Help - advice needed please

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Help - advice needed please

I posted this on ILP as well but I'm not sure if I'll get much response over there or if it might get closed for being business-y related (even though I'm not sure it is). I'd appreciate you're help here as well though.
Thanks in advance!

A while ago I shot a boudoir photo session for a couple of women (they were doing it for their husbands as gifts). I am not charging for anything. I spent about 5 and a half hours with them in a hotel taking over 400+ images each. In the end I gave them each a CD with about 25 images. All of this is FREE! They were both ecstatic about the images, their husbands LOVED them and they've been so kind with feedback, referrals, etc. The problem I'm having now, is the one girl wants all of her images! ALL OF THEM! Like all 400+ of them! I don't feel that this is fair to me. I didn't charge her anything and right from the get go I told her what I would offer for free - the session and the 25 edited high resolution images on CD. I don't have the time or the desire to edit all 400+ images and to be honest obviously JSO I don't have 400 images that are good enough to give her.

What do I do? I told her I'd get back to her about it and that I'd probably charge her extra for any more edits. She seemed okay with this but now I have no idea if I should have even mentioned it too her. Should I have just told her flat out no she got what she gets? Should I give her the extra images? Just some of them? Do I charge her for each extra edited image? What do I charge etc.

What do I do!?!?! Help please!

Thanks for any advice you can give me. I really appreciate it!

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You tell her no. This is what the contracts are there to help prevent, so in the future I really recommend you use one.

Tell her that it is part of your job as the artist to select the images that best represent your work and that you're sorry, but that is all she can have.

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Personally I would tell her that she can't have them. That you agreed to 25 and that is what you gave her. I would not give her sub-standard pics with your name attached. Plus if you ever do start a business in the future, you do not want this to be your standard practice. And word always has a way of getting around. Is this a good friend? If you aren't working with people really close to you, I would definitely come up with a contract. It will save you grief in the future.

I actually would have just told her that the unedited pics aren't archived and called it a day but if you told her that you have them you will have to be more direct.

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"AmberBella" wrote:

You tell her no. This is what the contracts are there to help prevent, so in the future I really recommend you use one.

Tell her that it is part of your job as the artist to select the images that best represent your work and that you're sorry, but that is all she can have.

I get that now! I just assumed (obviously a bad assumption) because I wasn't charging for any of these photo shoots I've been doing I didn't need a contract. Boy was I wrong! I know now that I definitely need one!

I've been working on writing up a contract but the excessive e-mails from her about the images has been driving me crazy. I've tried to think of different ways to deal with it but I'm just not sure.

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"stampasaurus" wrote:

Personally I would tell her that she can't have them. That you agreed to 25 and that is what you gave her. I would not give her sub-standard pics with your name attached. Plus if you ever do start a business in the future, you do not want this to be your standard practice. And word always has a way of getting around. Is this a good friend? If you aren't working with people really close to you, I would definitely come up with a contract. It will save you grief in the future.

I actually would have just told her that the unedited pics aren't archived and called it a day but if you told her that you have them you will have to be more direct.

The highlighted text is exactly what I'm worried about. I don't want her to have the images - post them on her blog/FB and attach my name to it if they aren't the best I can do. I just really don't understand why should would even want them. I told her the ones I gave her were the best of the set and she just keeps persisting that she wants them ALL!

She actually isn't a friend. She contacted me from another mommy board I'm part of and I had never met her or her friend, so it's totally my stupidity for not having a contract.

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I personally would draft a contract for additional services and agree to providing pictures for a fee per picture and have her look at thumbnail files of the pics and have pic which ones she is willing to pay for, just like any other professional photographer - at least in our area. Check in your area what the going rates are per size and go with that. Make sure she pays a down payment before doing any work. To me, what you did is no different than a gift certificate for a package deal. If's she's not willing to pay your fee, no deal.

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"Beertje" wrote:

I personally would draft a contract for additional services and agree to providing pictures for a fee per picture and have her look at thumbnail files of the pics and have pic which ones she is willing to pay for, just like any other professional photographer - at least in our area. Check in your area what the going rates are per size and go with that. Make sure she pays a down payment before doing any work. To me, what you did is no different than a gift certificate for a package deal. If's she's not willing to pay your fee, no deal.

If she does this, she is running a business and needs to have all the licenses and tax ids in place. I would not do that. Plus I don't know of any professional photographer who provides the "outtakes" for review.

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In our area, they print them all off in thumbnail size or slightly larger on plain paper and consider them their proofs to review. That ensures they can not be recopied. To have one contract would not substantiate it to be a business for tax purposes. IRS would consider it to be a hobby at this point, but would still be considered reportable income.

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"Beertje" wrote:

In our area, they print them all off in thumbnail size or slightly larger on plain paper and consider them their proofs to review. That ensures they can not be recopied. To have one contract would not substantiate it to be a business for tax purposes. IRS would consider it to be a hobby at this point, but would still be considered reportable income.

Then what happens when the other 3 want the same treatment and she has 4 contracts...

I just wouldn't open that can of worms. And you are saying they provide 100's of unedited proofs for review?

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Yeah they do, just did senior pics and family pics this past year with different photographers. Please refer to the advice IRS gives with hobby vs business: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=172833,00.html

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I'd have to agree with the others.You don't want to put your name on photos that are not the quality you know you can provide. Why would she want the outtakes and oof pics anyway? Tell her you gave her the best from the shoot and you don't keep the ones that aren't showable.

"AmberBella" wrote:

You tell her no. This is what the contracts are there to help prevent, so in the future I really recommend you use one.

So should the contract specifically state how many photos the client will be given, a ballpark figure or simply that "client will recieve the best images from the shoot" kinda thing? I have a contract too but don't specifically have a number of images that the client receives.

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just adding one more idea ... if you set everything up via email, then you do have a printed record of what you said you'd provide. I'd dig up that email, send it back to her and remind her that's what you agreed to. just tell her that you will NOT set a precendent to share the "outtakes" from a session with any client (free or otherwise) and leave it at that. she's not a friend, so you really don't risk losing anything except maybe future business from her should you go into business. she sounds like a PITA, so you might not want the business from her anyway if it comes with headaches.

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"Beertje" wrote:

Yeah they do, just did senior pics and family pics this past year with different photographers. Please refer to the advice IRS gives with hobby vs business: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=172833,00.html

She is in Canada. Here is a little info but I am sure you could find more easily. http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/taxinfo/f/hobbybiz.htm

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Here is what that section of my contract says about image number and selection:

~ To ensure the best possible quality, the photographer will only include in the gallery photographs that represent the highest quality photographs taken during the photo shoot. Depending on the type of photo shoot, I can expect between 25-40 images in the gallery.

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Tell her that any image that doesn't meet your professional standard is immediately purged. Those 25 images are what have remained from the session. Once you do that for one of them, the rest will come calling and you are going to spend the next 2 months editing!