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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Gameface Media Nonpayment
Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 4:35 PM on 11.23.16
->> So sorry to post this but I feel I have to warn shooters out there. I personally, and lots of other photographers around the country,have not been paid by Gameface for events shot as far back as June of this year. I was told 90 days after my first inquiry, but now we are over 150 days. I am told Gameface was not paid by sponsors, which is delaying payments to shooters. I was not contracted by the two sponsors, I was hired by Gameface.
So.....be very weary of taking assignments from Gameface Media. I was told 90 days on the next few events I took. We are 3 weeks out on one of those events. But with no return of phone calls, and the usual canned e-mail response from one of 8 people whom I emailed, I am pretty sure there will not be a check in the mail.
This is a shame because GF paid right on time until June of this year. And the people I dealt with were great. Hopefully they get things squared away. In the mean time, I am not taking any more assignments from them. And please look out for yourselves when they ask you to shoot for them.
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Michael Ciu, Photographer, Assistant
Amherst | OH | USA | Posted: 6:14 PM on 11.23.16
->> Yeah, this sucks. When they sent the email out stating that payments would be delay, I stopped working for them. Hopefully things kick back into gear for them and they start paying photographers soon, but I don't see that happening.
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 5:08 PM on 11.24.16
->> It's getting ugly...
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1437224
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David Wuerth, Photographer
Smithfield | RI | USA | Posted: 1:08 PM on 11.26.16
->> Ah, poor Gameface. They have a handful of excuses as to why they are not paying their photographers and they are SO sorry that this has occurred and gee whiz any day now it's all going to be better. Yeah, bullshit. They have dug themselves a very deep hole and I do not see them climbing out.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 6:13 PM on 11.26.16
->> Not sure how they thought this was profitable for anyone:

JUNE 30, 2016, BOSTON, MA & LOS ANGELES, CA — Gameface Media and Conqur Endurance Group today announced a two-year partnership in which runners in the Pasadena Half Marathon & 5k at the Rose Bowl will receive free digital race photos. With approximately 8,000 projected annual participants, Gameface Media expects to deliver more than 150,000 photos to participants over the length of the agreement. The inaugural Pasadena Half Marathon & 5k kicks off on January 22, 2017 and will take participants through beautiful Pasadena past ...
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 9:52 PM on 11.26.16
->> For those looking to get paid and maybe having to sue to do it, here is a tactic a friend used many years ago with another company that wasn't paying. Instead of just going after the deadbeat company, he contacted the company's "partners" to see what financial ties they had with the deadbeat; the purpose was to find deep pockets to also list on the small claims court action. Naturally, the partners immediately called the deadbeat who went ballistic and contacted my friend to find out what the heck was going on. He got a check -- in full -- for all money owned within a week.

It seems that while photographers may be at the bottom of the food/money chain in the eyes of some agencies, they go quickly to the top when partners and financial backers are brought into the mix that could upset the revenue streams.

Just asking your Gameface contacts about who their financial backers are could very well get their immediate attention and maybe generate paychecks versus the prospect of having their name sullied with those who control the purse strings.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 1:24 AM on 11.27.16
->> In some states you can put a labor lien against them, that would also include the group that they were hired by, that would probably also work similar to what Doug is talking about cause they would not want to lose the customer.
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Michael Augustin, Photographer
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 11:08 AM on 11.27.16
->> I have done several assignments for GF and I was always impressed with their fast payment. Most of the events are fun to shoot and the GF team leads have been great to work with. I also found that not having to spend hours editing and uploading was nice!

I have not accepted several recent assignment offers because of their current ongoing financial hardship. Some offers include a bonus payment and mileage. It all means nothing if they cannot honor contracts. I sincerely hope they pull through this.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 11:00 PM on 11.27.16
->> Marvin, I did e-mail one of Gameface's corp sponsors for the Pittsburgh Tough Mudder. Have not heard back as of yet.
Just thought the sponsor would like to know GFM is blaming nonpayment on nonpayment from the sponsors.
Wonder if the business desk of the Boston Globe has any info?
This would be a great spot to throw in the link to the "Pay Me!" scene from "Good Fellas".
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 11.28.16
->> Sam...

Instead of "informing" PTM about the non-payment problem by GFM, find out if they still owe the agency any money for being a sponsor. If they do, then list them in your lawsuit to collect what is due you directly from them. If they say they have already paid GFM all that is due, then you'll know the slow money flow isn't the problem and GFM has the cash in hand to pay you. The question then becomes what is your payment money really being used for.

As was the mantra from the old Watergate reporting days: follow the money, not the players.
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David Wuerth, Photographer
Smithfield | RI | USA | Posted: 9:27 AM on 12.01.16
->> Yesterday, I was informed by one of the photography directors, that since I am declining assignments from Gameface because they owe me money, I will no longer be a "payment priority" for them. Months back, their photography directors had told me, "we understand if you decide not to shoot for us. We won't hold that against you." Yeah right!
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
Raeford | NC | USA | Posted: 10:38 PM on 12.01.16
->> I received this response to an e-mail I sent earlier this week:

"we recently made payments for some May events for course photogs. As further investment and invoice collections arrive, we will next pay photogs for remaining outstanding May events and then on to June events, then July and so on. Once we get some clarification on when that additional funding/invoices happen, we would update you. At this point we don't have enough information to forecast when that would happen unfortunately.
Please stay tuned for future updates.
We feel terrible about this situation and doing everything we can to get you and all the other photogs paid."

6+ months behind, and they don't appear to be going anywhere fast.
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 12:00 AM on 12.02.16
->> I was offered 3 contracts in late Oct early Nov. All of the offers were pretty much last minute and I had other plans. It is starting to look like a good thing I was busy those days, especially since one event was a Tough Mudder on a rainy day. They seem like nice folks but.....you need to pay people if you really want people to respect you and work for you.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:43 AM on 12.02.16
->> Question for current Gameface shooters:
Is there anything/clause/sentence in your contracts that says you'll get paid when GFM gets paid?

Two and a half years ago I inquired about shooting for GFM and was sent a contract to look over. I wanted some changes in it made which one of the DOPs agreed was fair but his "higher-ups" disagreed so I never signed. There is nothing in the contract sent me about payment for services rendered being dependent upon GFM getting paid first by the event organizers. How about yours?

Also, for those in California the state's definition of Work For Hire contracts deems those doing WFM are "employees" of the hiring company.

Here's a story clip from aPhotoEditor:
"The issue is not that it’s illegal for an independent contractor to agree to a work made for hire agreement in California. The problem is that when a photographer is hired under a work made for hire agreement, then the photographer, under California state law, is considered an employee rather than a independent contractor. Specifically, California Labor Code section 3351.5(c)provides that one definition of an “Employee” is:

"Any person while engaged by contract for the creation of a specially ordered or commissioned work of authorship in which the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire, as defined in Section 101 of Title 17 of the United States Code, and the ordering or commissioning party obtains ownership of all the rights comprised in the copyright in the work.

"California Unemployment Insurance Code Section 686 also states that:

“Employer” also means any person contracting for the creation of a specially ordered or commissioned work of authorship when the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire, as defined in Section 101 of Title 17 of the United States Code, and the ordering or commissioning party obtains ownership of all of the rights comprised in the copyright in the work. The ordering or commissioning party shall be the employer of the author of the work for the purposes of this part.

"Once the photographer is an employee, the employer must pay unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance for the employee. If not, the employer can be subject to one year in jail and up to $20,000 in fines (California Labor Code section 3700.5 and California Unemployment Insurance Code Section 2122)."

The exception to the above is if the photographer operates as a business entity -- LLC or corporation. The above WFM statutes do not apply to businesses. So if you're working as a WFM individual for GFM, then the company is your employer and is responsible for employment taxes, insurance, workers comp, etc.

Also, while doing some file purging a while back I came across an article I had saved from the September 1986 issue of Photomethods magazine written by Steven Mangold on copyright because of one paragraph. It says:

"In 1982 California enacted a bill that places some restrictions on work-for-hire contracts. If an employer demands copyright ownership of a freelancer's output, the freelancer must then be considered a full-time employee for the term of the assignment and be covered by workman's compensation, unemployment insurance, health, retirement and all the other benefits regular employees receive. In addition, the freelancer's invoice must be paid within 72 hours of presentation or the employer is liable to pay penalties totaling the entire amount of the invoice for each day past the first three to a maximum of 30 days. Think of it. A $2,000 invoice not paid for 30 days comes to $60,000 in penalties!"

I have no clue if that law is still in effect or if it was repealed/altered. But if it is still on the books what a wonderful sledge hammer to use to get your unpaid invoices paid. Plus you have the state on your side because of the fines it can assess against the company.

Food for thought.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 10:31 AM on 12.08.16
->> Yesterday I received three emails back from Gameface Media employees. 2 canned responses, one a real live response. Which was nice to have a real non-canned reply, but the tone was off tune. See all 3 Below:

Brian Walker's standard replay for the past 6 weeks or so:

Hi Sam - last month we made payments for some May events for course photogs. As further investment and invoice collections arrive, we will next pay photogs for June events, then July and so on. Once we get some clarification on when that additional funding/invoices happen, we would update you. At this point we don't have enough information to forecast when that would happen unfortunately. Please stay tuned for future updates.
We know this is very frustrating and feel terrible about this situation and doing everything we can to get you and all the other photogs paid.

regards....Brian
Brian Walker
CTO
http://www.gamefacemedia.com
781-801-0254

Marty McCrory canned out of office replay that has been running for a few weeks now:

Thank you for your email! I'm out of the office working on a special project. For Gameface business, please contact Brent Doscher at brent@gamefacemedia.com. Thank you!


--
High five,
Marty McCrory
Director of Photography
http://www.gamefacemedia.com
Mobile: 617-401-1699

And Brent Doscher sent a real time response with some "advise" :

Sam,

I do not have any new information on payment. Please understand that I am not in charge of finance or accounting, and that harassing me does nothing except make me more and more frustrated, since I have no control over the situation. As a person to another person I am asking you to please stop harassing me and any others. We are not sitting on piles of cash being evil people, the finance team is trying to make payments when possible.


Brent Doscher
Director of Photography
http://www.gamefacemedia.com
603.660.6364 (m)

Three of four emails and ONE text message, plus MB post here, asking for the money they owe me is considered harassment? Too bad Brent's name is on some of the contracts I have with GFM.

Fred Miranda MB has same old song and dance theme as well.

2016 has been the worst year in my 20+ year as a pro getting paid. As far as GFM goes, looks bleak to say the least. BUT they keep booking events.
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David Wuerth, Photographer
Smithfield | RI | USA | Posted: 4:48 PM on 12.08.16
->> Marty is on an unpaid leave of absence due to the GF money problem.
I believe Brian Walker, whom I know, is actually a clone from the Westworld set.
I hear Brent will take a leave of absence as well.
Ain't that a shame.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 6:16 PM on 01.16.17
->> FYI, a GameFace photographer who claims he has not been paid has posted a warning on Petapixel. Here's the link.
https://petapixel.com/2017/01/16/photographers-beware-gameface-media/
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Rob Sirota, Photographer
Saratoga | CA | USA | Posted: 5:35 PM on 01.19.17
->> Interesting note attached to their new request emails:

Notes: We are currently experiencing a delay in payments to photographers. We are slowly, but surely, getting caught up on payments and resuming our normal pay timelines. Please do not accept this contract if you are not prepared to wait longer than normal for payment. Thank you for your understanding, and consideration.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 4:03 PM on 03.03.17
->> Here's a Boston Globe story from yesterday about Gameface Media raising $2.6 million from angel investors and wealthy families. Some of it will be used to pay -- in full -- past due amounts to photographers within the next week.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/03/02/gameface-media-raises-from-...

Gameface claims the bind it got itself caught in was promising to pay the photographers within 15 days of their assignment but sponsors weren't required to pay for 120 days, plus delays in raising more money from investors.

------------------

For those still shooting for Gameface, has your contract been changed from being paid within 15 days to a longer term, and if so what?

Also, the story says Gameface is on track to becoming profitable for the first time this year. But it doesn't define what profitable is. Is that revenue less expenses but excluding paying back investors, or does that include having all the investors paid back too? Investors expect to be paid back with interest -- just watch the TV show Shark Tank. So far the company has raised $10.1 million. Yesterday Snapchat became a $28 billion dollar company even though it lost over a half billion last year and its founders have said it may never be profitable.
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Andy Burrow, Photographer
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 11:30 AM on 03.04.17
->> Website dedicated to Gameface Warning
http://www.gamefacemediawarning.com/
has some current information on their payments from David Lavallee with mention of Runners World article



Private Company Ticker Symbol™: (GAMEFMP)

Gameface Media is a privately-held company that operates in the following industries: Sports & Sports Teams and Photography & Photo Services. Gameface Media was founded in 2013. Gameface Media headquarters are located in Boston, Massachusetts.
Petapixel. sportshooter, indeed, Fred Mirada, just to name a fEW.

Main Players Start at the Top Anyone? Why play with the players.

All information is from Bloomberg and free to anyone
Mr. David Lavallee J.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Robert D. Crowley
Co-Founder and Chairman
Ms. Jennifer Peterson
Vice President of Operations
Mr. Mark W. Herlyn
Chief Advertising Officer
Age: 58
Mr. Mark Coffey
Chief Revenue Officer
Phone 617-566-8600
Leave them messages if nothing else. The gate keeper will probably not let you thru to them any way.

CEO
Salary
240.7K
Bonus
366.2K
Total Short Term Compensation
330.0K
Total Value of Options
16.2M
Compensation as of Fiscal Year
Gameface Media, Inc. CEO Compensation
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Tim Cowie, Photographer, Photo Editor
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 11:46 PM on 03.08.17
->> On the same subject, but a different company, has anyone had dealings with Marathonfoto? A friend was asking and wondered if the experience was a positive one.

Thanks in advance.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 7:04 AM on 03.09.17
->> Tim, I do a couple of jobs a year for Marathon and always get paid in a timely manner. THumbs up for them
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Kurt Rivers, Photographer
Ormond Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 11:49 PM on 03.10.17
->> MarathonFoto (Iconic Group - including Grad Images and others) is a great company to shoot for concerning payment and reimbursing expenses as long as you are locked in an hourly rate you are happy with. The company is huge and has everything well thought out.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 10:24 AM on 03.14.17
->> Got a check from Gameface in the mail Saturday 3/4/17. It was for an event in June of 2016.
I wrote to the Boston Globe about GFM months ago, guess they just run "happy" stories about local companies.
Now if GFM would just pay me for the other four events, that would be a happy story.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 2:45 PM on 03.15.17
->> Sam, so glad to hear a payment came through. I've followed some of this thread and your posts. These jobs have become quite expensive in terms of time, money, and emotion. At some point your time spent trying to collect should be shifted towards other projects that will pay you. Good luck!
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David Wuerth, Photographer
Smithfield | RI | USA | Posted: 3:08 PM on 03.15.17
->> Hey Sam, I took GF to Boston Small claims. GF did not show in court and I got the judgement. The next day I got an email from bill.com saying I would be paid in full that week and I was. I hear from other GF shooters they're getting what you got; payment for one old event. I doubt any of the shooters that GF owes money to will ever be paid in full.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 8:21 PM on 03.20.17
->> Garrett, I do not spend any more time on getting paid from GFM, than I do trying to collect from other deadbeats. Which amounts to maybe 10 minutes a week.

David, can an out of state party file a claim in Boston Small claims court?
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 10:03 AM on 03.21.17
->> Below is an email I received last night from GFM Director of Photography Brent Doscher:

Hi Sam,

I can not comment on the status of the payment, but due to the turn that our business relationship has taken, I feel it is in both of our best interests if we discontinue our working relationship, and therefore I removed you from our network. Best of luck with everything in the future.


Brent Doscher
Director of Photography
http://www.gamefacemedia.com
603.660.6364 (m)

My response was pretty simple. There is no relationship to comment on. You owe me money, you do not pay me. And I do not need your luck, I make my own luck.

How in the world does GFM expect to have pro shooters work with them if this is how they treat us? No pay, slow pay and getting attitude for asking to be paid. Not a good combination.
The last event I shot for GFM had three personal friends who were begged to come to WV by the team leader, and two other shooters who had never shot a road race event ever. At this point GFM's quality has sunk, its business model is proving faulty, and its management is getting petty. SO sad.
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David Wuerth, Photographer
Smithfield | RI | USA | Posted: 3:41 PM on 03.22.17
->> Sam, you have to file in person. I'd file in your home state. Hopefully, the maximum you can ask for is more than they owe you. So, file for what they owe and the balance for copyright infringement. Since they have not paid you, the contract is void and GF is using your images without your consent.
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Eric Andre, Photographer
Somerset | WI | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 04.20.17
->> Any updates on this issue?? I'd like to consider doing this type of shooting but obviously not if they are still not paying anyone!
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Dave Smith, Photographer
Menomonee Falls | WI | USA | Posted: 8:40 PM on 04.20.17
->> They raised $2.6M in March and shortly after that I received a check for half of what they still owed me from last year. A few weeks ago they contacted me to shoot an event and I asked how long after the event it would be before I would get paid and they responded that they could not promise a specific timeframe. Needless to say I turned down the event.

https://petapixel.com/2017/03/02/gameface-media-pay-photographers-soon-rais.../
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 8:52 PM on 04.20.17
->> New Update. Last week, I offered a compromised settlement with GFM. David Lavallee and I and another GFM exec agreed on a settlement. Given the time it was taking to get my money from them, I thought lopping off part of the total to get approximately 70% due was fair enough. I weighed that next to being on their long pay list. I am supposed to get the check by 4/21/17. And Bill Pay has confirmed this with an e-mail. So it looks like the old "check is in the mail" routine begins. I will post an update as soon as the check gets here, or Monday if it has not.
So if GFM still owes you money, and you want some of your money, they are happy to entertain offers.

@Eric,you need to way options in this market. Lower rate of pay with shorter payouts, OR higher rate of pay with longer payouts.
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 10:23 PM on 04.20.17
->> About a month ago I got an offer to shoot a Tough Mudder event in October...I guess they are thinking ahead for now. For now it is wait and see, what they are doing and where I am next October.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 9:20 AM on 04.21.17
->> Tough Mudder and Dirty Girl are two of GFM's main stay customers. A reach out 6 months ahead of an event is not a bad idea to keep your best customers happy. The last Tough Mudder I shot with GFM (PGH) was shy two shooters from the year before.
Gene, maybe ask for payment upfront?
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 1:03 PM on 04.21.17
->> Guess what.....I got the check for the compromised amount today! So for the sake of the hundreds of shooters who are owed thousands, I hope GFM recovers and pays them.

But as far as ever working with them again, I will not. I have my money, or at least most of it, and will stay hopeful others get the same if not more. Just glad to close an ugly chapter of my business life.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 3:55 PM on 04.21.17
->> Offering 70 cents on the dollar to pay you -- a 30% discount -- may be good for Gameface's financials but it isn't for those doing the work.

If they won't pay up front, then put it in writing that rights are not transferred until payment is made IN FULL with a deadline such as 30 or 60 days. This way if you don't get paid you have the option of collecting from the sponsor who hired GFM, if not copyright infringements too. I have the pay=rights clause in all my contracts and honorable clients don't have a problem with it. The ones who balk or won't agree are usually those who I will have problems collecting from. I made that mistake once and learned my lesson which taught me the pay=rights clause. It's not only in the contract but on the invoice too.

Keep in mind that media companies -- TV, radio and print -- won't run political ads without being prepaid because once the election is over the funds to pay obligations many times no longer exist the next morning.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 5:29 PM on 04.21.17
->> "honorable clients" is the key Doug. GFM is not one of these. They do not pay up front, and they do not amend their contracts.
Sometimes you just have to cut your losses an move on. Which I did. 70% now is better than nothing in a year if they fold up and die. What you were supposed to get 9 months ago is worth less now in buying power. This was not done lightly, and not done to help out GFM. I did this as a calculated business decision based on all the evidence.
And if they go under, which could very well happen, what does the copyright do for you anyways? If you need extreme sports in your portfolio, just drive to the nearest Tough Mudder, get out of the car, strap on your gear and go shot. No one will give a crap you are there.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 9:55 PM on 04.25.17
->> And after all that I suspect I saw you in Pgh. I was trying to get in and out following a writer or I'd have offered to stand you a beverage....

Next time..
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