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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 11 Jan 2013 (Friday) 14:05
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Lost a client

 
HiepBuiPhotography
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Jan 11, 2013 15:00 |  #16

Kronie wrote in post #15475884 (external link)
I have three weddings this year where the bride has a relative with a DSLR. One of them wants to take pictures at the wedding. I said sure, as I need a second shooter anyway. But the other one is more troubling because we were going to do an engagement shoot but she is three hours away so she is having her "friend with the camera" do the engagement shoot and see how it turns out. I have her retainer already but no contract yet.

If you "allow" the relative to take pictures, do you get all the RAW files? If so, does that mean that you increase the price since there are more photos to process?

Wow, I'm surprised she paid the retainer without any contract in place.


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mikeinctown
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Jan 11, 2013 15:29 |  #17

tbsguy18 wrote in post #15475836 (external link)
I don't think I would necessarily call my self a "professional" yet...I guess that would depend on your definition of professional? I still have a full time job, and shoot for money when my schedule allows it. I've only done 5 paid gigs in the last few months.

As for my friend, I would have gladly shot for free and I told her that. But she insisted on paying me. So I guess thats the part that bothers me most. She wanted to pay me, but then changed her mind cause it was too much. I should call her back and tell her its free and see if she changes her mind. I'm by no means the nest photographer, but my pictures will definitely look better than the ones taken by her future sister in law.

I'd let it slide a while but the next time you talk, just mention that you don't understand why she insisted on paying you after you said you would do it free, then changed her mind and told you it was too expensive. As a friend, you deserve an answer, but i would just ask in passing at some point in the future.




  
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Kronie
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Jan 11, 2013 15:43 |  #18

HiepBuiPhotography wrote in post #15475932 (external link)
If you "allow" the relative to take pictures, do you get all the RAW files? If so, does that mean that you increase the price since there are more photos to process?

Wow, I'm surprised she paid the retainer without any contract in place.

We didn't get that far yet. I will figure out what she has to shoot with and then see where I can use her. She might have a 20D and a 18-55. I do have follow up about the other one with a check but no contract.




  
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thegreatgeekyme
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Jan 11, 2013 15:47 |  #19

I learned a long long time ago, never shoot for friend or family. Ever. No matter if they offer you 500.00 more than your asking. They are always more demanding and more critical.




  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jan 11, 2013 15:49 |  #20

If you aren't in business, don't pretend to be. If you are in business, follow good business practices with payment up front, contracts, etc.


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awad
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Jan 11, 2013 16:00 |  #21

thegreatgeekyme wrote in post #15476123 (external link)
I learned a long long time ago, never shoot for friend or family. Ever. No matter if they offer you 500.00 more than your asking. They are always more demanding and more critical.

i guess that works if you don't like your family or friends. i love shooting for family and friends.

that said...everyone still has to sign a contract, my business...my rules.


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RandyMN
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Jan 11, 2013 16:19 |  #22

thegreatgeekyme wrote in post #15476123 (external link)
I learned a long long time ago, never shoot for friend or family. Ever. No matter if they offer you 500.00 more than your asking. They are always more demanding and more critical.

I never had any issues with family. Just in the last year I shot two weddings for my nieces and did them for free. They were so surprised when they received their photo's, I think they had low expectations because they told me they were shocked that I gave them free what they could not have even gotten with a paid photographer.

I have a long history of wedding back in the eighties and nineties, so no family members have seen those shots.

I also have done three graduations, but I still have other nieces and nephews that choose to hire photographers even though they know I'd do it for them. Two sets of parents stated it was so I could enjoy the wedding without working, and the other never said but I know she had a girlfriend charge them 2500.00.

I do have them use a second shooter for the reception. Never any problems, but had I destroyed their wedding photo's it may have been disaster. Of course that would be the same for a professional.

What's funny is that all of them have friends that really want to help with the wedding photography and I tell them it's fine as long as they do not interfere with me. If they do not agree with that, I decline the wedding.




  
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RandyMN
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Jan 11, 2013 16:32 |  #23

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15476130 (external link)
If you aren't in business, don't pretend to be. If you are in business, follow good business practices with payment up front, contracts, etc.

Today there are many photographers that walk a fine line between business and hobby. I agree that every one should follow good business practices with payments up front and contracts when shooting events. I still shoot family portraits now and then without one, and I'm not pretending to be in business... All I am doing is trying keep challenged every now and then by taking advantage of opportunities to keep doing what I enjoy.

I will not touch a wedding of someone I do not know without contract, retainer and charging a fair price that helps make the responsibilities involved worthwhile. That's probably why I don't do many these days.




  
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delhi
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Jan 11, 2013 16:49 |  #24

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15476130 (external link)
If you aren't in business, don't pretend to be. If you are in business, follow good business practices with payment up front, contracts, etc.

I agree.

If you are in business conduct and carry yourself in that fashion. Your friends and families will recognize and respect that. Else just do for free or over a yummy meal.


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glumpy
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Jan 11, 2013 20:32 |  #25
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gjl711 wrote in post #15475804 (external link)
Friends and family I would either do it for free, or decline to do it.

This.

My friends and I don't charge one another for our time or skills. If we have to incur costs, then we reimburse that, but even then not always. If It's like $50 or so, not worth worrying about.

Last month my mates Daughter had her school formal. I went and shot it for them for Free even though I had to pay someone to cover for me at the job I was at.
2 weeks later my aircon goes on the fritz. I ask mate to come have a look at it that being his game. He turns up a couple of days later with a Re co unit and just puts that in because it's newer and more efficient than the one I have.

I asked what I owed him, he said it worked out exactly the same as he owed me for doing the daughters formal pics. I know he was out of pocket a lot more than I was but
he wouldn't take any money said he was happy with the deal and that was that.
That's the way we all roll, Swings and roundabouts.

That's pretty typical of the way all my friends are. No one goes outside the group of friends because that would be an insult in effect. I'd certainly feel hurt if they got another shooter to do something for them unless I couldn't do it and I'd feel like I was pissing on a mate if I get someone in their game to do their job.

Price is a bit irrelevant here. We all give one another our labour and in any case, there is more to the trust and honour thing if you like.

If I am not friendly enough with someone to do then job as a favor, then they are aquaitences and it's normal business, maybe looking after them a bit on price, but otherwise the same.

Never had a problem yet.

As soon as money enters into a friend/family relationship, things can go sour quickly, as you found out.

Yes, they CAN go sour but don't have to. As long as everything is spelled out and everyone knows the deal, there should be no problem any more than the problems one could have with normal clients.

I have done jobs many times for the Wifes extended family and had no trouble. I made it clear, what they got, what I was going to do, what the cost was, when payment was due etc.

From there it was as usual including one cousin that was told when she turned up to collect Prints, No money, no photo's. She went away and found the cash they didn't have at that time.

End of problem.


From RDKirk: First, let me check the forum heading...yes, it does say "Business of Photography" and not "Hobby of Photography." Okay. So we're talking about making money, not about hobbies. By "business" I am presuming activities that pay expenses and produce a profit over the long term.

  
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glumpy
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Jan 11, 2013 20:47 |  #26
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Kronie wrote in post #15475884 (external link)
I have three weddings this year where the bride has a relative with a DSLR. One of them wants to take pictures at the wedding. I said sure, as I need a second shooter anyway.

:eek:

Have a relative be your 2nd shooter because you need one anyway?
Wow, That sounds mighty professional. :rolleyes:
Going to look even more professional if that relative turns out to be 75 Yo Aunt mavis or 80 yo uncle Bob.
In any event, it's going to make people wonder WFT the B&G hired you.
Which I'm wondering myself?

I'd be laughing my arse off at this if that wasn't such a worry.
What about the rest of the family, You good with them all shooting over you shoulder as well?

No wonder real Professional photographers are struggling to convince the public of their worth and people are getting friends to shoot for them. When so called professionals are Condoning and undermining the profession like this, is it any wonder people are doing like the OP's friend did or going to wartmart?? :rolleyes:

I wonder who the next couple in the family or group of friends are going to ask to shoot their wedding, you or the relative?
No prizes for guessing that correct answer to that give away question! :rolleyes:


From RDKirk: First, let me check the forum heading...yes, it does say "Business of Photography" and not "Hobby of Photography." Okay. So we're talking about making money, not about hobbies. By "business" I am presuming activities that pay expenses and produce a profit over the long term.

  
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sspellman
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Jan 12, 2013 02:37 |  #27

There is nothing you can ever do to be cheaper than Walmart without loosing money. Your failure is to show that you offer a better service-image quality, service, or convenience.

When there is a perception that 2 options are the same-99% of people will choose the cheaper option. When you fail to confirm scheduling with a deposit, several customers will change their mind. Also- since "Clients" are only people that have paid you, this was only a "potential Client".

-Scott


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cYn
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Jan 12, 2013 02:44 |  #28

sspellman wrote in post #15477993 (external link)
When there is a perception that 2 options are the same-99% of people will choose the cheaper option.

-Scott

Word


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RDKirk
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Jan 14, 2013 07:31 |  #29

delhi wrote in post #15476367 (external link)
I agree.

If you are in business conduct and carry yourself in that fashion. Your friends and families will recognize and respect that. Else just do for free or over a yummy meal.

I never work cut-rate: It's either free or full price.

Whenever money enters the picture, it's time to put on the "professional" hat, regardless of whether you do it full time. Perform and charge as a professional, and make sure everyone knows you're in "pro-mode."

The problem is that people do not recognize the value of your photography except by what it costs to get it. You may think you're giving them a "real good deal on excellent work," but all they know is that they're paying money.

You think you're giving them a $200 job for $75; they only know they're paying $75 and think that's too much already.

If I'm not willing to photograph a friend for free (for whatever reason), then I don't do it. If I shoot "as a friend," I don't charge. If I shoot "as a professional" then it's full price.




  
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JReichert
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Jan 14, 2013 15:58 |  #30

FerozeK wrote in post #15475795 (external link)
I loose clients to pakistani's on a daily basis who charge 1/10 of what I do.

I don't see what nationality has to do with business here. I'm American but I can see how this would be terribly offensive to anyone from the Middle East.


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