After The Shoot
So, after the shoot... My mother instilled this one in me. Every new client gets handwritten thank you cards and gifts at holidays. Again, it's the era of social media and the path of least resistance. When was the last time you got a thank you note from someone you work with? Anyone? Never, right? Very rarely. Edible arrangements. People love it. Handwritten thank you notes go so far. I get calls back like, "Oh my god, I can't believe you sent me a thank you card for this job!" It's usually an email and it takes 30 seconds and it doesn't matter at all. And I think it's really cool. All you get in the mail is bills and printed out stuff and impersonal things and it really helps when your clients know that you have their best interest at heart and you really did enjoy working with them. When they pay you thousands of dollars, it'll take you three minutes, like, "Thank you so much, it was great to work with you. "I hope the photos serve you well". And don't bring business into it, just s...
ay, "I had a great time and I hope the photos help "and I look forward to working with you again." Keep it short, keep it simple. It takes you three minutes, put a stamp on it, drop it in the mail, boom, done. And they'll never forget it. I guarantee you'll be the first photographer to ever send them a thank you note.
So, LT Lilly 16 you talked a little about some of your pricing stategies. Are you charging a day/creative fee and then licensing per shot for restaurants and hotels? Or is it only architects that get that standard pricing structure.
I try to do it for everyone, but sometimes it just completely, okay... You gotta read the client. If an ad agency comes to you, or an agent has been negotiating the job for you. I don't know if this particular person is at the point where they have that going on, but sometimes the concept of licensing is just completely lost on people. Like I said, keep it simple. Would you rather, you know, go back and forth for two weeks about licensing, or would you rather send them a solid number, get the job, and shoot it? You know? The whole time you're talking about licensing, they're becoming less and less interested, in my experience. So, if it's, like, a mom and pop restaurant and they need photos. Look, don't bog 'em down with licensing. Just send 'em a number. Obviously, if they wanna go ahead and... I guess it all depends on the size of the company you're working for. If you know they're gonna use it in magazines, if you know it's gonna be featured in a... Here we go. We know it's gonna be featured somewhere and it has a lot of advertising potential, then we'll license it. If not, I try to get the job, you know? Getting the job is number one. Like I said, I'm not gonna confuse them and bore them with semantics and licensing when a week ago I could've had a job locked up and shot. So, use your judgement and kinda look at what business they are. Like, I'll get an ad agency that comes to me and in the email they say, "We need outdoor billboard use, "we need magazine, "we need this." Some people say, "We need unlimited licensing." I'm like, back it up. But we can figure something out. And then some people, they don't know what they want. They want a photographer, they want pictures, they're not gonna go for you when they're emailing twenty people, they're not gonna stop with you and say, "We need to hire this guy with the confusing terms "and conditions and the confusing licensing thing." Just use your best judgement on that one. But, I don't think, again, people might be in the audience cursing me, I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a job for a flat rate, getting it done. You know, obviously charge more if the use is gonna be all over the place. So, try to build it into your fee up front, 'cause you're gonna be losing it on the licensing later. But, the photos aren't gonna be used for 30 years, you know? So, be realistic. Fantastic. Alright, invoice promptly. Get it done, wrapped up. I usually go home and send the invoice that night. They will appreciate it. It's again, just best business practice. And when you wrap it up, talk on the phone, resolve any outstanding needs or retouching. Ask if you met everything they wanted to have done and anything else you can do for them. Sometimes, I'll call 'em up and like, "Yeah, I wanted to book you for two weeks from now "on this job." You know, just be open with them and thank them, obviously. And see if there's anything else you can do for them while you have them engaged in the process. Hopefully everything went well. And that is basically how I would end up, you know, on a successful job. That's what would happen. I'd thank them, send a note. Follow up with them. Do they need anything? Any retouching? Is there anything else I can do for you? Any other projects? 'Cause sometimes designers have stuff booked out six months in advance. If I can get on their books now, makes my life easier.