Slow-paying clients.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT A BIG COMMERCIAL CLIENT THAT IS EXTREMELY SLOW TO PAY? I’M A FULL TIME PHOTOGRAPHER AND I’VE GOT KIDS TO FEED, SO I’M TORN BETWEEN BUGGING THEM ABOUT IT OR PLAYING IT COOL SO I DON’T SOUND LIKE I’M BROKE AND DESPERATE. I WANT TO GET MORE WORK OUT OF THEM IN THE FUTURE, SO I’M KEEPING QUIET AND WAITING FOR THE MAILMAN RIGHT NOW. HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE IT? I GENERALLY ASK FOR 30-DAY PAYMENT TERMS, BUT PEOPLE OFTEN GO OVER AND I HAVE TO CALL THEM TO GET PAID. ADVICE? THANKS.

A: This is one of the worst aspects of our jobs. Working with individuals is so great because you get a check and do the job on the same day in most cases. With large commercial work, I typically get a deposit of anywhere from 25%–50% ...

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