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Thread: Things to Avoid When Asking Your Friend to be Your Photographer

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    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
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    Things to Avoid When Asking Your Friend to be Your Photographer

    So let's say you're about to have a big event... perhaps a wedding. Yes, let's go with that. A wedding. Now let's say you're not someone who is overly well heeled and you're hoping to perhaps get one of your friends to take pictures at the eve. Let's go a step further and suppose that one of your friends happens to be a professional photographer. Well, then this post is for you! Here is a handy guide on the things you should not do when approaching your friend to ask them to shoot your event.

    Item 1. Do Not Ask Your Friend over SMS/Text Messages/Instant Message/Facebook

    You are asking your friend to invest much of their personal time and apply their skills in their trade for your event. What's more is you're likely denying them the pleasure of hanging out and having fun at a nice party with you and your friends. The least you could do is probably take them out to McDonalds or something and ask them in person. Will a Big Mac and fries be a bit offensive? Maybe... but nearly as much as sending them a hastily written text message with spelling errors.

    Item 2. Do Not Downplay the Value of Your Friend's Skills

    This might seem like a bizarre concept to some, but photography is actually kinda hard. I know it may seem like they just point the camera at stuff and shoot press the little button, but there's quite a bit more involved or likely everyone would be doing it. Since you're asking your friend to do this special favor for you, you might consider actually complimenting them a little and maybe even to the point of buttering them up a bit. After all, they're likely going to be on their feet for you for like 12 hours and have a good 12 hours of editing and other work to do... the least you could do is say something nice.

    Item 3. Do Not Underestimate the Value of What You are Asking For

    Photographers charge a lot of time for their efforts. An average wedding photographer is going to be $3,000-5,000, depending on packages and location, and $10,000 is not unheard of. Be aware that in receiving this you are receiving something of actual value, and you should act accordingly.

    Item 4. Don't Treat Your Friend Like the Help

    Even though your friend is a photographer for the day, you should still treat him like a friend. Make sure he has a nice place to sit to eat his meal WITH THE GUESTS, check on him now and again to see if he needs anything, make sure he takes breaks now and again, and try to discourage him from over-shooting. If at all possible, he should spend a little bit of time enjoying the party like everyone else. You really don't need 3,000 pictures of Aunt Selma dirty dancing with the Bukowski's 16 year old kid, do you? No, I didn't think so.

    Item 5. At No Point in time should the Words "Big Camera" Escape Your Lips

    Good photography has very little to do with the gear, and nothing is more offensive than saying "I'm going to get a big camera so I can take great pictures too" or anything along those lines. The value your friend provides is in his skills and his experience, not in his gear. When someone feeds you a fine meal, you do not compliment them on their stove. When someone takes a beautiful picture, you do not compliment them on their camera.



    And yes, in case you're wondering... all this happened to me last night.

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    Hahaha @ big camera!
    manaheim likes this.

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    Poor Manny.
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    I feel like I need to give you a hug.
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    I had this happen to me as well, and I am nowhere near good enough shoot a wedding. Nevertheless, I am glad to hear that I was not out of line to be offended.


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    I was recently contacted by a friends wife on FB to do some work for her portfolio as a make up artist. We have not been able to find a good time to meet up since she needs models to do this type of work. Then after a few months she asked what kind of camera she would need to do it herself. So I told her then told her I should do it for her because I know what Im doing already and have all the gear that would be needed. Now she is finally starting to understand what all goes into this type of work. Lots of people have the illusion that its all point, click, post since they camera looks fancy.
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    You hit the nail Man.

    Before my photography venture, I was into videography (what I actually went to school for... or at least one of the things) and I was asked by my SIL to shoot her wedding. I was frustrated the entire time because of how little work they seemed to think it would be. It's just P&S the camera right?

    Running around, trying to stay ahead of everyone, not being a part of the ceremony of one of my family members, then editing, exporting to whatever format.... I did it, but it was a miserable experience. People don't understand what they are asking. We aren't going to P&S the event. Even if we don't want to and they would be perfectly satisified with P&S, we don't operate like that. We are compelled to always output the best we're capable of given the circumstances. And if we aren't allowed to do that, then it's insulting to ask us to lower our standards.

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    Watch the Birdy! Site Moderator
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    So, just to clarify Manny, which one were you?






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    So are you doing it? lol
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    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
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    Everyone, and thanks for your support?

    Mish... I actually may be. Simple fact is this guy's fiance is a good kid (half his age, so yes... a kid) and I don't feel like punishing her just because her fiance is an asshat. However, this is also the guy who was telling my friend that professional photographers are full of **** because everyone has a camera phone and photographers are just overcharging for what anyone can do with the phone in their pocket... soooooooo... my thought is basically if he crosses a line with me, I'll likely give him one warning and then shut them down completely.

    As I'm typing this I'm really wondering why I still ever see this person.
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    You mean you got yourself one of them big cameras? You're a pro now!!! Go to VistaPrint and have some awesome business cards made and you'll be rollin' in the dough!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by manaheim View Post
    Everyone, and thanks for your support?

    Mish... I actually may be. Simple fact is this guy's fiance is a good kid (half his age, so yes... a kid) and I don't feel like punishing her just because her fiance is an asshat. However, this is also the guy who was telling my friend that professional photographers are full of **** because everyone has a camera phone and photographers are just overcharging for what anyone can do with the phone in their pocket... soooooooo... my thought is basically if he crosses a line with me, I'll likely give him one warning and then shut them down completely.

    As I'm typing this I'm really wondering why I still ever see this person.
    Just put your BIG CAMERA in full manual, lightly skim the shutter wheel into orbit as you hand it to him and say "hey, I need a few head shots. It's easy! Go ahead!!!!"
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    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLeeK
    Just put your BIG CAMERA in full manual, lightly skim the shutter wheel into orbit as you hand it to him and say "hey, I need a few head shots. It's easy! Go ahead!!!!"
    Hahaha... I like this idea.
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    That's why you just say no when they ask. It's easier.

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    I do love the stove/camera analogy. Going to have to steal that one.
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