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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 22nd, 2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Out of Area Business Proposals

Has anyone hear gotten offers to do shoot weddings that are miles and miles away? I got an email from a nice Toronto Canada couple that offered to fly me out there from Washington where I live, and put me in a hotel for the weekend to film their wedding. Apparently they liked the look and feel of my movies on my website. Normally I like to meet up with the couple at starbucks and sit down and go over what I offer. But seeing how they are a long ways away, we obviously cant do that. So Do ya'll just stick with emails and phone calls to finalize the deal??
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 12:13 AM   #2
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Kelly if this was me and this inquiry came out of the clear blue sky with no referral etc, I would proceed very cautiously, but proceed none the less. Make sure you have your contract terms nailed down and get the cash before you even think about going to the airport.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 01:16 AM   #3
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I once had a corporate inquiry from Arkansas (I'm on an island on the extreme west coast of Canada). I posted it in the helping hands forum and passed on the contact info.

You might want to look for a Toronto guy on here (I'm sure there's a few) and set it up between the two parties and ask for a referral fee from whoever gets the job. I'd pay $100-150 for the lead if I got the job (not that I'm looking for it-I'm probably further from Toronto than you are)

The danger of your situation is them realizing at some point that they can get it done locally without the travel charges and then either canceling the job, or keeping you but being bitter about it and getting weird at some point.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 01:37 AM   #4
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Hey Kelly, congrats...
The first thing you should feel is pride in your work.
The second thing should I would feel is apprehension..

There's so many good shooters in Toronto with similair styles, that my gut feeling would be "why me?". I would feel the couple out, get some guarantees, and have your keester covered..
In the meanwhile, look into the process of getting equipment back and forth over customs, and overall logistics of shooting an international wedding...

Good luck!!!
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:13 AM   #5
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We always set up a skype meeting with overseas couples to discuss about things. We then send them a quote together with the out of town fee, travel and accomodation included for shooting in their city. Upfront 90 percent payment is always required for either local or overseas commision so its not an issue for us.

Also, we now book our own flights and accomodation Just to be secured of things. It also makes things easier for the couple.

Good luck!

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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:51 AM   #6
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Thanx guys. Appreciate the input. I'll have to try the skype meeting. I dont find myself as a "Joe Simon" so I wonder why they wanted me so badly. I'll just have to keep my eye out for any foul play in this deal.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 05:07 AM   #7
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Proceed with caution. I have tales I could tell including payment sent in advance that turned into a police enquiry, but this may be genuine. I'd just say that I've had approaches like this commenting that they liked my work when I didn't even have any work displayed on my website. Mind you I'm in UK where most people seem to keep things quite local.
Smoothing our ego is an easy way to snare us.

Last edited by George Kilroy; January 23rd, 2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 06:16 AM   #8
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I think its a hoax, or maybe I am wrong. Few months ago my business partner a photographer, got an email from an out of state telling the same thing what you mentioned, "your work is nice and we want to book you" blah blah blah!" for photo and video.

My partner was of course thrilled and excited! ask how they knew about her, Oh! you were referred to us by one of your client, Long story short, full total amount of $3.800 photo and video service payment was sent to her via money order . After a day she receives an email from the client informing her that they're canceling the video, for they have found another video guy that could do it for less, and that she has to send the amount of $1,800 via Western Union to the new video guy. And gave her the name and address where she would send it.

She was about to send the money as instructed, but I think her gut feelings sense something fishy, and told the hoax client until the money clears from her bank, she won't send it. hoax client replied "no you've got to send the money right away because the wedding is in 2 days.

Later that day my partner found out from the bank that the money was bogus and that police are investigating on it.

This is just a scenario that might happen.... but hey who knows I might be wrong!
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 10:52 AM   #9
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Very similar to mine. The client wanted to pay for everything including travel up front and sent a cheque but it was made out for double the amount of due. The day the cheque arrived he phone to say there had been a mistake, could I send a cheque for half the amount (well over 1000) to the band he had booked. I was suspicious and took the cheque to my bank to ask for rapid clearance. They retained the cheque and I had a visit from the police. Turned out that the cheque had been written from a stolen cheque book. Luckily I could substantiate my involvement. I never did hear the outcome, nor did I do the wedding or ever hear from the 'client' again.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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Well what do you guys do when they mail you the round trip tickets to Toronto and an itinerary with the hotel you'll be checking in?? Should I still be cautious of a scam?
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
The client wanted to pay for everything including travel up front and sent a cheque but it was made out for double the amount of due.
This is a very common type of scam attempt. Oops, we sent too much money,
can you wire back the difference -- or, in George's case, can you send the
difference on to a third party. That's how much you're ripped off when your
bank tells you days later that the check was bogus.

Anyone who receives a check for an amount *more* than specified, you need
to either return the check, or destroy it. If it's an honest mistake (highly unlikely
since this is such a common scam), then they'll simply reissue another check for
the correct amount.

For Kelly, yes you should be suspicious.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 11:55 AM   #12
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I was 99% sure it was a scam from the outset, I was approached with flattering comments about my work to do a wedding hundreds of miles away, but I thought I'd play along and see how far it would go. I must admit that I was surprised when my quote was accepted and the cheque turned up, and then to receive a call that morning. It was the bride's father saying that he was so keen to get everything sorted he'd muddled the figures and sent me a cheque for both my service and the bank. He hadn't realised until the band's agent called to say their cheque had not arrived and this was the last day that the agent would hold the booking so it had to go that day as the agent would not hold the bands booking without the money. He was going to arrange a courier to collect my cheque later that day.I told him I'd send it after I'd banked the cheque and for him to call back to arrange the collection. If I'd banked the cheque normally I'd have not heard back from the bank in the normal course for about a week, long after my cheque had been cleared. That's why I took it to the bank and told them the story and asked if it was possible for fast clearance which resulted in the cheque being retained and the police notified.

He never did call back.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:56 PM   #13
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I don't want to rain on a parade of misery but we offer a nationwide (UK) service and have never had a problem with long-distance clients.

However, I would never expect anyone to book us without seeing our demo pack (two DVDs, brochures etc) which means I have addresses etc - but if they did I'd share the concern everyone rightly expresses here.

The other thing is that we always recce the site too - in fact I was in London last week doing just that for a February wedding - and took the opportunity to meet the couple for a coffee at lunch time.

Naturally there's a limit to how far we can justify travelling and "nationwide" in the UK means maybe state/province-wide for many readers, but my guess is that if we had a wedding far overseas, I could pay the expenses of someone I trust here on the forum to do a recce for me.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #14
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Kelly, we shoot a lot of destination weddings and we like to communicate with couples via phone, email and Skype. Skype is great for initially getting to know the couple, but we've used it further in the process a few times as well. Congrats on the inquiry! Just make sure you aren't discounting anything because I can tell you for a fact that destination weddings are MORE work. d;-)
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Old January 25th, 2011, 08:56 PM   #15
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Dude, let us know how it turns out.
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