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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> how long for clients?
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05/04/2010 09:02:20 AM · #1
I had a photoshoot a week and a half ago. I have not heard a single word from this family. This is a first for me. I usually have everything proofed and uploaded within 24 hours. I know they've viewed the proofs because it's a locked gallery and it shows over 300 views for that gallery the day I emailed them about it being ready.
I have called and left a voicemail to let them know after I'd uploaded, and I've emailed them twice- both husband and wife. Still nothing.

What to do?

They've already paid for the session in full. I'm offering a session special right now so they've paid for the product. Said product is disk with copyrights of 12 photos of their choice.
05/04/2010 09:08:06 AM · #2
Why worry when they already have paid? They must know they just have to tell you which files to deliver.
05/04/2010 09:15:32 AM · #3
How big are the proofs? Maybe they downloaded them and that's all they need.
05/04/2010 09:56:40 AM · #4
As h2 said... They've paid, relax! ;-)
05/04/2010 10:12:38 AM · #5
If they have paid, you've got your money, but that doesn't mean you can just forget the whole thing. Send another email, registered letter, anything to prove that you've explained in detail what they need to do to get their disk with 12 images.

A couple of years ago, my sister and I had a similar situation with a bride. My sister explained how to get the pictures, nothing. Then, the bride started to complain. Where are my pictures? blah blah blah. My sister sent her a trackable visa card to purchase the pictures she wanted directly. The bride and groom, not realizing that it was "trackable" used it, then told my sister they never got it. AND they still wanted their pictures. AND they wanted their money back and started threatening legal action.

So, my sister sent them a few prints, a copy of the contract which reminded the b&g that my sister had delivered exactly what she promised and more, and proof of the card being delivered and used.

They finally backed off.

My point? If they have paid, and haven't gotten what they understand is "theirs" you are not finished yet.

Maybe they are just having a hard time deciding on 12.
05/04/2010 10:17:49 AM · #6
Interesting point there about customers expectations.

Being in the software business, I've seen situations where customers pay for their software online, specify 'download' as their delivery method, and are emailed instructions on how to download and install the package.

Then we get an email two weeks later from an irate customer wondering why the box never arrived in the post...
05/04/2010 10:22:04 AM · #7
I seriously have 2 clients right now that have done just that. The longest one I have is 122 days old. They have already paid and viewed their photos. I've called and emailed them at least 4-5 times to remind them and still nothing. They have already paid so it's really their loss but I do give my clients a 365 day online gallery so technically they have 1 year to order photos.
05/04/2010 01:25:19 PM · #8
Thank you all for the insight. They cannot order or copy the proofs from my website. They signed a form stating they had paid in full with directions on how to choose their proofs. At the time I did not have a smugmug pro membership- and really I won't be using them anyway because I think I can do better through mpix.
They got everything IN writing before the shoot and at the shoot. Basically stating that they were paying for a one hour photo session and when proofs were ready they could choose 12 and I would put them on disk with the copyrights.
So I have emailed them three times now- the 3rd time to let them know I have a new website address and they will still be able to view their proofs just like before. The first two emails I let them know proofs were ready for their veiwing and when they had chosen 12 they just needed to let me know which 12 and I would put them on disk.
I've left two messages now. And let me say, this was not an easy shoot. Fortunately I use my 9yo as an assistant so she kept the 3yo they had entertained since mom and dad were too busy arguing about where to do family pictures. The one year old was climbing all over the place- while mom and dad watched. It was probably one of the most difficult shoots I've done since both parents didn't seem to care what their children were doing. I could have ignored it but I have rights to the place we shot at and part of my agreement is for children to be out of the gardens and off the walls- it's a historic sight. Maybe I need to right in my contract "I will not babysit your children. I am here to photograph them only" Who knows!
Either way I've not left any stone unturned. I do have their address. My husband said maybe I should just choose the 12 photos for them and send the disk, but then I risk them coming back and saying "but these aren't the 12 we chose."

And I'm glad to see I'm not the ONLY one who has had to deal with this. After all the shoots I've done now, this is a first for me. They were one of 3 families that I did that weekend and they are the only ones I have not heard from. The other two have already ordered and I've already delivered.
05/04/2010 01:43:56 PM · #9
I may be a bit of a lone voice here but I would expect some people to quite reasonably take a while to choose which photos to go for. I remember it took me a good three weeks to settle on my wedding photos (which incidentally have rarely be looked at since, and never since my divorce..) I just don't see the issue.
05/04/2010 02:42:42 PM · #10
Originally posted by SaraR:

I may be a bit of a lone voice here but I would expect some people to quite reasonably take a while to choose which photos to go for.


+1

I agree that you shouldn't forget about them altogether just because you have their $, but maybe they are on vacation or something benign like that......

Message edited by author 2010-05-04 14:43:00.
05/04/2010 03:13:52 PM · #11
This doesn't help the OP at all, but I thought I'd share. Believe it or not, I have had two clients pay in advance (each between $3k and $4k) for projects that they later abandoned. Both were through a third party partner, so they paid the partner, who in turn paid me. Neither project even got off the ground and there was no request from either party for a refund. That was nearly 5 years ago and the partner has long since gone out of business, as did one of the two client companies.

Reminds me of a popular Dire Straits song, but without free chicks. ;-)
05/14/2010 05:59:37 PM · #12
Well I finally heard from them today. They wanted more pictures then the special I was offering so I'm making another 50 dollars. Baffles me though- the proofs they chose lol. Definetly not my favorites but hey, I have a different perspective.
05/14/2010 06:32:39 PM · #13
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

This doesn't help the OP at all, but I thought I'd share. Believe it or not, I have had two clients pay in advance (each between $3k and $4k) for projects that they later abandoned. Both were through a third party partner, so they paid the partner, who in turn paid me. Neither project even got off the ground and there was no request from either party for a refund. That was nearly 5 years ago and the partner has long since gone out of business, as did one of the two client companies.

Reminds me of a popular Dire Straits song, but without free chicks. ;-)


Album was Brothers in Arms, song is 'Money for Nothin' and the line is 'yer chicks fer free...'

I remember seeing that show in Ottawa...Stevie Ray Vaghn was the opening act...gawd do I ever feel old all of a sudden :-/

Message edited by author 2010-05-14 18:33:01.
05/14/2010 07:31:24 PM · #14
Originally posted by missinseattle:

Well I finally heard from them today. They wanted more pictures then the special I was offering so I'm making another 50 dollars. Baffles me though- the proofs they chose lol. Definetly not my favorites but hey, I have a different perspective.


truth is many, many people have no taste... Tofu people.

Some are so terribly clueless that you could do a bad job and they wouldn't notice.

*shrug*

The shots I have that people (non-DPC) like still somewhat baffles me sometimes. Aww hell, DPC baffles me too... People are strange. (Doors).
05/14/2010 07:43:46 PM · #15
I shot a wedding back in September, designed the album and now I cannot get hold of the clients at all - like yourself I know they have viewed the album (I use albumexposure.com for album proofing) but they have literally vanished! I phone them morning, afternoon and evening, send untold emails.. The thing is I have taken all their money and at cost price alone the album is worth in excess of £500... just so weird.
05/14/2010 08:02:08 PM · #16
I shot a wedding in December of 07. Gave a disk with web res images to the bride's sister/wedding coordinator soon thereafter. Never heard from them again. I emailed her a few times and was told that they would want to order some prints. dunno...

Ran into a friend last night--had shot pics of her little girl last December. She loved them, ordered a bunch of Christmas cards and said she would order more. Saw her last night and she apologized profusely for procrastinating. I told her to take her time... :)

Considering some of the things I procrastinate, I'm never shocked when it takes people a while to order prints.
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