Recently, a speciality photographer started negotiating a multi-year shooting contract with a major media company. At first, the deal sounded great and the shooter enthusiastically agreed to the weekly rate and all of the subsequent photo uses they wanted.

Fast forward about three months. It’s now time to seal the deal. The photographer learns that the company is asking for buy-outs on a select batch of images and industry exclusive ten year holdbacks on a second batch of images. All this is to be included under the flat weekly creative fee, which seems very low now even though the shooter agreed to it when first approached about the project.

So now, as the shooter is asking, “How can I salvage this deal!?” I say what I’m thinking: “This is why you use an agent in the first place!”

Remember that it is hard to renegotiate when your initial excitement causes you to literally jump at the chance. When your dream assignment arrives, show delight! But then say, “I’ll have my agent get in touch with you right away!”