Home » Articles » References System & Rules Explained

References System & Rules Explained

By Chris Cook, written 1477500984

A quick introduction to the reference system

The PurplePort reference system is a way of sharing your experience working with another PurplePort member. It uses standard options to keep information clear, concise, and prevent issues when things haven't gone as great as you would have liked.

You can view another member's references on their portfolio page and use them to decide whether to work with them. Positive references are like an internal nod of approval to other members.

References are ordered by the date of the shoot so that you can see the progress of your fellow members over time. When adding a reference, if you have a shoot booked with that member in your PurplePort calendar, the reference date will be auto-selected to your most recent booking with them. Make sure to check the reference date selected when leaving a reference, just in case it's not the date you want to use.

Don't forget to check out How do I leave a reference? for information about adding a reference. You can also click here to see all of our articles about references

References should only be added to another member's portfolio for an actual shoot attended or arranged, and where the shoot date is today or in the past. You must only add one reference per shoot. You cannot add a reference condoning your 'general experience' of someone. The shoot must really exist and not be for a shoot that hasn't happened yet.

Confirmed Bookings

References can only be left for confirmed bookings, which require a date, time, and location to be agreed upon beforehand by all parties involved in the shoot. The location must be a specific place where someone can physically show up (such as an address). 

Some shoots do not require a location (e.g. remote shoots, booking a Photoshop wizard to edit images, etc.). For these shoots, all parties involved must agree upon and confirm the date and time beforehand for the shoot to be a confirmed booking.

Details for confirmed bookings must be agreed upon and confirmed beforehand between those involved via either:

  • Written communications (e.g. using the PurplePort messaging system)
  • A booking using the PurplePort Calendar

It's important that all bookings are confirmed in case you need to leave a reference (this is especially true if you need to leave a negative reference). If a reference is disputed and there is no evidence that the booking was confirmed, the PurplePort Admin Team will delete the reference. 

Sometimes, details for a confirmed booking are made over the phone or in person. If this happens, make sure to repeat these details via written communications between those involved in the booking and that those details are re-agreed. This will mean that you have evidence should the reference be disputed.

In the event of a reference dispute, we can accept written communications from offsite (e.g. screenshots of those communications) as evidence of a confirmed booking (or to prove that the booking was not confirmed). 

If someone cancels within 72 hours of the shoot 

Well, that's annoying! If this is the case, select the Cancelled with less than 72 hours notice option when leaving a reference. 

This reference was added to stop people from cancelling at very annoying times. It is different to a Did not show up reference (see below). This type of reference can highlight those that may be unreliable for one reason or another. Of course, it's all subjective, but good, clear communication is always the best idea.

If someone cancels within 24 hours of the shoot (or doesn't show up on the day of the shoot)

Well, that's enough to make your blood boil and turn purple! If this is the case, select the Did not show up option when leaving them a reference.

The reason why this happens may be very legitimate, but it often makes it impossible to re-arrange or get a replacement. It can often leave people at a loss financially or even taking a day off work for no reason. It's just not cool.

Note: A 'no-show' is deemed as cancelling with less than 24 hours notice to the shoot or not showing up to the shoot at all. It is not a flexible time scale and does not matter if any financial loss has occurred. This cannot be extended outside the 24 hours. It is rigidly and fairly enforced at all times.

If someone shows up but made for a bad shooting experience

They turned up (yay!), but you are really unhappy with the experience of working with them. If this is the case, when leaving them a reference, select the Did show up option and No for whether you would recommend them. This will display a Did show up, but is not recommended on their references page.  

Anyone seeing a portfolio with negative references will make their own decision about whether it's worth booking them. Whilst leaving a negative reference is a good way forward, you should not use it as a place to rant about the other person. 

If someone shows up and was just plain awesome (woohoo!)

Go, team! You all showed up, as agreed, and made something awesome happen. That is the bees-knees!

This is the best kind of reference! If this is the case, when leaving them a reference, select Did show up and Yes for whether you would recommend them. You can then write your own positive feedback about the member and your shoot experience together. Make them feel amazing for the great job they did working with you and spread the good vibes!

This isn't a place for writing any negative comments, ranting, etc. Anyone who abuses the referencing system by using a positive reference to leave negative feedback will find their ability to leave future references removed - we don't like this.

Note: We strongly recommend only leaving a positive reference for someone when you are absolutely certain that you are happy with the shoot and ideally when all aspects of the shoot have been completed (e.g. payment for the shoot, money, images, etc.). 

If someone leaves you a negative reference...

If you receive a negative reference that you think is unfair, please report it to us. You can do this by either using the Report option on the reference or creating a support ticket via our Help & Support page). We will then review the evidence available and make a decision.

When all shoot communications occur on PurplePort, reference disputes are fairly simple to resolve (especially if the calendar functions have been used to book the shoot through PurplePort - check out A Guide to the PurplePort Calendar). If shoot communications occur outside of PurplePort (e.g. email, text messages, social media messages, etc.), this process can become more complicated (though not impossible). 

It's not the end of the world if you receive a negative reference. Everyone loves to have a 100% good record, but sometimes it's simply not possible. If you need to cancel a shoot and have been deeply apologetic, then it's possible that the other person won't leave you a negative reference anyway. But, if they do, then accept that they felt compelled to and leave it at that.

What you should NOT do...

If someone doesn't show up to your shoot or cancels at short notice:

  • Do not rant about them (in the Groups, on social media, etc.). It makes you look unprofessional and will only harm your reputation and online persona.
  • Do not name and shame. There is no need, and this may get you into trouble on PurplePort if you break our Site Guidelines (see our Terms of use for PurplePort). A negative reference is all that is needed.
  • Do not abuse the referencing system by using a positive reference to leave negative feedback. This could result in your ability to leave references being suspended. Use the correct reference only, and stick to the facts. 
  • Do not argue with the other person. Accept their view, leave a reference and move on. Nothing good will come of arguing. 

If you receive a negative reference from someone:

  • Do not leave a reprisal (retaliation) negative reference. If you do, then you will only make things worse. Yes, you may be angry, but this really won't help. If you abuse the reference system, we'll either suspend your ability to leave references or ban you from leaving references altogether. 
  • Do not attempt to use any previous positive references as leverage to have a negative reference removed. Anyone using references to blackmail others will be dealt with in the strongest possible terms. If anyone receives any threats to remove a negative reference, please report this to us as this will not be tolerated.


For current advice on short notice cancellations due to Covid-19 related reasons, please see the information in the article How do I leave a reference? under the heading Short notice cancellations due to Covid-19.

See Also