You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart

Not too long ago I always had a really hard time coming up with a price for a photo shoot for friends or acquaintances. Would they understand the commitment that I put into the assignment? After all it is just an hour on location and I am just a greedy bastard. Or am I? Let’s dive a little deeper into this.

Tomorrow I will shoot the wedding of an acquaintance and his boyfriend. Really small, just the ceremony and some group pics. 1.5 hours tops – because after this hour the whole wedding party continues on a boat and they don’t want the photographer to be there.

This seems quite easy on terms of time planning, but let’s see. I spent around 1 hour talking to the guy and to the friend that actually hired me. Some instructions, repeatedly pointing out the challenges that come with the limited time, detailing out the location, the usual stuff.

Today I spent 2.5 more hours actually going to the location, finding close spots for the shots. Also 2 more hours of research. The couple is a gay couple, I didn’t shoot a gay wedding before, so I was not very confident in my skills to pose the couple. 1 more hour cleaning all equipment, packing, checking, loading batteries and all that.

Tomorrow I get up at 6:00, have breakfast, get dressed and make sure to be at the location 1 hour before time. Just to be sure. Also to maybe get some candid shots. Basically 2.5 hours on location plus the time spend in the car.

Back home I will spend at least 5 hours to import, check and edit the work of 2 hours. You see where this is going, right?

In the end I will have spend 15+ hours of work on this. If I ask for anything less than 1000 Euro I am not valuing my time enough. But the couple doesn’t have the budget for this. Of course I could just ask for 250-400 Euro, get the couple a nice deal because they know me and myself at least some of that sweet, sweet cash – and everyone wins, right? Wrong! It is actually a lose-lose situation. The couple still pays quite some bucks for something they didn’t have much of a budget to begin with. And I have to spend even more time to keep books, then pay taxes and in the end I am working for minimum wage.

This is why there is only two payment options for me: You either pay my full price or you don’t pay anything. I don’t want to compete on prices. I don’t want to haggle. I don’t want to get into the situation having to explain, why friend X ended up getting a better deal than friend Y. That’s stupid.

If you are a friend, if I can learn something or get some nice shots for my portfolio chances are that I will work for free. An so should you. Make your life easier and repeat with me: Full price or nothing at all.

Congratulations, you made it through the photo ramblings. So how about a Matti update? Well, life as the Data Privacy Officer of the company sucks in times of GDPR. But it did suck already anyway, so there is that. The last year was kind of a slow ride on a downward spiral – and since the beginning of the year 2018 the ride seems to gain some speed. Yeeehaaaww! Let’s see where the bottom is. Because there will be a bottom, right? And I will go on a nice and comfy upward ride using all the momentum. Right?!

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