It’s hard to say no

I did a maternity photoshoot for a friend this weekend. Although her 15 month old daughter wasn’t excited about being in many pics, I still managed to get some good captures. They weren’t the sweet ones I had visions of getting with the daughter resting her head on or kissing mom’s tummy, but, as I’m learning in the business, you gotta go with the flow. ;)

At the end of the session, while I was packing up my things to go home, my friend called to her husband to get out the checkbook. I asked her what for and she said “to pay you.” I reminded her that there was no fee for the session. (I’ve been waiving my session fee and offering 50% off print prices while I’m still learning and portfolio building.) She really wanted to pay me, but I told her that it wasn’t necessary.

It’s hard to say no in a situation like that, when the money would certainly come in handy, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I’m not going to take money from one person when I’m not charging anyone else, especially since the experience I’m gaining from all of this is invaluable.

She asked me when I was going to start charging and I told her I didn’t know. I just don’t feel ready yet. She said she thinks I’m ready, Jody tells me I’m ready, but I have to feel it myself. I know I’ll never know everything and never be perfect, but I do want my comfort level to be a bit higher before I go “pro.”

I hope she will be happy with the pictures I took. There are several that I like, but it’s more important that she likes them. I might share a few of them here once I get done proofing them.

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As for the rest of the weekend…
We went to a couple flea markets on Saturday, in search of some props for my business. I found a small bench that I like but I didn’t get it. I can’t decide if I should spend some money buying small things like that or keep saving for the 50 mm lens that I really want. Right now I’m leaning towards saving for the lens.
We also went out to lunch, which was a really nice, rare treat.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. :)

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7 thoughts on “It’s hard to say no

  1. If I felt like I was still in practice mode with “clients,” just trying to get some experience under your belt, I probably wouldn’t charge either. And like you said, you haven’t charged anyone else. I wouldn’t sell yourself short though…if they like what they see, if you are already waiving a sitting fee, why not charge them full price for the pix and may be half off one of the more expensive sizes or something? You gotta make money in the process. From what I’ve seen, you are doing a FABULOUS job with them! Keep it up Amy!

  2. Maybe in the interim you can accept “tips” or “donations.” Then you don’t have to feel like you’re getting paid before you’re ready to but it gives people the opportunity to show you their appreciation.

    Just a thought. ;)

  3. I think it’s so great that you’re getting all that experience, and that people want to pay you. I can understand not wanting the money until you feel confident enough, though. From your pictures it’s obvious that you’re very good already, though. If you lived closer, I’d ask for a baby shoot when she arrives – and find a way to “pay” you. :)

  4. Nelly – Thanks for the compliments. :) I’m going to mull it over and see if I feel comfy charging a bit more one way or the other. I’m still making money when people buy prints (even with the discount), but you are right in that I shouldn’t sell myself short.

    Harmonia – Looking forward to trying one of your soups this week.

    Ninotchka – That’s an idea too. I’m just not sure how I would go about saying that. I could always take a tip jar with me to photoshoots. j/k ;) LOL

    Miriam – Thank you. I would LOVE to do pictures of your baby after she’s born. Want to fly me out to Boston? ;) I think that would be payment enough. hehe. ;)
    Seriously though, I have four friends who’s babies are due in Feb. through May and I’m really looking forward to getting more experience with newborn shoots with them. :)

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