FRIENDS & FAMILY RATE - photography is my business

Written By Aris Setiawan on Sunday, January 2, 2011 | 9:49 PM

I was reading a post today and it made me think. I talked to few photographers - so I decided to write few words about photography as my business.

When I started with my photography business I was trying to take photographs of everybody around me - I never had enought. I wanted to practice, practice and practice and show my talent. Things changed a little since then. Don't get me wrong - I still absolutely love opportunity for every photography I can take and photography is my life. But it happened that, more and more people that I know, want me to take photographs of them, their families, their friends, ... and everybody that they know. I am a Yes person and I love, love, love photography with all my heart. It is hard for me to say no to anybody. So what is the problem of doing favors for everybody?

First a lot of people try to get everything for free because they are a friend of a friend and so on. It happens a lot to photographers - untill you start saying - no this is my business and I will charge you just like everybody else does - wedding planners, doctors, car mechanics, ... You get the point.

Yes I am crazy about photography, I could be shooting 24/7, I am having fun doing it, ... but at the end photography is my business and my way to survive and build my life. Most people understand that but there are many who don't. Photography just as any other work requires time, energy, ideas and passion.

I invest all of my energy into each of my clients. I spend from 1 to 3 hours on location with my clients (more for weddings and parties of course), I take time to talk with my clients - to find out what they want, I spend hours behind computer - downloading, editing, eliminating, creating, ..Photography covers everything from first contact to product delivery. And that goes for every photographer, not just me. I see all my clients as my friends. I appreciate an opportunity to be your photographer and creating memories that you will cherish forever.

My clients invest from $300.00 to $3000.00 (and up for weddings) per session. If I spend that time shooting for free for friends and family (doing favors) I am loosing time and money. I gave many free photo sessions and products to many people but I realized that in many cases true appreciation is not there. I can compare it to school - you take things much more serious when you are paying for it. You are also ready and read the instructions before you start with it.

So I created some rules for myself:
- nothing is 100% free unless it is CHARITY or GIVING BACK (or a gift from me)
There are some people in my life that have done so much for me that I would do everything for them.

PHOTOGRAPHY IS MY BUSINESS. It is just as any other job - it is the job that I love doing and that if fulfills me. PHOTOGRAPHY IS MY LIFE.

I would Love to be your Photogapher :)



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