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A little frustrated

morning metro at Dupont

I think most people like the fact that I’ve been taking pictures for them without payment for services. Those who have insisted, I tell them that they can get me gift certificates to local stores (mainly for grocery buying).

But I’m a little tired of that. So while I work on trying to figure out the back-end of setting up a small business (i.e. paperwork), if someone happens to request photos to be taken, I have been saying that I’m happy to do so, but I will be charging a certain amount.

Only fair right? I provide a service, take time out of my days (plural), and should be paid for it. Correct? After all, I do have a regular day job that eats up about 12 hours of my day (commuting is tacked into that number).

Seems simple enough, and yet, when some have been contacting me recently for photography services, and when I tell them that I’ll be charging, I tend to only hear silence from the other end.

It’s a little frustrating, to say the least. But maybe I shouldn’t pay attention and keep going? I’m not sure. When starting a small business, all the contacts you have are quite precious and seem so rare. I’m really not sure what to do.

I’m guessing there isn’t much I can do. Just keep moving along and hope that I’ll eventually get a few paying customers here and there, right?

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s absolutely fair. They know they’d be paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a so-called “professional photographer” and they’re hoping, basically, to take advantage of their friendship with you to save money. I’ve received expectation of photography services and computer troubleshooting from friends and family on a regular basis. I hate it. They may not think it’s fair to be charged but it’s even less fair of them to leverage your friendship for free services that are a big time suck for you.

    February 3, 2015
    • Marie #

      So true. Thankfully my close friends have basically insisted on paying (but I have refused for tax reasons since I hadn’t officially set up my business yet). They’ve said time and again I need to start charging because it’s not fair to me.

      February 3, 2015
  2. If you’ve started the business (wanting/needing to paying taxes), then you sure will need to start charging! And if it’s silence on their end, then oh well, keep on trucking!

    February 3, 2015
    • Marie #


      February 3, 2015
  3. Silvia #

    yay! so happy you will be charging! absolutely you need to charge for your time and amazing work! you will have to email me your rates!

    February 3, 2015
    • Marie #

      Haha! Thanks lady!!

      February 3, 2015
  4. I think it’s fine to not charge at the beginning but now that you are trying to establish a business, it’s imperative you start charging. Then you get to join the ranks of us where how much to charge is a whole other ball game. ACK! I constantly have to remind myself that my time is worth far more than I give it credit for.

    February 3, 2015
    • Marie #

      Trying to figure out how much to charge is pretty difficult! I’ve searched and looked at the prices that are offered around the area I live in as I’ve read that it’s good to base it off that. So that’s been quite helpful. The paperwork though, so tedious! Ah well. Totally worth it though I’m guessing.

      February 4, 2015

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