Posts: 2,778
London, England, United Kingdom


The only thing I see you doing wrong is not having a clearly defined contract up front and posting stories about your mistakes in a public domain. Both make you look very unprofessional.

It's not unheard of to provide raw footage for someone else to edit, and it's not unheard of to give all copies. It's all down to what you agree to before hand and what the client is willing to pay for.

From what you write here, sounds like you were being scammed. How will this look to future clients if they come across this thread?

Darren
www.Facebook.com/darrenbradephotography
Feb 16 13 12:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Light and Lens Studio
Posts: 1,362
Sisters, Oregon, US


Well, since there was no contract stating otherwise, you do own the copyright on the footage.  So, if the band uses the footage, then you might have some recourse legally.  The client sounds like a dirtbag and very likely most of what he makes from playing music goes up his nose, so there's probably nothing to recover if he pirates your video.

One good reason to attempt to recover the files from your card(s) is to prove ownership of the video. 

For the paltry amount they paid you for 2+ hours of work, plus the use of your equipment, don't refund them squat.  Sounds like you've already informed them that squat is what they are getting back -good. 

Yes, you made some errors.  As has been suggested, learn from them and move on.  You can't please everybody.  If your footage shows up, then you can make a decision as to whether it is worth going after them.   

I do a fair amount of video work for clients.  I never, ever, let them have raw footage.  They are told that upfront.
Feb 16 13 01:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,762
Miami Beach, Florida, US


It sounds like the client was expecting a videographer, and ended up with a still photographer that also does video.

I suspect the client wanted one continuous take.  This is easily possible on many video cameras.  It may not be possible on a still camera that does video.

Did you wait until you hit the 20 minute limit and then switch files, or did you watch the time and proactively switch between songs?   Having a 2 second loss of video between songs while the audience is clapping is not so bad.  Having a 2 second loss during a solo can make the song unusable.

As to audio volume, did you have an external microphone, or were you using the built-in mic on your camera?  An external mic typically yields better quality.


It sounds like there was a fundamental lack of pre-shoot communication.  There was a mis-match between what the client expected, and what you thought the client wanted.

One of the issues is that it isn't clear why the client wanted the video.  If the client just wants to review the concert so he can improve his performance, then your deliverables sound acceptable.  If he is putting concert video on a web site, making a music video, or wants archive footage for a big screen retrospective (after the band makes it big), then your footage may be lacking.

I am assuming you have no paperwork signed with the client.  I assume the client wants to be able to publicly display the footage.

Why not offer a compromise.  Offer to wave your shooting fee and apply the money already paid to a usage license for the footage.  Without paperwork, you may be the copyright owner.  Even though the client is in possession of the only copies, he may need additional permission from you to put the footage on his web site.
Feb 16 13 05:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,868
Olivet, Michigan, US


BrunetteGrenade wrote:
Edit the video

He doesn't have it.  They deleted the files from his computer when they took them.

Feb 16 13 09:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,868
Olivet, Michigan, US


Erlinda wrote:
The whole point of someone hiring a person to video tape anything for them is because they believe that means there will be no mistakes.

When a client pays me to shoot a campaign I don't make any mistakes. Sure we are all humans and we aren't perfect but thats why we practice so when the real clients come around we don't fuck up.

I would recommend having a contract with someone next time you do something like this. As well as asking your client to send you over the video so you can edit it for free of charge and thats as far as you'll go.

Good luck!,
E

You "don't MAKE any mistakes"???  Or you don't DELIVER any mistakes?  If the client took the card at the end of your shoot, all images would be perfect?

Feb 16 13 09:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shon D.- Homme
Posts: 3,196
Virginia Beach, Virginia, US


Chain Reaction wrote:

I'm all for keeping the customer happy, but the more details I hear about this the more I think I'd politely tell him to go fuck himself. You delivered exactly what he asked for. Our business is concluded.

This.

Feb 16 13 06:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mask Photo
Posts: 1,398
Fremont, California, US


Vampman Studios wrote:
The client paid me $120.00 I have shot orchestra concerts a few times, but they always had me edit the footage and give them the final product. This guy didn't want any edits done, just the raw files.

I'm going to channel zack arias here for a minute.

$120 is absolutely chicken feed. Musicians go on and on about how they're broke all the time, and need work done cheaply, all while lugging around kit that costs $5k-$20k. Musicians have plenty of money; they just refuse to spend it on intangibles.

$120 for a bunch of raw footage is literally the cheapest deal i've ever heard of. Ignore him and move on. What's he going to buy if you refund him? One dinner for him and his band???

Feb 17 13 02:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mask Photo
Posts: 1,398
Fremont, California, US


KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
Well they have the product. are they willing to delete all the files and sign a statement that they will never EVER use any of the footage? Or the fee will be triple what they paid you originally.

or, you know, just recover the footage from the card, register it with the copyright office, refund the money, and then sue the everloving shit out of them when they do use it?

Feb 17 13 02:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mask Photo
Posts: 1,398
Fremont, California, US


KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
Well they have the product. are they willing to delete all the files and sign a statement that they will never EVER use any of the footage? Or the fee will be triple what they paid you originally.

or, you know, just recover the footage from the card, register it with the copyright office, refund the money, and then sue the everloving shit out of them when they do use it?

Feb 17 13 02:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
terrysphotocountry
Posts: 4,094
Rochester, New York, US


Vampman Studios wrote:
I should mention that his band is no longer in Chicago, and the client just wants me to send the refund via paypal.

Sorry No Pay Pal!

Feb 17 13 02:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,743
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


In addition to the ones already posted, I think an additional mistake you made was letting your storage cards out of your hands. When I'm on a shoot, the only time my cards leave my hands is when -MY- assistant stores them. That's it. End of discussion.

The fact that you allowed your cards to leave your possession and allowed this cheapo client to remove files and delete your cards is inexcusable on your part. If your arrangement was for you to deliver the RAW files of the shoot, then you should have burned them on a DVD from your laptop with the cards never leaving your possession.
Feb 17 13 06:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Moore Photo Graphix
Posts: 5,288
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Another example of a client being pennywise but pound foolish! Also, don't let others have access to your memory card.
Feb 17 13 09:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,781
Houston, Texas, US


Mask Photo wrote:

or, you know, just recover the footage from the card, register it with the copyright office, refund the money, and then sue the everloving shit out of them when they do use it?

If you're looking for a SURE way to get bad press about your business..just sue one client.  It doesn't matter who is in the right.

Feb 17 13 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mask Photo
Posts: 1,398
Fremont, California, US


KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:

If you're looking for a SURE way to get bad press about your business..just sue one client.  It doesn't matter who is in the right.

completely false, disingenuous, and borderline infantile. else nobody would ever enforce copyright. The only bad press you'll get are to the scumbag client's drinking buddies, and you don't really want them as clients, either.

Feb 17 13 09:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mask Photo
Posts: 1,398
Fremont, California, US


dp
Feb 17 13 09:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rick Dupuis Photography
Posts: 6,822
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada


If you bought a 60 inch LED TV from Walmart, and then called them and said you wanted your money back, they would probably ask you for the television. If you said you lost it, do you think they'd give you your money back?

Personally I wouldn't have taken the job because I have zero experience in shooting concerts. I may have offered to be a second shooter just to get the experience though. But no way would anyone get the only copy of the footage and they wouldn't get unedited stuff. That said, you only get refunds when you return something.
Feb 18 13 09:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,762
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Rick Dupuis Photography wrote:
If you bought a 60 inch LED TV from Walmart, and then called them and said you wanted your money back, they would probably ask you for the television. If you said you lost it, do you think they'd give you your money back?

Personally I wouldn't have taken the job because I have zero experience in shooting concerts. I may have offered to be a second shooter just to get the experience though. But no way would anyone get the only copy of the footage and they wouldn't get unedited stuff. That said, you only get refunds when you return something.

The client bought a service, not a product.  Generally, services cannot be returned.

If you hired someone to paint your house, and they did a bad job, you would expect your money back.  It would be unreasonable for them to demand the paint back before giving you a refund.

Feb 18 13 10:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,654
Salinas, California, US


Moore Photo Graphix wrote:
Another example of a client being pennywise but pound foolish! Also, don't let others have access to your memory card.

Quite true on both counts!

Feb 18 13 10:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sleepy Weasel
Posts: 4,593
Castle Rock, Colorado, US


Still waiting to hear if OP tried to recover the files from his cards. It's been suggested multiple times, but in case I haven't seen it, he hasn't even addressed the suggestion yet, which would help rectify this situation for himself.
Feb 18 13 11:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A S Photography
Posts: 1,216
Newark, Delaware, US


Sleepy Weasel wrote:
Still waiting to hear if OP tried to recover the files from his cards. It's been suggested multiple times, but in case I haven't seen it, he hasn't even addressed the suggestion yet, which would help rectify this situation for himself.

The most he would be able to recover would be the second set (one hour):

Vampman Studios wrote:
Correct. My camera records 20 minute clips, then switches off and records another 20. It takes like 2 seconds to hit the on switch. And my camera card was a 16 Gig card. It's maximum recording capability is 100 minutes, I learned. I had to dump my files of the first set of his performance (90 minutes) onto his computer during the break (which he wasn't very happy with) to make room for the second set, which lasted 60 minutes.

It appears that the OP only used one card.  He recorded the first set (90 minutes), transferred the contents to the customer's computer, clearing his card in the process, and then used the same card for the second set.

Feb 18 13 11:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vampman Studios
Posts: 358
Chicago, Illinois, US


Sleepy Weasel wrote:
Still waiting to hear if OP tried to recover the files from his cards. It's been suggested multiple times, but in case I haven't seen it, he hasn't even addressed the suggestion yet, which would help rectify this situation for himself.

I had a shoot the next day and since I thought the footage was gone (the little sub-folder icon was missing from the D5100 camera card folder) I reformatted the camera card to get the space back. That was BEFORE I knew the footage could be recovered. My bad. (Or is it?)

Feb 23 13 03:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio 277
Posts: 131
WINSTON SALEM, North Carolina, US


Thyronne wrote:
Don't know what to tell you about the refund, but if you keep the $120, invest it in another card or two.  If you refund it, invest in another card or two.

This may well be the very best advise offered in this thread. Not sure why anyone shooting anything professional would ever shoot anything with just one card in their possession. And a 16GB card at that.

Invest in a few more cards.

Feb 24 13 04:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photographe
Posts: 2,350
Bristol, England, United Kingdom


Sometimes you have to take control...

clients being impatient and wanting raw footage, that's their mistake. If they had paid you properly and waited for decent edited footage, they would have no complaint. As far as I can see you were dealing with someone who thought he knew better than the professional, as a result he got exactly what he asked for.
Feb 24 13 06:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rick Dupuis Photography
Posts: 6,822
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada


Michael Fryd wrote:

The client bought a service, not a product.  Generally, services cannot be returned.

If you hired someone to paint your house, and they did a bad job, you would expect your money back.  It would be unreasonable for them to demand the paint back before giving you a refund.

True enough.

Feb 24 13 06:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rick Dupuis Photography
Posts: 6,822
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada


Vampman Studios wrote:

I had a shoot the next day and since I thought the footage was gone (the little sub-folder icon was missing from the D5100 camera card folder) I reformatted the camera card to get the space back. That was BEFORE I knew the footage could be recovered. My bad. (Or is it?)

Do I understand this correctly: you only take one card to a shoot?

Feb 24 13 06:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,470
Los Angeles, California, US


You got paid for your time . . . . . forget everything else

You don't owe them a cent

KM
Feb 24 13 07:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,819
Imperial, California, US


I'd tell him to piss up a rope!! $120.00 is barely worth your time alone.
Feb 24 13 07:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JM Collins Photography
Posts: 13
Mabank, Texas, US


Orca Bay Images wrote:
I agree with others who say this is likely a case of the customer trying to get the product for free.

Doesn't copyright come into play here, was he given a copyright release, if not I wouldn't think he could use it.

Feb 24 13 07:15 pm  Link  Quote 
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