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.