Field Report:

The Non-Glamorous Side of Photography

Friends Pay Friends for Photography Services

Charging friends and loved ones for your photography services is probably the hardest thing to do as a photographer in my opinion. There has been a lot written about this topic but I think this advice from the Anderson Independent Mail in South Carolina is short and sweet:

Photographer Ill at Ease Charging Friends for Service.


February 3, 2009 - Posted by | Photo Business, Weekly Links | , ,


  1. I think the response was a very good one. I’ve had friends jip me all together because I didn’t ask the same from them as clients as I would a stranger. Also if I had a friend build me a new deck I wouldn’t expect them to do it at half price so why should I make something for them and not profit either?

    Comment by Leann Greene | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. Good analogy Leann. The general perception of photography is that it is a hobby for people and that anyone can do it so photographers tend to value their work in a similar manner without taking into account what it costs (time + effort + talent) to get the photos. Add on top of that, some people try to pay the bills with their photography, it is impossible to do that w/o charging decent money.

    Comment by Richard Wong | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. I would like some advise on friends swipping photos and using them on their sites. What is the best size for posting photos on a blog and should I watermark the photos I care about? Love you website and your images are amazing. Teri

    Comment by Teri | February 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. Hi Teri. If it is anything above a thumbnail size image I would advise any photographer putting their work online to watermark it. I would have to ask though, if they are your friends then why are they swiping your photos? There are a lot of ignorant people out there that choose to ignore copyright law but I would hope people that you have a relationship would respect you enough to not do so.

    Jim Goldstein made a really good post the other day about watermarking:

    Comment by Richard Wong | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

    You Are About To Discover The Ultra Rare Secrets To Stopping A Breakup, Divorce Or Getting Your Ex Back….Even If The Situation Seems Completely IMPOSSIBLE

    Comment by Blade | March 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thanks. A word of advice though. If you want to spam, at least put your site in the URL rather than dirty up my blog by using the body of the message.

    Comment by Richard Wong | March 3, 2009 | Reply

  7. Great series on watermarking at Jim’s site. Thanks.

    Comment by Teri | March 3, 2009 | Reply

  8. I recently happened to shoot 2 weddings – both of my friends children. At first I felt uneasy about charging them, but then I decided that I have to pay my bills after all, and said that I will work as if I was shooting any other wedding. It was accepted without a blink.

    Comment by Andrei Filippov | August 5, 2009 | Reply

  9. Thanks for sharing Andrei. That is a great example for arguing why photographers are often their own worst enemies. I would think much like in your case, that if they know you that the friends should be more inclined to pay your fees. The hardest part is just getting over the shyness of asking in the first place.

    Comment by Richard Wong | August 5, 2009 | Reply

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