News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for April 18th, 2009

Advertisting Shoot – episode 2

by on Apr.18, 2009, under Photography

Readers may remember a posting detailing my experiences on an advertising shoot for a real estate development on Lake Travis last October. I delivered the required photo and billed the client in November for a campaign that was supposed to run starting in late January. No payment was received by the turn of the year and I sent a reminder but later discovered that the development, like most other real-estate projects these days, had been delayed until the end of 2009 so didn’t push too hard for the check since the contract was based on usage fees and, obviously, the usage would be delayed. Today, however, I received a letter informing me that the advertising agency, Milesbrand from Denver, had ceased trading and would not be paying any creditors. It looks like I’ve donated 20 hours work to the economic downturn.

So what can I take away from this experience? As a result of careful research on cost estimates and contracts prior to this job, I contracted based solely on the usage of the final images. This seemed the best plan given that it had upside potential – if the client wants to use the images in an expanded way, they need to come back and ask for another license. Had I quoted based on an assignment fee with universal rights to the resulting images, this potential would not exist. In retrospect and moving forward, I will definitely change my quotes to include both a time-based assignment charge in addition to licensing fees for the resulting images and add a contract clause stipulating payment terms for the assignment portion of the bill.

I can’t be too bitter about this situation, I suppose, given that I am in the fortunate position of having a day job and not relying upon photography income to pay the mortgage but it will put a dent in my equipment purchases this year. Maybe I’ll sell 3 dozen prints of this image which I also took on the shoot to recoup the loss? 🙂


Lake Travis Promontory

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