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Model
Erica Jay
Posts: 151
New York, New York, US


Just sent out my first cancellation fee request in three years of modeling. I am in Madrid and had a photogrpaher just flat out stand me up, after confirming our shoot the night before. Months of planning in advance.. He had my address, hotel phone #, and my email.

After waiting around for an afternoon, I sent him an email, an MM message and even used my hotel to make a call to him after half an hour of waiting, which cost me. I sent a follow up that night, asking if everything was okay and if there was an emergency, I would happily reschedule.

He didn't reply until tonight (the shoot was last week) - said he was "out of town" and didn't have Internet because of an "unexpected freelance job."

He cancelled on me with no notice at all, didn't reply to emails and wasted my day, plus a few Euros on a phone call.

Anyway, I sent a paypal request for 25% of the agreed upon rate, a nice long message about traveling models, our expenses and just basic etiquette to follow when setting up a shoot and canceling.

How many of you actually have luck with cancellation fees? When photographers are in the wrong, do they pay? It was my mistake not getting a deposit in hindsight but I have a very low record of cancellations.

Erica
Nov 02 13 07:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bare Essential Photos
Posts: 3,354
Upland, California, US


Pretty unlikely you're going to get the cancellation fee but it doesn't hurt to try.

The thing about asking for deposits from photographers for a place you say you'll be visiting is that after collecting about 3-4 deposits, you can use it to go on vacation to Hawaii with your bf or gfs. Most of us photographers know that and are wise not to give deposits to models.
Nov 02 13 07:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chuckarelei
Posts: 9,467
Seattle, Washington, US


I doubt if you will ever see your money. For someone just stood you up (we usually call that flake), I don't think he will have integrity to admit his wrong and compensate you.

Just mark it as a loss. That's the cost of doing business. It happens to every business.

Oh, and don't forget to blacklist him.
Nov 02 13 07:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Danielle Reid
Posts: 4,219
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


Doubt he'll ever pay you. Best to just chalk it up as a loss and never work with him again.
Nov 02 13 07:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
LightFeatherRetouch
Posts: 445
Bratislava, Bratislavsk√Ĺ, Slovakia


This could work better if you ask for a deposit ahead (if you actually get it or waste jobs instead, its a different thing, and should depend on the amount of work that you have available). If you believe the maths will favor you go ahead. I have seen the profiles of many high level models (top of the top) in Europe that do require them, note that I am talking about famous models.

My current guess is that if the guy disappeared and only replied after a few days is because he didn't give a s**t in the first place and will probably continue now.
Nov 02 13 07:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Erica Jay
Posts: 151
New York, New York, US


Nov 02 13 07:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Erica Jay
Posts: 151
New York, New York, US


Bare Essential Photos wrote:
Pretty unlikely you're going to get the cancellation fee but it doesn't hurt to try.

The thing about asking for deposits from photographers for a place you say you'll be visiting is that after collecting about 3-4 deposits, you can use it to go on vacation to Hawaii with your bf or gfs. Most of us photographers know that and are wise not to give deposits to models.

That is awful. I usually book locally- NYC- and traveling the Us hasn't been an issue for me as far as cancellations. I've never had to send one so I'm curious if flakes respect it.

Nov 02 13 07:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Jebbia
Posts: 27,614
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Can't models just write off cancellations like this as a loss on their taxes?

Clarification: Money lost as a result of a cancellation, hotel fees, airfare, etc.. I don't think you can write off the money that you weren't paid.
Nov 02 13 08:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
GRMACK
Posts: 1,936
Bakersfield, California, US


Happens.

Try doing a wedding at some church where you have the fotog booked, caterers, limo, MUAH, stylists, band, singer, and preacher all ready to go and the couple gets into a big fight an hour before and one runs out of the country, and all involved flake on everyone who expected to get paid that day.  Amazing what happens and it can total into the tens of thousands, but it does.

Big write-off is about all you can expect as they will most likely ignore you, especially being distant and in a foreign country both as it is too costly to pursue.

Even a "pre-pay" can end up in a flake somewhere.
Nov 02 13 08:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Danielle Reid
Posts: 4,219
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


John Jebbia wrote:
Can't models just write off cancellations like this as a loss on their taxes?

Clarification: Money lost as a result of a cancellation, hotel fees, airfare, etc.. I don't think you can write off the money that you weren't paid.

Seriously?

Nov 02 13 08:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Jebbia
Posts: 27,614
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Danielle Reid wrote:
Seriously?

Yep.. you guys do claim your earnings, don't you?

Nov 02 13 08:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ_In_Atlanta
Posts: 12,777
Atlanta, Georgia, US


John Jebbia wrote:
Can't models just write off cancellations like this as a loss on their taxes?

Clarification: Money lost as a result of a cancellation, hotel fees, airfare, etc.. I don't think you can write off the money that you weren't paid.

Those laws and rules are very specific and best left to an accountant, but unless the OP also had a work visa that may be a bad idea.

Nov 02 13 08:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Jebbia
Posts: 27,614
Phoenix, Arizona, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
Those laws and rules are very specific and best left to an accountant, but unless the OP also had a work visa that may be a bad idea.

Yeah. I made a mental note of the location of the shoot. My comment was more of a general statement.

Nov 02 13 08:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Danielle Reid
Posts: 4,219
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


John Jebbia wrote:

Yep.. you guys do claim your earnings, don't you?

Best to ask models that actually make money. My bills are paid by my not-so-legal job. I make under the minimum requirement to file taxes.

Nov 02 13 08:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Erica Jay
Posts: 151
New York, New York, US


GRMACK wrote:
Happens.

Try doing a wedding at some church where you have the fotog booked, caterers, limo, MUAH, stylists, band, singer, and preacher all ready to go and the couple gets into a big fight an hour before and one runs out of the country, and all involved flake on everyone who expected to get paid that day.  Amazing what happens and it can total into the tens of thousands, but it does.

Big write-off is about all you can expect as they will most likely ignore you, especially being distant and in a foreign country both as it is too costly to pursue.

Even a "pre-pay" can end up in a flake somewhere.

Wow! This person was very enthusiastic about working with me! I was a little upset! I usually don't forum post but felt compelled.

Nov 02 13 08:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Jebbia
Posts: 27,614
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Danielle Reid wrote:
Best to ask models that actually make money. My bills are paid by my not-so-legal job. I make under the minimum requirement to file taxes.

Huh?? Doesn't everyone need to file, regardless of what they make?

Nov 02 13 08:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Erica Jay
Posts: 151
New York, New York, US


Thanks everyone- learned my lesson! wink
Nov 02 13 08:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Danielle Reid
Posts: 4,219
Little Rock, Arkansas, US


John Jebbia wrote:

Huh?? Doesn't everyone need to file, regardless of what they make?

I'm not going to hi-jack this thread anymore. If you want to know then PM me

Nov 02 13 08:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Jebbia
Posts: 27,614
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I'm not hijacking it. My comments were on topic. I was offering a solution to cancelled paid shoots.
Nov 02 13 08:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Fletcher
Posts: 7,173
Norman, Oklahoma, US


I am shooting with a Model this week I paid for in advance.  She is traveling and incurring expenses so I find that quite reasonable.  I am trusting her reputation on here for her to show up.
Nov 03 13 05:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Tiffiney C
Posts: 570
Los Angeles, California, US


I collect the first hour in advance it keeps the cancellations to a minimum. It's less than likely the photographer will send a cancellation fee, there's no loss if he doesn't.

Tiffiney
www.tiffineyc.com
Nov 03 13 05:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Isaiah Brink
Posts: 2,101
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


Well, as somebody who's had his share of no call no shows, I know what it's like to be in your shoes.  I'd skip the cancelation fee, with this photographer, or any other one for that matter, because when it comes to freelance modeling and photographers, who's to say that either party will show up, be it the payer or the payee.  If I wanted to drop some money on a model with some sort of deposit, I'd just go with an agency model where I'd know that the model would show up, and if not, I'd get my money back.  As far as your end of things, there are generally red flags that somebody will not show.  Myself, I make sure to get their cell phone number prior to the day of the shoot so I can contact them directly, so if they are "out of town" then their phone still rings.  Nothing is really fool proof, it just stinks when it happens.
Nov 03 13 06:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Caitin Bre
Posts: 2,205
Naperville, Illinois, US


Erica Jay wrote:
Just sent out my first cancellation fee request in three years of modeling. I am in Madrid and had a photogrpaher just flat out stand me up, after confirming our shoot the night before. Months of planning in advance.. He had my address, hotel phone #, and my email.

After waiting around for an afternoon, I sent him an email, an MM message and even used my hotel to make a call to him after half an hour of waiting, which cost me. I sent a follow up that night, asking if everything was okay and if there was an emergency, I would happily reschedule.

He didn't reply until tonight (the shoot was last week) - said he was "out of town" and didn't have Internet because of an "unexpected freelance job."

He cancelled on me with no notice at all, didn't reply to emails and wasted my day, plus a few Euros on a phone call.

Anyway, I sent a paypal request for 25% of the agreed upon rate, a nice long message about traveling models, our expenses and just basic etiquette to follow when setting up a shoot and canceling.

How many of you actually have luck with cancellation fees? When photographers are in the wrong, do they pay? It was my mistake not getting a deposit in hindsight but I have a very low record of cancellations.

Erica

I have never even tried. I have only ever had to cancel a shoot one time for car troubles. Try and get a RV water pump in the middle of nowhere Idaho. Seen a mose in the road that was fun. But no one for miles. LOL It put me a day behind on my week.

Last year I drove 4 hours off my tour route to meet in Lake Tahoe for a 2 day shoot. talked to the photographer every day for weeks. day of shoot no show no call and haven't seen him on MM. I started to think he might have passed away.
I have had only a few other situations where I have been stood up. I chalk it up to they are flakes and maybe not who they say they are.

Please let me know if a cancellation fee works out for you.
I don't think they will pay it if they didn't even have the decency to even contact you or answer your calls.
I am thinking about a pre-shoot contract. Not sure how that will work out either.

Nov 03 13 06:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 27,322
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Erica Jay wrote:

That is awful. I usually book locally- NYC- and traveling the Us hasn't been an issue for me as far as cancellations. I've never had to send one so I'm curious if flakes respect it.

He didn't even show up or call you, he's got no intention of sending you any money.

Cancellation fees will basically never work unless you're working with someone youve already established a good long-standing relationship with, then they MIGHT pay a kill fee. First timers? Nope.

Deposits will also be difficult for you to get, because people are worried you're going to run off with their cash.

Your best bet if you really need some sort of travel insurance is to offer a deposit policy that isn't mandatory, but gives them an incentive.  If someone puts down a deposit, they get to pick any day any time out of your schedule and they go on the calendar in pen. People unwilling to put down a deposit still go on the calendar, but in pencil. If a guy willing to put down a deposit comes along and wants someone else's time slot, they get bumped, they should have put down a deposit. The chances that someone will make a deposit are slim, the chances they're going to want the exact day and time as someone else are slim, so you probably won't run into scheduling conflicts too often, but its there and maybe it will work sometimes, without scaring off your clients.

Nov 04 13 10:32 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Model
Koryn
Posts: 36,561
Boston, Massachusetts, US


It's pretty hard to get much of anything out of people - from deposits, to cancellation fees.

In fact, letting people know you expect those things is probably just going to hurt your chances of booking work.

Folks will assume you're "high maintenance" and just not schedule you at all.

The less you ask for, generally, the better.
Nov 04 13 03:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Mila Ringo
Posts: 1
Eureka, California, US


This is painful. I'm going through this right now, myself. a guaranteed shoot in response to a casting call for Saturday, everything booked and ready to go, and I'm writing the photographer emails asking to confirm. I can see that he's reading them and not responding. I'm traveling as well and he has effectively stranded me. I have no money and no way to get anywhere to make money. I can't even get his direct email address to send him a PayPal invoice. Short of driving to Modesto to find him and shake him down, I don't know what to do. Please let me know if you have any luck with your cancellation fees. If you find some other strategy that works I'd love to hear about it too.
Nov 08 13 12:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,209
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Sorry to hear that OP.

I think you've acted professionally and done everything you reasonably can.

I'd caution against wasting any more time on this person, whom is very unlikely to pay your cancellation fee, thereby preventing them from costing you even more money.
Nov 08 13 01:03 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Ashley Graham
Posts: 26,797
Los Angeles, California, US


John Jebbia wrote:

Huh?? Doesn't everyone need to file, regardless of what they make?

No. You only have to claim if you make over $600, I believe, from any company or person. You also have to declare anything that a company files taxes on as well. She could definitely write the whole trip off on her taxes. It's a job expense if she went for the reasoning to shoot while there. If she went on vacation and just worked once, then that could be questionable.

To the OP: He flaked. You're never going to see that money

Nov 08 13 06:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 18,022
Albany, New York, US


Erica Jay wrote:
I usually book locally- NYC- and traveling the Us hasn't been an issue for me as far as cancellations. I've never had to send one so I'm curious if flakes respect it.

He didn't respect you to give you any sort of a headsup that he picked up another job assignment that conflicted, I'm not sure why you'd think he'd respect the cancellation.

The only way I see you getting a cancellation fee is IF he acknowledge your policy prior to AND he still wanted to work with you in the future. Otherwise I honestly think you're going to be S.O.L. sad

Nov 08 13 06:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GoldRoseMedia
Posts: 2,938
NORTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, US


Ashley Graham wrote:
No. You only have to claim if you make over $600, I believe, from any company or person. You also have to declare anything that a company files taxes on as well.

What? The $600 number is only the cutoff for when the payer is required to file Form 1099-MISC. The IRS requires you to report all income from all sources, regardless of the amount.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Reporting-Miscellaneous-Income

This kind of attitude is exactly why my accountant advised me to file 1099s for all models, regardless of the amount paid.

Nov 08 13 06:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FlirtynFun Photography
Posts: 13,009
Houston, Texas, US


Personally if you hadn't ever worked with the person and you're traveling overseas to work, I see no problem in asking for a retainer/deposit. If they want to shoot you bad enough, they'll pay a fee up front.
Nov 08 13 06:38 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 27,322
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Mila Ringo wrote:
This is painful. I'm going through this right now, myself. a guaranteed shoot in response to a casting call for Saturday, everything booked and ready to go, and I'm writing the photographer emails asking to confirm. I can see that he's reading them and not responding. I'm traveling as well and he has effectively stranded me. I have no money and no way to get anywhere to make money. I can't even get his direct email address to send him a PayPal invoice. Short of driving to Modesto to find him and shake him down, I don't know what to do. Please let me know if you have any luck with your cancellation fees. If you find some other strategy that works I'd love to hear about it too.

Never travel without enough money to get home. You can't depend on people to pull through.

Nov 08 13 12:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RedrumCollaboration
Posts: 1,113
Los Angeles, California, US


Bare Essential Photos wrote:
The thing about asking for deposits from photographers for a place you say you'll be visiting is that after collecting about 3-4 deposits, you can use it to go on vacation to Hawaii with your bf or gfs. Most of us photographers know that and are wise not to give deposits to models.

What!?!?!?!? I take deposits from models when I travel and I have *never* ended up in Hawaii with my boyfriend.... just saying.

Nov 08 13 12:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


If he's going to blow you off like this, doesn't sound likely that he'll pay up.  People should pay cancellation fees, but good luck getting one. sad
Nov 08 13 12:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Solas
Posts: 9,486
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I feel for you Erica, but to be brutally honest I could probably afford to live for a year without doing anything in all the unpaid payments that are owed to me. sad It's one of those difficult things to do in any business, even if you go to court to get the $ back, there's hardly a guarantee they're actually going to show you the $ and when.

But maybe this photographer will respect the fee. Ideally, you should talk about it and get a contract in writing, even something short, that states your terms for cancellations. Repeat after me: It's not sold if it's not signed for.

That said, that on its own is a whole other ball game. Stay positive and best of luck smile
Nov 08 13 12:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 10,084
Santa Ana, California, US


Here are my suggestions:

- Confirm the day before and if you don't get a confirmation, don't go.

- Don't ask for a deposit, but have a short 'engagement agreement' that he agrees to before booking - it should include agreed rate and place and time and any cancellation fees - Also verbiage about accounts sent to collection, they are responsible for collection/attorney fees. This can easily be via email.

- 25% is generous

- Send him a formal invoice for the fee

- Create a relationship with a collection agency, so if your invoices are ignored you have a recourse.

All of this might not help you with this particular instance - but it will prepare you for the future. But don't request deposits.
Nov 08 13 12:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Solas
Posts: 9,486
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


J O H N  A L L A N wrote:
- Create a relationship with a collection agency, so if your invoices are ignored you have a recourse.

...never thought of that...hmm good idea.

Nov 08 13 12:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photo Bill
Posts: 275
Baltimore, Maryland, US


John Jebbia wrote:

Yep.. you guys do claim your earnings, don't you?

Oh my - that is funny!

Nov 08 13 04:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
IMAGINERIES
Posts: 645
New York, New York, US


So he is a flake..If he has any self respect he should conpensate you for your time and expenses...If he doe's not...I can only hope that many models will flake on him.
Nov 08 13 05:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Erica Jay
Posts: 151
New York, New York, US


UPDATE: I will actually be getting a cancellation fee from him, and an apology! So he says! Actually responded to my email!
Nov 11 13 09:34 am  Link  Quote 
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