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Model
Elizabeta Rosandic
Posts: 939
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


Can I take a moment to vent about photographers who try to haggle my rate AFTER the shoot?

It happened to me twice last week. It's so F'ing stressful. I get that some people are on a tight budget, but that's something to think about  BEFORE booking me for a shoot. I don't understand people who say "ok I can pay $X per hour" but then at the end of the shoot ask for a "break". If you couldn't pay my rate, don't hire me! Or negotiate with me prior to shooting!

Sorry for all the negativity guys. This just has been really pissing me off.

Models, please tell me I'm not alone here.

*Edit*- a lot of folks are asking if/telling me to check references, so I thought I should point out that I reference and vet the hell out of all of the photographers I work with. I don't work with anyone who can't provide an absolute minimum of 3 model references (though I prefer more). I also check out the rest of their internet presence (google, facebook, etc.) very thoroughly.
Sep 02 13 06:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,857
Albany, New York, US


Fret not, it happens on both sides of the camera.

I periodically will get a model who'll insist on getting the original-straight-out-of-the-camera pictures right then & there. Since I shoot on-location & don't bring my laptop with me, that sh*t ain't going to happen.

Another freaked out because I couldn't turn around the pictures within her "standard" 2 week time frame. 1- What is "standard" anyways? 2- She knew perfectly well I have a day-job, that sh*t comes first. 3- I let all my shoot marinate at least that long before I event THINK about editing. 4- Even if the 2 weeks was "standard" turnaround time, she didn't even give me that long. *sigh*

Or the bride who fired me 48-hours before her own wedding because I hadn't responded lickety-split & she thought I was ignoring her when I was actually in the mountains & didn't have reception.

For the most part though, these are unusual blips & not the norm.
Sep 02 13 06:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FlirtynFun Photography
Posts: 12,877
Houston, Texas, US


here's a suggestion...(this is what I do) my last email before a shoot to a model includes the location address, my contact information and the pay rate. I ask for a confirmation email in return. If she "forgets" and decides to try to renegotiate, I simply can forward a copy of the email or print it and show it to her.
Sep 02 13 06:40 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Elizabeta Rosandic
Posts: 939
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


FlirtynFun Photography wrote:
here's a suggestion...(this is what I do) my last email before a shoot to a model includes the location address, my contact information and the pay rate. I ask for a confirmation email in return. If she "forgets" and decides to try to renegotiate, I simply can forward a copy of the email or print it and show it to her.

The thing is though, it's not a matter of forgetting. I make it very clear what my rate is and confirm that the photographer is ok with that every time, so the paper trail is there. It's then after the shoot that they said "so can I pay this much instead?" knowing full well what we agreed upon for a rate.

Of course, when I say no, and that I expect to be paid in full, the excuses as to why they can't pay me for some reason start coming. Like I said, things to think about before the shoot. Sigh...

Sep 02 13 06:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steve Reganato
Posts: 1,680
New York, New York, US


I think the solution to your problem is very simple and straight forward: clearly state that you expect to be paid PRIOR to the shoot. This way you don't get taken advantage of. Once you've developed a working relationship with someone you can decide to relax that or not, but at first I would suggest this. And if no money appears, you go home and no shoot.
Another thing you could do is get something called Square, which attaches to your smartphone and allows you to take credit cards.
Here's a link with more info: https://squareup.com
Sep 02 13 07:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Odin Photo
Posts: 1,457
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


That is beyond unprofessional and unacceptable. That's like going to a mechanic, getting work done on credit, driving your car home and then saying you can't afford the work. You could make a policy to get paid before the shooting starts, but that comes with it's own set of challenges.

I'm not sure what the best solution is moving forward, except not to shoot with jerks. The trick is knowing who is and who isn't. I guess you could contact models they have worked with recently and inquire about that specifically.

Sorry you've had some bad experiences. I wish you better luck in the future and much success in work and life.
Sep 02 13 07:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BlueMoonPics
Posts: 3,937
New York, New York, US


I don't have any ideas for you but it does sound pretty crappy of them to try and pay less after you've done the shoot.  All I can think of is for you to spread the word to other models that this person did this and be wary.
Sep 02 13 07:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Abbitt Photography
Posts: 11,365
Oakland Acres, Iowa, US


I agree, that's unprofessional, but unfortunately that happens everywhere and is not unique to modeling.

In contrast to most freelance model,  private contractors and businesses typically don't get paid right when they finish their work, but invoice the customer.  Trying to collect sometimes means only getting a fraction of what was billed or possibly nothing at all.

Consider all the lawyer adds out there that advertise settling debt for only a fraction of what you owe.

You are not alone - many people have never get paid what they are due, or have to haggle to get what they are owed.
Sep 02 13 07:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GM Photography
Posts: 6,043
Olympia, Washington, US


Ask to be paid at the start of the shoot, or at least confirm your agreement with the photographer at the start of the shoot.  "Before we start, I'd like to revisit our agreement and confirm what we've agreed to, which was ______".  I can't imagine someone doing what you described, but if it's happening often enough that you need to vent about it, perhaps you need to change your business practices.
Sep 02 13 08:08 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Elizabeta Rosandic
Posts: 939
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


Steve Reganato wrote:
I think the solution to your problem is very simple and straight forward: clearly state that you expect to be paid PRIOR to the shoot. This way you don't get taken advantage of. Once you've developed a working relationship with someone you can decide to relax that or not, but at first I would suggest this. And if no money appears, you go home and no shoot.
Another thing you could do is get something called Square, which attaches to your smartphone and allows you to take credit cards.
Here's a link with more info: https://squareup.com

Good suggestions. I'm curious as to how many photographers would be ok with paying models before the shooting begins? Just seems like common practice to pay after.

Sep 02 13 08:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tommy Macabre
Posts: 92
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts, US


Good suggestions. I'm curious as to how many photographers would be ok with paying models before the shooting begins? Just seems like common practice to pay after.

I do all my haggling beforehand. once we have set a price that is what I pay and I always pay at the start because I dont want them wondering about. Works fine for me and if i go over i pay up at the end. I have even had models tell me not to worry about it after going over a half hour or so.
Sep 02 13 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Connor Photography
Posts: 6,373
Elkton, Maryland, US


Elizabeta Rosandic wrote:
Can I take a moment to vent about photographers who try to haggle my rate AFTER the shoot?

It happened to me twice last week. It's so F'ing stressful. I get that some people are on a tight budget, but that's something to think about  BEFORE booking me for a shoot. I don't understand people who say "ok I can pay $X per hour" but then at the end of the shoot ask for a "break". If you couldn't pay my rate, don't hire me! Or negotiate with me prior to shooting!

Sorry for all the negativity guys. This just has been really pissing me off.

Models, please tell me I'm not alone here.

Never..... 

However, I have send one home with some gas money in the last 6 years due to the misrepresentation of her ability and look.  Since then when in doubt, I ask for latest cell phone selfie before committing.

Sep 02 13 09:37 am  Link  Quote 
Model
P I X I E
Posts: 35,267
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Never happened to me. If anything, I had the opposite happen to me.
Sep 02 13 09:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,209
Salem, Oregon, US


i like to review the terms at the beginning of the shoot. that way we're all on the same page before shooting begins. if a model suddenly started haggling i would have the option to send her home or at least renegotiate the whole thing.

it's unprofessional to try to squeeze the talent like that. those are probably the same guys who try to coerce newbie models out of their clothes.
Sep 02 13 09:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,209
Salem, Oregon, US


i usually pay beforehand. just hand the model/mua an envelope of cash so it's done (and they don't have to stress about it) and i don't have to think about it. so far no problems with that approach.

Tommy Macabre wrote:
Good suggestions. I'm curious as to how many photographers would be ok with paying models before the shooting begins? Just seems like common practice to pay after.

Sep 02 13 09:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Connor Photography
Posts: 6,373
Elkton, Maryland, US


Tommy Macabre wrote:
Good suggestions. I'm curious as to how many photographers would be ok with paying models before the shooting begins? Just seems like common practice to pay after.

There are so many models on the internet, I don't bother with those who require prepay.  Unless she has a specific look that I need and has legitimate business license in my State, I don't want to bother.

Sep 02 13 09:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,743
Santa Ana, California, US


This is just nothing short of dishonest.
The best you can do is to try and vet the people you work with the best you can and then have your agreement in written form (like MM PM or email) and have it with you at the time of the shoot.
I understand that's a hassle, but if you've already run into this twice, you may have to.

Edit: Most importantly - stand your ground. Make it clear that this kind of tactic is unacceptable.
Sep 02 13 09:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Ackerman
Posts: 267
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


You're dealing with some real pieces of work.. You must get paid upfront from now on, this is so unfair! Fred
Sep 02 13 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,743
Santa Ana, California, US


Fred Ackerman wrote:
You're dealing with some real pieces of work.. You must get paid upfront from now on, this is so unfair! Fred

Unfortunately, that's poor advice. I for one, would never hire a model who demanded to be paid up front.

Sep 02 13 09:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,667
Houston, Texas, US


Elizabeta Rosandic wrote:
Can I take a moment to vent about photographers who try to haggle my rate AFTER the shoot?

It happened to me twice last week. It's so F'ing stressful. I get that some people are on a tight budget, but that's something to think about  BEFORE booking me for a shoot. I don't understand people who say "ok I can pay $X per hour" but then at the end of the shoot ask for a "break". If you couldn't pay my rate, don't hire me! Or negotiate with me prior to shooting!

Sorry for all the negativity guys. This just has been really pissing me off.

Models, please tell me I'm not alone here.

You are quite right to feel that way....

Sep 02 13 09:56 am  Link  Quote 
Model
P I X I E
Posts: 35,267
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


J O H N  A L L A N wrote:

Unfortunately, that's poor advice. I for one, would never hire a model who demanded to be paid up front.

What about half up front, half after?

Sep 02 13 10:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,209
Salem, Oregon, US


yeah, but in some cases i wonder if the guy would then just refuse to pay? life can be like chess. back and forth.

J O H N  A L L A N wrote:
Edit: Most importantly - stand your ground. Make it clear that this kind of tactic is unacceptable.

Sep 02 13 10:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art Silva
Posts: 8,940
Santa Barbara, California, US


Elizabeta Rosandic wrote:

Good suggestions. I'm curious as to how many photographers would be ok with paying models before the shooting begins? Just seems like common practice to pay after.

I wouldn't mind. The only thing is that things have to happen so fast when a model walks through the door that all that preparation and mindset flow sometimes gets disrupted when "business" is brought up and can put a unnecessary element in the creative flow.

I always develop a good trust and working energy where the business thing happens when the camera is put away at the end.
Besides, as a nude art photographer paying a naked model before she disrobes feels like my days of hiring escorts tongue

Sep 02 13 10:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,743
Santa Ana, California, US


P I X I E wrote:
What about half up front, half after?

I wouldn't do it. But then again, I wouldn't be trying to haggle terms at the end of the shoot either. I also don't shoot hourly; 1/2 and full day only: so when I'm paying an independent, I already know what the compensation is and brought the completed corporate check with me.

Sep 02 13 10:05 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Isis22
Posts: 2,315
Muncie, Indiana, US


P I X I E wrote:
Never happened to me. If anything, I had the opposite happen to me.

+1

Sep 02 13 10:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Laura Bello
Posts: 1,201
Rochester, New York, US


I think this is harder as a model because once the pictures are snapped the photographer has everything he wants and can easily try to talk you down in price cause it's not like you can get your pictures back.  As a photographer though if someone says 'oh I don't wanna pay that much' at the end of a shoot well then I'll just reply with 'well then you're not getting as any retouched images'. 

Way unprofessional though, sorry you had such a crummy experience.  I hate when people try to take advantage of my niceness like that.
Sep 02 13 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MoRina
Posts: 5,631
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


Are you checking references on people you shoot with?  I would think this would be something other models would mention if it happened to them.

The only time I have had someone ask for a break in the rate is if they want to keep shooting past the agreed-upon time - something like "hey, do you have time to stay an extra hour for x dollars?"

Most often, people pay me more than originally agreed upon, or at least round up a bit.  If people were trying to negotiate down after shoots, I would spend some time with a bit of self-analysis to see what I may be doing wrong. 

Most of the complaints photographers have about models center around a few common themes:  not showing up looking like what they represent in their portfolio, not showing up shoot-ready as agreed, arriving late, being hungover and/or suffering from lack of sleep, taking too many breaks or too-long breaks, being distracted by their cellphones, not bringing appropriate clothing/shoes/lingerie, or just being plain unpleasant to shoot.
Sep 02 13 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ThomasBlanchardFineArt
Posts: 215
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Collect your fee when signing your model release before any photos are taken.
Sep 02 13 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photeus Photography
Posts: 78
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Trying to renegotiate a rate is so unethical, it gives us all a bad name.   My only other advice is to withoId signing a release unless it states what your compensation amount is for the shoot. 

My preferance is to pay the model and sign releases at the end of the shoot. I also share the release in advance with the model. No signed release and no payment.  Either party can leave a shoot at any time if something goes badly.  Your complaint ranks right up there with a photog trying to turn a shoot into clothing optional when not previously discussed.

Good communication, get it in writing, check references, and I hope this reduces your liklihood to book with another chithead.

Best of luck and you are welcime here in DC anytime.
Sep 02 13 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Elizabeta Rosandic
Posts: 939
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


MoRina wrote:
Are you checking references on people you shoot with?  I would think this would be something other models would mention if it happened to them.

I reference and vet the hell out of all of the photographers I work with. I don't work with anyone who can't provide an absolute minimum of 3 model references (though I prefer more). I also check out the rest of their internet presence (google, facebook, etc.) very thoroughly.

Sep 02 13 10:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eralar
Posts: 1,778
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada


J O H N  A L L A N wrote:

I wouldn't do it. But then again, I wouldn't be trying to haggle terms at the end of the shoot either. I also don't shoot hourly; 1/2 and full day only: so when I'm paying an independent, I already know what the compensation is and brought the completed corporate check with me.

John, it is quite clear for anyone who follows the forums that you are an established professional photographer with a reputation.

If I was hiring an established professional model to try and upgrade my port, I wouldn't be insulted if she asked to be paid upfront, since I have no business / professional reputation, and doing mostly TF work, there are not many models to ask if she wants to investigate my paying history.

I believe models could work this out on a case by case basis, depending if the hiring photographer or talent is an established professional or just a hobbyist with a day job.

Sep 02 13 10:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steve Reganato
Posts: 1,680
New York, New York, US


J O H N  A L L A N wrote:

Unfortunately, that's poor advice. I for one, would never hire a model who demanded to be paid up front.

Why is that "unfortunately poor advice"? If she want's to have any chance at getting paid what was negotiated prior to the shoot, she needs to do something. I think researching who she's working with would certainly help, so there is  a level of responsibility there on her (or any models) part. If I was interested in working with a model and I was willing to pay, and she asks to be paid at the beginning of the shoot, before we actually start photography then I have to make a decision if she's worth it or not and if I do, then fine. The reason it's "poor advice" is because it allows her to have a say, to make her own terms rather than be told one thing and reneged upon etc or otherwise abused. Sure, there will be photographers who won't work with her, certainly she won't be working with you. But there will be those who will, including very good ones.

Sep 02 13 10:53 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Elizabeta Rosandic
Posts: 939
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


Eralar wrote:
I believe models could work this out on a case by case basis, depending if the hiring photographer or talent is an established professional or just a hobbyist with a day job.

I like that idea even better.

Sep 02 13 10:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MPM Photography
Posts: 16
Homewood, Illinois, US


Refusing to pay a model the previously agreed upon rate constitutes theft of services. Stand your ground and file a police report if the photographer doesn't pay you.
Sep 02 13 11:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Dozer
Posts: 540
La Quinta, California, US


I always sign the model release up front and pay at the end of the session.  Basic reason is that some times I go longer than expected (for more pay for the model) and a couple times we had to quit early due to medical issues with the models.  Going over the release ahead of time is important because some times, the model has not seen it before the shoot.

One thing that I do have is the financial arrangement spelled out in my model release - hourly rate and minimum time for the shoot.  That way, we both have it spelled out up front and in your case, if the photographer tries to short change you, you can show him the release as what he/she has agreed to pay you.  While it doesn't necessarily prevent this from happening, it is a sort of legal agreement that the photographer has signed before hand, and I would think that at least most photographers would hesitate violating the terms of that agreement.
Sep 02 13 11:13 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,599
Los Angeles, California, US


I have been doing this nearly a decade.  I have never had a single person haggle with me after a shoot. 

In my confirmation email (email confirming date, time, place), I always say:

"Please reiterate for me, your understanding of compensation agreed upon for this shoot."

It forces the photographer to plainly state, "I owe _____, for _____ hours."
Sep 02 13 11:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,569
Portland, Oregon, US


I'm sorry, if a rate is agreed upon before the shoot, someone must have balls the size of grape fruits to try to change what they are going to pay AFTER all the work is done.

Lousy that so many people behave so poorly and in ways that can reflect badly on all of us.
Sep 02 13 11:19 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,599
Los Angeles, California, US


Photeus Photography wrote:
Trying to renegotiate a rate is so unethical, it gives us all a bad name.   My only other advice is to withoId signing a release unless it states what your compensation amount is for the shoot. 

My preferance is to pay the model and sign releases at the end of the shoot. I also share the release in advance with the model. No signed release and no payment.  Either party can leave a shoot at any time if something goes badly.  Your complaint ranks right up there with a photog trying to turn a shoot into clothing optional when not previously discussed.

Good communication, get it in writing, check references, and I hope this reduces your liklihood to book with another chithead.

Best of luck and you are welcime here in DC anytime.

Release is always done at the end of the shoot, with me, as well. 

Like shaking hands after a business deal.

Here is your money, my good lady.  Oh, thank you ever so much!  Here's your release!

Sep 02 13 11:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,743
Santa Ana, California, US


Steve Reganato wrote:
Why is that "unfortunately poor advice"? If she want's to have any chance at getting paid what was negotiated prior to the shoot, she needs to do something. I think researching who she's working with would certainly help, so there is  a level of responsibility there on her (or any models) part. If I was interested in working with a model and I was willing to pay, and she asks to be paid at the beginning of the shoot, before we actually start photography then I have to make a decision if she's worth it or not and if I do, then fine. The reason it's "poor advice" is because it allows her to have a say, to make her own terms rather than be told one thing and reneged upon etc or otherwise abused. Sure, there will be photographers who won't work with her, certainly she won't be working with you. But there will be those who will, including very good ones.

No, that's not why it's poor advice.
It's poor advice because better photographers are unlikely to go for that kind of pay-up-front mentality and ostensibly a model wants to aim at working with the better photographers.
It also can reflect poorly on the model, as it can be indicative of her modeling 'mindset' and the clientele she's accustomed to dealing with.

Sep 02 13 11:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fotopfw
Posts: 786
Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands


BC Photo wrote:
Collect your fee when signing your model release before any photos are taken.

Indeed. Mostly everyone is paid upfront (model, MUA, stylist, hairdresser, me) and the business side is over. Then the fun begins!

Sep 02 13 11:33 am  Link  Quote 
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