Payment from Client


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eugene_

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Mar 31, 2005
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#1
Hi. I am a freelance photographer.

I have a problem with a client. Hope i could get some advices from a neutral point of view.

I was engaged by someone to shoot his ROM lunch some 2 months back. We agree on $X of fees. No written contract.

I delivered all the highres images to him bout 2 wks after for him to view and select for his photo album. I got half of the payment.

No reply even bout 1 month plus after that despite calling a few times, all my calls will be met with excuses such as busy, etc.

I called him last sunday for a bout 5 times over a period of 3-4 hrs with no answer from him. I went to his place straightaway hoping to catch him at his home and hopefully get a partial of the remaining payment from him. His brother was at home instead and the brother helped me to call him and straightaway he answered. (coincidence or he was avoiding my call?)

He insisted he wasnt wrong and send me away, promising to tt the money electronically to me instead. I agreed and left without steppin foot in the house and without using any verbal abuses or whatsoever. I jus explained the situation in a firm tone and thats about it.

Just now he send a sms to me, saying now he will only give me the money IF i go to his place and apologise to his whole family for harassing them or else they will sue me.

My question:

Do they have any basis of suing me??

In what way did i handle the matter wrongly?

Any advices, positive or negative are appreciated. Thanks!
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#2
For harassment? Nah, hardly. It's not like you splash paint on his door or anything like that.

You handled it wrongly by not having a contract. ALWAYS get a contract to avoid this hassle.

Make sure you keep any emails/sms detailing the agreed-upon deal. Bring him to court for non-payment. But it will be hard without the contract unless you have his SMS/emails detailing the amount/agreement to transfer.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#3
Always have black and white, even if it is for $10. This is your only fallback should a disagreement arises. And never never give out hi-res images to a client prior to payment. That is why people use small sized proofs, for this very reason.

In the meantime, collect all your emails and sms. If you think you have a case (speak to a lawyer friend you know, if you have one), send him an email and SMS one last time, detailing the events, from agreement till non payment to him. End with a dateline, by which if he did not pay by that date, you will lodge a police report. If he missed that again, go ahead and lodge a police report or a claim at small claims court.
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#4
Hi. I am a freelance photographer.

I have a problem with a client. Hope i could get some advices from a neutral point of view.

I was engaged by someone to shoot his ROM lunch some 2 months back. We agree on $X of fees. No written contract.

I delivered all the highres images to him bout 2 wks after for him to view and select for his photo album. I got half of the payment.

No reply even bout 1 month plus after that despite calling a few times, all my calls will be met with excuses such as busy, etc.

I called him last sunday for a bout 5 times over a period of 3-4 hrs with no answer from him. I went to his place straightaway hoping to catch him at his home and hopefully get a partial of the remaining payment from him. His brother was at home instead and the brother helped me to call him and straightaway he answered. (coincidence or he was avoiding my call?)

He insisted he wasnt wrong and send me away, promising to tt the money electronically to me instead. I agreed and left without steppin foot in the house and without using any verbal abuses or whatsoever. I jus explained the situation in a firm tone and thats about it.

Just now he send a sms to me, saying now he will only give me the money IF i go to his place and apologise to his whole family for harassing them or else they will sue me.

My question:

Do they have any basis of suing me??

In what way did i handle the matter wrongly?

Any advices, positive or negative are appreciated. Thanks!
Why do you have to give him high res images when its just for selection only?

NEVER NEVER give your clients the deliverables without full payment unless you have a payment schedule written somewhere.
 

eugene_

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Mar 31, 2005
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#5
For harassment? Nah, hardly. It's not like you splash paint on his door or anything like that.

You handled it wrongly by not having a contract. ALWAYS get a contract to avoid this hassle.

Make sure you keep any emails/sms detailing the agreed-upon deal. Bring him to court for non-payment. But it will be hard without the contract unless you have his SMS/emails detailing the amount/agreement to transfer.
Always have black and white, even if it is for $10. This is your only fallback should a disagreement arises. And never never give out hi-res images to a client prior to payment. That is why people use small sized proofs, for this very reason.

In the meantime, collect all your emails and sms. If you think you have a case (speak to a lawyer friend you know, if you have one), send him an email and SMS one last time, detailing the events, from agreement till non payment to him. End with a dateline, by which if he did not pay by that date, you will lodge a police report. If he missed that again, go ahead and lodge a police report or a claim at small claims court.
Thanks. I had no problems with previous clients which is prob didnt occur to me to give them in smallres sizes or for the matter of fact, a b/w contract.

I just cant get past the fact they want me to apologize to the whole family when the only person at home that time was the brother. He even gave me his namecard and call him if the client fails to tt the $$.

I have the sms that says he will TT me the $$$. Now he doesnt want to honour that, adding conditions b4 i get paid.

All i did was to turn up at the house and look for him when he did not ans my call. No vulgarities or abusive language used at all. :confused:
 

daredevil123

Moderator
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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#6
Just tell him one last time, if he doesn't pay up you are going to file a case against him. Go ahead and file a claim against him in Small Claims. With all the SMS and email, you should have some recourse. Not everyone you meet will be honorable. It is lucky that you have been getting nicer folk as clients, but doing what you do, you will run into this case sooner or later. At least you got half of the money already. So even if you fail to recover the rest of the monies, this is a lesson learnt.

Always protect yourself, unless you do not mind the money at all.
 

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ijnek

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2008
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#7
it's sad to read abt ppl gettin rip off.

nex time, don't b too trusting...

go talk to the police if they can advise on anything.

u had a good talk with his brother, i would not say tat is even harassing.
if not, y would he give u his namecard...
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#8
Its okay to give high res like what some of my friends do only they watermark the photos where the photo would be useless even if the person is expert in photoshop.

another one is pretty it saavy in which case he gives 2 dvds, one is the normal res with watermarks and the other is very high res but password encrypted and only on full payment the client is given the password.
 

ed9119

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Mar 11, 2002
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#9
sorry to hear this unfortunate incident but honestly..............you asked for it with your 'carelessness'

like all above advised............. NEVER do a job without a written agreement or at least an issued reciept........ and NEVER give the images before you collect full payment....... in future can give images in small sized files to select (in your this case........ you were ASKING for trouble with your actions... sorry)

go there , apologize, collect the money ......

we all learn lessons in life...... learn this and move on
 

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Edwin Francis

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2006
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#10
It's amazing how people who screw you over can turn around and accuse you of being pushy when you try to collect what you're owed. Whether you were or not is subjective of course, and irrelevant (unless you stepped over legal lines).
I suspect that if you go to his house and apologise, he will take that as an admission of your 'guilt' and try to pull something, like paying you less, or perhaps even claim that the agreed amount is less (you don't have any record, right?). He may even justify to himself because to him, you're already a pest.
It's your decision, of course, but I would probably collect what evidence I have (hopefully you have some -- emails and SMSes perhaps) and go the Small Claims route. Good luck!
 

Jed

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Jan 19, 2002
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#11
Actually, although the advice to put things into writing is sound, I don't see how in this instance it would have changed anything.

The client never disputed the claim that money was owing. And a contract would have done nothing to change the claim that you harassed his family. It would establish that you had a reason to be there, but from what you've said it sounds like you have a few emails or text messages (from both parties, not just yourself) establishing that already anyway.

So I'm not sure a contract would have made much of a difference in this instance.
 

cabbySHE

New Member
Dec 5, 2008
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#12
both the mod and francis's opinion, advices and suggestion are true...

it could be better or worse.

consider this...if the balance amount is substantial...go for it the legal way, but don't apologise if you'd done nothing wrong.

if it's a trifle amount, take it as a lesson and MOVE ON.

so sizing up a potential looking client is also part of ...photography ? not taught in any courses.

do enrich yourself in some body language and human psychology books, it helps in talking to client or any person. one life example is the sunshine empire saga.

trifle amount..subjective from person to person.
 

eugene_

New Member
Mar 31, 2005
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#13
Thanks all for ur advices. .i guess i have learned how not to be too trusting.

Anyw, I am 100% sure i have in no way harass them. I even had a talk to the client's brother and explained the situation to him. He even gave me his namecard and ask me to call him if i still cant get the $$. I talk in a firm tone, but not at all intimidating, abusive or coarse. I jus cant understand how he can accuse me of harassing.

I have decided that my pride is worth much more than the amt owned and decide to just move on. JUst treat it as a lesson learn and draw up any necessary contracts for future jobs.

Thanks all who spoke and adviced. Appreciate.
 

#14
Yeah, thanks for sharing. Be careful next time. Lucky i have yet to encountered such people. Sign an agreement with both commitment would be best!
Some photographers dont want to sign because they have the 'intention' to backout at the last min.

1) Meet up sign agreement with mutual agreement
2) Collect deposit of at least $100 or 50% upon signing off agreement
3) Show only small-proof photos or through your laptop for any photos selection. (Collect another 30% to 40% payment, if required)
Only give out the photos when 100% payment are made
 

eugene_

New Member
Mar 31, 2005
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#18
Nah. . If i put down his name .. he might threaten me with a legal suit again.

Before his ROM, he did meet up with several photographers before he signed up with me reason being i was the most flexible in terms of timing and the cost.. which he explained he was on a budget.
So i charged him a lill below market rate since he said he didnt want to spend too much and i even started shooting earlier and stayed longer than agreed to do more shots with him.

I had expected him to be reciprocal with his payment and stuff, yet he jus tried to delay meeting me time after time. Talk about being kind!
 

limwhow

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
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#19
....
I had expected him to be reciprocal with his payment and stuff, yet he jus tried to delay meeting me time after time. Talk about being kind!
Don't change your kindness completely. If that is your personality and your intrinsic nature, that is what will distinguish you from the others.
Just set your operating procedures to protect yourself. The rest of it: being there longer, shooting more, being earlier, being flexible - continue to provide your best service.

Only thing is - you can start to charge more. Hehehe...
 

Oct 24, 2008
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Underneath
#20
I'm not sure how this works for photographers so don't get me wrong here, but I know if you produce a film/tv work etc, you still have intellectual property over the frames produced unless you sign a release/contract to the client. So if he doesn't pay you, you could potentially sue him for using the images.
of course you will have to prove that he used them.

Bear in mind im unsure on Singapore law but its just another thought you could present to the client so you get your money ;) ;)
 

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