a few months ago i did some really cheap baby photos for a friend of a friend and even threw in the disk for free. a few weeks later a co-worker of my mothers informed me that she saw photos that looked like my style online. indeed it was my photography used to promote that woman's business without any credit at all or even asking permission. not wanting to burn bridges, i said nothing and let it slide hoping that she would at least be a return customer in the future.
fast forward to last week, this woman contacts me and asks me to give her the same price [$30] for 2+ hours of photography and another free disk... 2 locations, one of which i would have to pay to get in. i told her that she could have the same $30 fee, but would need to pay for prints this time... and she said no! now i am not heartbroken to lose the business especially with someone who has no photo etiquette, but it is sad to me that someone who knows that i am a mother and have to find childcare for the time that i have to do this work expects me to do it for practically free. would you ask a friend of a friend to comp your meal at a fancy restaurant? no, so why would you not show that kind of respect to someone who spent 3 hours photographing you and your family previously and has since helped you with questions that you have had about parenting? obviously you liked my work since you used it as promotional pieces.
it's just one of those discouraging things that makes me think why am i even trying to do this? why am i trying to get into a market saturated with people who suck and are willing do it for less? i focus so much time and energy trying to become a full time professional photographer to turn around and feel like people see me as a traveling sears portrait studio who owes them freebies. and i let it all slide off my back for the past few months, but i'm sinking thousands of dollars into it and not seeing much of a return so it is hard to keep a smile on my face. it has become apparent to me that i need to start focusing more on my day job, keep this as a hobby and start point my camera at my personal projects than the faces of strangers who don't value what i do.
thankfully my sickness is 95% gone. started my project 365 over on friday, hopefully i'll stick with it this time.
i'll post again real soon and it will be positive, i promise ;) there are even one or two photographer features submitted that i haven't had a chance to post yet.