Monday, September 9, 2013

#9 - Ten Things You Should NEVER Say to a Photographer...

Number Nine:

"I need a photograph for a magazine article (or book cover/press release/President's Wall/ etc). I know you had some extras of my last session. Can you just send one over to the newspaper. You already have it made...why do I have to pay?

 It is AMAZING how many people think I'm in business to make friends. In fact a lady told me that just a few years ago.

I had taken her portrait for the local hospital. She was elected president of the Ladies Auxiliary, and the hospital paid for her session. I made images in black and white and color, which we of course tried to sell to her. She declined.

A few months later, she needed a photograph for another use, and called and said the above just about verbatim. When I told her there was a charge she was incredulous! I told her, "You know, Lydia, this is how I make my living."

Her heated reply? "Well it certainly isn't to make friends! There are some very important people waiting for that picture, so you had better send it out today. Send it by Express Mail so it gets there overnight!"

Whoa! This takes MAJOR cahones: you not only insist I give you the picture for free, you also expect me to send it via Express Mail at my expense. Unbelievable!!

I informed her that I would be glad to do so once I had the price of the portrait PLUS the cost of mailing via Express Mail in my hand. She haughtily refused and said that she would complain to the hospital and I would NEVER do business there again.

This attitude is not held just by your regular customers. I have businesses and PR firms ask me for the same thing. The answer is always the same: no dough, no photo.

Look, you don't owe anyone free photographs, ESPECIALLY if you are doing Photography for Income! Stand your ground and get paid what you are due. See you next time!!

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