Negotiating with Clients: 10 Questions you Need to Ask–Part 1
we're gonna talk about negotiations, which is something that is clearly one of the harder parts of our jobs, as in any business is talking about money. Um, but my homeboys from the and that is where I am from. They said it absolutely correctly because it is not personal. When you're talking about business and money and if you make it personal, you are at a disadvantage because the people you are negotiating with it is not. And it becomes very personal because we are attached to our work in a very personal way. And we're trying to sell ourselves and our work. And we are also fearful a lot of times that we are overvaluing ourselves and putting out a number that is uncomfortable for the client who will immediately say no Go home. I do not want to work with you if you give me that number and it usually doesn't work that way. It usually is a push and a pole and give and a take. And you start to find a balance between the things that is obvious and things that are not so obvious in a negoti...
ation. This is old content. That will be new content for you because I have been using these 10 questions that we ask people when we're negotiating with them for a long time. But since the business changes, the nature of the way the questions get answered changes. So there are evergreen, as we say on the Internet. Um, what is the color of your underwear? Oh, wait, what's your budget? It's the same question because nobody really wants to answer it. It's a very, very touchy question, but it is in direct relationship to the question that somebody wants to ask you, which will touch on later on is what's your rate, right? Well, what's your budget? What's your rate? Well, what's your budget? What's your rate? I know you are, but what am I right? This is the back and forth. So when you start here, they already know that there's more. They should be more questions coming because the first thing when you ask this question is everybody cries poverty, everybody Christ, poverty. I got no budget. I got no money. We got a bar, uh, really working on a on a tight whatever. It's always that because that's the first step in the negotiation. It's to scare you into giving them a number. And don't don't give them a number two. You get to number 10. So when we're on a food shoot, whether it's a small one or a big one, we want to know who is preparing the food, because this is an essential aspect off how the food's gonna come and be presented on your table to be photographed. And if you don't like the answer as to who is cooking, then offer them one toe where you like that the outcome. Because if somebody who is preparing food on a food chute has never done it before, and they're cooking as if they're in a restaurant or there cooking as if they're at home, there are gonna be mistakes that are gonna be made and that food is not gonna look like you want it to look on set. So this is a hugely important question, and it's in conjunction with the next one, which is who's styling the food because it's not always the same person. Now, food stylist will most certainly be in the kitchen directing what's happening, and that person may very well have their own cooks that works work with the food, But there are often times, and I'm on a job where the person cooking the food is not experienced enough to be handling food that I'm going to be shooting. And I bring my stylist with me to direct that situation. It's not always comfortable because people get very personal about it. The reality is my reputation on the line. I want to know who's cooking that food, that I'm gonna have to take a picture off. And as you saw with the pizza earlier, sometimes those results aren't exactly what you want. So I asked the question. I want to know who's who's cooking. Who styling is that. Answer me. Okay, fine. That's more money. Let's talk about that. Always, always, always asked those questions. Um, where to shoot. Where's the shoot? You know, Is it is it in a studio? Is it in my house? Is it in the backyard? Is it, um, at the restaurant? Where is it? You know, we were actually was sitting around at lunch and we were discussing this very part of this Is that depending on where the shoot is, it really affects the pricing, not just the fact that you renting a studio but also the type of gear you're gonna need. It also Ghost speaks to the idea of creative when we're talking about, Do we have daylight? Do we not have daylight? Can I put lights in the space? Um, what kind of depth do I have in the room? Um, I stuck in a corner. We'll have a window to look through. What? What can I use as my in my in my composition? Where were shooting is an enormously important piece, and sometimes it's completely overlooked in the conversation because it's sort of like, Oh, we're just gonna shoot at the restaurant. So the wear of this question is complicated, and it requires you to understand that landscape and what it means to do food photography in a space. And if it's at your house, you need to charge money for it. That is not free. It's not part of your rate. It's none of those things. It is you're wear and tear on your house. You're assuming liability. You're doing all sorts of different things to create food photography in your house. For a client or even their house. The propping aspect of this is important as well, because and I say this because sometimes it obviously falls to the photographer to hire the proper. But if you don't communicate that to the client, they don't understand that that is a line item, that not only the person is a line item, but the things that person brings with them is a line item, and those things are very expensive. Renting props is not cheap, particularly tabletop surfaces, which is the stock and trade of food photography. So if you are a photographer and you have space and you have your own collection, it is something of a side business that you can make money on. So if that answer is, we don't have a proper do you. And your answer is, oh, I got a proper and that proper is me because you have your own. A lot of times you have your own props and you have, and especially on smaller jobs and cookbooks and things like that, you have the opportunity to make money on that, and you can have a helper and assistant who is propping with you, and it doesn't necessarily have to be somebody who's a full, full, full fledged prop stylist. Now, as the jobs get bigger clearly that you can use your collection, eyes a rental house and hire a stylist, and those air different increments off getting bigger in the business. But having your own props is also serves. Another purpose is that your style is represented in your props as well as in your photography, so you want to make sure that you can. Ants asked that question and have an answer for it at the same time.