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Do clients inspect/approve your equipment?
Old 05-09-2004, 05:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I met with a potential client yesterday about producing a few advertising posters for his buisiness. Everything was going well, then he asked to inspect my equipment. I asked why and he said he just wanted to make sure I was using professional equipment. I told him I didn't have it all with me and that it seemed like a strange request, but I supposed I could arrange it. This morning he came to look things over, clearly didn't know much about the equipment, didn't look at anything very closesly, and didn't ask any questions, then left. This afternoon I got an e-mail from him asking whether my medium format equipment was all purchased after 1990 (why 1990? who knows?). I e-mailed him back and told him my whole MF kit includes equipment ranging from brand new to 30 years old, but that it's all professional equipment in good working order. Now I received another e-mail saying he didn't think my equipment could meet his needs and he'd have find someone else to work with. Is this normal? Is there something I don't know? I'm about to do some serious bridge burning here, but I just thought I'd check and make sure I'm not the one missing something. Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks. - Tim

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Re: Do clients inspect/approve your equipment?
Old 05-09-2004, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bridge burning almost is never a good thing for you to do first of all.
And yes I have gotten the feeling before a client is looking for a certain level of professionalism by looking at equipment.

A friend of mine said it was obvious he got jobs simply because he had a "Hassie" no other requirement was needed.

It's really indicative of the ignorance of a client in my opinion. I'm sure they were just looking for an excuse to say its something other than the fact that they would rather use someone else so they lay the blame on some "fault" of yours rather than say they found someone else.
A client who feels they have to do this is probably not a good client anyway.

I have access to the best equipment in the world, I can rent it. Besides equipment does not make a photographer, anyone who thinks its does is a fool.

To go thru any trouble at all is not worth your time.

Regards,

Stu
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Re: Do clients inspect/approve your equipment?
Old 05-09-2004, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As a second thought!!! From a possible theft standpoint, WATCH your backside. Yes, I have had prospective clients want to see what I was using for equipment. However, I also responded with a shooting is 90% operator, 10 % equipment. Your end result is your portfolio should be enough to speak for itself. -- Bill
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Re: Do clients inspect/approve your equipment?
Old 05-09-2004, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Now THAT is the biggest crock of horse**** I have ever heard. Does this person think that if you own the best cookware that it makes you a top chef? Give me a $#@^ing break. If someone comes to me and can't decide on me based upon my PORTFOLIO, then they can just find the door and not let it hit them on the way out. A professional with an old Pentax K1000 can shoot consistently better than someone with the best of the best medium format who doesn't have a clue how to wield the instrument. Yes, don't burn the bridges but man alive, I'd be fuming if I got an email telling me I couldn't do the job because of my "equipment." Since when does a camera "make" a photographer? Tools do not a carpenter make; cameras do not a photographer make. UGH! Excuse me now while I go and throw up.

Good day sir and best wishes in all you do!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Mike

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I\'m laughing like hell ...
Old 05-09-2004, 07:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm laughing like hell, but in sympathy with you. As an old fart, retired commercial shooter, I can say without doubt, that's a client you don't want. His request to see your gear would be only his first unreasonable request. That's a client who has absolutely no idea what he's doing, what he needs or what he wants.

I once had a client who wanted to visit my studio, apparently to make sure I had one. During his studio visit he wanted to know where I did my processing, what film I used and why I didn't shoot 4x5 Kodachrome since the K'chrome he shot as a hobbiest 20 years before was so good. BTW, he wanted B&W images. When he asked if my 15 foot studio ceilings were high enough to "really do pro work", I excused myself saying my "darkroom timer was vibrating". I stayed away until he left.

That's a client you do not want!


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one less headache....
Old 05-09-2004, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I believe this one would have to go to the "Eat Up With A Case of the Dumbass" Folder.

It is kinda funny...in my neck of the woods, some hacks have picked up some 10D's and S2's and are putting out polished turds and making alot of my potential clients ask for film. Luckily I have a ton of stuff I have shot on digital that knocks their socks off and I ease their fears, then end up with satisfied customers who then spread the word...but the damage has been done to a couple of potential clients who didn't care to see any of my work once they found out I preferred to shoot digital because one of the hacks sold them on the quality of digital and then provided sorry prints.
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Re: Do clients inspect/approve your equipment?
Old 05-09-2004, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like the client just wanted to feel important.. but if that's all it takes to for them to hand over the money then it doesn't really matter to me.

To borrow a quote from a friend "If I did with my body what I do with my camera to make money they would throw me in jail."

Israel
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Once in a while...
Old 05-09-2004, 11:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...........it does come up.... like what computer are you using...PC or Mac? Do you have a laptop? Do you shoot with the 1D or 1Ds? ....what are your telephoto lenses?? that sort of thing...but this is only for sports gigs.....and only recently..

I have had goofy people e-mail me on muse cube with strange requests to get me to answer their questions relating to how much would I charge for a job.....but the people never have any real contact information to make me believe that they were legit to begin with ....especially after one dope replied back to me with the user name "Harry Weiner"......and claimed to be a marketing director "for a company" ...(never telling me which one LOL!!) oh....and that he also wanted me to give him the telephone numbers of some models who he thought would look good in this job.... Hmmmm......now that sounds legitimate to me right?? Sure, I'd fall for that any day! Mmmm hmmm Yep!

A long long time ago when I was just interested in shooting anyone.....didn't matter what they looked like...I'd just give them 10 bucks and make them sit for me....if the pictures turned out well I'd give them a print.......and this was just to learn about lighting and how to take pictures of people.. One time, I asked this attractive young lady to model for me......she thought it would be ok...but she wanted to check with her boyfriend first... Her BF comes out to my pad..and asks to see my camera... I show him my (then 1990) Milolta 7000i gear and my RB 67 ProS Body with lenses.. ...and some old lighting equipment...which worked just fine at the time for getting the results I needed... He decided that my camera "wasn't big enough".. Hmmm.....ok... I asked him if he could take a look at my pictures that I managed to take with my "small" cameras....and he wasn't interested.... I'll bet you that he just wanted to check out who I am....and had no intention of letting his dumb GF to shoot with me no matter what! I'll bet you that even today he'd say the same thing..



JP

BTW, any real professional knows that you can get a lot done with very little and make it look good if he knows what he is doing in the first place! Tell that to snoopy!

 
 
Re: I\'m laughing like hell ...
Old 05-09-2004, 11:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OMG....you just reminded me of this "art director" of this waaaaay low budget magazine... for "parents of metro" children.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I did three jobs foir them because I thought they could use a hand in getting their crummy magazine off the ground and get some real businesses buying ad space....but, after the jobs I had to deal with this "art director" who spoke very well about art theory...and made comments to me about my pictures not being good enough for his standard of what was expecting from a professional.....even though I shot with studio lighting, medium format 6x7...his cover shot.....and some inside shots with my Canon L glass and prime lenses...and used Provia rated @ iso 64 which had a lot of pop to it. for both shots..... after they had been using flat bed scanned photographs from parents with point and shoot cameras with visable dust marks on the magazine front cover from the scanning process..........just awful stuff.... and this guy had the balls to suggest that I wasn't a real professional if I wasn't useing "Honkelblanc" cameras and Carl Zieiss lenses.... I'm like.....whaaat????? You mean "Hasselblad"?? Well sir, arguably, the 6x7 CM format works better for magazine cover shots than the 6x6 cm image...for your type of print.. Well, that was the last time I was asked to shoot for them....... today, 5 years later, their magazine still looks like crap!

Hmmm.... I guess they are still looking for their real professional..

JP
 
 
Re: Thanks for the feedback - got the real story
Old 05-10-2004, 09:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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After your good advice, I decided to postpone the bridge burning and see if I could still make the sale. After a lengthy phone conversation with the (ex)potential client, I learned that "working with a photographer from Two Rivers just doesn't carry the same prestige as working with a photographer from Anchorage or Seattle. It's about business image." Then came the part that really burned me up "... but I really liked your ideas and I'd still like to use them." I almost lost it, but just responded that I would prepare a bill for artistic consultation services, thanked him for his time, and hung up. Now I fully expect I'll see my ideas on local posters with an out of town photographer's credit line, and I'll be shocked if I ever get a penny from it. I guess that's the nature of the business, but commercial work doesn't come along that often here, and it gets offered to local photographers even less often, so it really sucks to loose a job because, even though my ideas are good, my address just isn't prestigious enough. But hey, at least I know it's not because my equipment is too old. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

Maybe I'm just not cut out for commercial work. Selling prints at an art show is far preferable to this kind of crap, even if there's no money in it.

Thanks to all of you for the feedback. - Tim
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