People who want you to work for free because you know them...

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by imagesbykess, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. imagesbykess

    imagesbykess TPF Noob!

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    How do people handle this in general? I have had a few friends saying I should charge less for family portraits because I am their friend, or because the sister likes her camera and can do it too.

    How do you politely deal with undercutting. I am finding it hurtful that because my friend has done favors for me in the past I should provide free services or reduced services to her. Right now I am just starting to build up and I am at that point where I don't want to say no but I don't want to feel bitter at these people. I try to educate them but... Any advice? How did you grow through that part? Did you lose friends over it?

    As I increase my price point and introduce products I am worried some friends won't be able to afford me and then be bitter that I do not want to shoot for them.


     
  2. jake337

    jake337 TPF Noob!

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    Do you have children?

    Easy answer: I gots kids to feed!
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It sounds like you've got your market wrong; your friends shouldn't be expected to be the primary source of your professional income. It's a small circle and whilst its a starting point you need to invest more time and research into clearly identifying where your target market is and then marketing yourself toward that market.

    Once you've moved your business outside of your friends circle you'll be better able to charge for your services and make an income from the public, leaving you time to choose as and when you provide your services outside of your professional capacity.
     
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  4. dots

    dots TPF Noob!

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    What are they expecting from you exactly? Like a full-service package or what? Can't you combine it with hanging-out at their place?
     
  5. jake337

    jake337 TPF Noob!

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    Are you talking about all of your friends or one in particular? If someone helped you out once, it's always nice to return the favor.

    You could always use your friends as marketing tools as well. Make a deal. Next time they ask tell them "How about you bring me 3 clients at full price and I'll give you a deal." or "bring in some clients and I'll do a free headshot for ya"


    Dots made a good point as well. What are they expecting from you? A single 8x10 portrait? A full package? Wedding?
     
  6. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    I will occasionally shoot a friend (or a simple Friend's family shoot) just for a good meal... and the company. But they all know it had better be a damn good meal, too! lol! If you feel like they are abusing the privilege, then it may be time to look for new friends.... but if have done you favors, then you owe them something back.

    Old saying.. you can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family! (and everyone else is fair game for marketing!)
     
  7. twocolor

    twocolor TPF Noob!

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    Once a year I do a friend free portrait party. I serve dinner and give 1 - one - uno - single pose for them to use in a Christmas card picture. I do it open house style come and get a picture eat soup and rolls stay and socialize if you want go home. I have an outdoor studio in the backyard so we just slip in and out as needed. Other than that, they pay. My theory is if they appreciate you as a friend, they'll pay you BECAUSE they are your friend.

    Family gets free pictures, but they usually reciprocate with a dinner or something!
     
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  8. Big Mike

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

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  9. RauschPhotography

    RauschPhotography TPF Noob!

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    If they respect you as a friend, they should respect you enough as an ARTIST who deserves to be paid.
     
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  10. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    I occassional do portraits for friends or family. Sometimes I refuse, sometimes I do it for a fee, and sometimes I just offer to do the work because it sounds like a fun time.
     
  11. MissCream

    MissCream TPF Noob!

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    I have a friends and family discount which is usually 20% off everything except weddings and prints.
     
  12. imagemaker46

    imagemaker46 TPF Noob!

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    I generally don't do any shoots for friends, and they never ask. I did have a very good client that I have been working with for 10 years, he asked if I could do a shoot with his family and their grandfather who is retiring as a firefighter, we never talked money, the subject never came up. I did the family shoot, an hour of my day. After I was done he asked if I would take some money, then his dad asked me as well. My answer was simple. "I was happy to do it as your son has done so many great things for me over the past 10 years" He is a good client, and a friend. Sometimes you do these things because you are asked by the right people. If people expect you to do shoots for free simply because they are family or friends, they don't respect what you do.
     
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