What happens if you don't take any photos?

Well, I did a strange job last night. Was an Islander wedding. I was booked from 6-9pm and they had so many speeches and different dances, no joke I didn't take a photo until 8.30! I was actually starting to stress it'd get to 9 and still no photos!!

Has anyone had anything like this? I think I've now done close to 100 jobs and sometimes you have some quiet nights but never like that. Also what would you have done if it had got to 9 and literally not a photo taken? Do you stay over time as a token, or give some money back to them?! (I ended up staying an extra half hour just so they got some kind of value for money!)


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Mike
    I've had a few over the years that took 30-40 minutes to get our first session. But never 2 1/2 hours. I would be stressing too.
  • CTJB
    We have done a handful (3-4) over the last few years where this has happened.  It is hard to feel like they did not get their moneys worth, but really we are paid to be there and really to be available.

    If they set us in an outside area where guests do not use it, or if they did not pay us to be there for the whole event that is really not on us.  I usually do not request any reviews from a client in this situation where we shoot under 20 photos just to be on the safe side.

    It may also not be a bad idea to follow up with the client and let them know you did all you could to get guests to use it and thank them for having us anyway.  Staying late was probably your only option.

    I have also tried to send them a photo collage poster, a small photo book, or something extra just as a thank you.  The money saved on the prints not printed makes it easy to justify.  If you are at only 8 pics though that may not even be possible.
  • flashasmile
    One thing you can do, which I will not say if I've done or not done is take pictures in the booth yourself. Use props to hide your face and do interesting poses. At least it gets the picture count up a bit. If you have a jacket or different outfits then change away. Grab some other vendors or waitstaff or cleaning crew and go at it.
  • Pwa25
    CTJB that's not a bad idea bout the photo book or poster actually. Thanks for that I might follow it up.

    In regards to your comment 'It may also not be a bad idea to follow up with the client and let them know you did all you could to get guests to use it and thank them for having us anyway' 

    That's where it's a strange situation. You know how for example you're doing a 21st party and the speeches so you may not run it through that period (normally around 10 mins or so?) It's not as though I was tucked away somewhere, or outside etc, the ONLY reason people weren't using the booth was because it was like the speeches and traditional dancing itself went for 2 1/2 hours! So it wasn't like people were mingling and walking around the venue and able to take photos, everyone was still at their tables watching all the traditional dancing and speeches. That's whey I found the whole thing so strange, that it was like the host stopped the booth for that long, not that the guests didn't want to use it or know about it...
  • david-janaskie
    If that would have happened to me, I would done similar to what you did.  Stay open for an extra 30-60 mins, depending on if had something else booked afterwards.


    You fulfilled your contract (and more).
  • thephotoboothco
    Do your clients normally pay for idle time? In that situation you could possibly ask them to pay for the time you were idle and then operate for the hours when everyone is available and using the booth. This way you would be paid for the "extra hours or 1/2 hour" you were open. We offer our clients idle time at much less of a rate than operating time, so that they feel they will get value when the booth is closed for speeches etc. This way you dont feel like you have let them down and they feel like they get value for their money.

    Just my thoughts.
  • bobbymor
    I don't offer idle time rates. I'd be out of business by now. I guess the idea is that it's not fair to charge if the client isn't using it? My take is that if I take a job on a certain date from the start time to end time that's time I'm there and  have to charge for regardless of usage of my equipment.  When I'm at your event I can't be at someone else's event.  Why put that wild card in your income?  Isn't your time to load up, set up, stand there worth being paid for?  Idle time rates in my opinion just over complicate the whole thing. Who's really counting the time? You! So you've giving yourself more work to do and opened bup the possibility of a client challenging you on that time too. Just set your rate to account for the average usage and be done with it.  I've never had a client that has asked about idle time not book me because I charge a set rate per hour regardless of usage.  Most people understand there is more time and work involved besides the time you are there and that you can't possible be profitable if you charge like a snow cone vendor at a fair.  Besides, I don't really get that question anymore, it was more of an industry standard when you could get $800 to $1000 for a 4 hour block, now days it's $400 in my market and that's barely worth leaving the house for after expenses.
  • hd_orlando_photobooth
    I usually try to have time available to the customer for more hours and I offer bargain rates for extra hours once there. Setting up and breaking down and driving is the major pain, standing there an hour or two longer and being the savior is great. But I have had to help "guide" people into the booth. Good thing we use flash, It kinda alerts people to the action going on inside. Sometimes I jump inside and do strange shots with props, which im testing to see how they come out as well kinda alert and attract people in. Usually works.


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