How do you charge for your services
For all clients I provide a detailed invoice immediately after the work which requires prompt payment. (my services are tax deductible so please retain this invoice).
For short jobs such as ongoing telephone / email support and consultation I keep a detailed time sheet and place all details from this in an invoice at the end of each month, so if for instance I only time sheeted 20 minutes of work then this is what get billed.
I only charge for working time (if we talk on the phone for 10 minutes about the weather and 5 minutes to resolve an issue then you get charged 5 minutes). If I process large batches of images for you then it is only the setup time and set down time that is charged – not the actual processing time.
For straightforward production retouching to Getty standards for batches of 10 images or more I charge a small fixed fee per image, other services can also be done for a fixed fee by arrangement.
I’m always pleased to give a time estimate so don’t hesitate to enquire
Do you do larger workshops?
I have in the past and will again in the future. However I do find that by keeping classes small I can more concentrate on developing individual solutions for each person. If the cost of a one or two day workshop is a little too high for you then you are welcome to bring up to two other people and split the cost amongst yourselves.
I lack confidence in my ability – is this a problem?
This is not uncommon. I have trained many photographers and staff in all aspects of imaging work and I know that even the most intelligent person needs to learn things from the beginning.
Imaging can at first seem a bit overwhelming and some of its aspects can be a little peculiar so don’t feel bad if you stumble. We can move at your pace and work out a plan of action to achieve what you want to achieve.
Do you work with Macs or Windows PCs?
I work with both Mac and PC. Photoshop is now native 64bit on both platforms and aside from keyboard layout work identically on both platforms. I’m happy to work on and train on either platform (they are as good as and as bad as each other!)
If you are about to buy an imaging Mac/PC consider contacting me first, for 30 minutes consultancy I can review your spec and advise, I promise you that it is worth the effort to get things right.
Are your purchase recommendations tied to a particular sales channel?
No, when I advise on equipment or other purchases for clients it is done in the best interest of the client and I will not direct them to suppliers that pay me commission.
I do research availability and price and will forward links to suppliers who offer the best price / service but these are for reference only and the client can take the specification and buy elsewhere. I’m happy with this and so are my clients.
I’m concerned about confidentiality, whats your approach?
I take client confidentiality very seriously and will not disclose information about clients to other clients.
Aren’t consultants a waste of time?
Some are. I like to think my consultancy is different because I provide real world practical help to client businesses. I can teach based on my work in photography and from the images I prepare from RAW to CMYK repro in real world publications, I do as well as teach others how.
I have many clients who have used me for years because they know my services have helped their businesses.
Less frequently asked questions:
What happens if you get run over by a bus?
This has been asked a few times and I do appreciate that ongoing support is an important aspect for larger clients with mission critical setups. Because of this I have developed a two way handover system with Edward Leigh at Excogitate Consultancy who provides independent IT consultancy for picture libraries. He has the knowledge to support any systems I put in place.
(I also take great care when crossing the road)
Our IT department handles imaging, why do we need you?
Naturally, if you have a skilled IT department they should cope well with most imaging related areas, there are however some areas such as setup, colour management and equipment that can be very specific to imaging and outside general IT remits. I work very carefully with your in house (or out of house) IT provider to build trust and help them understand not only the nature of any IT related changes I suggest but also the reasons for them. I always seek permissions before actioning anything that would impact areas covered by the IT team.
The idea is that you tell us what to do?
I never tell, I only suggest.
I am aware that imaging workflow may either be central or peripheral to your business. When seeking solutions to a problem or designing a system I fully take into account budget constraints. I will give a variety of options and point out the strengths and weaknesses of any approach.
Can you help us with out IT systems generally?
If you don’t already have an IT support company then I may be able to help you with configuring IT related systems. For small clients this may involve things such as configuring routers/servers. Because I may be geographicaly distant from many clients I always recommend using local IT support for ongoing maintainance once things have been setup. I provide a full configuration report on each system so that local IT can be brought up to speed quickly.
Can you help setup a Web site / email account
I can help setup a new domain and associated email account ready for a new website but these days I recommend using a dedicated website developer to design the website.
I help you to setup your own domain name so that you remain fully in control of it. For clients who don’t want to do this themselves I can manage the domain for them (changing pointing/email and renewals)
In cases where I manage domains on behalf of a client I can confirm here in writing that the client fully owns the domain I setup for them and I will transfer out to the client their domain they wish to take into their control, even if the client has not paid any invoices. In the past I have encountered clients who have been badly treated by IT support companies, I build my reputation by not treating clients badly.