Tired of non-paying family and friends asking for me to take photos

7 years 1 month ago #317919 by Superman
Like clock work, around the holidays there a a few friends and one family member that always ask for me to take photos for them during the holidays. I go about taking time off to take their photos because I have tough time saying no. "Oh we will pay you next time we come over" Is the common music I hear, then before you know it, next holiday season is here and you are hearing the same sheet music. I created these monsters and need to figure out a way to diplomatically get them to actually pay!


How would you ask family and close friends to pay up?

Nikon D90 & D40 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 35mm, 50mm, 105mm, SB600
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7 years 1 month ago #317969 by StephanieW
This has potential for awkward, but I definitely think it needs to be done. I've never had to do this personally so this is just theoretical, but for me I'd let them know that I've started charging clients (unless you've been charging a while) but that as family they like totally get a discount or something (you don't have to, but I would at first). That might soften the blow of them having to pay. If you've been charging for a long time or you have to take time off of paying gigs to do their shoots I'd tell them just that. Let them know you need to make money and can't afford to do free work. I'd go one of those two ways. There's still the potential for awkward "but we're family!" situations, but it's honest and gets the point across.

This is all just theoretical from my end as I've never actually had to do this. Good luck!


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7 years 1 month ago #317979 by MajorMagee
The problem is that they evidently don't think photography is worth very much. Send them a bill so you can at least right it off as a business expense when they don't pay up. When they actually see the real value of what you do for a living in black and white they might stop asking for freebies.

The other thing you could try is to work out an exchange of equal value for something they do for a living. That should make it real enough for them.


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7 years 1 month ago #317985 by J Hemingway
How would I handle that? :huh: I think I would just flat out ask them to pay up last year before moving forward with this year. Simple as that. I'm sure they must do something for a living themselves and aware time is money. Regardless who you are.


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7 years 1 month ago #318043 by effron
"Just walk away, and put an end to the Horror"....Humongous of the wasteland....

"Just say no!"......Nancy Reagan....

;)

Why so serious?
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7 years 1 month ago #318047 by Ulrich Brodde

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7 years 1 month ago #318067 by garyrhook
I'll go with being up front. I'd start by gently reminding them that last year they stated they would pay for your work, and never did. Don't ask them for the money, just point out what happened, as you recall. Then layout the costs of a photo session, the requirements for a deposit and contract, etc. I.e. do a sales job. When they push back, explain that you are not in a position to be giving away several hundred dollars worth of time and effort, I'msosorrythankyouverymuch. "I'm sure you understand."

In other words, be up front, but kind, just like you were dealing with any other customer.

If you want to stop this dead in its tracks, no discounts. That's worth it when they fully understand what you are worth; not when they think you are valueless.


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7 years 1 month ago #318159 by Don Fischer
Friend's would be pretty easy for me, don't do them anymore, your swamped with work. Family, well dude, family you don't charge, period. What the friends owe you now, write it off and save the friend ar make them pay and risk loosing them as a friend. With your friend's, the price is right, free is a very good deal. if you didn't do them they would do their own with their cell phone!


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7 years 1 month ago #318181 by Joves

J Hemingway wrote: How would I handle that? :huh: I think I would just flat out ask them to pay up last year before moving forward with this year. Simple as that. I'm sure they must do something for a living themselves and aware time is money. Regardless who you are.

:rofl: :agree:
Yeah that reality should sink in with them. I would even do this for family. Luckily for me we have enough shooters in the family that I do not get asked often. For most it is a case of they have their camera setup on a tripod, and if I happen to be around they ask me to trip the shutter for them.


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7 years 1 month ago #318307 by Prago
Send them a bill and be done with it. You created these monsters and they need to be UN-programmed.

SWM into chainsaws and hockey masks seeks like-minded SWF. No weirdos, please
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7 years 1 month ago #318387 by Scotty
I stopped bringing my camera. :kmonst:

When the last candle has been blown out
and the last glass of champagne has been drunk
All that you are left with are the memories and the images-David Cooke.

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7 years 1 month ago #318395 by Stealthy Ninja
I swapped small camera for a 85 1.4 Zeiss. I leave my 1Dx at work. All my photography is done on my mobile phone these days.

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7 years 1 month ago #318857 by Roman Omell
Good idea, bring just the mobile phone and everyone will leave you alone. You blend right in! lol


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7 years 1 month ago #318863 by mj~shutterbugg
Everyone listed some good ideas. The last time I worked for family (for free) it blew up in my face. I now just say I don't work with family. I am currently working out the kinks of my studio so I am not charging to shoot, but I am charging for files and prints. That free shooting is only good for six months. Then I start to charge. I am up front about that as well, this is a value of $XXX and next year I will charge it. If they are asking yet again, send them an invoice with a past due amount, interest and the cost of the new session. If you are taking time off work to do this, your time is valuable as they are actually costing you money. It's time they saw that. Also, ask them if they do work for free because you have somethings that need done yourself.

Think Off-Center ~ George Carlin
www.mjbrennanphoto.com

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7 years 1 month ago #318933 by Jim Photo
What camera? :rofl:


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