Being coerced to shoot a wedding. I need HELP! Please chime in.

Started Dec 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Being coerced to shoot a wedding. I need HELP! Please chime in.
Dec 31, 2012

Here is how this story goes...

I've been steadily into photography for the past 7 years of my life (now 23 years old).  Over those years I have learned a great deal and have gotten some attention from friends, family, neighbors etc...I usually get requests for photos to be done for holidays or whenever my cousin's need pics of their children.  The problem I ran into initially with this was I wasn't charging people since I really had no confidence in my abilities.  I'd often go around and do whatever these people wanted at no charge and over-deliver on the amount of photos they'd get from me editing for hours and hours...it was hard work.  Sometimes I would get a thank you with a check and sometimes I wouldn't.  Either way I was happy.

The issue now is, I HAVE started charging people for my services that were once just a hobby.  I have a full time job and don't have as much time to devote to other people's interests if I'm not being compensated for it.  Now I'm in a situation where I took a neighbor couples' engagement photos that they loved that I received NO PAY for.  Now they want me to do their wedding...and no pay has been discussed.

Here's my disclaimer to her:  I've never done a wedding before and am extremely reluctant to take on the responsibility of such a momentous day with no experience in that field.  I have plenty of professional equipment to get the job done but I still would need more to do it efficiently, which costs me money. (I own all Sony Equipment, A99, A77, 70-200G, CZ 16-35, f58am, f42am, 50mm 1.4, 100mm macro...and plenty more stuff.)

After telling her this she still is persistent on me shooting it.  Just recently asking when we could go to the church to plan out locations for photos.

In summary, my dilemma is this:  I do not want to shoot this wedding without pay but I also do not want to charge for the first time I've ever done a wedding when I have no clue what I'm doing!  I would spend days upon days of editing the photos they'd receive once done shooting so I should be compensated right?  But then me charging would create tons more pressure and set the expectations REALLY high, all for a first timer.

I really would like some sound advice from experienced people here.

Thank you,

Zach

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99
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