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Taking Care of Business
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Old June 10th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #16
Major Player
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 411
Haven't heard from her. I'm guessing she a) thinks it's too expensive or b) doesn't have a website so it's not worth it to her.
These threads are very helpful because I"m used to working for less in another business, so they give context to pricing.
For this reason, I consistently feel that I am overcharging, when in fact I am probably still undercharging a bit.
I've done the best I can to try to fall in line with what would be standard for my experience and type of projects. Getting to that point was a bit tricky, because people can have an hourly rate that they charge, but everyone has a different speed at which they edit. That was the biggest billing challenge was knowing how long something should take. There was no really solid guide to go by. Where it was appropriate, I put together some packages that seemed in line with others, and am getting a better sense of how long things take from the forums where hourly is required, and also from doing things.
But all this is another subject, one that has been covered a lot already here, so no need to rehash that.
As for the portfolio, I'm trying to get out and shoot something every day even if it's wildflowers or local sports. I'm going to try to do 1-2 features a week, just little local happenings/organizations, and work on camera and storytelling skills, over the next few months.

This is veering way off topic for this thread but I'll mention it anyway. Strange as it sounds, I've been here in this forum for several years, have come a long way in the learning curve, and have done a number of projects, but I'm still not as comfortable on camera as I would like. Have stuck with projects that required less camera work, like interviews, photo montages, or very simple projects. A recent project (virtual tour) didn't go well (it was ok, but could have been better), and it was a real turning point. I've decided I want to head in a more photojournalistic/documentary type direction. And that is going to involve really kicking up the camera and storytelling skills. Then again, it's all that, isn't it? So I've dedicated the next few months to really getting on that and finding and correcting any issues that may remain.

Thanks for your advice. I'll post back if I hear back from her.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #17
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 411
Never heard back from her

I'm second-guessing my approach to her. She never called back to see the footage. I even called a few days later and said that I had gone ahead edited it just on my own, and that she could have a copy if she wanted it no charge. I never heard a word from her.

Should I have approached her that way from the start? Perhaps it would have brought more work in the end or at least left a better impression. The fact that she never even asked to see the footage indicates to me that I might have put her off.

Above all I want to leave someone with a good impression.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #18
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Willmar, MN
Posts: 1,400
Well, I've really been taken advantage of because I wanted to leave a good impression. Now I've determined that the best impression I can leave is "business-like".

If you bend over backwards and do it cheap, they'll always expect you to bend over backwards and do it cheap - on the next project, and the one after that, and the one after that...

I wouldn't worry about this one too much.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #19
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,702
Cheap is NEVER a good impression. Since when has anybody bought something at the dollar store and then paid $1000 the next time around.

KELL if you haven't learned this from all the post and threads you've been involved with here, your going to sink yourself into bankruptcy in short order.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,463
She never called you back because she, like 99% of the people you will come across in nearly every business, is a flake and was fishing to get something for nothing. She's like the passenger who wants to ride free because the bus is going there anyway.

The way to avoid this in the future is to start behaving like the professional you are. You've been doing this long enough that you should have a basic figure in your head to quote when people slide up to you and try to take advantage of you. Ideally you should, whenever you go outside the house, have a rate card in your pocket that you can hand to them with the proviso, "Of course, these are negotiable and I'm sure we can work something out." This way, you are both accommodating AND a professional.

I've been the least-expensive guy on the block and it didn't get me any more business and didn't make people like me any more.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #21
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Location: USA
Posts: 411
Thanks you guys.
So I guess I approached her in the right way then. I was just double checking.

And by the way... Even though I"ve been on this board for some time, I have not been doing this full time for a number of reasons I don't want to detail here. I've done a few projects, but am far from experienced at bidding.

I've put into practice what I've learned here as best I can when the opportunity to do a project comes up.
This is sort of a different situation since I"m there shooting anyway. I wasn't sure if a better approach was to give a teaser or a taste which would open the door for more work in cases like this.

It's not as if they are approaching you wanting something for nothing, and you give it. You are asking to shoot their organization, business activity, booth activity, etcetera for your own shooting and portfolio building. In this case, I approached her saying I was doing a piece on the festival, so that was a different context than if they had invited me into their organization or workplace, and a different context still than if she had hired me outright. Still, her words did indicate she intended to buy the footage, not get it for free, so it should not have been a huge surprise when I contacted her with an offer to buy the footage.

This subject has been discussed before so I'm going to go back and review since I'm just really starting in on this now. I'm sure the approach will be different in different situations. I have a package page for certain specific types of jobs, like biographies and photo montages, but like the idea of a small rate card to carry with that addresses more general types of rates as well. Something card-sized is a great idea.

The experience and perspective of everyone in here has been invaluable, thank you.

Last edited by Kell Smith; June 20th, 2009 at 01:24 PM.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 05:57 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 66
Try not to seem to eager or desperate for a job, it's good to show interest but remember there's other jobs and other clients out there, if this one flakes out keep it moving, get your name out there and play the odds, there's plenty of fish in the sea, etc, etc..
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