After being asked to do some photographic work for a start-up called Earlybirds, I was put on a monthly retainer (£500pcm) where I was asked to take a minimum of 16 ‘approved’ photographs per month.
The word ‘approved’ immediately made me dubious but I worked that out by adding into the contract that if he had decided to ‘disapprove’ an image, he then had no legal rights to use the photograph on any platform in any form.
The person I was dealing with, the founder of this start-up, is a very frustrating character. He comes across as very rude and blunt over email and, as most people do, believes he is overpaying me and therefore I should do exactly as asked.
He asked me to come along to Berlin with him and his co-founder to film an interview with a customer over there. Approaching the trip, there were many more annoyances. Firstly, he stated that he wanted to pause the contract after the first month. I then insisted he would have to pay my normal rate for this type of shoot (quoted £1200 for the weekend as it took up my time on Friday-Sunday). Eventually, he came around and it was written into the contract that the agreement cannot be paused for a consecutive initial 3 months. This means that I am getting at least £1500 from the agreement and that makes it slightly more worth while considering he just wants lifestyle photos that I can shoot in my spare time.
Berlin was a really good experience for me as it allowed me to gain a lot of experience in working with brands and people, finding the compromise in what they want and what I know is best for the media output.
Below is the video that I managed to come up with after the trip.