Am I being paid too much?
September 23, 2011 10:41 AM Subscribe
Photographers: reducing your rate – do you or don’t you?
I am a photography student (a year and a half into the program). I was recently contacted on very short notice to shoot a gala event for the regional branch of a national organization. The organizers know I am a student. The agreed-upon rate I am being paid is $500: $250 paid at the event, $250 upon delivery of a photo CD for which I have a month to deliver. The event was held last night. During the cocktail hour portion of the even they had a slide show running of previous years’ gala events, and one of the organizers pointed out to me that they’d hired two previous photographers shoot their gala events. The professional photographer who’d done the work 5 out of the past 6 years did really lovely work. Another photographer had been used for that 6th year and the otherwise pleasant organizer whispered critical comments about the crap job that photographer had done. But really, no pressure.
Browsing through the images today … ugh. I tend to be fairly hard on myself about what I believe constitutes a “good job”, but even with personally relaxed standards I gotta say I’m fairly unimpressed with my images. I had several terrific photographs a la 5-of-6-years guy, but I had a more significant pile that were more along the lines of 1-of-6-years guy.
I will be doing some digital image editing in the coming days but I feel a little bit sick to my stomach asking them to pay me that second half of the rate we’d agreed upon. I’m not sure I’ll be delivering images for which I’d pay $500 were I the client. I don’t need to be noble but I do want to be fair to them.
How should I proceed?