I turned down a paying gig... first time.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by RMThompson, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    So, as you may or may not know, I'm sort of a semi-professional photographer in the area. Mostly I do commercial work, and it's fun, but I've also been doing weddings and the like.

    Well, in the interest of finding new models that are looking to start their portfolio, I posted a craigslist ad mentioning that my rates can go low for this time of work, especially if I feel it can benefit my portfolio.

    So the other day I got a call from a guy looking for me to shoot his Wedding Reception, he had already gotten married a few weeks ago and was just throwing a party for about 60 people. He was thinking in the range of "100 dollars", which was much lower than I was considering.

    It was a 3 hour shoot, about 40 minutes away from me, THIS Saturday night. I would then assume about 3 hours of editing. I told him the lowest I could even CONSIDER working that long would be 200 - 250 dollars.

    He took a day or so to consider, and then called me back today to do hire me for 200 dollars... but I politely declined.

    The truth is I already have a photoshoot that day, and although I COULD'VE rushed and made it, it just didn't seem worth it.

    Am I wrong for turning down paid work, even for such a low amount? I feel bad, but at the same time, I also felt like I wasn't getting a fair amount of money for the time/gas involved.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not wrong at all.

    It may or may not have been the case, but a lot of wedding shooters will tell you that 'low ball' wedding shoots are often accompanied with more that their fair share of head aches.

    Set yourself a minimum amount that you will shoot for. ($200-$250 is too low). Then if you get requests like this, you can give them your minimum price and see where what they do with that.
     
  3. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    I shoot weddings right now as you do. I am sure that you are aware of this but a lot of times the short gigs like this one are the ones that create the most stress. Plus 40 min of drive time each way is going to cost you some money in gas and then to edit those pictures. I would say that declining is something that all photographers are going to have to do at some time or another.
     
  4. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I think taking a day or so to decide says alot. Either he was trying to get something for nothing, or it wasnt that important to them. In that case, they can have a couple friends bring the P&S cameras and you can enjoy your saturday off :)
     
  5. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Thank you all for understanding. I feel better now! :)
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Turning down paid work is never a good idea. In this case it sounds more like slave labor. Not sure how it goes in the retail world, but in the commercial world $300 would cover the bare minimum.

    Have to say that I have gotten some really good gigs off of Craigslist. More often then not I find I am banging my head against the wall on that site. I just do not feel that there are serious photo buyers on Craigslist.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    There's no way I would have shot the wedding reception. But my only thing is... are you "semi professional" or an "enthusiastic amateur"?

    There's a big difference.
     
  8. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I have to ask... if you consider yourself a semi-professional, why did you say that you would "go low" with your rates. Have your rates at the price you are willing to work and and stick with it. I don't see a benefit to letting the other person set the rate.
     
  9. Funky

    Funky TPF Noob!

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    yea man, good call. ive been shooting wedding for about 2 years now, and i constantly get "can you shoot my whole wedding for $300" requests. luckily i have an assistant that sorts it all out, but theres alot of people out there that take photographers for granted.
     
  10. mattblalock

    mattblalock TPF Noob!

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    Definitely would have turned it down. As some have said, the lower the offer, the more troubles ALWAYS come along.

    I also am interested in understanding why you would offer to lower your rates, I'd do it if business was slow or something. Just curious.

    M
     

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