Photography Art / Freelance pay and work

Discussion in 'Artists' started by doobiedoobiedum, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    There's a question I've been struggling with during my freelance graphic design work with local clients/small businesses:

    Do you always write out a contract that stipulates the payment terms?

    One of the things I like to do is build trust with my clients, therefore I've never required written agreement. However, while most local clients do not lie per se, they do tend to forget.

    I've had situations where the client has grueled me about subsequent bills, even when it was their own request to pay in installments.

    On the flip-side, I feel presenting a legal document may intimidate and be too formal for these "ma-and-pa" shops and community non-profits.

    As more established digital artists your fields, I'm very interested to hear how you navigate these situations.
     
  2. YVerloc

    YVerloc Scribbler - Standard Member

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    For sure!
    Full amount within 15 days of receipt of invoice. Keep it simple.

    Disclosure: I hate invoicing. My clients usually have to nag me to get me to invoice them. My clients are practically saints in this regard. Either as a side effect of this, or probably just luck, I have literally never had to hound a client for payment. I won’t exactly recommend delayed invoicing as a srategy to make clients eager to pay, but...you never know!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  3. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I give 30 days, but if you have to chase the clients past due...well, that's a whole other issue (which as I've been there, trust me, sucks big time).

    Actually I was referring to a contract that both parties have to sign before the work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  4. YVerloc

    YVerloc Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yeah, me too. The contract starts the gig and the invoice ends it.
     
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  5. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    15 days, 30 days...
    Lucky you!
    My UK agency usually paid me 3-4 months after completion of a job and only because I started to chase them for payment during the third month. :D
    I have a job that took them something like 18 months: delivered in September, started asking for payment in May, ended with a payment after an eternal email exchange around February of the next year.
    One of the reasons I ended up leaving. Better manage work alone and chase clients for payments instead of chasing the agents.

    @YVerloc just out of curiosity, you mentioned Mullins so it leads me to the question: are you a concept artist? Reading what you write I'm under the impression you have quite some experience in the field...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  6. YVerloc

    YVerloc Scribbler - Standard Member

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    22 years and counting.
     
  7. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Now I know why your username was familiar...
    conceptart.org!
    That makes me feel old, I used to be a complete noob back in the days I followed that forum, following the death of gfxartist.com. :D
     
  8. YVerloc

    YVerloc Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hah! Long memory. I got to concept art.org after the death of Sijun.com. Followed my hero, Mullins, from the one to the other.
     
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  9. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Regarding these two comments, I personally and from talking to other illustrators think it comes down to the person you're dealing with and the professional relationships you build. Personally I would set up a web page with your rates, when you expect to be paid and what happens if you don't and then refer clients to that - make sure there's a section on extra requests too. Saves the difficult discussion of pay or even where's my money especially when the small job has changed into a larger job for the same pay.

    Personally, I think it's worth having more than one string to your bow - a bit of web design / graphic design or even animation alongside the main illustration probably helps out but the really big thing that helps is your personal network and links. If you know some other creatives and you can pitch work their way, it comes back in return.

    Also pays to be flexible if necessary, if you have the resources and are not tied to cash you could sometimes or with one client in particular consider payment in different ways. Plumbers and joiners often pay each other by doing work for free on each other's jobs and sometimes a client can compensate you in another commodity you want that they can exchange. Definitely should not be what you do for your living as you can't pay the bills using bartered items but it's worth considering.

    The only place I can think of near me is Atomhawk in Newcastle. They are incredibly specialised though.
     
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  10. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hmm, so it seems like pretty much everybody here is requiring formal contracts at the beginning of any job, even with smaller local clients (non-profit or not).

    So I guess my second question is, does this ever put-off your clients?

    From my own experience talking with clients in mostly casual settings, it seems so out-of-place to suddenly pull up a document and require a signature...
     

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