A Thank You Collection

Birthday Shenanigans


Back Story

When I get asked to do a gig for someone, a degree of excitement takes over. A chance to do more and learn more is always fun to me. Finding out that the gig is for a dear friend to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, now that’s a challenge I can step up to and swing for the fences.

The lady that she is, she did not want to make me feel like she’s asking for a freebie, so she asked me to negotiate prices with her husband. Done in total class, I admired the way she handled the ask.

I did have some reservation however. There is the matter of the countless hours she had volunteered or given to me so I can hone my craft. That degree of support, dedication, and loyalty counts for way more than a dollar amount.

Ok. Hold on a quick second. I love getting paid like the next guy. Sure, pricing would be nice to talk about. But you must understand something. This is one of the main ladies who has given me several hundred hours of her time without complaining one single second to allow me to get good at photography.

You can not ask someone like that to pay for photos that they actually want and need. Not after they given you all your own free photos and concepts. I mean. I took a ton of photos on all kinds of themes. I’ve even done a summer inspired shoot in the cold weather season. She did not once complain of the cold. I had a coat on and was freezing. She didn’t show any signs of cold.

When you get such dedication and support, two things can’t be done. You can’t start charging them anything for photos they actually need. And you can’t cut corners on how you do the photos either. Even if you don’t feel up to the challenge. Thankfully, I felt I could do a respectable job.

The Money Talk

The conversation with hubby was nice and smooth. He wanted to make sure that the whole of the party was covered and that the lady of the hour got all the closeups she deserved. That would not be a problem.

Then, the awkward moment of setting a price came in. Normally, creative people have a hard time thinking of their art in terms of business. I’m guilty of that. I’ve given away too much of my work for free or pennies on the dollar. Today however, there was no putting a price on my work.

I opted to leave the pricing up to him. Leave the ball in his court. Even if he handed me five dollars, I’d be fine with it. Why? Because I was the beneficiary of their time to become the photographer I am today.

While the best photos are reserved for their consumption to do as they please… some highlights will spatter the post today. The price he settled on was very respectful and representative of the gentleman that he is.

I had to make a point of going over the top to give them way more than they’ve asked for. Especially if they’re going to contribute any more of their time in future projects I have in mind for this blog as well as others I contribute to.

The Celebration

The event was not in the most ideal settings for great awesome photos. Thankfully, I brought all lighting gear I had and reviewed the notes from one of my light test I had done with my friend years prior. The event went off nearly perfectly.

All skills from wedding photos came in handy. The lady of the hour got her moment of fame. The families were happy to celebrate a magnificent birthday.

The play by play is reserved for them in their physical album. Considering how dark the room was for the event, the photos came out pretty good. Sure, not Hollywood Pro level good, but good enough for this semi-pro to feel comfortable with the photos.

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2 thoughts on “A Thank You Collection

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