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04-26-2010, 08:37 AM   #31
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Hmmm, sorry to be controversial - and perhaps it's a Euro/US cultural thing - but I'd never dream of charging friends for anything (and usually they've insisted on giving me something anyway) but I wouldn't expect my friends to charge me either (they don't, except parts). I'm kind of of the view that this is what friendship is actually about:- "giving" rather than "charging".

04-26-2010, 09:28 AM   #32

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Hmmm... I dont think you should let yourself drown in sorrow anymore, and forget both friendships. Let me elaborate with a longggggg story

Like many of the people who have given advice here, I am first and foremost an IT. As you can see from people's experiences here, whatever work related freebies you may and will ever give, wont probably compare to an IT:

-Almost facts: Each one of my friend has at *least* 1 computer, and most of them will not know how to fix them.
- Another fact: A computer will break down. Its just a question of when.
- Worst: It is entirely possible to get a barely functioning computer fixed by an IT, and then ended up with a part that needed replacement because otherwise it wont work ever again. What was seemingly a little request for a favour to fix a still working PC, becomes a tangible cost (because say, they had a virus. The anti - virus you introduced killed the operating system. The computer is way too old for you to find the original drivers for its components. The CD was thrown away. Solution : get new parts with new drivers), and suddently friends may get upset because they believed *you* were responsible for making their computer not working anymore.

See its all problematic . I refrain from telling people Im IT, unless there is a working possibility. Or I tell them that those are not the kind of IT things I do (true), or I tell them all the caveats of trying to fix a computer and how long it may take, or I tell them how to do it, and let them learn by experience.

With the neighbour, not much can be said about her or to her that hasnt been said, not worth your time being upset about.
With the dentist, I think I may be upset at you too, if I thought we were friends and you tried to charge me for a favour without telling me first. However, you apologized, refunded me, and then I would start thinking....

- We were friends for some years.
- She is in between jobs, I am making good money, what is 7 dollars compared to our friendship?
- In fact, if she is in such a need for money she had to charge me the price of a McDonalds meal for her 3 hour session, maybe i should look into whether she needs more know, cuz i am her good friend. (Note: Do they really, fully understand your financial situation? Or have you been putting icing on the crumbling cake?)

The thing is, they dont seem to consider your position. Here you are, still thinking about your friendship when they should be doing the same. If they are such good friends, are you sure they are just not feeling awkward because the grandpa emailed you that nasty letter? If you are absolutely certain that there is actual animosity here, then i would say the friendship wasnt worth it.

I am sorry it took years to find out, but as you said yourself, they have never skimmed on charging you for their services. Dentist gets paid by insurance : did he ever open early for you, etc?

Yes, you were mistaken for trying to charge a fee for a service you offered yourself, however, if they were really good friends, i think they would be just as pained as you are right now, and would not be upset over such a meager amount of money.

I would just make one more effort to make sure that there isnt any misunderstanding here, that there is actual animosity...and if there is, i would move on, because then it demonstrates to me that they obviously did not think your friendship is worth working out a resolution.
04-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Hmmm, sorry to be controversial - and perhaps it's a Euro/US cultural thing - but I'd never dream of charging friends for anything (and usually they've insisted on giving me something anyway) but I wouldn't expect my friends to charge me either (they don't, except parts). I'm kind of of the view that this is what friendship is actually about:- "giving" rather than "charging".
There is nothing wrong with charging friends for things. The problem is only if the charge is unexpected. If you say up front "I will do this for you, but I will do it in my role as professional and will charge accordingly," it should be fine. The issue arises when people are not expecting to be charged and then get blind sided.

In point of fact, I feel like photographers tend to give away too much of their services and end up under valuing their services as a result. There are many people who believe that anyone can take photos and don't understand why it should cost so much to get something done that they can do just as well with their point and shoot camera.

Your service is worth something, just as your dentist's service is worth something. Don't hesitate to tell people that your are good and that you expect to be paid accordingly. Just make sure you follow through on your end and everyone will be happy.
04-26-2010, 05:12 PM   #34
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My personal opinion is that you should write off all the people involved. If you try to repair things, then they are just going to use it as proof that you did wrong in the first place and you will always be suspect. Nothing good will ever come from it. Just be civil when you are around them and leave it at that.

People that would turn you out over a few dollars when they know you are out of work are a bunch of losers to begin with. This is an opportunity to find real friends, not just people that you have known forever.

Thank you

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 04-26-2010 at 08:07 PM.
04-26-2010, 05:34 PM   #35
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Seven dollars? All this over seven dollars? This is the saddest thread I've read on this forum so far. If a friend of mine tried to maliciously rip me off for $7, I'd let him/her do it because they obviously needed it and $7 is immaterial to our friendship.

Please charge more for your photos. You can't even buy a decent lunch in NYC for $7 these days.

I hope you get over this and that it won't distress you any longer. I would find peace within before attempting to fix this friendship. Once you've found that peace, you will have a better grasp on what needs to be done in regards to the dentist, if anything at all.

Doing things because you "feel badly" about it isn't always the best idea.
04-26-2010, 05:50 PM   #36
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without addressing who did what to whom when, it sounds to me as though the bottom line is that this incident demonstrated that your neighbor and your friend are cheap - and they know it and now you know it, too, and they are afraid that is what you are telling people. so they are doing what so many do - trying to flip the picture (no pun intended) to make you out as the cheap one.

if a family member came to me and complained that my friend had the nerve to charge $7 for photos she took of his/her child, i would probably say, oh, no problem, here's $7 to pay for the photos. i would have felt like a fool making an issue over $7. (actually, maybe that's how the dentist feels, but he's not going to tell you that.)

things will never be the same, no question. but sometimes to make them better, you have to pretend they are. you've apologized, which is fine, because you were clumsy. but hold your head high, too, because you have, in fact, apologized. as in so many other situations in life, you have to stay in the game to make any points. greet your friend warmly and continue to do so, but don't push. if time is going to heal this one, it will. in the meantime, get on with your life. and keep taking pictures.
04-27-2010, 12:18 PM   #37
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I have so many connections in my metro area that everyone thinks they're on the "friends and family plan." There isn't even a plan in place. They just assume there is.

When I sell via ImageKind, Etsy, and other online outlets, I'm paid handsomely. When my clients are neighbors and friends, projects rarely turn out to be worth the time invested.

I've turned down a lot of opportunities in 2010 because my New Year's Resolution was to stop letting those closest to me derail the viabilitly of my business. No more bartering. No more, "Sure, since you're my cousin." No more wasted time on projects which won't be lucrative. It sounds cold, heartless, and the complete opposite of a passionate artist, but I actually feel better now that my backbone is fully operational.

The odd thing is that no one minds. I just say, "I'm sorry, my schedule doesn't allow it. I'm swamped with client projects right now." They go on and find someone else to cheat. And, then we get together and have a margarita on the patio just like always. The last four months have taught me that it isn't personal at all. They want a deal, and they'll find one. Just don't let yourself get caught in the trap.
05-03-2010, 11:26 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
...someone else who is a self-employed, kit-lens owning Craigslist shooter.
Yeah, because Craigslist and the lens are the problem. (the rolleyes on this forum sucks.)

05-04-2010, 12:31 AM   #39
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Hi marianne,

I'd have to agree that Peter Zack gave you great advice in case you wish to follow up with them any time.

I would think that if you want to talk things through with your dentist friend you really just need to lay the truth out on the table.

I know what it's like to sometimes get flustered when put on the spot, and it's much easier for me to write out a response to someone, since it means you get teh time to give a considered response.

Similar to when preparing for a job interview, it might be worth writing out what you'd like to explain to your friend. Then read it back and aconsider what their responses could be and how you'd respond. It might sound a little cold and calculated but it should make things easier when the moment arrives, whether it's just a time that you bump into them or one of you makes the effort to see the other one.

Same with your response when someone you know asks you to do work for them - have a pricelist on hand and a standard reply, so that you don't need to start letting emotion come into it, otherwise you'll keep thinking, "discount for this person? they ARE a dear friend".

Just a thought, do with it as you please.

Best of luck for the future anyway!
05-15-2010, 12:44 AM   #40
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To the OP, I think those people that refused to pay are just cheap! If they can't afford few hundred bucks for a shoot then they don't deserve to get the pictures you took and processed for them. Tell them how much the other pros charge, maybe as low as $1000 for a wedding, but usually a lot more.
07-30-2010, 05:01 PM   #41
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Very useful conversation

Can I just say how helpful this thread has been.

As one who may embarking down this somewhat rocky track sooner rather than later (if something comes to fruition in the next few days), I have certainly learned a great deal by reading through it and would like to thank everyone for their forthright contributions.

Another great testimonial for this website.

07-30-2010, 07:13 PM   #42
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They took advantage, plain and simple. You took wedding photo's with zero notice, that were better than the paid photographer. You brought tears to their eyes and they can't pay .50 for a copy??? It isn't like you offered, or even had time to think about what to charge them or draw up a contract. They should have offered you money on the spot.

The baby thing, well there is a big difference in taking a couple candid shots of a baby, and doing a 3 hour photo shoot. I don't really care if they gave you lunch! Again, they took advantage. No way would I offer to do another shoot for them to make things right! I'm sorry that they put you on the spot like that, and then held it against you. I know you are hurt and frustrated, but really, I don't know what will make it right. Maybe you can just tell them that you expected to come for lunch and a visit and just take a couple shots, not do a 3 hour shoot and felt taken advantage of. Your time, talent and equipment are worth a lot more than what you were charging.

I agree, print up a sheet explaining how your website works, and when someone asks you to shoot, you can hand it to them.

BTW, love your newborn shot!
07-31-2010, 05:35 AM   #43
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They sound more like opportunistic leeches to me rather than friends. You are better off without them, Move on all the wiser...

07-31-2010, 06:08 AM   #44
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+1 with Mike friends are friends till it comes to the crunch,when a friend charges the friendship dissolves ,a clear and open path is the way

08-01-2010, 10:57 PM   #45
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Spot on - a real friend wouldn't let something minor like that get in the way, or block the opportunity to sort it out. Onward and upward!

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