I do some freelance photography work on the side to help fund my photography hobby. I’ve done a couple of small shows for a couple of friend’s bands, and have gotten some great feedback on the photos that I’ve taken. One of the local promoters took notice of the traction I was gaining with the local scene and this exchange ensued.
Client: I’m putting on a battle of the bands over the next couple of months. Would you be interested in taking pictures?
Me: Okay – well that’s six shows, each show is about 4 hours and I’ll need to do about 6 hours of editing and sorting per set. I’m definitely interested, but since it’s such a large undertaking I would need to discuss compensation.
Client: Ok. Cool. Well, don’t do it if it’s an ordeal.
Me: It’s no ordeal – I can get a contract over to you to sign by tomorrow.
Client: If it’s a pain don’t worry about it.
This is where I realized he wanted this to be done for free but wasn’t saying it outright.
Me: It’s not a pain, it’s just the time involved. I enjoy doing it, it’s a side job for me though.
Client: If you have the free time come down, if not no biggie. Everything we have for budget is tied up in the show.
Translation: come shoot it for free anyway.
Me: With editing, each show is at least 8-10 hours of work for me – if I’m going to do that, I need to be paid. I’m into the event so I’d be willing to do it for $150 per show, which is really cheap for what I’m doing. If you want I can put together a contract for you and you can have a look.
Client: I completely understand.
No, you don’t.
Client: It’s a lot of work to take pictures all night.
The photos are the easy part.
Client: I personally don’t do contracts of any kind. So sending me anything wouldn’t matter.
Translation, I still want you to come shoot for free, and I’m terrified of contracts, so I won’t agree to one because I don’t want to be legally bound to my end of a deal.
Me: Contracts are pretty great. They just make sure everyone holds up their end of the deal.
I never heard back.