(Closed) Family Drama: my God sister owes me…… she should take my pictures for free

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Sorry, but she doesn’t owe you any free work. Just because you agreed to work for her for free in the past, doesn’t mean that she has to work for you for free now.  Favors don’t really work like that, you don’t get to decide when and how (or if) the favor will be returned.  Think about it this way- you want her to photograph your wedding for free as a type of payment for the work you have done for her in the past?  Well what if you were not getting married.  Would you still expect payment from her? You don’t get to agree to do something for free and then decide after the fact that you really would have liked to be paid after all.

If you are unhappy doing free work for her, then you should stop.  Don’t model for her anymore, and if she asks, tell her you just don’t have the time to put into it anymore.  But her request to be paid something for her work at your wedding is not unreasonable.  She will probably have to spend some of her own money on supplies and such, plus she loses the opportunity to do some other paying work that day, so I can see why she would want something for her efforts.  Figure out how much you would be willing to spend if she were a stranger.  Offer her that, and if she refuses, say “I’m sorry, but that’s all that is in my budget.  Of course we would still be happy to have you at the wedding as a guest”. and move on.

But you also might consider whether you even want her to be your photographer.  If she’s at a wedding where she knows a lot of people, she may be distracted and decide to dance a bit instead of working, etc.  Plus, what if you don’t like the pictures?  Then you have that elephant in the room every time you see her in the future.  I would be very careful before getting into this sort of arraignment…

I really hope everything works out for you and you are able to find someone to take beautiful pictures for you.  But I also think it would be for the best if you moved on from this idea of getting her to do your pics for free…

Post # 4
Member
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Yeah…I agree with greenleafmountain.

I really don’t think she “owes” you anything. You guys didn’t agree to any fees; the fact that she has been mentioning that she should toss a couple bucks your way doesn’t mean she should photograph you whole wedding for free.Sorry, just don’t think you’re entitled to a free shoot.

Post # 5
Member
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree with greenleafmountain. My brother in law is taking the pictures at my wedding and I am paying him $500, which is what costs him for all the supplies he needs and gas money. It isn’t fair to ask someone who makes their livelyhood on a skill to do anything for you for free.

Unfortunately this happens to me all the time because I work in IT and with computers all the time. Friends will call me up and ask for computer help. I will spend 6-7 hours of my time getting rid of viruses, backing up data off a bad hard drive, etc. and then when I go to leave they say “Thanks for helping me. That saved me $300!” Excuse me? I just wasted an evening I could have spent with my Fiance to help you out and I’m not even going to make $100 for my efforts? People that do that to me instantly become non-friends and I don’t talk to them again.

You can offer to pay materials and a reasonable to you cost for her time, but the best way to lose her as someone important to you is to demand she do work for you for free. You volunteered to model for free and that was your choice. It might be unfair, but then you can always not model or ask her to pay next time.

Post # 7
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I would normally say you should not assume someone owes you a favor but it sounds like she always planned to pay you in some way. Maybe you could suggest to her that you barter your modeling services against wedding photos? It seems like she is not willing to shoot your wedding as a gift but she did ask for your input on said “small fee” so I don’t think you would offend her by offering a barter.

Post # 8
Member
98 posts
Worker bee

Go with the co-worker and pay her something.  It’s nice that she offered to do it for free, but that’s a really expensive wedding gift.

Another reason why it’s not a good idea to go with your godsister is that she may not be very fair when taking pictures of the reception.  If she knows a lot of your family and friends, you may get a lot of pictures of them and hardly anyone from your FI’s side.

Post # 9
Member
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@aieshatreadwell: The follow up doesn’t really matter. The question was should she have to take the pictures for free. My answer is still no. You can add “Even though…”, but it still wouldn’t change my answer. Most photo models I know that do it professionally are paid $10-20 a photo shoot. Instead of taking her services in trade, just tell her you won’t model anymore until you get paid the $20xphoto shoots you have done. If your co-worker offered to do it free and clear then that is probably a better option to go with instead of trying to convince your god sister to do it for free.

It is nice you helped her out and all, but is pretty irrelevant to the question “should I pay her or expect it done for free?”

Post # 11
Member
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

In my opinion, even if someone offers to do it for free (you’re co-worker), or at least I’m assuming for free since they said they would do it as a gift, you should still at least give them a small gift just like you do your BMs, parents, readers, officiant, etc.

Post # 12
Member
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I was going to add before someone pretty much said it already… photo models don’t make much money. It’s not like you would’ve made $1000 at a photo shoot like that were you being paid for posing. So it’s really not an even trade.

My sister is a photographer, and it isn’t cheap to develop and edit pictures, especially wedding pictures that need to be just so.

Post # 13
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Um… I am going with YOU on this one. I’m in the process of getting a photo business started and I am SO grateful to my family and friends who are helping me. I have had people sit as models, had their kids sit as models, sit with me at shows so someone can watch my booth while I pee…. i could not DO this without them. All of my friends and family know that I would do their weddings for free. I would probably do it for free even if they hadn’t helped out. Seems like the best wedding gift I can think of 🙂 

Post # 14
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

OK, I’m just going to say a few quick things

  • Don’t work with family and friends. It can very easily end badly, and if you do decide too, you need to be clear on terms and have a REAL contract, even if you are not paying her! It seems to me blood is already starting to boil on this. Is it worth family drama?
  • If she does shoot your wedding, she will be spending OVER 40+ hrs on nothing but you and your pictures, and not being paid if you still want her for free. So, you’ll need to think about whether or not this is “even.” If you have given her more than 1-2 full time work weeks, then consider asking for “free coverage.”
  • Will this all be worth the drama? What if you don’t like her pictures? Sounds like she has a lot of fine art experience with setting stuff up and having lots of control… has she done weddings? Have you seen an entire wedding of work from her? 
  • Does she have a BACKUP camera and gear? What if her “really nice camera” fails? They DO do that! Sometimes it’s really minor, but I’ve had camera’s fail on me numerous times. That’s fine though, I’ve got another to keep going until I can discover what went wrong with the first. It’s almost always minor…. but if you’re about to have your first kiss…. that could spell disaster if there is no backup.

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