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

Started Dec 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
Sapper987 Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: Being coerced to shoot a wedding. I need HELP! Please chime in.

Sony Alpha Shooter wrote:

GalaxyIII wrote:

Many people have been in this situation. Taking money for this wedding makes you " responsible" . A disaster could be costly. Friends can easily become enemies if all does not go well.

So Here it is " JUST SAY NO " tell her your friendship with her is much more important to you. You are not confident enough that things will go perfectly. You are Not A Pro.

a.) I'm not saying this is the case but you would not be the first to be taken advantage of a friendship so they can save the cost of a real photographer.

IN reality, if you ruin their wedding with lost or corrupt files, you could jeopardize your relationship with her. Neither you or her can guarantee a perfect shoot.

Tell her you would much rather go to the wedding and celebrate her wedding than be charge with the responsibility and possibly of being the cause for a very disappointing day. " YOU DO NOT WANT THAT RESPONSIBILIY"

If she is truly your friend, she will let you off the hook.. if she insists I'm willing to bet she looking at saving the cost of a real Photographer.. and would rather risk your friendship and at your expense, so she doesn't have to pay. Real Photographers charge 1200 to 4000 dollars for wedding photos an vids. Is she willing to pay you that? Are you able to deliver a guaranteed 1200/4000 dollar wedding portfolio?

Instead of just saying no outright I'm leaning more towards the recommendation of a pro and having them make it a stipulation that I can tag along. That would root out the cause of them asking me for sure (to save money). I'll explain that me helping someone else out would actually help me MORE than giving me the chance to do it by myself. I'm covered each way then. I'd then get into the liability/responsibility part of it.

I'm glad there are great people on here willing to take time out of their day to respond.

Not a bad way to go.

I'd like to offer this though, as it's been touched on above. Let's put ourselves in the brides shoes for a moment. Is she asking for you specifically because she likes they style of your photography? or is she asking you because of the price? Just like anything in this world that we buy there is a tipping point. Like a car, we'd all like an M series BMW, we like the way they look but can't afford them. So you take what you like, and what you can afford, and go from there. For the price you'd charge, does she like that style? Or, does she really think she's getting an unbeatable deal? It never works out if it's just based on price. You don't want to work with a bride like that, especially if it's your friend.

I've been asked several times to do cousins weddings, turned every one of them down. Mixing buisiness and friends/family never works out. My excuse was that I wanted to attend that special day as a guest, not as an employee. That usually worked pretty well. The only time I've said yes was a relative and her soon to be spouse (mid 30's) were on marriage number 2 (each of them were. The whole thing was only immediate family, no friends and no extended family. They didn't want photos at first, but since I was invited as a guest they did ask me to do a few formal shots, which I did. As suggested in the post above, I didn't charge anything and only asked that they purchase prints from me, to help with the cost of my website (smugmug, fools rasing prices). I even gave them a disk with all images, so they didn't even have to do that if they didn't want to. This way they only purchased what they wanted, goods vs. services rendered.

It seems to me that you've decided to do the wedding. I'm not saying that's the right or wrong answer. I am saying that shooting a wedding for friend/family, with or without contract, with/without "deep discount" is always a sticky proposition and one that I'd not do. If this friend is one that you never want to lose, or run the risk of losing, don't do it. Not saying you can't deliver, more than she may be a bridezilla and that's enough to put stress on your relatiionship. As soon as the wedding day hits, you aren't friends. You are bride and employee. Just something to think about...

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