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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 22 Nov 2010 (Monday) 14:52
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question about friends and business...

 
jeljohns
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Nov 22, 2010 14:52 |  #1

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.




  
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Peacefield
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Nov 22, 2010 14:58 |  #2

It's a hard question to answer owing to variables; there are friends and then there are friends. I have buddies who I would do anything for at no cost. Then there are others . . .

I would tell him what you told us, that the quality will be better and you want to associate your reputation as a photographer with the better product. I assume the difference isn't that vast and that your friend's budget can accomodate a few extra $'s.


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saturnin
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Nov 22, 2010 14:58 |  #3
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cool story bro!

I its too late now, just give them the file and let them print away -lesson learned. Don't get all stingy -leave it be

next time charge for your time and or dont deal with friends and or other friends(the not so close friends but still friends)

good luck!


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jeljohns
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Nov 22, 2010 15:02 |  #4

I wasn't being stingy. I quoted them $2 per card, the Shutterfly cards are $1.30. I wasn't expecting to make a huge profit. Like I said, it was more about quality than profit. I'm not really comfortable with someone just having a file, which is why I don't sell or plan to sell digital files (I know this is a big debate and everyone has their own feelings about it).

I mainly don't want it to get weird. And they still want to order prints from me, but the cards from Shutterfly...which I think is strange.




  
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saturnin
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Nov 22, 2010 15:12 |  #5
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lost in translation..sorry..in​trawebs sometimes fails @ this...
i dont mean stingy as in you are trying to make a huge profit and rip them off.. i mean "stingy" from the point of view that you already agreed to do it for free and now you are wanting to get money out of them for "whatever" reason.. be it a good one or not... Just let it go - lesson learned - dont make that same mistake again...

let them print @ wallmart and or wherever they want.. its done... if they come out crappy... too bad...(yes i understand they might show it to people and they will say ..whoa bad photo)

You cant control everything... its done


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scorpio_e
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Nov 22, 2010 15:24 |  #6

You tell them that you use a pro lab and want to give them the best quality..Maybe even use metallic paper. You could show them what it looks like with a cool template too:)

If they say ..well shutter fly is good for us then let it go. After all you agreed to do it for free.

Lessons learned I would say...


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saturnin
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Nov 22, 2010 15:28 |  #7
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nah.. its done.... just forget about it... lol


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http://www.asphaltjunk​iez.com (external link) - award winning filmmaker - 3 documentaries done, more to go. I'm not wasting this 1 life.
Gear is gear, gotta do wif what you got! This forum makes me bite my tongue like no other forum i've ever been on :)

  
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RDKirk
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Nov 22, 2010 15:29 |  #8

jeljohns wrote in post #11327923 (external link)
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.


TANSTAAFL--The Only Unbreakable Rule in Photography

  
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Bosscat
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Nov 23, 2010 00:37 |  #9

A guy I grew up with and hung out for years with and raced motorcycles against etc etc owns a hardware store in town and I pay full retail for whatever I purchase there.

He lays out cash to purchase stock, much like a photographer lays out cash and time to create stock (photos) but most folks don't see it that way.


Your camera is alot smarter than the "M" Zealots would have you believe

  
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MJPhotos24
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Nov 23, 2010 06:08 |  #10

RDKirk wrote in post #11328072 (external link)
. Therefore, my basic rule: Full freight or free.

I have to agree with this, though I lean towards never doing it free.

Family/friends I've been known to knock off a couple bucks, throw in a few extra prints or products by "accident", but have always charged just like everyone else at full freight. Plan on getting more into another field other than sports and that will require a deposit, will have no problem waiving that fee for a family member or friend if they are a true friend, however, the print costs will be the same and no significant discounts applied (again maybe just some extras thrown in). Just doing it at cost doesn't help me with how busy my schedule is, and honestly I have just too big a family to do any of them free.

Situation at hand you're basically already screwed, tables been set and they're expecting a free meal.


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Peacefield
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Nov 23, 2010 07:30 |  #11

jeljohns wrote in post #11327962 (external link)
I wasn't being stingy. I quoted them $2 per card, the Shutterfly cards are $1.30.

I don't know where you're buying them from, but you could source a decent quality card through Mpix, charge the same $1.30, have your imprinting on the back, and it sounds like everyone could be happy in the end.


Robert Wayne Photography (external link)

5D3, 5D2, 50D, 350D * 16-35 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 100-400 IS, 100 L Macro, 35 1.4, 85 1.2 II, 135 2.0, Tokina 10-17 fish * 580 EX II (3) Stratos triggers * Other Stuff plus a Pelican 1624 to haul it all

  
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