jeljohns wrote in post #11327923
I am just starting out. I had a good friend ask to do a family portrait session. I did not charge them, mostly because I'm portfolio building. Then they asked for holiday cards. I told them a price, then they asked if they could use the file to order the cards through Shutterfly. I mostly wanted them to purchase the cards through me because then I could guarantee the quality and also because my business info is printed on the back, which could generate more business. So now I'm feeling like I should charge a fee for the digital file, but being that it is a friend I feel weird! They also want to order 10 5X7s.
Just curious how others handle friends and business and what you would do in this situation. I always feel really uncomfortable with it and have started turning friends away.
This is the problem: People do not understand the value of photography. If you ask them for so much as a dime, they figure "I'm paying for it, so I should get what I want for my money." They don't appreciate that you've given them a "real good deal." You get no brownie points for giving them a cut rate.
Therefore, my basic rule: Full freight or free.
I ask, is this someone I'd buy a gift of the same value for? If so, I give them as a gift specifically what I want to give them. Because it's a gift and they're getting it completely free of charge, the choice of what I give them is absolutely up to me. Because it's a totally free gift, they get no choice--if they have to pay anything, they will expect a choice. People can understand that "free" is limited and up to the giver. "Free" creates no misunderstandings about the value of "what they paid for." If they ask for more beyond that, I simply say, "I'd have to charge for that."
If I figure that's not someone I want to give that much of a gift to, then I send them a Hallmark and I'm done.