Learn from your mistakes.
I met my first retouching client 7 years ago in modelmayhem.com “Where Professional Models Meet Model Photographers” ( it is a website kind of Linkedin but for professional photographers, models, make-up artists, hairdressers, retouchers, etc.)
Back then I just have started in the retouching house in Bulgaria which was my first full time job.
Determined to earn more side income I registered to this site and days later a British photographer contacted me.
I looked at her work in her portfolio and it seemed that she was known in England because her name was on the covers of fashion magazines, newspapers, and many electronic publications.
This was my first independent project and I was more than excited.
I really did not believe she would hire me because my portfolio was not full of many images and I had just registered in this site and I was new member at that time.
Then she asked me for my price range and I gave her an offer based on her needs.
I remember that she accepted my offer almost immediately.
Then I was 19 years old and I had already offered a famous fashion photographer for a gig on my first independent project by which
I would have earned income that I then worked for a month with negotiations in less than 30 minutes for just one image. It wasn’t about the money though.
I felt like I could get to the top, I felt like this was my chance.
I imagined myself two months later with a portfolio full of professional photos of famous photographers and Finest Cuban Cigar in my right hand. I imagined myself travelling and working from all around the world. I even imagined the color of the umbrellas that would interfere with the sun on the islands I was going to visit. BULLSHIT!
She sent me the picture to my email and I got to work and few hours later, the project was completed and I was happy by the great result I achieved without a graphic tablet.
The night had passed as if it was only a few minutes long.
I worked all night and along with my full-time job during the day I had worked for more than 15 hours but it was worth it with three photographs, I managed to make as much money as I do for a full month from 6 at the morning to 2 pm.
When I woke up at noon Saturday and I saw that she paid me, accompanied by the message “Amazing work, I loved it, here are some more pictures to work on. Regards!” OMG! It was amazing!
Two days later I sent the images back to her but Uh Oh – she refused to pay me and the justification was that it was not what she expected. – Are you kidding me?!
“ Screw that “ We fought so much and I got sick of her. She became a completely different person!
Four years later I was curious what was happening with her and I logged into the website to see her profile and she was gone. “ What?! “ I thught to myself “ wait a minute”
I searched for her in Google and what I saw left me speechless. It became clear to me that she is not the person she’s represented herself. – respected British media claimed that – she was a personal agent to a celebrity photographer and she swindled more than £560 000 from an acclaimed celebrity photographer. Which has led to her imprisonment.
Obviously this is her practice.
Beware of scammers, and never do the work before they pay you.
Never trust anyone if you don’t know him in person and even then keep it in mind.
Photo by Aaron Burden