I feel bad for turning this down..

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DGMPhotography, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    So, earlier this week, a cosplayer acquaintance of mine called me, and inquired about photography services for an event she was hosting.

    It was an honorary high school diploma ceremony for her boyfriend, who was unable to finish his diploma, due to a terminal illness.

    I spent some time talking with her, and followed up with a proposal. I gave her a 20% discount considering the situation, but her mother just called me this morning and said they won't be able to do it, because the event grew way larger than anticipated (50 people became 150), and they couldn't afford it, saying they were sure other photographers would be there. She did thank me for my time and said they were considering having a wedding and would love to keep me in mind for that.

    I was personally very honored to have been considered for this, and was looking forward to capturing this moment for her. If it wasn't 2 hours away, I would maybe have considered doing it even cheaper, or even pro bono, but in the end, she is only an acquaintance, and I do have to run a business.

    But... I feel bad. Should I? Is there something else I should do here?


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For an acquaintance, two hours away? I don't think so.
     
  3. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No don’t feel bad. Unfortunately these thing happen at least the mother did have the decency o inform you of the change. You could have got there and been faced with. oh by the way... can you just. then had to decide there and then
     
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  4. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In business, you need to be careful where you give discounts and pro bonos.
    You don't want word to get out and it to become something that people will expect from you.
    Well you gave X a discount, why not me?
    How about a pro bono for us, because . . . . ?
    There should be business decisions, to justify the discount/pro bono.

    If this could be a "foot in the door" to a different market for you, it might be worth still pursuing it.
    Although if the market is 2 hours away, the market has to pay enough to compensate you for that amount of travel.
    2 hours one way x 2 ways = 4 hours total travel time.
    Half a day just going to/from the gig. That has to be factored into your billing calculation.​

    Tough call.
    Unless I could figure out how to get more business out of it, I would pass, because I don't like driving that far.
    On the other hand, my brother who likes driving, might go for it.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would not feel bad about it for a very long
     
  6. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks guys, this helped.
     
  7. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    i dunno...
    working free or even discounted is largly dependant on personal feelings.
    sometimes it just feels good to help someone out, and sometimes doing a good deed for a stranger means more on a personal level than helping out a friend that you might feel you owe, or will be owed by later.

    despite the fact that im a bit of an asshole, (the size of a "bit" being very situationally dependant) me and the wife donate a lot of time and energy to people we can barely even consider an acquaintance.

    the wife does a lot of free crafting and sewing for people we only know by way of proximity to each other, or someone else we know.
    from embroidered clothing, to bereavement bears, to prom dresses.
    dozens and dozens of baby blankets donated to hospital pediatric floors.
    we have done family photos, baby photos, and even TWO weddings for free because we were made aware of people who were going to go without that we felt didnt deserve to. cant help everyone obviously, but for a few people, we could make at least some difference.
    what are we out, really? some time? sometimes a lot of time. some money for materials? what is our time worth compared to what we can do for someone. what is 6 weeks of the wifes time and some material cost for a prom dress worth? ill tell you...for us, not that much really.
    but for a father who cant work because he is on a heart transplant list and not faring well, a mother who works two jobs to almost be able to support the family, and a teenage daughter who was going to miss her prom because she didnt want her parents to skip buying groceries or medications just to buy her a dress.....its friggen priceless.
    sometimes a situation just moves us to help. sometimes a persons story just calls to us, and when it happens, we answer.
    we couldnt do otherwise and feel good about it. We do what we can, but I often find myself wishing we had the resources to do more.

    business wise? if you are afraid of getting typecast and having everyone start begging you for discounts and free stuff because you cant moderate how and when you give discounts and freebies... if you cant make a decision on when to say yes and when to say no....
    turn it all down. dont go down that road at all.

    but if you DO help someone out, for whatever reason compels you....dont let anyone tell you it was the wrong thing to do.
    never let someone convince you that contributing to a worthy cause is somehow not worth it because of how far you have to go, or how much time you have to spend.
    whats worthy? that will always be subjective. just go with what feels right.
    you cant input charity work into your business model, spit out an hourly rate, then decide if its worth it or not for you to do based on some numbers. Help people for the sake of helping. do it to uplift someone. do it to make someones life/situation better. dont do it because you think theres a chance of somehow turning it into business later.

    is there something else you should do? noone can make that decision for you. if they did, it wouldnt be worth much would it?
     
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  8. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ah, and here we have the human compassion part of it. You are right. I do think it's worth helping people, and that's something that can't be quantified.

    I wanted to help them, but the scale tipped the other way for this one. I did give them options. On top of the discount, I told them they don't even have to pay yet, and that there was no deadline and that it could be paid whenever they're ready. I was way more flexible than I usually am, but ultimately, it just didn't work out for them, and maybe I'm just selfish, but I just couldn't justify doing it pro bono.

    On a related note, when I drive by a stalled car on the road, I think to myself, "I'd like to help them," but then I think of the horror stories of people being abducted and killed in those situations, so I drive on. And yet, my brother stops and helps those people all the time. I guess it takes a certain kind of person.
     
  9. RVT1K

    RVT1K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I always fall back on what the Italians say..."business is business..."
     
  10. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    its understandable. its impossible to help everyone. just dont let the aspect of it being a business become an excuse to make every decision based on monetary gain and forget about being a decent human being.

    also, neither myself nor my wife stop for anyone on the side of the road. doubly so if we have the kid in the car.
    to many stories with bad endings there.
     

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