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08-01-2010, 11:10 PM   #46
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Sounds like the error is a repetition.

1. You can't do business without a concrete business infrastructure.
2. You can't do business with friends and family without running the risks you ran into.

Rule of thumb is don't shoot for friends and family unless you are fully prepared to waver your fee. Otherwise you end-up where you are now. TBH. I don't think a shoot is worth loosing friend over.

08-02-2010, 09:18 AM   #47
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I know this thread is a bit old. But to the OP: Does your dentist give you your visits for free or at discount?
08-02-2010, 11:02 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I know this thread is a bit old. But to the OP: Does your dentist give you your visits for free or at discount?
This expectation does sometimes extend to one's lawyer; however, most of my clients don't expect it. For close family, I just haven't charged at all.
08-02-2010, 12:05 PM   #49
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A friend doesn't take advantage of a friend's profession for free services, and he offers to pay, in one way or the other.

If the second friend refuses to accept, that's great. But if the first friend gets pissed because he DOES accept the money, he's an idiot and no friend:

He just wanted to take advantage of the friendship.

08-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #50
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Yeah, I agree with the crowd about number 1.... I wish somebody would shoot my wedding for free and I could cherry pick the best pictures from Smugmug!! They are being cheap and taking advantage.

However, I do expect my guests at my wedding to bring their rebels and provide me with the shots afterwards... If one put their shots on Smugmug and charged me for access I'd be a little put out. I'm not sure how that convo went but the MOB may have 'omitted' to tell the bride the arrangment and is trying to act like you're the bad guy.

Screw 'em I'd say.... if you get to talk to the bride, I'd certainly mantion the conversation you had with the MOB. It may open some eyes.

Number 2.... the guy did dentistry for you over and above the amount he was being paid, perhaps saving you hundreds of dollars. In the medical profession, they believe in doing things Pro Bono. aka, if I scratch your back I'll scratch yours. With this in mind, is it any wonder that he felt betrayed that you'd charge him?

I would talk to him and explain your thought process; that you were wrong (in his eyes, you WERE wrong) and that you mis-read the situation. The money is probably not the issue to this guy, he would react the same for $7 as for $7000. He lives in a world where he probably can't understand why you would need to take a few dollars from a friend. If you explain that the $7 basically put food on the table I'm sure he'll forgive and forget.
08-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
For close family, I just haven't charged at all.
Your kid was just bitching to me that you overcharged him like 50 bucks last week.
08-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #52
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Photography is the last thing that could break a friendship IMO. It's not like other addictive hobbies, like video games or gambling.

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08-03-2010, 07:44 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I know this thread is a bit old. But to the OP: Does your dentist give you your visits for free or at discount?

Just FYI: The dentist accepts what my insurance sends him as payment in full, and considers this a courtesy, i.e., he doesn't charge me difference between the insurance payment and his full fee. However, I recently learned (via an unrelated instance) that when a doctor signs on with an insurance network, he or she is not permitted to bill the covered person above the insurance network's negotiated fee anyway, so in essence, he is in fact being paid in full by insurance coverage I pay for each month.

That being said, I think I'm over this whole kerfuffle now anyway, and I think the dentist is too. Our social relationship is warming up again and with time might return to its former level. His daughters, however, are still holding a grudge and I'm OK with that--it's their loss, not mine. I heard they've been taking their babies to "professional" studios and mall photographers and been very unhappy with the results. I won't lie: it does give me a small bit of satisfaction to hear that.

I am still unemployed so the meager revenue I earn from photography is my only source of income. I am no longer embarrassed by it. Lesson learned.

08-03-2010, 07:54 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by marianne718 Quote
I heard they've been taking their babies to "professional" studios and mall photographers and been very unhappy with the results.
They were unhappy with the mall photographer at Kings Plaza?

Go figure.
08-03-2010, 08:37 AM   #55
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I think this kind of thing is par for the course with people who do photography seriously, particularly since the introduction of the DSLR. People just assume if there's no film involved that there's no real expense on the photographer's end unless they choose to charge. They just don't want to think about the actual time involved taking and correcting pics. You're supposed to just suck it up, be a friend, and do it all for free simply because you happen to know them and they'd consider it a favor.

If the dentist was giving you a substantial discount off of his normal rates for a while I guess I could see him getting a bit upset under the circumstances, but this job being actual payment rendered in kind for prints etc that was something he should have brought up just to make things clear, or you should have. It sounds like a simple mistake in communication to me.

The other scenario, the wedding, that's another matter entirely. That was them taking advantage no way around it and you were right not to just hand over the disk without some agreement of payment even if it was a one-time deal.

It sounds to me like the MIL ducked the question when you told her your usual method of collecting payment, tried to bypass it, and then got all huffy with you for doing exactly what you said you were going to do. She clearly expected you to just eat the expense of the whole shoot and smile. There was no real intent to pay you at all. If there was she'd have offered you money up front for the CD or just not quibbled at all about getting the prints done. She knew what she was doing, what she was after, and she was just hoping to get what she wanted, the CD from you, sans any real payment by guilt-tripping you.

That's not how a friendly neighbor acts. That's someone intent upon using you to do a job for free that they know they'd be paying a grand or more to have done otherwise. It's not like you were even asking anything even near that besides. You were just asking for a token something by way of payment for time spent taking and editing really. Considering the time spent I think you were being more than generous. What she did was extremely tacky, and I have no doubt that in her own mind she'd just chalked your participating up as being something akin to a wedding gift since after all she knew you and all.

I've had many people try to do that kind of thing in my own work. (which is not photography yet) People I know are always trying to get me to do what I do for free, in donation, or because I know them. Same thing with me and my camera on my off hours and I'm not even sporting a DSLR as yet.

I'm not a very forward person in my real life so speaking up in regards to payment and making a point of discussing it right up front is something that I really don't like doing. But not going there immediately always causes all kinds of trouble I've found. I usually will try to get it in writing before I'll even agree to go there. If people don't like it, I'm sorry, but at least if I have a signature they can't come back and claim they hired me to do something else if they just want to get out of paying for it.

I'd strongly advise that you use a written price sheet and get clients to sign a contract agreeing to terms and payment in future. Even if it's just an informal one it's still better than a vague verbal agreement and once having signed it they'll have no choice but to keep to the terms if they want their pics. Legally that will cover you too in case they decide to get nasty about things in small claims court or something. Always cover your arse even if it does make you feel a bit rude and foolish. With any luck you'll never need to use that contract in such a way, but if you're ever forced to then at least you're covered.
08-03-2010, 11:29 AM   #56
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I have two very good friends who are professional plumbers. When I need plumbing work done, I hire someone else, everybody's great friends and we have a lot of fun together. I'm a firm believer of keep your friends and business separate, and if you can't establish the price/cost/charge up front.

As for the dentist and the insurance issue. If your insurance company pays a percentage of the fee, say 80%, and the dentist never comes after you for the other 20%, that is fraud on the insurance company and you better be very careful about doing that. My wife works for a dentist and people ask him to do that all the time, but he refuses as it's not worth losing your practice over, and potentially facing huge fines if not jail. That's a Canadian example, US might work differently.
08-03-2010, 12:08 PM   #57
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Yeah, it tends to work differently here. It's generally negotiated how much the insurance company will pay, and that is what the doctors will accept, co-pays and deductibles not withstanding. So if a doctor feels he isn't getting paid enough, he's free to not accept that insurance. But you can bet his patients will find a doctor who will, instead of paying out of pocket. That's why so many people hate insurance companies of any kind. They take more and more from customers on one side, and pay out less and less to those performing covered services.
08-03-2010, 07:20 PM   #58
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The comparison to the dentists mode of payment and fee-waiving isn't particularly valid, unless photographers can also be paid via insurance.

They can't, can they?
08-03-2010, 07:25 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spoons Quote
The comparison to the dentists mode of payment and fee-waiving isn't particularly valid, unless photographers can also be paid via insurance.

They can't, can they?
I'm the one that brought up the dentist analogy and I didn't say anything about insurance. Some procedures and services aren't covered by insurance anyway. Therefore, it is applicable.
08-03-2010, 09:43 PM   #60
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Well, possibly - it'd depend on further details, and I don't know that it's really that important to the discussion to really dissect in detail. My point was that, in general, the dentist can likely expect some amount of payment from insurance, and would then only be waiving the difference.

If that difference is 20%, it would be similar to chargin $8 per photo intead of $10. He can live on cold cuts instead of prime beef steaks. Marianne's position is somewhat different.

As I said, it's not that important, I don't think, and it sounds as though the actual issue is likely going to satisfactorily resolve itself. It wasn't intended as an attack on you, anyway, I hope you appreciate that.
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