Friday, 27 July 2012

Vigilance, and contracts...

This news is doing the rounds in the Wedding Photography world this week.  Ex Wedding Photographer and Entrepreneur Gary Fong was sent information from a wedding photographer about clients threatening a 300k dollar lawsuit for, incredibly.... GOOD work.  We normally read stories about photographers that have lost data, were thoroughly incompetent, or failed to deliver the goods, but this story is a warning  for all photographers who take a nonchalant approach with clients.

Have a look at the video first:


I won't go into the technicalities about why this lawsuit may be quashed in court.  The letter sent by the attorney seems highly unprofessional and I have no knowledge about the law in different US states.  However the point to be made here is that you always treat a client, however nice, flattering or friendly  as they see...as a client. 

Many professional photographers who regularly blog, are afraid to say the truth about the industry.  All their clients are gorgeous, fun to work with and their weddings are a joy to photograph.  It doesn't take much to realise this is not the real world they are talking about. Some clients can be very difficult to work with, and this is not only in the wedding world.  They could be any kind of client really.  

The difficult bit is when clients are extra flattering about one's work.  In the industry we've all been through this... lots of sweet talking that makes you feel weak at the knees and highly esteemed.  Wow, you think..  why don't I have more of these clients?  The aim is, of course, to get more out of you than you normally would, or should offer...  hmm...
Of course there are the real nice people that are genuine and that you will love working with and for, but there are also the nasty ones who make your life hell, either before the shooting or afterwards.

For me this story is just a reminder not to forget the basis of a professional relationship, trust and honesty, and making sure all the paperwork is relevant, agreed to in all detail and that the contract is honoured in its' totality.  If you can afford to, walk away from people who you're not sure of, that saves you hassle and problems that others can have...  Well that's my policy anyway...

Have a great weekend! :)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

On Landguard Point

It was about a year ago, that I got what I thought was a weird phone call at the time.  I was asked if I was available to photograph a film production that was happening in Great Yarmouth. The line was very bad and I didn't quite get all the details, though I did call the person back to enquire for more information.  I wasn't sure whether I was scared or thrilled!!  

I was informed Pacitti Company were working on a short film for the cultural Olympiad and they needed a photographer to shoot stills from the filming they were doing locally.  The weird thing is that they also needed someone to play the part of a photographer using a large land camera (an old style wooden camera that carried glass photographic plate and had bellows).  Eek!  I'm not quite confident having a photo taken, so you can imagine what I feel about being filmed!!

However, this was an opportunity too good to miss, so I accepted the assignment with some trepidation! :)  

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movement.  On Landguard Point' is the representation for the East of England and reflects the director, Robert Pacitti's love for the coast of East Anglia and in particular, Landguard Point, the last coastal defence built in this part of the coast in 1639You can read more about Robert's perspective on making the film here, together with links to the project's official website

I turned up to the old skating rink in Great Yarmouth on the afternoon of the shoot with a lot of concern regarding my attire.  I had been asked to discuss my choice of clothing for the filming with the team and I had narrowed my choice down to a couple of outfits.  The day being hot and muggy made it easy to grab a frilly black warehouse dress that fitted into the vintage theme.  

The skating rink was full of activity when I arrived, with the filming crew all ready to roll, and all the participants practicing, his Worship the Lord Mayor of Great Yarmouth, the naval cadets, Parkers Donkeyworld and their handlers, Great Yarmouth Brass and TS Fearless, The Crystallette Twirlers and me, still not sure what to expect.  


The instructions flowed quick and direct, I had to move into the scene at a signalled point, vintage camera firmly in my grip, place it on the marked spots, drape myself in a black cloth behind the view finder and signal to the group that the shot was about to be taken.  We practiced three times, for what seemed like forever, and the firework that was due to accompany my shooting action had to be aborted because it didn't fire on demand (I was quite looking forward to that! Sigh)


Here are some images I took that afternoon during the practice, however the image that did make it to the film is bound by copyright and only appears on the film :)  It appears very bright as a photograph laid on a desk, surrounded by objects that connect to the story.  I am so, so proud of that bit!! :)














































 

We were duly invited to the cast and contributing crew's premiere of 'On Landguard Point' at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich two weeks ago, so we very excitedly made our way down the coast to see what came out of this teeny contribution....


I took the opportunity to capture a few moments of the premiere, with Robert Pacitti being interviewed on the red carpet, his introduction to the project in the theatre and my second of fame in the film credits.  The images could not capture my excitement at seeing what came out of the filming in Great Yarmouth and my delight that the vintage photographer scene was retained as well as my image of the participants on the day in another scene. :)

The film in itself  has some wonderful photography as well as a fascinating insight in to the directors perspective on his much loved land of origin. The film was filmed in the six counties that constitute the East of England and offer different stories that all link together in a loose but very artistic way.   I must say I was very impressed to see what Pacitti Company have achieved in this project and will be following their future activities.

'On Landguard Point' will be shown at the Latitude Festival near Southwold next weekend, as well as some Theatres in the East so add it to your calendar if you'd like to watch. :)


Meanwhile, if you are filming and are looking for a photographer to document the events and play a part in the filming, I may just be tempted! ;)










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