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I agree Anna. Just because you're an amateur, doesn't mean you want to spend a day shooting, & at least another day processing the shots. A few shots is ok, but not a full portfolio, or a wedding.
When people find out you have a camera & do more than just take snaps, you suddenly get loads of requests, as they assume you'll do it for nothing, where they'd have to pay a pro. It is often just being tight. they don't want to pay, so ask a favour. "Ooh luv, we can't afford a photographer for our Sharon's wedding. I know, I'll ask John/Joan, they've got a camera. Probably do it for nout".
As you've said several times, even if you do give your time for nothing, there's still child care & travel expenses to cover. When it starts costing me to do a favour for them, it's time to back out, or set a price. After all, if I had a mate who was handy with a spanner, & wouldn't expect him to supply the parts if I asked him to fix my car.
A couple of years ago, a colleague at work asked me to take a few shots at a recording studio, while he recorded a CD. They were for album cover stuff. As he sings opera, I expected him to turn up in a suit. He had his Bradford rugby shirt on, so of course, the shots were unsuitable for anything other than the inside, "behind the scenes" shots. I started getting requests for more for a cover. He wanted a shot of him in the hills in Wales (his designer's idea, apparently). When I suggested compositing it from a stock Welsh hills shot, & a shot of him in a suit, the request came back for the original shots, as well as my composite, so the designer could edit it if he didn't like it. Then he wanted me to cover a gig. It grew so many arms and legs, I just put him off until he left it alone. Perhaps I should have given him a price, & he'd have dropped it.
I didn't mind the initial shoot, as I wanted to do something different myself, but hadn't planned to give up more than an hour or two. But no-one was getting my original shots, certainly not for nothing.
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I've been stung too, mainly because I was being too soft, and because he was a friend of a "friend". That taught me a lesson. I spent time doing local photoshoots of landscapes, uploading and editing, showing him all the shots so he could choose, and then creating a full page advertisement for this chap's company in a glossy wedding magazine - three different layouts from which he could select his favourite (he chose one, which was published, and the mag said it was fab), as well as doing some drawings for landscaping, researching stock shots, going backwards and forwards with changes in the text font and appearance, and then he said I was charging too much and refused to pay a third of the bill.
I'd given him a full invoice showing exactly what I was charging for, the work I'd done and the time it had taken me, with him already knowing what prices I charged. He made out I was trying to pull a fast one and that I'd sprung it on him. He also said he didn't think my prices were justified since I didn't have a professional studio.
At the time I was so sick that someone I thought was a friend would do this, or say what he said in his letter with his reduced cheque, I just didn't pursue it.
I also subsequently learned that a certain person had put the boot in and slagged me off behind my back, saying not to pay what I'd invoiced because I didn't have professional facilities. A competitor, no less. Surprise surprise ...
Normally what I'd do is draw up a contract first and settle it all, but because he was a friend of a friend it felt untrusting ...
I think some people imagine they have friends when really they are just someone they know fairly well.
I would be very, very surprised if anyone can count their friends on more than one hand.
Ok there's people you work with, drink with blah blah bah but real friends are hard to come by.
Real friend are people you can TRUST!.............and there ain't many of them around.
One good friend, a commercial photgrapher, did a job for his partner's best friend and charged one-quarter of his usual rate. This "client" obviously thought that this paltry ammount was too much because she then told everybody that she'd been ripped off. This kindness did considerable damage to his social reputation.
Make friends with your customers but NEVER make customers of your friends.
Make friends with your customers but NEVER make customers of your friends.
ideally, yes - but often these people are the way to start building your network of contacts.
I think the key is to have everything spelled out up front - I've done enough friends weddings to know that now.
You specifiy what you will deliver, what it will cost and what will be extra. Also, you specify what they are expected to do, where to be etc. etc.
If they don't like the cost at this stage, then you can start to change the package BEFORE you've done any work - e.g. if they think its too expensive, then you can reduce the hours or reduce the deliverables to get a price they're happy with. If they think its too cheap (unlikely) you can add in a few more things and charge more.
If you do that, and very importantly DELIVER that promise, then they will be happy. And crucially, they will recommend you to others... and the network grows (hopefully).
Thing is - it's very uncomfortable to do this at first, and feckin hate it, but it's the ONLY way to deal with friends and stay friends and both be happy with the deal.
Quote: I would be very, very surprised if anyone can count their friends on more than one hand.
None of my (few) friends even live in the same town as I do and we haven't seen each other in years in some cases but they'll be the first to know if I have a problem and vice-versa.
If you make a habit of doing jobs at "mates-rates", it'll be much harder to charge full-whack when you sell to your friends' friends.
forget friends if you want to work for free just borrow my wife
she keeps offering my services for free
many years ago my brother got married and I offered to fit his new kitchen for him as a present, she thought that was too much but didn't hesitate to offer my services for her nephew's wedding pictures, in the end they worked out to about the same amount of time
Quote: I think some people imagine they have friends when really they are just someone they know fairly well ... Real friend are people you can TRUST!.............and there ain't many of them around.
Ain't that the truth. I highlighted "friend" in my earlier post because he turned out in the end not to be a friend at all, all the time I'd known him. Big shock.
Still. You learn your lesson and you move on.
I have five very trustworthy, reliable, honest good friends. We go back to school days and in two cases, back to when we were three years old.
We meet up once a month for a meal and a good chat.
We all live quite a few miles apart but manage to get there every month. (Work permitting.)
We all have an agreement that any one of us can call on another for anything at any time, day or night.
I got a call from Paul and Jo two years ago at 12.30 at night with Paul explaining that they had missed the last train from Gatwick and could they lean on me regarding our agreement.
We were all at thier home drinking tea at 03.00 and I would do it again tomorrow......and the next day.
Why? Because they are 'Friends' and they wouldn't hesitate to do the same for me!
I also have loads of mates! (But they're not friends...............yet and they may never get to that level.)
Yes friends and mates is probably a good way to differentiate between the two.
I have 2 very good friends, bosom buddies, one I have known from the day we were born (I'm a day older than her actually), and one, who I would class more as a soul mate, who I can go for years without seeing or talking to then the minute we meet up it's like we were never apart, who I would do anything for and she me, I have known her since I was 12 and was introduced to her via the first friend I mentioned at school as the girl who had been run over by a bus twice and lost her front teeth, I thought "This is the perfect friend for me!"
And she is.
I have only been living her 18 months and I had to start from scratch friends wise, I didn't know a soul, and now I know 3 women who I would class as good friends and have many, many mates by making sure I went out and joined clubs and groups etc etc
I don't know that I would agree fully with many of the comments on this thread. I don't think there is an inverse correlation between 'friendship' and 'amount paid'. It's more complex than that. And I certainly don't agree that a friend who is surprised to be charged is no friend at all - it does suggest just that there was some misunderstanding along the line, after all there are many amateurs out there with similar equipment, doing it for fun, not profit.
After all, if your best mate was Waynetta Slob, wanting a full photoshop makeover, but a friend of a friend looking improbably like Jake Gyllenhall wanted a freebie shoot, maybe topless... well....???
I must admit I huffed and puffed a bit (privately) when my friend got a canvas done at Venture of her kids. But I would have done it...better...and for less than half the price! Ah well. To her face I said it was lovely. With a slightly clipped tone of voice.
Quote: I must admit I huffed and puffed a bit (privately) when my friend got a canvas done at Venture of her kids. But I would have done it...better...and for less than half the price! Ah well. To her face I said it was lovely. With a slightly clipped tone of voice.
Exactly the same happened to me, a close friend of mine had 4 canvases done of them, their dog and kids costing her over £1000, they were just high key, brightly coloured photos in a studio with white background, typical Venture stuff.
I could have done something much nicer and for a fraction of that and the annoying thing is she had a HUGE white kitchen with a glass roof and one glass wall, grrrr.
..............just so you know, my very best friend is my good lady wife.
I have known her since I was 14 and she was 12...........I know, aaagggghhhhhh.
But there's not many people will say that and before you ask, yes I would die for her, without any question what so ever.
She's my very best friend, best friend, friend very best mate, best mate, mate.............
..................but above all....................she's good at getting the shopping in. Love ya Mrs. W.
Oh so you want a freebie? why? are you skint or just don't want to pay such high prices? so how much would you pay then?
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