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Thread started 20 Oct 2011 (Thursday) 15:44
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Not Sure what to do

 
edman22
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Oct 20, 2011 15:44 |  #1

So I've been selling some prints recently and I have a friend who has just asked to buy some prints. He wants some pretty large prints too, in the range of 24"x30" or larger. Normally something like this I definitely mark up a good deal from the actual print costs. For something that size I'd definitely be charging in the hundreds... Well he asked for something like 5-6 prints. For him I was only going to double the cost of the printing which in my opinion is VERY reasonable. when I told him that to get that many prints at the sizes he wants might be quite a bit of money...he asks what lab I'm using and their site so he can check out their prices. (Well actually first he asked if I could send him the files so he could print them to which I told him I don't do that...and only go through my own lab.)

I really don't know what to do, I think he's expecting me to basically just give him the prints for exactly the cost of printing...meaning zero profit whatsoever for me. What do you do in a situation like this?


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AlligatorEditor
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Oct 20, 2011 15:48 |  #2

How good a friend? I would let friends print my photos or print them at cost if it's for personal use...but I like my friends :p


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Numenorean
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Oct 20, 2011 15:51 |  #3

Send him a quote with the cost for the prints he wants. Up to him if he wants to pay or not. No pay, no prints.


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Oct 20, 2011 16:11 |  #4

I think double the cost of printing is usually pretty fair if cutting a deal. The pictures didn't come from nowhere, and the gear wasn't free. You're not trying to make a profit, you're just making sure you're not working for free. Let your friend know your costs to get everything printed, let them know what you would normally charge for them, remind them that they are getting a pretty nice deal and confirm the order.

Of course, it does depend on 'how good a friend'. If I had some shots from my best man's wedding back in September that he wanted blown up, I'd hand them over no problem. Evaluate the situation based on all angles.


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Nathan
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Oct 20, 2011 16:16 |  #5

Good friend, birthday coming up... give it away for free.

Decent friend... explain what you normally charge and give steep discount. Call it a standard "friends and family" discount. You can't run a business giving everything away for free just because you know people. You also can't give out files, because you risk losing control of the files (being misplaced or through an untrustworthy lab).


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edman22
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Oct 20, 2011 17:23 |  #6

He is a good friend, but these aren't photos involving him or any event, they are my more scenic landscape shots that I take very seriously. I spend a lot of time hiking, shooting, getting dirty, editing, etc....I feel like 2x markup isn't bad at all. But of course for someone who doesn't buy prints ever...when he sees I want $60 bux for a 24x30 he thinks that's ridiculous probably. Even though it costs me $35 to print and all that.

We'll see what happens....I guess I'll keep you all posted if anyone cares haha.

Btw one thing I have learend very quickly is this...and hopefully this will be good advice for others. Set a price you want, and then offer "special discounts" for people. What i have found is that when I jsut give someone a price they think that IS the price...and that's what they go tell their friends. I have people at work asking me for prints who heard from someone else (who is a friend) who I also sold to cheap. Now they expect a similar deal which is annoying.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Oct 21, 2011 01:49 as a reply to  @ edman22's post |  #7

"The normal cost of those prints would be X and a part of that cost is to cover my time, effort and creativity as a photographer in producing the images. As you are a friend I would be happy to give you a discount of Y."

Unless of course your friend is a mechanic and is willing to do X hundreds of $ worth of work on your car for free, or decorate your house for free or do plumbing, electrical or other work... for free.


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Nathan
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Oct 21, 2011 07:52 |  #8

Dan Marchant wrote in post #13283132 (external link)
"The normal cost of those prints would be X and a part of that cost is to cover my time, effort and creativity as a photographer in producing the images. As you are a friend I would be happy to give you a discount of Y."

The "time, effort, and creativity" discussion often comes off to the family member or friend as being pretentious. I'd avoid trying to get into the details.

As I said before. If there's a reason to give these out for free, then do it - birthday, christmas, sympathy, house warming, etc. If not, then only offer it at a special family/friend discount.

A friend should know not to ask for handouts, anyway. Somehow, I think this person doesn't take your craft seriously... but I don't think it's worth getting into that discussion. Perhaps just laugh it off with, "I still have to make a living."


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edman22
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Oct 21, 2011 08:15 |  #9

Yea I get that "not taking my craft seriously a lot." The way I see it is that he IS a good friend and I AM giving him a huge discount from what I would normally charge anyone else. I sent him an email telling the sizes and the cost but he didn't respond so maybe he's upset about it. I don't really have a reason to give these out for free/cost. These are my landscape shots that I went through a lot of trouble to take, I'm actually very attached to them as I'm sure many of you understand.

Here's a funny thing that happened to me just yesterday. I went with a friend to her chef friend's restaurant. He is a professional chef, and the restaurant was basically closed and invitation only for this night with a special fixed menu. We were the only ones there for that seating. We ate an incredible meal, maybe one of the best I've ever had, made personally right in front of us by him and his two workers. The price was VERY reasonable given how much time and effort he put into it, and I tipped generously because I appreciated it so much.

The whole time I'm thinking...the situation I'm going through would be as if she and I were to say to him that, since he's a friend, we should either eat for free or pay only for what the food items would cost him. This is something I would never imagine doing...and I'm sure nobody would ever think to say that in a similar situation... but for some reason though when it comes to my craft...the work, the effort, the dedication is somehow completely lost. People think I just walk around with a camera and snap photos on a whim and end up with great looking shots or something. Just something that struck me last night.


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Nathan
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Oct 21, 2011 08:31 |  #10

I think the dinner is an excellent illustration. I have friends who own restaurants. Occasionally, I got free desserts or a specially prepared dish. However, we went during normal business hours and... hey... they have staff to pay. Plus, when we get this extra service, we give an extra generous cash tip. Sometimes, we end up paying more than what we would have if they just charged us... but it makes everyone feel better about themselves if they show appreciation.

Don't worry about this friend being upset. What sort of friend would that be, anyway? You could say you'll give him one at print costs, but the rest will be discounted 50% of your normal price... or as many as he wants, twice the print cost (assuming he doesn't try to sell them himself... which would be treacherous).

You could always hint about the craft telling stories about how you got the photographs. Clients can appreciate that.

"You might not imagine how I got this shot... I arrived at the location 2 hours early to set up my equipment and I waited. Before the sun rose, I was able to look up at the night sky and thought I could reach out and touch every star in the sky. It was below 20 degrees and I all I could do to keep warm was wrap my sleeping bag around me. The sun started to peek out from under the horizon and I started to feel its rays on my face. That's what I love about photography. To get the right shot you have to be a little bit lucky, but you also have to be patient. It stayed at this location for a total of 8 hours that day, not certain which shot would be the one I would keep if any."


Every photo has a story.

People shouldn't also be allowed to forget that you sometimes have to buy a plane ticket and spend several days to get some photos... it's not like you're just in vacation. There are other business and travel expenses, too.


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Daedalus34r
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Oct 21, 2011 10:08 |  #11

I like the 2X cost idea, and you should clearly state how much of a discount is off the usual price. Give him the price alone and he might gawk even if it is discounted, but disclose the discount itself and he should have more appreciation for what you're providing.


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Oct 21, 2011 10:15 |  #12

there's all kinds of friendship levels...

the way I see it, if it's a friend that I would gladly donate my time and sweat to help him/her move (or he/she would help me move) then I absolutely don't mind doing this kind of thing for free or at cost.

All other friends, they pay something


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Oct 21, 2011 10:20 |  #13

edman22 wrote in post #13281166 (external link)
I feel like 2x markup isn't bad at all. But of course for someone who doesn't buy prints ever...when he sees I want $60 bux for a 24x30 he thinks that's ridiculous probably. Even though it costs me $35 to print and all that.

Not sure of the exact exchange rate but $60 seems very reasonable to me for prints that size.


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Oct 21, 2011 11:41 |  #14

SMP_Homer wrote in post #13284326 (external link)
there's all kinds of friendship levels...

the way I see it, if it's a friend that I would gladly donate my time and sweat to help him/her move (or he/she would help me move) then I absolutely don't mind doing this kind of thing for free or at cost.

All other friends, they pay something

This makes sense, great friends are one thing - but to be honest those are the people who wouldnt take something for free.

If you were a painter would this friend expect a painting for the cost of the paint?


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Oct 21, 2011 11:51 |  #15

I avoid friends in business generally. When they want my services I tell them what it costs me, what I typically charge, then tell them they can pay me what they feel is fair.
I don't mind doing it at cost for a good friend. But I am not going out of pocket unless they are family.


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