Apr 28, 2014

Photography, Money and the Moot Point

In my opinion one of the worst things to have ever plagued the face of the Earth is the so-called ‘current financial crisis’. Why? Because it is nonsense. Irrelevant in the extreme.  I don’t mean to undermine the deplorable knock on effects of a global financial decline. I just mean to say that as far as business and negotiating work is concerned it is a moot point – and a much-proffered moot point at that.

Here is why I say this. In the last three years or so, I can recall, and only with great effort, a few instances where price negotiations for photographic work has not been propped up, crutched by “the present financial situation”. When I quote a client, even giving a breakdown, for the work, inevitably the “situation” is brought up with such inappropriate, ill found concern (unconvincingly glum expressions and thinly veiled anxiety).

Here are a couple of versions of what is really being said in these situations (in fact, sometimes they are actually said). There are also some of my preferred, but not necessarily verbalised responses:

Potential client: “Oh yes, your quote is great, but did you take into consideration “the present financial situation?”
3P Photography: “Aghhhh! I always do that! I always forget to include my “current crisis discount”. What a tragic oversight! Lets knock off 25% shall we. There we go that’s more like it! I feel better already, don’t you?”

Potential client: “You know we really would like to sign off on your quote, honestly, but our hands are tied due to “the present financial situation”.
3P Photography: “Oh nonsense! They’re simply thrust fist first into your pockets. They’re not tied at all. Let me know when you manage to get them out”.

Potential client: “This is fantastic! There is a lot of enthusiasm for your proposal … but the present financial situation has brought in budget constraints”.
3P Photography: “Oh, for the budget free days of old!”

Potential client: “This looks great, but the present financial situation is forcing us all to work a lot harder.”
3P Photography: “No kidding! Why do you think I looked you up? You think the ‘crisis’ is only yours?”.

Potential client: “This is exactly what we had in mind, but I’m not sure our budget will cover it.”
3P Photography: “So who’s budget will? Show me the way to that office”.

So, bringing up “the present financial crisis” in a negotiation is a moot point. As moot as my mentioning that I intend to use a camera and a computer.