Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another life lesson learned .....

A while ago, I went looking for a model with either a bald or shaved head.  I had a picture in mind and the bald head was key to it.  I also had visions of a special headpiece and that the makeup would be done using an airbrush rather than the expected way using brushes and sponges.

I put out the feelers on Facebook but got virtually no response.  I put up a note on Model Mayhem - zilch, nada, nothing.  Then a friend of mine mentioned a friend of hers (I know - a friend of a friend) who was going to shave her (very) long hair to raise money for cancer treatment for a young girl here in Ireland.  I contacted her and met her so that we could size each other up and see if we fitted together,  I explained the shot, explained she would basically painted, the shoot would take about 4 hours, the photos would be used in competitions and might be in salons and could be on public view in exhibitions.
We had our coffees, chatted some more and then went our different ways.

I had a MUA friend of mine who uses a person who makes headpieces that are incredible.  I got in touch and asked her if she could make one especially for me.  We met, discussed the shape and concept, materials that would be used, the cost and when I needed it.  While I was there I also saw some other pieces that I agreed to hire for the day.  All was going well.

Now all I needed was the airbrush artist .....

I was talking to a friend of mine in Dublin Camera Club and he mentioned that "one of his guys" did airbrushing.  Maybe he could provide what I wanted so I described to him what I was looking for.  The colours would be subtle.  If I said gold I meant a gold tint and not gold-gold.  Head and chest would be a gold tint.  The face would have an oval of silver tint as though someone was shining a spotlight on her.  I wanted a soft jagged band of black across her eyes and hard black stripes coming from the forehead converging at the crown of her head.  I also said that money was scarce so it would be a deciding factor in whether I went ahead with the airbrushing or not.  If not then I would modify my approach and probably use the 'normal' methods.  I mentioned €50 as a starting negotiating price.

The following week my friend came back to me, told me he had discussed it and €50 would be okay.  I got the guy's contact details and

26-Feb 14:46
Paul: Hi,
I'm the friend of YYY that's looking for the airbrush job on a woman with a shaved head! Any chance we could meet and have a chat?
Paul Timon.

27-Feb 21:21
Paul: Have you changed your mind about the job?
Paul Timon.

Christian: Sorry man,just been really busy we can meet up in the academy on Friday at 1 if that suits ?

Paul: No problem. Yes, that suits me fine. See you then. Thanks.

1-Mar 12:12
Paul: Might be 5 mins late.

Christian: Sure no worries

We had our meeting.  I described what I wanted to Christian and I could see from his reaction that €50 was not going to be enough and suggested €100 to which he agreed.  He started doing a sketch of my description in Photoshop and said he would finish it another time and send me a copy for discussion in "the next few days".  One of the things I repeated over and over was that all the colours were to blend with each other - no hard lines - except for the lines on her head.
Christian had a problem with the date we had arranged for the shoot - the 22nd so I spoke to Louise and changed it to the 23rd to suit him.

1-Mar 17:27
Paul: 23rd is fine. 12:00 - 16:00
Paul T

Christian: Cool

Nearly two weeks had gone by without any sketch.

13-Mar 17:56
Paul: Anything to show me yet?

Christian: Not yet ill get a look at it this evening

Another week has gone by with no sketch.  I have given up expecting one.  I now decided I would just send him details of the shoot just to confirm them.

21-Mar 13:03
Paul: Saturday, 12:00 at Dublin Camera Club.
10 Lr Camden St.
Text me when you're outside.

I got a phone call from him telling me that he couldn't make it for 12:00 but would be there at 1:00 pm.  I called Louise and changed the time to 1:00.

22 Mar I see an email timestamped 21-Mar 23:55 where he says:find attached sketch for look on saturday in gold and silver there will be alterations depending on the size of the models head etc.. let me know if there you want to make any changes

This is the sketch I received the day before the shoot.

The day before the shoot at 6:22 pm I get the following text.  No phone call,just a text.
22-Mar 18:22
Christian: Hy Paul I won't be able to do tomorrow for you but I've given all the materials and equipment to an excellent make up artist called XXX  she is more than capable of creating the look your after and will be at the camera club at 12 her number is XXX

The replacement was not the same standard as Christian.  However I went with what she was doing and did my shoot.  I checked if she had been paid and she told me she hadn't so I gave her the €100 - the full amount.  But I had already paid Christian €50 so asked for it back.

26-Mar 17:52
Paul: I gave XXX the full €100 since you didn't give her the €50 deposit.
Please give YYY the €50 to return to me.

Christian: The deposit was 50 for materials which I gave to XXX the price for the job was 100 total price was 150

Paul: The number €150 was never mentioned at our meeting. It went from €50 to €100. Are you refusing to return the €50?

Christian: At the meeting I said 50 for materials and 100 for the day no make up artist would work for less than 100 for a make over especially with the airbrush

Paul: Considering all that has happened since I started this project, this is the last straw.

Christian: My going rate for a day is 350 I reduced the rate since you were a friend if YYY , you can check with him at the end of the day you got the job done for practically half the price

Paul: This is not over.

  • So.... I was told by his 'boss' (?) €50 would be okay.  But the discussion quoted €100.  No mention of an addition of €100.
  • I was promised a sketch of what we discussed in the following days after our discussion on 1-Mar.
  • After no sketch and no communication I had to ask about the sketch again on the 13-Mar and was told "Not yet ill get a look at it this evening"
  • On Thursday 21-Mar (shoot on Saturday) I send him confirmation details of the shoot only to be told he can't make it for 12:00.  What if I hadn't contacted him?
  • On Thursday night at 11:55pm he sends me the sketch I had expected weeks before and it is NOT what we discussed.  I don't see it until Friday 22nd.  I decide I'll try and steer the work on the Saturday.
  • 6:22 pm on Friday 22-Mar I get a text telling me he isn't going to be there but has assigned a replacement.
  • He also estimated it was two hours work.  His rate (now I find out) is €350 for the day.  Assuming an 8 hour day then 2 hours would be < €90?
I didn't get the person I had a contract with.
I didn't get a sketch in time despite asking for it twice and it was wrong.
I was overcharged.
I was given virtually no notice of replacement or asked if it was okay.

Would you use Christian Kotey?

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