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Thread started 02 Dec 2011 (Friday) 14:58
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Thinking of offering free photoshoots to military families...

 
nathancarter
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Dec 30, 2011 10:33 |  #46

Dan Marchant wrote in post #13492916 (external link)
Putting a quota limit or asking people to justify why they should get a free shoot is a PR nightmare. People are going to get turned down and regardless of the way the decision is made they won't be happy.

I would suggest that instead of unlimited free, you offer a discount to military, which enables you support them while at least covering costs. Then, offer unofficial free shoots to needy people like the case in the OP. This gives help where it is needed without creating a feeling on entitlement in others. Then, if you want, volunteer as mentioned in the posts above, where you are one of several volunteers and the load is shared.

I agree with a lot of this. I certainly wouldn't want to be the one to decide who "deserves" a free shoot because of their hardship, and who isn't "needy" enough. Pairing with an existing charity or organization would take a lot of the difficulty off your shoulders, and allow you to focus on the photography.

My wife lost her job several months ago, and then was injured in a car accident and can't work for more than a few hours at a time. Our income is about half of what it was a year ago, and we've had to cut back on almost all discretionary spending. Does that make us "needy?" I suppose if things get really tough, I can sell the BMW.


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GadgetRick
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Dec 30, 2011 11:11 |  #47

BreitlingFan wrote in post #13619807 (external link)
There's your answer.

I don't understand why people are trying to talk the OP out of this. The OP obviously feels strongly about it. It's wonderful to see someone who's so obviously appreciative of our military. Ain't nothin' wrong with that.

Never said it wasn't a nice gesture. Just saying it doesn't really make much sense. Why doesn't EVERYONE give military people stuff for free? Because they also have bills to pay, families to feed, etc. So they offer a discount rather than services/products for free. It shows their gratitude towards the military and they still can afford to keep the lights on.




  
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NavyShrink
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Mar 31, 2012 02:01 |  #48

I think it's an awesome idea. More people should display such generosity to the military. My wife has been doing this for a while, offering free shoots of spouses/kids whose military husbands (or wives) are deployed. It's actually been a good PR move, too, because we've had a few people book her for a paying session for reunion photos.


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northpointphoto
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Mar 31, 2012 23:29 |  #49

Screw everyone who tells you not to do it because its "Bad for your profits" or it "hurts other local photographers."

Unless you've actually served in the military you have no idea how much a picture can mean to someone when they're away from there families for months or even years at a time.

You're right we get payed twice a month (even though I'm making a lot less than I did at my old job) and we get medical benefits (which my old job also paid for) but that doest make up for missing stuff like your kids being born, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.

Like a friend of mind who left for Iraq a week before his first kid was born and when he came home 18 months later his kid didn't even know who he was.

I say go for it but what I would do is have a scheduled date and time frame where military families can come and get the portrait taken. IE Fridays from noon till 4pm or something like that. That way you don't put too much strain on yourself and people know at 4pm (or whatever time) the free sessions stop.


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RDKirk
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Apr 01, 2012 13:12 |  #50

Unless you've actually served in the military you have no idea how much a picture can mean to someone when they're away from there families for months or even years at a time.

I very likely did more time in the military than you have (26 years), and I still say: If you want to do good, get with the charitable and service organizations who already work with the military to focus your efforts on those who need help most.


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Brian ­ Parkes
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Apr 01, 2012 17:09 |  #51

I think that's a great idea and it's certainly going to be appreciated by the familes. You don't have to do everyone, just make it clear you can only do so many a month so you can balance it with your paid gigs.


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BreitlingFan
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Apr 04, 2012 17:49 |  #52
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GadgetRick wrote in post #13620474 (external link)
Never said it wasn't a nice gesture. Just saying it doesn't really make much sense. Why doesn't EVERYONE give military people stuff for free? Because they also have bills to pay, families to feed, etc. So they offer a discount rather than services/products for free. It shows their gratitude towards the military and they still can afford to keep the lights on.

You know what?

I can give away photos to military folks for free, and I can keep my lights on.

I'm retired military, and I am firmly of the belief that we simply cannot do enough for our military folks.

Don't get me wrong: Discounts are great.

But if I can do more, I'm going to, and I'm going to stand and applaud those who do the same...


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BreitlingFan
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Apr 04, 2012 17:49 |  #53
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northpointphoto wrote in post #14189202 (external link)
Screw everyone who tells you not to do it because its "Bad for your profits" or it "hurts other local photographers."

Unless you've actually served in the military you have no idea how much a picture can mean to someone when they're away from there families for months or even years at a time.

You're right we get payed twice a month (even though I'm making a lot less than I did at my old job) and we get medical benefits (which my old job also paid for) but that doest make up for missing stuff like your kids being born, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.

Like a friend of mind who left for Iraq a week before his first kid was born and when he came home 18 months later his kid didn't even know who he was.

I say go for it but what I would do is have a scheduled date and time frame where military families can come and get the portrait taken. IE Fridays from noon till 4pm or something like that. That way you don't put too much strain on yourself and people know at 4pm (or whatever time) the free sessions stop.

^^^^^

THAT.

A thousand times, THAT...


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Bear ­ Dale
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Apr 04, 2012 17:57 |  #54

Kudos to the OP.


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