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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 22 Mar 2010 (Monday) 17:52
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How to turn down photoshoot requests from friends?

 
trale
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Mar 22, 2010 17:52 |  #1

I'm a hobbyist photographer that graduated from college a while ago. I still have tons of friends that are still going to college, and I am still actively involved in campus activities. This makes it easy for me to arrange photoshoots with wanna-be models or girls that just want some good pictures of themselves. All my shoots so far have been with girls that are friends at least at one point or other, all done for free. I'm using it to build up a personal portfolio should I ever decide to get a little more serious.

I've gotten to a point where I'm getting picky about the girls that I'm willing shoot though. They have to meet a certain standard of beauty, or at least inspire me on some level, and they need to have a different "look" than girls I've shot before.

I actually try to keep a low profile, but inevitably, word spreads, especially when my "models" start posting their photoshoot pictures in their Facebook. Among my Facebook network I've gathered quite a reputation as a photographer that does photoshoots for free and can make you look like a Cover Girl.

So recently, I've been getting hints or even outright requests for photoshoots; sometime from genuine friends, and some from "facebook friends" - or not really friends at all.

I usually can make up some excuse to dismiss the "facebook friends", but things are a little tricky for the genuine friends that I actually do physically interact with at least a occasionally.

Anyone got any tips on turning down requests in such situations? Sometimes in the interest of being nice I'll do a quick shoot with them, but there's nothing I can do (or I don't have the inspiration) in post-processing to make their photos match the the results I get from girls that I do request shoots with.




  
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chauncey
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Mar 22, 2010 18:54 |  #2

I'm a hobbyist photographer that graduated from college a while ago

I would ask myself "why am I still hanging around at the college that I graduated from, why not move on with my life"? Could you still be trying to be the big man on campus?

If you're as good as you think you are, you might not be able "polish a turd", as you so crudely phrased it, but you could improve their appearance
with good lighting and PP and perhaps, turn them into something better than a sow's ear.

To dismiss the less fortunate among us makes you a very unfortunate and selfish creature. IMHO


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DStanic
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Mar 22, 2010 19:24 |  #3

Stop doing it for free, charge them?? Money is good inspiration. ;)


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crashthenet44
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Mar 22, 2010 19:44 |  #4

Say no?


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ni$mo350
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Mar 22, 2010 19:49 |  #5

You shot yourself in the foot by being "the free photographer" so now you have an uphill battle.

Option 1) Continue to do free shoots because that's what you've been doing and they'd think it's unfair or

Option 2) cut ties with all the people you know and create a new alias as a photographer that actually charges for work.

BTW: It's not the greatest idea to describe anybody not up to your standards as turds. Just an FYI, I know it's an expression but it's still unprofessional. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You won't be able to say that if they paid you so why say it when they aren't?


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monk3y
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Mar 22, 2010 19:53 |  #6

I would personally not turn down my real/genuine friends as long as its not so much of a hassle for me... but as for other friends like facebook friends etc... I think you can ask for a fee. :)


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gjl711
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Mar 22, 2010 19:56 |  #7

trale wrote in post #9849940 (external link)
...To use an exaggeration "you can't polish a turd".
chauncey wrote in post #9850350 (external link)
... you might not be able "polish a turd", ...

Um.. the Mythbusters clearly proved that you can indeed polish one (external link).

DStanic wrote in post #9850511 (external link)
Stop doing it for free, charge them?? Money is good inspiration. ;)

Use it as an opportunity to start your business. When starting you cant be picky. Everyone's $$$ is just as green.


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skygod44
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Mar 22, 2010 20:05 |  #8

chauncey wrote in post #9850350 (external link)
.....If you're as good as you think you are, you might not be able "polish a turd", as you so crudely phrased it, but you could improve their appearance with good lighting and PP and perhaps, turn them into something better than a sow's ear.
To dismiss the less fortunate among us makes you a very unfortunate and selfish creature. IMHO

Good points here from Chauncey.

If you are as good as you say you are, with appropriate lighting and an adjustment in attitude, you should be able to make even the "turdiest-of-turds" look like the finest gateaux chocolat from the kitchens of Panterelli.

If you don't have that ability, you really need to take a step back and think about what makes a truly great photographer, in my most humble opinion...

And regarding turning down photo shoots:
First, create a proper price-list, add your website address to your business cards, ensure you are recognised as "the pro" in your area and encourage potential clients to approach you through business avenues....not through Facebook. Then, it will be 100% clear that you charge for your services, and saying "no" won't be an issue at all.


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Pearlallica
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Mar 22, 2010 20:13 |  #9

trale wrote in post #9849940 (external link)
Anyone got any tips on turning down requests in such situations? Sometimes in the interest of being nice I'll do a quick shoot with them, but there's nothing I can do (or I don't have the inspiration) in post-processing to make their photos match the the results I get from girls that I do request shoots with. To use an exaggeration "you can't polish a turd".

sounds like your hobby is for your own gain and not a method to channel generosity in other's lives. Frankly, I'm a little sickened by vanity and distorted standards of "beauty", as it really only exists in the of the beholder. I'm in the business of photography to (a) profit and (b) provide cherished photographs to people that have an appreciation for my style of art and the gift I have to portray them in a flattering manner. My bride's are sometimes older, sometimes over-weight. I too have the tools to manipulate or correct the features of their bodies that they are openly express embarrassment about. I've never had a bride disappointed with the job I do. I'm confident I can represent any woman in a beautiful manner. I think if I lacked that ability than it would be my weakness as a photographer and my handicap to not be able to see past the distorted perspective of our culture's standards.


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Socket7
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Mar 22, 2010 20:44 |  #10

"I am an artist, and I'm sorry, but you don't fit what I'm looking for my vision. If you would still like a photoshoot, I will have to charge you. My rates are as follows."

Having been the thankless IT guy for my family for many years, my last discussion about doing work for free went as follows. "If you want me to do that it will cost 200 bucks an hour with a 2 hour minimum."

I call it the f$%*k off rate.


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Cosha
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Mar 23, 2010 03:45 |  #11

Socket7 wrote in post #9850961 (external link)
Having been the thankless IT guy for my family for many years...

My god i know how that feels! Phone calls at random times of the day, freinds and family start getting pushy and wanting more by any chance?

One week, i had 5 PC's to fix! Network problems, Firefox wont work, setting up an E-bay account etc... the list goes on!

I hated it so much, i left college because computers did my head in!

My Family and friends thought that flashing me £20 was a rip off, so i kindly gave them a local pc guys number, i remember one of his call outs on a sunday started at £300 :D

To the OP...

Time to charge my friend! You got the news around that your the tog, people want you, so charge them for it!

Who made the comment about not wanting to leave college and grow up? bahaha think about it, chicks everywhere! you need a better motive? :D


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DStanic
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Mar 23, 2010 06:26 |  #12

Cosha wrote in post #9852804 (external link)
My god i know how that feels! Phone calls at random times of the day, freinds and family start getting pushy and wanting more by any chance?

One week, i had 5 PC's to fix! Network problems, Firefox wont work, setting up an E-bay account etc... the list goes on!

I hated it so much, i left college because computers did my head in!

My Family and friends thought that flashing me £20 was a rip off, so i kindly gave them a local pc guys number, i remember one of his call outs on a sunday started at £300 :D

To the OP...

Time to charge my friend! You got the news around that your the tog, people want you, so charge them for it!

Who made the comment about not wanting to leave college and grow up? bahaha think about it, chicks everywhere! you need a better motive? :D


The problem is that people are too LAZY to learn basic things on computer. :rolleyes: I was also an IT guy years ago and did not mind fixing computers for money but hated tutoring people over the phone on how to do the basic things. :rolleyes:


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HappySnapper90
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Mar 24, 2010 08:45 |  #13

You can shoot someone that you consider to be not beautiful enough, but not use it in your portfolio. The model's beauty, or perceived lack thereof, is not a reflection of a photographer's skills!

Grow up.




  
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spkerer
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Mar 24, 2010 09:44 |  #14

Regarding the original question...

crashthenet44 wrote in post #9850611 (external link)
Say no?

+1


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20droger
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Mar 24, 2010 10:49 |  #15

trale wrote in post #9849940 (external link)
I've gotten to a point where I'm getting picky about the girls that I'm willing shoot though. They have to meet a certain standard of beauty, or at least inspire me on some level, and they need to have a different "look" than girls I've shot before.

Every person is beautiful in some way. Try finding and bringing out the beauty in those people who do not happen to have the artificial "supermodel" face or body, i.e., most of us. Let's see how good of a photographer you really are.

As for those who want free shoots, look 'em straight in the eye and say, "I only shoot for free when the subject interests me." Then turn and walk away.




  
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How to turn down photoshoot requests from friends?
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