Should I charge more?

I was asked by a multi million dollar company to do some corporate shots. I have done work for them before and they are really amazing to work for. This project was to spend a whole day shooting ALL 500 employees at their local branch.
After 7 hours of shooting the work day ended and I went home....
I was NOT able to shoot everyone, and oops, they didnt think about the 30 people on 3rd shift. Could I come back the next day at 5:30 am... (I KNOW!!!)
So I obliged. They did not offer any extra money.
Now I have agreed to come back THURSDAY to spend another 3 hours shooting the rest of the people that I missed last week.
My original qoute was for ONE FULL DAYS work.....
How do I go about asking for extra money without sounding ungrateful? I DONT like rocking the boat and have a tough time with this since they treat me so well.
DO I just suck it up and finish the project and next time charge by the HOUR not by the job???
Grrrr.... HELP!
imageLive every single day as if it was your last....


  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,462
    edited May 2014
    Moriah -

    I think many of us have had things like this happen to us so don't beat yourself up over it. We learn new things in our photography work from situations we have never encountered before and by mistakes we make. In business, we sometimes learn things the same way.

    What's good about this is that you seem to value the relationship with your client more than the extra money you would like to charge them. That's a good long term view and will most likely help you win more business with them. It's not that you did the extra work for free rather that you wanted to complete the assignment for your client and make them happy.

    Since you don't have a written agreement that outlines how you handle this situation (plus you have already agreed to do it), asking them for more money to cover the extra costs might change their opinion of you. Not as a photographer....but a business person. To be successful, you have to be equally good at both to win over clients. So, my suggestion is to complete the project with a smile on your face and move forward.

    Now, you don't want this to ever happen again.. Right? So take action to prevent it with this client and other clients. Here's what I do ---

    I use a Scope of Work Agreement with all of my contract clients. It is outlined as follows:

    In-Scope Work:
    - Project Description
    - Client Goals
    - Work to be performed
    - When and Where the Work is to be done
    - Deliverables (electronic images, prints, etc.)
    - Prerequisites (things that the client provides ... parking pass, cleared area for setting up backdrop, etc)
    - Client Investment and Payment Terms

    - Catch All Clause - Anything not included in the scope of work is considered Out-of-Scope.
    - Service Fees for Out-of-Scope Work
    -Photography $000.00 / per hour
    -Bench Time $000.00 / per hour (post production work)
    -Administrative Time $000.00 / per hour (emails, phone calls, etc.)
    -Travel Time $000.00 / per hour
    - Fees for Out-of-Scope Work Deliverables will be determined based on actual quantities and cost.
    - Billing for Out-of-Scope Work and Payment Terms

    The whole idea behind a Scope of Work Agreement is to make sure that your client understands what is and is not included in the work you are doing for them and creates a generally defined path of resolution. It's very important to be detailed on the work that is included In-Scope because if it's not clearly defined then it's Out-of-Scope.

    Mine is only one way to handle this. I works for me and it works for my clients. Most importantly, it works very well in keeping our relationship strong as we avoid those difficult conversations about charging extra. Also, because I use a document called Scope of Work Agreement rather than Contract, it doesn't have to be shipped over to the legal department for review.

    I know you'll figure all of this out on your own and will move past this situation a much better business person. First hand learning experiences are the most valuable in business so write off the cost of the extra 3 hours to "Training Expense" :)
  • christopherstevenbchristopherstevenb OttawaMember Posts: 255
    It's hard for me to judge without knowing all of the details, but it seems to me like you didn't budget an appropriate amount of time to get your work done. Have you done work like this and on this scale before ? Is the amount you're being paid for the shoot so low that it's a tip off to the clients that you're willing to work a few additional hours for free ? A shoot this large should be in the $x000s at the very least.

    If I was new to the game and thought that I misjudged the time or didn't work quickly enough and didn't anticipate certain obvious possibilities, I'd probably not push too hard for additional payment. At the same time, you really don't want to be in the practice of seeming to offer free work--because it's hard to back-peddle after that for the next job with a given client. If it were me I'd be having a very folksy conversation with the client to see what they thought was reasonable.

    Ottawa Wedding Photographer
    Christopher Steven B. Photography | Wedding blog

  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,462
    edited May 2014
    I don't think it was a question that Moriah didn't budget an appropriate amount of time. It was the clients lack of communicating up front. "I was NOT able to shoot everyone, and oops, they didnt think about the 30 people on 3rd shift. Could I come back the next day at 5:30 am... (I KNOW!!!)"

    That's why I suggested the "In-scope" and "Out-of-Scope" strategy as it provides for a plan for things that are not clearly identified.
  • christopherstevenbchristopherstevenb OttawaMember Posts: 255
    edited May 2014
    Hey Kevin. Unless I'm misreading something he agreed to shoot 500 employees in 7 hours (one day's work). A very quick calculation arrives at a time per head shot that is to me not realistic--if you're doing decent work. This isn't at all to suggest that your advice isn't great, just that we should at least acknowledge that the OP entered into an agreement without understanding how many hours a shoot like this ought to take.

    Ottawa Wedding Photographer
    Christopher Steven B. Photography | Wedding blog

  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,462
    You may be right Chris .... I assumed when the OP said "I have done work for them before..." that this meant she had done this type of project before. Yep 7 hrs or 420 minutes non-stop would mean one head shot every 50 seconds. Does seem more like a cattle stampede than a corporate head-shot session.

    I guess I also assumed that the real question the OP was asking if they should charge more because "they (the client) didn't think about the 30 people on 3rd shift" and then requested that the OP "come back the next day at 5:30 am."

    Bottom line, the OP needs to better understand the clients expectations and the amount of time required to complete the work and price accordingly. OP also needs to understand that sometimes the client may request additional work that falls out of the scope of what they agreed on. Always good that you and the client agree on how these types of requests will be handled up from rather than to wait for them to happen.
  • KeyByte StudioKeyByte Studio Member Posts: 1
    Different kinds of photography production demand different kinds of business contracts. I once made a nice profit taking thousands of documentary photographs but I had to be in control of my working environment variables to do that. The risk in certain situations is that you might not have that luxury. I recommend that every photographer have at least one fixed fee, by the hour and by the image contract ready in their back pocket before they are approach commercial negotiations. If you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each you can assign a fair price formula that gets you where you need to be. :)) B-) ~O)
  • charles faracharles fara Member Posts: 8
    I am just starting out and am reading all this business related pdots and appreciate all the time that you pros take to answer these questions!
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