How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hi I am a photographer, and I was commissioned to take some

This answer was rated:

I am a photographer, and I was commissioned to take some pictures of the interior of hairdressing salon in North London, so I turned up 15 minutes before the appointed time, unloaded the gear and started shooting, I was asked to shoot the interior, which is what I did - the building itself was not the most attractive in some ways as it had quite harsh overhead industrial strip lights, plus steel electrical trunking coming down the walls to sockets every 6 feet or so, it was also narrow and very deep making it difficult to light with my equipment without it being seen, I was given no real brief other than they only had two chairs when it was original photographed so wanted to show more.
The pictures turned out fine, and one of the partners saw them on the back of the camera whilst I was shooting, anyway I retouched the photographs (it was agreed that I would do some minimal retouching but nothing major) as always I spent a lot more time on them than I was charging for.
The pictures were then sent to them electronically, and I had an email back saying (exact words) Hello Simon Thanks for the pictures, they look great, but we would like to do some more next Thursday morning at 10.00am if thats alright with you.
I turned up the following Thursday and the Partner said, we have some new artwork on the walls, so we would like some more pictures to show it, so I said, so shall I repeat the same sort of shots again showing the new artwork to which he replied yes.
Again the pictures were sent electronically followed up by all on a disc the next day in the post, I emailed the invoice, and didn't hear anything from them for about 3 weeks, I then received an email saying they didn't like any of the pictures and don't want to pay for them
Firstly I gave them a price reduction on the second shoot of around 40% as I was not actually on site as long even though with travel and post production in reality it probably took just as long. Having spoken to them it would seem that they were after a different style, although having received no initial brief, and was not told to do anything different from the first time, other than to capture the new artwork, which I did its pretty difficult to do any more than I had done.
I have been in this business for 30 years shooting for some of the worlds largest companies and advertising agencies and this is the first time anything like this has happened, if I had thought that the pictures were not up to scratch I would be the first one to put things right, but I can't really second guess what they want, if no-one is prepared to direct the shoot.
Would you think that I would have a good case to claim the full fee through the county court, or do you think it would be one of these difficult subjective decisions
Many thanks
Simon Murrell
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do you guarantee satisfaction?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, but I guarantee the pictures will be of a high quality

And were they?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes they were fine, as I said if there was a problem with them I would have been the first to try and put it right

Ok. How much do they owe please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The total bill was for £ 540.00 which included VAT

You do have a claim against them.
You didn't guarantee satisfaction so the fact that they dislike the photographs are a non issue. If there were of poor quality then that would be different as that would offend against both your contract and the Sale of Goods Act and they would have a challenge. Of course, they may start saying that the reason they don't like them is that they are of poor quality or not what ordered etc and that would be for a court to determine.
It is worth suing though. Its a reasonable sum of money that you want to recover. They are probably not going to instruct you again anyway so it doesn't matter if you upset them and also would you want to work for them again in the circumstances? Take it from one who has had to write off a very large aged debt in the past, there is never any point in getting involved with people who don't pay their bills. You need to sit on defaulters. Why should they escape without payment.
Send them one making clear that you will sue if they don't pay within 14 days.
If they do not pay then issue against them here
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks that seems fine, I did send them in writing yesterday a letter giving them 14 days notice of legal action if the bill was not paid, plus when they asked me back firstly they said the pictures were great, plus they had every opportunity to say that they were not quite what they had in mind we wanted them more like etc etc but they didn't say anything. I was just worried that it might not be clear on such a subjective service

Its not really subjective.
If the photographs are of good quality then they are liable.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you