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Freebie Friends

Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2010 12:23AM
Does anybody else find that friends expect you to do a whole days photo shoot for them for literally next to nothing?

I'm getting really fed up with it.

I've had so many ask me to do a shoot for them, and when I give them the price, which is a mate rate anyway, I never hear from them again.

My uncle is a mechanic and we pay him his going rate to fix our car happy in the knowledge he's going to do a very good job and not rip us off.

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FatBoyfocus 9 75 4 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2010 7:13AM
Can't be real mates if they run when they are billed Tongue
I have a few people ask me for portraits... friends of friends, and they have done exactly what you describe above.
Now, I take half deposit if I don't really know the person.
DOGSBODY 9 1.4k 30 England
20 Jun 2010 8:39AM
This was one of the reasons that I stopped taking portraits about 30 years ago. I only ever took them for my own pleasure and to use at the club for competitions and exhibitions, etc. but after I did a few workmates a favour I started to get lots of requests to take shots of babies and children and when I started to turn people down some of them got quite shirty so I called a day to that side of the hobby.

Photography has only ever been a hobby to me and I have never had a wish to make money from it but some people seem unable to understand that.
Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2010 9:31AM
I had one friend that I knew quite well, she kept saying how much she wanted me to do some boudoir shots of her, we finally arranged a day when she could come over and I could get child care etc etc and then I told her how much it cost.

Suddenly she was very busy that day and couldn't make it and I haven't heard from her since.

Another friend who I know very well online and had spent a weekend with in RL wanted me to take the portfoio photos of her daughter for a modelling agency she signed her up with, it had to be 60 photos actually edited and taken away, with 3 clothing changes and indoor and outdoor, when I sent her my price she said it was great and was less than the pro photographer offered her for just studio shots and we agreed a day she'd come over, at 11pm the night before texted me to say she couldn't make it and hasn't rearranged since. What was REALLY annoying about that was I was counting on that money to buy a Speedlight for my camera or a new lens and so of course I couldn't.

Another friend wanted boudoir shots as a gift for her boyfriend, again, never heard from since.

Actual family and very close RL friends I'd do for free but a casual aquaintance?? I have food to buy and bills to pay.

It's just really depressing. Not once has any of them said "Oh sorry I'm really skint right now I'll have to leave it" they just make up a 'busy that day' excuse and I hate that.
User_Removed 16 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2010 10:20AM
I know exactly what you mean Anna.
I was asked, some years ago now, to photograpgh the local Cricket club trophy presentations at the annual club dinner.
About a week before the night, my friend explained to me that there had been clicky chat going around that the fact that I was going to charge for doing this (Mates rates again) was dissapointing.
So on the evening in question, I shot the trophies being awarded and the top table blah blah blah and at the end of the evening I quietly asked the chap about my charge fr doing the job (at mates rates!!!) He then came out with "Well I thought you would just do us a favour for the Cricket club".
So I said "Ok no problem, I've taken the photographs as you've asked me to and I won't charge you a penny". "That's very good of you, thank you" he said.
I then took the card out of my camera and gave it to him explaining that all the images were on there! As he had never seen a CF card before, the look on he's face was a picture in it's self...lol.
"Oh" I said, "So you want me to sit at my computer for a couple of hours editing them and then transfer all the images onto a CD for you to print them........for nothing at all?"
He saw my point and paid the next day.
It's like when someone says, "Hey Gerry, coming to the party tonight.....bring you camera!"
You don't ask one of the guests at the party, who's a professional plumber to bring he's spanners so he can fix your toilet!

ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
20 Jun 2010 11:02AM
oddly enough, I've had exactly the opposite from quite a few new parents

they've said "no mates rates"!

Maybe they've not seen the price list yet Wink , but I think they realise I'm going to be paying the mortgage with their shoot and are happy to support that.

I've shot myself in the foot with the odd wedding - working 14 hours for 750 on one job, so learned that you need to agree a time period up front, then agree an additional hourly rate etc. etc.
Tandberg 15 1.2k 2 England
20 Jun 2010 11:14AM
Who needs friends when your trying to earn a few bob.

One mate asked me for a portrait of his son, yeah will do you a discount as your a mate.
When you free i asked ? will let you know. He never did get back to me lol.

Two weddings expected for less than a bacon butty
These are not mates, just bloodsuckers and free loaders.

I just give out my true cost now when asked and see what happens.

User_Removed 16 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2010 11:19AM
Same here Dave.
If they want a photograph...........they'll pay. If they don't, they won't. Simples.
(And at the moment.............they do and they are. Wink)
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
20 Jun 2010 11:23AM
on the flip side, I've offered to freeby strobist sessions with people to grow my portfolio and people just can't seem to agree a time when there's no money involved. I've got 4 freeby cars shoots (for portfolio reasons) but people can't seem to find an hour to let me do it...

Money focusses people very quickly - and if you give them an hourly rate, even more so !
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
20 Jun 2010 12:26PM

Quote:I'm getting really fed up with it

Why get fed up, just say no.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
20 Jun 2010 12:30PM

Quote:very close RL friends

what's an RL friend?

I'd recommend taking a deposit Anna - when you book the session say "that'll be 50 deposit please, here are my details...." and give them your bank details for electronic transfer, or even your Paypal account.

That way, even if they back out, you get something for it
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
20 Jun 2010 1:11PM
Surely it depends whether you are a professional or a hobbyist.

If you are a professional, relying totally upon photography to make a living, then friends should respect this and expect to pay a professional price for your services.

On the other hand, if photography is a hobby, then I would expect the sharing of skills and the giving of time between friends to be on a no-charge basis (or, at most, some recompense for the cost of materials used).

My other hobbies include fishing and shooting. I would never dream of charging friends for tying a few trout flies or loading a few shotgun cartridges for them. It's what friends do for each other.

If you were into home brewing and you invited some friends round to sample your beers you wouldn't dream of giving them a bill at the end of the night. If your hobby was gardening, you wouldn't dream of charging friends for vegetables or fruit. If your hobby was animal painting, you wouldn't dream of charging a friend for painting a portrait of their dog. So I am not sure why photography would be any different unless, of course, you are a professional rather than an enthusiast.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
20 Jun 2010 1:15PM
if you read the thread Eric, I think that's been pointed out already - the point being made is that aquaintences rather than friends are fickle.

you'd not grow a nice marrow and just give it to someone you hardly know, or go upto a relative stranger and give them a pint of home brew for free, or load a shotgun of someone you don't know for free, or give someone you hardly know some trout fishing flies

Boyd 14 11.2k 11 Wales
20 Jun 2010 1:38PM

Quote:you'd not grow a nice marrow and just give it to someone you hardly know, or go upto a relative stranger and give them a pint of home brew for free, or load a shotgun of someone you don't know for free, or give someone you hardly know some trout fishing flies
But I thought this thread was about friends? The title of the thread is, after all, freebie friends.
Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2010 2:05PM
Friends can = casual acquaintances.

A RL friend is a Real Life friend, as opposed to someone I only know online, so Ade I would class as an online friend (OL) and the person I sit and have a cuppa with is a Real Life friend.

By friends I mean people I know OL only and also people I have a casual RL friendship with but wouldn't sit down and divulge my deepest darkest secrets too, now those people I would give a freebie session to.

Someone I walk the dog with who finds out I do photography, they are the kind of people I'm talking about.

I get fed up because they are all keen and up for it until it actually comes to paying and then they back out literally at the 11th hour and they are getting a mate rate as it is and I don't feel right taking a deposit upfront from a friend and I only want to do it to help towards bills or to get a new lens etc, it may not be my livelihood but I can't take a day out of my life, arrange childcare and spend hours at the PC for free.

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