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10-08-2012, 10:05 AM   #1
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MK Shakes Head In Utter Disbelief....

I have an ad up in the professional section of CL locally and also in a local back page. Been running one for a while now. I made it very clear in said ad IN BIG BOLD TYPE that I wasn't available for weddings. That I don't do them for pay, for barter, or for free, no exceptions, period. Last week I've gotten, count them, SIX emails from people who want me to do their weddings. The latest just this morning. I mean WTF? Are some people really this ignorant? I swear I'm going to take a pic of someone in a white dress like a bride, put it in a bold red circle and post it with the ad next time. Maybe then they'll get the idea that I DON'T DO WEDDINGS!!!!!!

Does this happen to anyone else? Do people just completely ignore your stated terms of work and bug you to do things that you say up front that you don't do? I'm getting it a lot. If it's not the weddings I'm getting asked to do big retail websites, take hundreds of pics, code it et all do work enough for weeks for far less than one weeks minimum wage. Or they want me to do even more bizarre things like take pics of a swingers sex party (as in XXX stuff going on) and make a scrapbook out of them.

I have a wanna be pageant Mom who is driving me completely bonkers with asking me to do regular pics of her kid. She'll pay $500 to get her 4 year old into a local pageant and another $250 a dress, but pay the photographer for portrait shots? Nah, that would be "too expensive" for her. I've told her "no" at least 3X now. Told her I wasn't interested in her barter and here's my standard fee for something like this but she's just not hearing me or doesn't want to. I'm swiftly gathering why she apparently can't get any photographer in the area to work with her. The woman is just plain obnoxious.

People like this are why I never had someone a card with my phone on it before I've talked with them at length. I have cards with my email on them and that's what clients get first. If I like them and they seem okay then they get the cell. But people like those above? They will never get a phone # out of me. I simply refuse to deal with them and that despite the fact that I could use the $$$$.

Boundaries, some people just don't seem to have them these days, sigh, laugh. Don't get me wrong most of the people I'm working with so far seem okay, but man, the exceptions, they're so nuts it's reality show unreal. The woman from this morning? I've now sent her back 3 emails saying NO. Nicely, but no, and she's still trying to talk me into it. It's just unbelievable....


Last edited by magkelly; 10-08-2012 at 10:11 AM.
10-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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Wish *I* was getting requests for photo gigs. But seriously... people can't read instructions. Doesn't matter what it is. I sell calendars at the market. There's a little sign with "calendars" & the price, right beside the pile. At least half the people ask "How much are the calendars?" They're just not paying attention. For your weddings, they either didn't read it all or figure maybe you'll make an exception because their wedding will be extra special.
If your ad clearly states you don't do weddings then you don't need to respond. Maybe you could re-word your ad. "I am not available for weddings. Requests for weddings will not receive a response." Just delete the e-mails. For the weird stuff, how about a form-letter rejection that says something along the lines of "Thank you for your interest in our business. We are not currently booking events of this type." That's all. And for the woman who keeps bugging you, if you've stated your fee (payable up front, I hope) & she won't pay it, then I'd just block her e-mail too.
Sorry you have so many weirdos bugging you. I'm in the market myself, for my own island with no people on it to annoy me.
10-08-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Such happens in my (different) business from time to time. I sell financial advice of a very narrow, particular kind. Frequently people want me to advise them in a fashion for which I am not qualified, and I tell them so. They often persist, believing advice is advice.

I tell them (One Time!), "Think of it this way. I sell BMW's. You want a Cadillac. I don't sell Cadillacs. But I can help you find a guy who does sell Cadillacs."

"This is what I do (describe my specialty). You want (describe their need / stated desire). I can't do what you want, but we have other advisors who can. Let me introduce you to my Branch Manager and we'll help you find the right advisor to meet your needs."

You need to know a wedding photographer, but that solves the problem for everybody.

Win-Win-Win.
10-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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Yes, some people do not read, even if they can.

10-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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Tell them you will do the wedding for $10,000 plus expenses.
10-08-2012, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #6
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10K? That would end the discussion very quickly around here. Average wedding pay here is about $500-3000 depending upon the wedding size unless you're a celebrity bigwig and have a million dollar wedding thing going on. Any more than that and you'd better be famous yourself because you're not going to get a lot of work otherwise. From what I can tell? About 75% of the people looking to hire a wedding photographer here want to pay the photographer $500 or less or they want it for free.

Most of the more well off brides here they'll blow $10K on a dress, hall, et all, sometimes way more than that, but pay the photographer more than $1500? Nah. The economy here is so bad there are a lot of backyard weddings and the photographer is lucky if it's even a paid gig. Yeah, I'm getting plenty of requests all right, but actually getting well paying gigs that's proving a lot harder. I get one paying gig maybe out of every 75 inquiries. I spend more time answering emails than I ever do shooting.

This is a crazy place. People are generally a bit flaky. There's a major flea market mentality. People love to try to barter total junk here or they want it outright free as if a drink or two and a dinner was enough to pay someone for doing a wedding. Making money that's majorly hard but even making a good barter that's not that easy. That was the woman this morning. She must have reiterated 3X that I'd get a free dinner and there was going to be plenty of alcohol. Like I am going to be drinking on the job? Yeah, that's real professional and I'm sure her pics will look just terrific when I am done too, laugh.

I have done portrait stuff to barter but getting people to actually barter and to let me use their pics is rather hard actually. They want free pics and full control over their pics but goodness forbid I should barter them those free pics for use on the website portfolio online. I tell them up front that's the deal but when I actually go to have them sign the agreement to let me do that most of them back off. People here are very bad here about signing model releases for some reason. I don't have a lot of $$$ yet for models or I'd go to Model Mayhem. I'm really wishing I could use a few real models. I might actually have a decent portfolio together before next Summer if I could...

I was brought up not to be rude. I generally answer my emails unless the person comes off like a total creep. There's a fine line from what I've seen when it comes to how you word a service ad here. Too much firmness and it gets seen as rudeness. People will generally take it the wrong way and your ad will get flagged right off CL. I want to come off as polite and professional at all times. Most of the time after the 3rd email maybe I won't answer them though. I have my limits. Pageant Mom, she's someone my aunt sort of knows so it's hard to just ignore her without causing problems for the aunt. But I've already told her under no circumstances to give that woman my phone number. But that woman she's oblivious. You could ignore her for a month and she'd still email you trying to persuade you to accommodate her.

You know it's funny. When I was out on the West Coast and particularly in CA people would talk about how crazy Californians were and I did meet my share of flaky and outright bizarre people I must say, particularly in "Bezerkeley" as they sometimes rudely call it. But the people here? They can top anything I saw out there. I think it's the 90 degree heat and the humidity that never seems to go away. I think it just does something really weird to human brains. I mean shiz, even in hippie land I never had some guy my almost parent's age (80's) ask me to photograph and make a souvenir album of an oldsters orgy....
10-09-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Do people just completely ignore your stated terms of work
People see (and/or hear) exactly what they want to; no more, no less.
When the phone rings here at the shop I answer it the same way every time: "Hello, bicycle shop". I would say that the next thing I hear from at least 3 out of 5 callers is "Is this the bicycle shop?"
10-09-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
People see (and/or hear) exactly what they want to; no more, no less.
When the phone rings here at the shop I answer it the same way every time: "Hello, bicycle shop". I would say that the next thing I hear from at least 3 out of 5 callers is "Is this the bicycle shop?"
Is it the bicycle shot?

10-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Several times when out in public with my LX and winder, or my K5 I've been asked if I do weddings. I tell them that I used to shoot weddings, but I decided that the pay wasn't worth having to please both the bride and her mother with pictures taken at the wedding when there is almost never a chance for a re-shoot. They generally seem to understand.

I have taken casual shots for friends who had engaged a pro, I would always tell the pro what I was doing and that I'd do my best to stay out of his/her way.
10-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I have an ad up in the professional section of CL locally and also in a local back page. Been running one for a while now. I made it very clear in said ad IN BIG BOLD TYPE that I wasn't available for weddings. That I don't do them for pay, for barter, or for free, no exceptions, period. Last week I've gotten, count them, SIX emails from people who want me to do their weddings. The latest just this morning. I mean WTF? Are some people really this ignorant? I swear I'm going to take a pic of someone in a white dress like a bride, put it in a bold red circle and post it with the ad next time. Maybe then they'll get the idea that I DON'T DO WEDDINGS!!!!!!

Does this happen to anyone else? Do people just completely ignore your stated terms of work and bug you to do things that you say up front that you don't do? I'm getting it a lot. If it's not the weddings I'm getting asked to do big retail websites, take hundreds of pics, code it et all do work enough for weeks for far less than one weeks minimum wage. Or they want me to do even more bizarre things like take pics of a swingers sex party (as in XXX stuff going on) and make a scrapbook out of them.

I have a wanna be pageant Mom who is driving me completely bonkers with asking me to do regular pics of her kid. She'll pay $500 to get her 4 year old into a local pageant and another $250 a dress, but pay the photographer for portrait shots? Nah, that would be "too expensive" for her. I've told her "no" at least 3X now. Told her I wasn't interested in her barter and here's my standard fee for something like this but she's just not hearing me or doesn't want to. I'm swiftly gathering why she apparently can't get any photographer in the area to work with her. The woman is just plain obnoxious.

People like this are why I never had someone a card with my phone on it before I've talked with them at length. I have cards with my email on them and that's what clients get first. If I like them and they seem okay then they get the cell. But people like those above? They will never get a phone # out of me. I simply refuse to deal with them and that despite the fact that I could use the $$$$.

Boundaries, some people just don't seem to have them these days, sigh, laugh. Don't get me wrong most of the people I'm working with so far seem okay, but man, the exceptions, they're so nuts it's reality show unreal. The woman from this morning? I've now sent her back 3 emails saying NO. Nicely, but no, and she's still trying to talk me into it. It's just unbelievable....
where do you live? could you refer them to me... I am more than happy to solve your "problems"....
10-09-2012, 08:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Tell them you will do the wedding for $10,000 plus expenses.
Paid up front.
10-10-2012, 12:15 AM   #12
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Perhaps find a trustworthy and able wedding photographer and have them give you an introductory fee for any clients you pass their way?

I had to laugh at the oldster orgy scrapbook!
10-10-2012, 05:01 AM   #13
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If they cant read and comprehend your ad, dont reply to their inquiry. Keep life simple.

Jason
10-10-2012, 06:18 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Some people have their head where the chicken have their eggs.
10-10-2012, 07:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I have an ad up in the professional section of CL locally and also in a local back page. Been running one for a while now. I made it very clear in said ad IN BIG BOLD TYPE that I wasn't available for weddings. That I don't do them for pay, for barter, or for free, no exceptions, period. Last week I've gotten, count them, SIX emails from people who want me to do their weddings. The latest just this morning. I mean WTF? Are some people really this ignorant? I swear I'm going to take a pic of someone in a white dress like a bride, put it in a bold red circle and post it with the ad next time. Maybe then they'll get the idea that I DON'T DO WEDDINGS!!!!!!
Here is what I do.

I am friends with a couple of wedding togs. When they need a second shooter I will often fill in for a set fee. If I bring them work I get a set fee. Set your pricing so you can get paid and bring in a wedding pro to handle the work while you help out. They bring me work. I bring them work.

I don't like shooting weddings, so I post pricing that is $1,000 higher than what my friends charge. If they see it they wont call.
1. This makes my friends pricing look better.
2. If I get the job, I have the money to bring in one of them to handle the formal shooting and the cookie cutter crap shots I hate.
3. Some people pay it and we provide excellent service if they are willing to pay. Often 3 shooters.

Working with friends actually makes wedding's enjoyable. 2-3 of us have a pretty good time and were not nearly as stressed. I probably end up doing 6 wedding a year like this.

If you are getting calls for weddings. Price it high enough to bring in someone & make your friend's pricing look good. You will also get a reputation for being expensive which is often a good thing. People desire what they can't afford.
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