Every project you take on has a hidden tax. It could be the client who allows their stress to roll down onto the people they hire. Perhaps it is the client who habitually allows projects to go over schedule. Maybe it is the client who tries to get far more services than they paid for and will continue to push until you choose to stand up for yourself.

In any of these cases – the hidden tax will enact a toll on you. The cost could be the additional hours you had to be in, the effort invested but not compensated for – but worse of all it is the stress that comes along with it and the potential resentment towards the client and the project.

I am no stranger to the hidden tax of projects. I’ve had clients attempt to double a project scope while I am on set without wanting to pay for it, clients who are negative or disrespectful to the team and more.

To confront the hidden tax I’ve found the best solution is to be over communicative. Making sure every specific detail of the project is in writing and agreed upon. I also work to make sure the client is in full agreement and collaboration as the project moves forward so there are not any critiques after the shoot is done.

Lastly, we have the right to say “no” to a client. We do not have to accept every job that comes our way. The reason being is that the hidden tax is far too high for us to justify doing the work. Professionally and respectfully there are clients we decline to work with. That is something you  as a talent have the right to chose to do.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto