How to manage a dispute

in the photography industry



By Hanfeng Lei

SKEMA Business School

China and Paris, France




The photography industry is expanding rapidly with the development of fashion. However, the process of photography occurs more and more conflicts nowadays. The disputes occur in preparation before the shooting, a process during the shooting and the pictures after the shooting. The problem of insufficient negotiation and different criteria are two main issues causing the dispute. When the dispute occurs, the photography process is heavily affected and delayed. We use ADR to solve the dispute. By referring to different documents, we choose four feasible alternatives. Combing with certain criteria, we select the best alternative, which is a negotiation in every process by using the Compensatory model of Additive Weighting Technique. We believe it would be the most efficient way to solve the dispute.

Key Words:     The Fashion industry, photography industry, commercial shooting, contract, Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).


According to the 124-page industry assessment from Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 report released, “75% of fashion companies have improved their environmental and social performance over the last year, and the business case has proven to be nothing but positive. With the boom of the fashion industry, photography industry grows very fast as photography is an important part of fashion.”[1]

In a snapshot from IBISworld report, “growing per capita disposable income and rising advertising expenditure have driven growth for the Photography industry over the five years to 2018, as both commercial photographers and portrait photographers have benefited from increased demand for their services. Industry revenue is expected to grow an annualized 1.9% to reach $10.6 billion during the five-year period, which includes a 1.9% increase in 2018 alone. The photography industry is primarily composed of nonemployer industry operators. In 2018, IBISWorld estimates that 89.4% of total enterprises are nonemployers.”[2]

Because of the fast growth of fashion and the need for photography, more and more conflicts occurred. For example, preparation before the shooting, a process during the shooting and the pictures after the shooting. Photography is a project. And it involves planning, controlling, risks management and checking. All of the processes in the projects relate to the contract.


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Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director paul.gardiner@skema.edu.

How to cite this paper: Lei, H. (2019). How to manage a dispute in the photography industry, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue X, November.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/pmwj87-Nov2019-Lei-how-to-manage-dispute-in-photography-industry.pdf



About the Author

Hanfeng LEI

Paris, France




Hanfeng Lei, Chinese, 23 years old, major in Project and Programme Management & Business Development (PPMBD) at SKEMA Business School in Paris, France. She graduated from China Three Gorges University and held an English Bachelor diploma. In 2013, she went to the University of Houston Clear Lake in USA to participate in an exchange program for one semester and successfully build a good relationship and finish the corporation for two universities. She chose to pursue a project management degree in France because there is not a fully mature system in project management in China. The project management knowledge is more professional and authoritative in France and she wanted to experience the French culture. She has had two major internship experiences in Publishing industry and Transportation industry. Hanfeng has good project management experience during her time at university in Student Union, and she has the potential to become a competitive project manager. She used to plan and manage many big programs when she studied in the university. She is an experienced project manager as a student leader. She believes what she has done and experienced would help her be a better project manager in the future.

She lives in Paris, France now and can be contacted at hanfeng.lei@skema.edu or https://fr.linkedin.com/in/寒峰-雷-93570791


[1] Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 report released(2018 May 9) Retrieved from https://www.globalfashionagenda.com/pulse-of-the-fashion-industry-2018-report-released/#

[2] Photography Industry in the US(2018 June)Retrieved from https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-trends/market-research-reports/professional-scientific-technical-services/professional-scientific-technical-services/photography.html