Step 2 - Booking Your Client
Step two Booking Your Client. So the meeting went great. That phone call went great. That facetime Skype call went great and your client is down for the price and you've negotiated what they want and what you're willing to give them for the certain price that you've decided it's time to finally write it down and sign contracts and book them up. The big thing about here is making a contract, I can't tell you enough how many times I've heard stories and myself have been burned by not having a contract and just having to move on. And this works for protection for both you and your client. Uh There are also a lot of people have hired photographers who don't follow through, prices are all over the place cancelations happen. Um So it's very important to lock in a contract, lock in dates, lock in terms and have everyone on the same page before you guys start exchanging money and getting into the shooting. Now we're gonna go over some a specific example of a contract later. But here are some m...
ain things that you need to include in your contract number one, the cost and the deposit basically you need to be upfront about how much the total amount of money is going to be paid to you for your service. So what is that? You have to describe what you're going to be doing, how many hours you're gonna be shooting and at what price in addition to that you want to figure out what your deposit should be. Now I have a general rule of asking for a third of the total deposit for most of my projects with head shots and portraits. I usually ask for half. Uh and usually it's a retainer or a nonrefundable deposit unless there's some catastrophic thing that I deem is okay for me to give their money back. Um I have some examples of that where a wedding literally had to cancel because of a death in the family and we ended up giving that deposit back. So situations like that can occur where you'd be okay with that, but in general there needs to be a clause in your contract about how much you're getting paid for, what work you're doing, how many images, all that stuff exactly, and how much the deposit is needed at the signing of the contract to lock in that date. The date, that is probably the second most important thing next to what you're doing and how much you're getting paid for. Um The date is so specific and we, as photographers will start to get so busy, especially with Uh weddings and working on the weekends. There are only so many key days in the year where people will want to do weddings, especially if you live in a certain area where there's a season versus the holiday season. There's sometimes there's a season for weddings specifically. As far as head shots and portrait sessions go, you could book out 3-5 people in one day and you need to make sure that you're not losing that space or that time. So, picking out a date, making sure that date is very specific and the timing is very specific on the contract. So there's no discrepancy. So there's no discrepancy or anything like that. I've heard of weddings trying to shift a day or two around. Uh you know, their venue or something else very close to the wedding and sometimes you already have a job booked and then you just can't let that happen, cancelations. Now again, this has to do with the date and with the deposit. Uh There are a lot of reasons for cancelations. There are a lot of reasons why you may become sick or you may need to hire someone of equivalent status for you to shoot for you. Um That's in the most dire situations, we, as photographers really kind of have to show up when we say we're going to show up sick or not unless you literally cannot move. Um but cancelation clauses and cancelation things in your contract are very important because trust me, it will happen and it happens more often than not in portraits and headshots sessions. I've had plenty of headshots cancel on me the day of asking for their deposits back. I can't give it to them because they've taken a slot from me that I could have booked a full session for. So you gotta keep that in mind delivery. Now, this goes back to what you're doing as far as cost and price goes. But you have to very clearly state what they will be getting at the end of the shoot for weddings. This means something like are they getting prints? How many photos are they getting? How many special edits are they getting? Are they getting a book? Be very specific because things will be asked of you later on or on the day while you're shooting. They will ask, you know, can you do an extra hour, can you do an extra couple hours for these extra photos? So you need to be very specific so that you have something to work with when those situations come up as far as head shots and portraits go, you need to be very specific about how many photos you're going to edit, how many proofs you're gonna let them choose from because it really does get wishy washy when they're like, wow, these I got I know you're gonna edit five of these photos but man, these other five are really great, can you just throw those in and edit them? No, you can't because your time is worth money. You need to Lay that out beforehand. You know what, I'm going to deliver five photos every photo after that, it's gonna cost you $50 an hour for me to edit. And that way there's no question when they go and ask honestly the best possible way for you to make sure this is ironclad is to talk to a legal professional. I had legal professionals look over my contracts and again, I'll have you see one of ours. Uh it is really good for me, but it may not be good for you and you should double check your closets because some people are willing to let things go away. Some people are willing to let things get away than other people. Um, and so make sure you kind of talk to a legal professional for what your specific need is. Have someone check out your contract or have someone draft a contract that you can use as a template. It's worth the money to put into a lawyer that you can just use for the rest of your career. Um, and whenever you need to get changed, you can, there are many templates online that you can use, but I wouldn't necessarily trust anything online. I wouldn't even trust the contract that I'm going to show you because you should be taking that extra step to protect yourself.