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I think I just upset a very dear friend - I want to cry!


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Dear friend (we'll call her Jane) has a step daughter (we'll call her Molly) whose mother is a bit of a nut job. She has aliases, is a chronic shoplifter, schmoozer, and manipulator. Jane can't stand her (we'll call her Nut Job).

 

Nut Job recently found out she had breast cancer - fairly advanced breast cancer. While I wouldn't wish that on anyway, and I do feel bad that she has breast cancer, I still don't care for the woman and what she's done to her family and daughter.

 

Anyway, after Jane found out about Nut Job's cancer, she asked me if I would do a photo session of Nut Job and Molly. She's hired me for photo sessions before, knows my costs, has never received a discount, etc. I said I would. She told me up front that she wanted to purchase the CD from me. I told her then what the cost would be ($295 plus tax, making it $315 - I'm not here to discuss my reasoning for this pricing.....it is what it is and is in line with my business model).

 

I did the session. Nut Job called Jane crying, because she was so pleased with the photos. I told Jane that I would offer her $25 off the CD and not include reference prints (because she has seen my print work before & I know that is a lot to spend for someone else) as well as give her a 10% friend discount (that I don't normally give to anyone). With tax, the total was going to be $260.

 

She called me thereafter to tell me that she couldn't afford $260 right now (aka she didn't want to - which is perfectly understandable and fine) and that she would just talk to Nut Job and order prints. I said that was fine. Then, she texted me this morning to ask me if I would sell it to her for $150.

 

I talked to DH and an industry friend. I offered to do it for $200 OR to sell her individual files at $25/file with a minimum purchase requirement of 5 files (or the $150 she was willing to spend - and my purchase minimum). I told her that I was sorry and that I really didn't want to make this hard for her.

 

Her response was:

 

"Let me think about it...cause I don't want to spend a lot on Nut Job. And I don't want either one of us to feel taken advantage of either."

 

I felt awful thinking that she might be feeling taken advantage of, so I responded with:

 

"I totally understand....I hope you don't feel like I'm trying to take advantage of you!! I don't ever want you to feel that way. Think it over & let me know."

 

All she said was:

 

"Ok. I have to discuss this option with DH."

 

I feel sick to my stomach. She is a good friend and I HATE confrontation. Sigh. This is so hard.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: (You are more than in the right. In fact, you were terribly gracious to have offered any price reduction at all to her. Perhaps in the future you should not do that because some people feel like it gives them the go ahead to haggle. I'm so sorry that this all happened.) :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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Wait, she hired you, the professional, to do a job and then wants to negotiate the price AFTERWARDS. And you're concerned about her feelings?

 

What could you have possibly done to hurt her feelings?

 

I would let it lie until she calls you back. Honestly, she knows you don't work for free and she knows this is your income.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: (You are more than in the right. In fact, you were terribly gracious to have offered any price reduction at all to her. Perhaps in the future you should not do that because some people feel like it gives them the go ahead to haggle. I'm so sorry that this all happened.) :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

Wait, she hired you, the professional, to do a job and then wants to negotiate the price AFTERWARDS. And you're concerned about her feelings?

 

What could you have possibly done to hurt her feelings?

 

I would let it lie until she calls you back. Honestly, she knows you don't work for free and she knows this is your income.

 

:iagree: It sounds like you were very upfront with her.

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She is normally a very gracious and caring friend. She has gone out of her way to help me in the past & clearly was going out of her way to do something caring for her step-daughter and her mother. Thing is....this was HER good deed, not mine. I think she assumed that I would extend an offer to do this for less than normal as a good deed since we're dealing with cancer, etc.

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Well, she assumed correctly, you DID extend an offer to her that is WAY below the normal price range! Was that really clear to her? It sounds like she good and well knew your prices before going in, so she should be THRILLED with the discount, not the opposite! I don't understand AT ALL how she could feel she was being taken advantage of??! She can choose less than a full CD. Can Nut Job pay for some of the cost?

 

Sorry this is happening to you!

 

 

ETA: Seriously, who lowballs a FRIEND by well over $100 after the fact? IF she wanted free or special pricing, she needed to talk with you about it beforehand! YOU have NO reason to feel bad!

Edited by Brindee
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She is normally a very gracious and caring friend. She has gone out of her way to help me in the past & clearly was going out of her way to do something caring for her step-daughter and her mother. Thing is....this was HER good deed, not mine. I think she assumed that I would extend an offer to do this for less than normal as a good deed since we're dealing with cancer, etc.

 

Which you did by offering her discounts, but she knew the prices going in as you'd told her the price before she hired you.

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I am proud of you for sticking to your guns - except for the discount that you so graciously offered.

 

In my opinion, your friend (no matter how nice or dear) is trying to take advantage of you and the situation. This is your job - I would never dream of bartering for the cost of a service AFTER it was completed.

 

Don't feel bad - you are not in the wrong.

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She is normally a very gracious and caring friend. She has gone out of her way to help me in the past & clearly was going out of her way to do something caring for her step-daughter and her mother. Thing is....this was HER good deed, not mine. I think she assumed that I would extend an offer to do this for less than normal as a good deed since we're dealing with cancer, etc.

 

Well, you know what they say about assuming.... Besides, you did offer her a discount. If she thought you were going to be guilted into doing it for free because Nutjob has cancer, well, that is on her. You have been more than fair.

 

ETA - I have negotiated cost of tutoring for friends' kids before, and even accepted barter, but it was always worked out ahead of time. I would be upset with someone who tried to renegotiate the price after the fact, friend or not.

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She knew going in what your prices were. Period.

 

That you offered a discount at all is a major blessing.

 

You did nothing wrong. She, on the other hand, seems to be trying to take advantage of YOU.

 

:iagree: I'm upset and confused for you that she'd hint about feeling "taken advantage of" when just the opposite is true. I think you have been clear, generous and kind. When this blows over, I think you need to talk to her about what happened, for the sake of the friendship.

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She's usually the type of friend who is worried that she upset someone. She has, in the past, said things like "I'm sorry I was so insensitive about...." when I didn't even think she was being insensitive at all. She's asked me before if I was upset with her when I wasn't AT ALL.

 

I'm wondering if maybe hubby isn't happy with her for spending this much on his ex-wife......and I'm sure Nut Job is pushing for the CD, because she wants it....and is manipulative and a user. Maybe it isn't really ME she's upset with.

 

It's just so out of character for her to take this out on someone else. I'm usually the person she'd vent to.

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It stinks that she has made you feel that you are somehow in the wrong. Your not!

 

She is taking advantage of your friendship and using cancer as a tool to guilt you. Ick. I'm really sorry this is happening to you...I would be re-examining this relationship if one of my 'dear' friends treated me this way.:grouphug:

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She is normally a very gracious and caring friend. She has gone out of her way to help me in the past & clearly was going out of her way to do something caring for her step-daughter and her mother. Thing is....this was HER good deed, not mine. I think she assumed that I would extend an offer to do this for less than normal as a good deed since we're dealing with cancer, etc.

 

But she should have clarified that up front.

 

You have done nothing wrong.

 

You have a beautiful heart.:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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You have done nothing wrong. From what you have shared I don't think she is even upset with you. I think it sounds like she really is trying to figure out how much she wants to spend on Nut Job. She probably thought nothing of the original price when the shock of the diagnosis was new and she was thinking about preserving memories for her step daughter. Now that she has had more time to think about it she doesn't want to spend that much on Nut Job (who has probably done something stupid since she first asked you to do the session). Your friend shouldn't have sent you the lowball offer but we all make errors in judgement every once in awhile. By next week I bet this will be a non-issue.

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She's usually the type of friend who is worried that she upset someone. She has, in the past, said things like "I'm sorry I was so insensitive about...." when I didn't even think she was being insensitive at all. She's asked me before if I was upset with her when I wasn't AT ALL.

 

I'm wondering if maybe hubby isn't happy with her for spending this much on his ex-wife......and I'm sure Nut Job is pushing for the CD, because she wants it....and is manipulative and a user. Maybe it isn't really ME she's upset with.

 

It's just so out of character for her to take this out on someone else. I'm usually the person she'd vent to.

 

Perhaps there is more going on with Nutjob than she has shared so far. The situation may have changed since she originally decided to do this, and now she is trying to figure out a new plan.

 

If this behavior is uncharacteristic of her, I would try to extend the benefit of the doubt, and just wait and see what happens. Maybe tomorrow she will call you back, apologize, and vent about whatever is really going on. :grouphug:

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You have done nothing wrong. From what you have shared I don't think she is even upset with you. I think it sounds like she really is trying to figure out how much she wants to spend on Nut Job. She probably thought nothing of the original price when the shock of the diagnosis was new and she was thinking about preserving memories for her step daughter. Now that she has had more time to think about it she doesn't want to spend that much on Nut Job (who has probably done something stupid since she first asked you to do the session). Your friend shouldn't have sent you the lowball offer but we all make errors in judgement every once in awhile. By next week I bet this will be a non-issue.

 

I think you are absolutely right. I just feel awful that she (at least in appearance) feels like I'm taking advantage of her.

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Your friend isn't thinking straight right now so maybe when she said she didn't want anyone to be taken advantage of, she was talking about you or her. She may have simply not understood you thought she was referring to you being the problem. Nut Job is probably pressuring her and your friend feels that either you or she will end up covering the "extra" cost.

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Are you sure she was referring to you when she talked about being taken advantage of? Unless she specifically said, "being taken advantage of BY YOU" then I might assume she was talking about being taken advantage of BY NUT JOB.

 

I would give her the benefit of the doubt and just flat out ask her, "You mentioned on the phone being taken advantage of. Were you talking about me?" Then you will have your answer, won't have to worry about it anymore, and hopefully talk it out with your friend.

 

I hate confrontation too, but if she is a friend worth investing in then I would ask her. :grouphug:

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Perhaps there is more going on with Nutjob than she has shared so far. The situation may have changed since she originally decided to do this, and now she is trying to figure out a new plan.

 

If this behavior is uncharacteristic of her, I would try to extend the benefit of the doubt, and just wait and see what happens. Maybe tomorrow she will call you back, apologize, and vent about whatever is really going on. :grouphug:

 

:iagree: If I recall correctly, your family has been having financial struggles--doesn't your df know that? It's unkind for her to expect you to give your work away anytime, but particularly now, and after the fact. Hopefully the above poster is correct, and this is just a blip. Whatever happens, don't feel bad. If she was looking for a freebie she should have been upfront about it.

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:iagree: If I recall correctly, your family has been having financial struggles--doesn't your df know that? It's unkind for her to expect you to give your work away anytime, but particularly now, and after the fact. Hopefully the above poster is correct, and this is just a blip. Whatever happens, don't feel bad. If she was looking for a freebie she should have been upfront about it.

 

She most definitely does!!

 

I hadn't thought about her meaning Nut Job taking advantage of either of us....I would think that if that's what she meant she would've clarified when I said that I hoped she didn't feel like I was taking advantage of her in my response.

 

She didn't. She only said "ok".

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I can totally relate to the nauseous feeling when money seems to drive a wedge between friends--people are sooooo much more valuable than money, aren't they? I would rather throw money down the drain than lose a friend.

 

HOWEVER. That attitude and habit (giving away money to get rid of relationship tension) of mine has damaged relationships. I used to spiritualize it (how generous and saintly of me to be willing to lose money to avoid tension!), but really it amounted to cowardice. I wanted to buy my way out of conflict because it was easier than working through it. Easier than worrying that she might feel/believe/think (horrors!) that I was selfish. Easier than facing the possibility that my friend might value money more than she values me. Easier than disappointing the expectations of a dear friend. It was just easier, period, to throw money at a relational problem than to deal with the problems.

 

The very fact that you are so distraught ("sick") at the possibility of upsetting your friend is probably an indicator that you need practice at keeping strong financial and emotional boundaries. It DOES sound like your friend--if she is truly hurt and upset, which I don't know if you know for sure or not yet--is having some boundary problems herself. (It's fine to hope for and even ask for a special discount, but not at all fine to hold a friend emotionally hostage for one.)

 

Maybe she's not usually like this, and the situation is causing some instability, or maybe this is a pattern--either way, you can still be friends. If she's hurt and upset without reason, there's nothing you can do to fix or change the situation--you've just got to let her be hurt and upset. Maybe spend some time asking yourself some tough questions about why this is bothering you so much.

 

Argh! I have gotten very psycho-babble-y. Hate that! But it touches close to home.

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I can totally relate to the nauseous feeling when money seems to drive a wedge between friends--people are sooooo much more valuable than money, aren't they? I would rather throw money down the drain than lose a friend.

 

HOWEVER. That attitude and habit (giving away money to get rid of relationship tension) of mine has damaged relationships. I used to spiritualize it (how generous and saintly of me to be willing to lose money to avoid tension!), but really it amounted to cowardice. I wanted to buy my way out of conflict because it was easier than working through it. Easier than worrying that she might feel/believe/think (horrors!) that I was selfish. Easier than facing the possibility that my friend might value money more than she values me. Easier than disappointing the expectations of a dear friend. It was just easier, period, to throw money at a relational problem than to deal with the problems.

 

The very fact that you are so distraught ("sick") at the possibility of upsetting your friend is probably an indicator that you need practice at keeping strong financial and emotional boundaries. It DOES sound like your friend--if she is truly hurt and upset, which I don't know if you know for sure or not yet--is having some boundary problems herself. (It's fine to hope for and even ask for a special discount, but not at all fine to hold a friend emotionally hostage for one.)

 

Maybe she's not usually like this, and the situation is causing some instability, or maybe this is a pattern--either way, you can still be friends. If she's hurt and upset without reason, there's nothing you can do to fix or change the situation--you've just got to let her be hurt and upset. Maybe spend some time asking yourself some tough questions about why this is bothering you so much.

 

Argh! I have gotten very psycho-babble-y. Hate that! But it touches close to home.

 

You're absolutely right! This is something I've hated about myself forever. I tend to do whatever it takes to avoid and difuse the situation - usually at MY cost. I'd rather take the hit than cause someone else trouble.

 

Such a hard thing to practice.

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I am also a photographer, and I say with kindness and concern for you that your prices are already far too low.

 

Having said that, here's what I would do. Because she is a good friend and her friendship obviously matters to you, I would give her 10 images of her choice on a disc for the $150 that she is offering. Going forward, I would never do another session for her again. You don't have to tell her this at this point. I would just be gracious and make your offer with a smile. If she asks in the future, I would either tell her that you are booked out, or ask her to pay your happy price up front, or go into it knowing that you will either be working for free or for far less than you are usually paid. When I shoot for friends, I either do it for free or I don't do it at all. They always end up paying me something (not near what I charge clients), but I go into it with no expectations other than doing something kind for a friend. If I don't feel like doing it for free, I just let them know that I don't have the time to do it right now.

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I can totally relate to the nauseous feeling when money seems to drive a wedge between friends--people are sooooo much more valuable than money, aren't they? I would rather throw money down the drain than lose a friend.

 

HOWEVER. That attitude and habit (giving away money to get rid of relationship tension) of mine has damaged relationships. I used to spiritualize it (how generous and saintly of me to be willing to lose money to avoid tension!), but really it amounted to cowardice. I wanted to buy my way out of conflict because it was easier than working through it. Easier than worrying that she might feel/believe/think (horrors!) that I was selfish. Easier than facing the possibility that my friend might value money more than she values me. Easier than disappointing the expectations of a dear friend. It was just easier, period, to throw money at a relational problem than to deal with the problems.

 

The very fact that you are so distraught ("sick") at the possibility of upsetting your friend is probably an indicator that you need practice at keeping strong financial and emotional boundaries. It DOES sound like your friend--if she is truly hurt and upset, which I don't know if you know for sure or not yet--is having some boundary problems herself. (It's fine to hope for and even ask for a special discount, but not at all fine to hold a friend emotionally hostage for one.)

 

Maybe she's not usually like this, and the situation is causing some instability, or maybe this is a pattern--either way, you can still be friends. If she's hurt and upset without reason, there's nothing you can do to fix or change the situation--you've just got to let her be hurt and upset. Maybe spend some time asking yourself some tough questions about why this is bothering you so much.

 

Argh! I have gotten very psycho-babble-y. Hate that! But it touches close to home.

 

Oooh, this is such a good post, so much to think about! I don't have this problem, but I know it when I see it happening. And some people sense a weakness, and then try to bully/emotionally manipulate the other person into doing what they want. Not saying that's the OP's situation, just in general.

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Such a hard thing to practice.

 

It does get easier, it really does. You will be amazed at how much more enjoyable your friendships are with more practice under your belt. And you can TOTALLY do it!!!

 

As dorky and psycho-babble-y as it sounds, "self-talk" really helps me. (E.g., "I love Jane. She is a good friend, so it hurts to think that she is upset with me. I hate to disappoint her. This is hard, because I love her. I wish I could change her feelings, but I can't. I need to do what I think is right, and hang tough, and let her deal with her feelings on her own without me trying to fix things. She may be disappointed and upset with me for a while, but that is her responsibility.")

 

Give her--and yourself--a lot of space. When you do speak again, avoid doing or saying things to placate her. Just be brief and direct without a lot of comment on your feelings. It will probably be hard. I found, once I rounded the corner with this kind of stuff, that I could safely comment on feelings (e.g., "I'm sorry you're disappointed") without getting sucked into back into my own weirdness--that felt GREAT!--but it took a while. Early on, you see, I wasn't really just saying "I'm sorry you're disappointed", I was really saying, "Please like me! I will take responsibility for your disappointment, even though it's unreasonable, if you will like me again!" So it was better to just shut up for a while.

 

Having another person in your corner (someone who is trustworthy and in whom you can confide without worrying that they will bash Jane) is really helpful. Rifts with close friends can feel very scary and de-stabilizing, and it's good to have someone else to comfort you while you ride out the storm with Jane.

 

Blessings.

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She knew going in what your prices were. Period.

 

That you offered a discount at all is a major blessing.

 

You did nothing wrong. She, on the other hand, seems to be trying to take advantage of YOU.

:iagree::iagree:

 

I was reading the OP's post thinking the SAME thing!!! :glare: The "friend" is manipulating the situation and trying to get the CD for free or cheap? That is like going to McDonald's and trying to get the food half of the listed price -- no one does that. The worker is due her wages.

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Did you drop the price of the cd from over $300 down to $200???

 

I think this is a time when you need to separate friendship and business. You gave her a price upfront. Time to stay strong and be the business person.

 

I think people respect others more when they stick with what they've said. You've changed the price now 3 times because she's questioned you about it.

 

I think your friend just needs to decide what they want for pictures. They either want them and will pay or they don't.

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I am also a photographer, and I say with kindness and concern for you that your prices are already far too low.

 

Having said that, here's what I would do. Because she is a good friend and her friendship obviously matters to you, I would give her 10 images of her choice on a disc for the $150 that she is offering. Going forward, I would never do another session for her again. You don't have to tell her this at this point. I would just be gracious and make your offer with a smile. If she asks in the future, I would either tell her that you are booked out, or ask her to pay your happy price up front, or go into it knowing that you will either be working for free or for far less than you are usually paid. When I shoot for friends, I either do it for free or I don't do it at all. They always end up paying me something (not near what I charge clients), but I go into it with no expectations other than doing something kind for a friend. If I don't feel like doing it for free, I just let them know that I don't have the time to do it right now.

 

:iagree: with the bolded with these additions: because this is ultimately a gift for the daughter, I think you should put together a one-time $150 package that you are comfortable providing, perhaps including a print for the daughter and for her mom.

 

Then, moving forward, if this friend (or any friend) wants a session in the future be sure to get everything agreed to up front.

 

It's okay to not give away your services. It might even be worth deciding on a kind but firm way to phrase this ahead of time for any future dealings with friends.

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She is normally a very gracious and caring friend. She has gone out of her way to help me in the past & clearly was going out of her way to do something caring for her step-daughter and her mother. Thing is....this was HER good deed, not mine. I think she assumed that I would extend an offer to do this for less than normal as a good deed since we're dealing with cancer, etc.

She's unilaterally making her good deed your good deed.

 

I don't like that kind of manipulation. Lots of people and organizations do it.

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Maybe she and her dh need to know that this isn't about spending money on "Nut Job", but about spending money for "Molly", so that she has something nice to remember about her mother. Even if her mother is a nut job. And your prices- amazing (in a good way)! Way beyond reasonable imho.

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The price was discussed upfront, so you should not feel bad at all. Around here there are photographers that will do pictures for terminal patients and their families for free, but that is the agreement going in. If she wanted you to do that for her, then she should have brought it up prior to having photos taken. If she does not like the agreed upon price, then she can go to Walmart and get pictures for 9.99. Maybe she has no idea how much pictures cost from a freelance photographer?

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The price was discussed upfront, so you should not feel bad at all. Around here there are photographers that will do pictures for terminal patients and their families for free, but that is the agreement going in. If she wanted you to do that for her, then she should have brought it up prior to having photos taken. If she does not like the agreed upon price, then she can go to Walmart and get pictures for 9.99. Maybe she has no idea how much pictures cost from a freelance photographer?

 

She has hired me several times & always paid full price. Although, she's never purchased or inquired about a CD until now.

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This may not be for everyone, but I refuse to deal with money with (close) friends. Money has a tremendous potential of ruining even the best of relationships and I have seen bitterness about money too many times to wish to experience it myself. So, I prefer my close friendships to be as money-less as possible. I do not want money to be an issue on the table. Ever.

 

In other words, money is not. discussed., and all my (close) friends might need from me (in terms of favors, professional expertise, etc.) they can accept as a gift only without obligations. Likewise, I get the same treatment. With time those favors tend to mostly even out anyway.

For us it works, YMMV. I am not suggesting this is "the" way of handling money and friends, just bringing it up as an option.

 

So, in my reality, I would simply never be in a situation like yours because there would be no money involved and I would be pleased with the absence of money as a factor.

 

With less than close friends, i.e. essentially acquaintances, business as usual, without changing your prices three times. You set the price and inform them about the modalities of payment, the rest is up on them. But with close friends, I am not going to touch money with a ten foot pole - either it will be a gift, or you will get it elsewhere.

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You should not feel bad at all. You were upfront with the pricing and threw in a little discount at the end. You've heard of the sentiment that goes something like "You might as well ask. The worst she can say is no." I bet that's what your friend was thinking when she asked. Let it roll off your back. You did nothing wrong.

 

I agree with the others who said that your price is reasonable... especially with the discount you offered.

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Well, I havent heard anything further from her tonight. I decided not to call her, because I'm not sure what would even come of it. I didn't want to feel compelled to justify my pricing and was afraid it wouldn't get us anywhere other than agreeing to disagree. Well, and I felt like maybe it was better to give her some space for the night.

 

Tomorrow morning is our weekly breakfast with a few other friends. I'm fighting the urge to just not go. I know that isn't the right answer....and wouldn't help anything, but I know there will be tension & I'm dreading it.

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My opinion is obviously not going to be popular but if this is a dear friend, I wouldn't have charged her. If I know I couldn't do it without feeling resentful I would have told her I couldn't do it at all.

 

BUT, because you did tell her up front what it was going to cost, I don't like how she is handling it either.

 

It sounds like she and her dh are much more hesitant to put out that much money for someone that has caused so much stress for them. (The stepmom that is.)

 

I think a good compromise would be to give her the 10 photos for $150.

 

All that said, friends and money don't mix. You said she has used you before and paid with no problem, and now look. You got a problem. Bummer.

 

I tend to agree with the person that said she doesn't want to feel taken advantage of by the stepmom. NOT taken advantage of by you. I would try to give her the benefit of the doubt on that one. She sounds like she is caught in the middle here and what you've said about her I really don't think she's trying to shake you down. That is the problem with email, texts etc. It is hard to read tone and uncomfortable to ask for clarification.

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I've really been thinking about the whole issue of charging a friend vs not.

 

Here's what I've come up with. I am in a business that is based almost entirely on word of mouth. If I don't start with my friends, who will spread the word? And, if I don't charge them, how will I make any money? Not to mention....then, where do you draw the line? Who is a good enough/close enough friend and who isn't and has to pay? THAT is why I never started giving discounts to friends. It's a slippery slope. And....if I do things for free, I'm actually paying for it to be done for them. Prints cost money. Equipment costs money - a LOT of money in this business. I pay insurance and taxes. If you want my services.....you pay for them. If you don't like my prices and go somewhere else....that's fine too.

 

In this case, I DID do something I've never done in 5yrs of business and offered a discount to a friend, because she IS that good and kind of a friend & I wanted to make this happen for her. I still have to pay $40 for the CD case and CD. I work in a high-end business and have a reputation to uphold, so I can't just hand her a $2 CD because she's a friend and call it a day. Not to mention the fact that I have 10-15 hours of my time invested in this.

 

Anyway....I'm justifying...and I don't need to do that here, I know. I'm off to my weekly breakfast in about an hour. I'm very nervous. I'll update when I get back.

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She's usually the type of friend who is worried that she upset someone. She has, in the past, said things like "I'm sorry I was so insensitive about...." when I didn't even think she was being insensitive at all. She's asked me before if I was upset with her when I wasn't AT ALL.

 

I'm wondering if maybe hubby isn't happy with her for spending this much on his ex-wife......and I'm sure Nut Job is pushing for the CD, because she wants it....and is manipulative and a user. Maybe it isn't really ME she's upset with.

 

It's just so out of character for her to take this out on someone else. I'm usually the person she'd vent to.

 

Maybe she made the decision to do the photos in an emotional moment, and now that those feelings have had time to cool, she is regretting her decision. Also, who knows what NJ has done to aggravate her since the photo shoot to make her further regret her decision. It doesn't matter, though. It was her "mistake", not yours. I actually think the photo shoot would be more for the benefit of the sdd than NJ anyway.

 

Lisa

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I've really been thinking about the whole issue of charging a friend vs not.

 

Here's what I've come up with. I am in a business that is based almost entirely on word of mouth. If I don't start with my friends, who will spread the word? And, if I don't charge them, how will I make any money? Not to mention....then, where do you draw the line? Who is a good enough/close enough friend and who isn't and has to pay? THAT is why I never started giving discounts to friends. It's a slippery slope. And....if I do things for free, I'm actually paying for it to be done for them. Prints cost money. Equipment costs money - a LOT of money in this business. I pay insurance and taxes. If you want my services.....you pay for them. If you don't like my prices and go somewhere else....that's fine too.

 

In this case, I DID do something I've never done in 5yrs of business and offered a discount to a friend, because she IS that good and kind of a friend & I wanted to make this happen for her. I still have to pay $40 for the CD case and CD. I work in a high-end business and have a reputation to uphold, so I can't just hand her a $2 CD because she's a friend and call it a day. Not to mention the fact that I have 10-15 hours of my time invested in this.

 

Anyway....I'm justifying...and I don't need to do that here, I know. I'm off to my weekly breakfast in about an hour. I'm very nervous. I'll update when I get back.

 

Enjoy your breakfast. I agree, btw. My dh was in a business where he did a lot of work for family and friends. That business was what put food on our table. There were a few that got discounts, but not everyone that thought they should.

 

If you owned a retail store she wouldn't expect a discount. I think it's easier for some people to not see it as a "job" when you don't have a physical office.

 

I also agree with some of Ester Maria's opinion, that work done for friends should be considered a gift. However, not everyone is in a financial position to give away their work. In an ideal world, yes, but many of us are not living ideal.

 

Dh avoided a lot of issue by using contracts even with family and friends. That way there is no miscommunication and it moves the transaction to business dealing, not simply a favor for a friend.

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I've really been thinking about the whole issue of charging a friend vs not.

 

Here's what I've come up with. I am in a business that is based almost entirely on word of mouth. If I don't start with my friends, who will spread the word? And, if I don't charge them, how will I make any money? Not to mention....then, where do you draw the line? Who is a good enough/close enough friend and who isn't and has to pay? THAT is why I never started giving discounts to friends. It's a slippery slope. And....if I do things for free, I'm actually paying for it to be done for them. Prints cost money. Equipment costs money - a LOT of money in this business. I pay insurance and taxes. If you want my services.....you pay for them. If you don't like my prices and go somewhere else....that's fine too.

 

In this case, I DID do something I've never done in 5yrs of business and offered a discount to a friend, because she IS that good and kind of a friend & I wanted to make this happen for her. I still have to pay $40 for the CD case and CD. I work in a high-end business and have a reputation to uphold, so I can't just hand her a $2 CD because she's a friend and call it a day. Not to mention the fact that I have 10-15 hours of my time invested in this.

 

Anyway....I'm justifying...and I don't need to do that here, I know. I'm off to my weekly breakfast in about an hour. I'm very nervous. I'll update when I get back.

 

Sorry I should have been clear. I would let her know how much the actual CD would cost and the prints and have her be responsible for that. I would not have charged her for the use of my camera or my insurance etc.

 

All that said, I can understand why you did charge her. It just doesn't always end well with friends and family.

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I've really been thinking about the whole issue of charging a friend vs not.

 

Here's what I've come up with. I am in a business that is based almost entirely on word of mouth. If I don't start with my friends, who will spread the word? And, if I don't charge them, how will I make any money? Not to mention....then, where do you draw the line? Who is a good enough/close enough friend and who isn't and has to pay? THAT is why I never started giving discounts to friends. It's a slippery slope. And....if I do things for free, I'm actually paying for it to be done for them. Prints cost money. Equipment costs money - a LOT of money in this business. I pay insurance and taxes. If you want my services.....you pay for them. If you don't like my prices and go somewhere else....that's fine too.

 

In this case, I DID do something I've never done in 5yrs of business and offered a discount to a friend, because she IS that good and kind of a friend & I wanted to make this happen for her. I still have to pay $40 for the CD case and CD. I work in a high-end business and have a reputation to uphold, so I can't just hand her a $2 CD because she's a friend and call it a day. Not to mention the fact that I have 10-15 hours of my time invested in this.

 

Anyway....I'm justifying...and I don't need to do that here, I know. I'm off to my weekly breakfast in about an hour. I'm very nervous. I'll update when I get back.

 

I do not think you are in the wrong here at all. I have a close friend I do business with on a regular basis, and I always tell her to charge me what she would get if she sold her wares elsewhere. Occasionally she gives a discount if she's just trying to get rid of things or looking for some quick cash, but normally its full price. Honestly I think that's the best way to do business with friends, otherwise, like you say there's a gray area, and where do you draw the line?

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Could she have meant that she didn't want either of you to feel taken advantage of by NutJob and it came out worded awkwardly? Maybe NutJob is pushing her for the CD and really putting the pressure on her. From what you said about your friend, accusing you of taking advantage sounds out of character. Either that, or she really did assume you'd do this for free since NutJob has cancer. Bad assumption on her part.

 

I agree with everyone else that you're being more than fair.

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I've really been thinking about the whole issue of charging a friend vs not.

 

Here's what I've come up with. I am in a business that is based almost entirely on word of mouth. If I don't start with my friends, who will spread the word? And, if I don't charge them, how will I make any money? Not to mention....then, where do you draw the line? Who is a good enough/close enough friend and who isn't and has to pay? THAT is why I never started giving discounts to friends. It's a slippery slope. And....if I do things for free, I'm actually paying for it to be done for them. Prints cost money. Equipment costs money - a LOT of money in this business. I pay insurance and taxes. If you want my services.....you pay for them. If you don't like my prices and go somewhere else....that's fine too.

 

In this case, I DID do something I've never done in 5yrs of business and offered a discount to a friend, because she IS that good and kind of a friend & I wanted to make this happen for her. I still have to pay $40 for the CD case and CD. I work in a high-end business and have a reputation to uphold, so I can't just hand her a $2 CD because she's a friend and call it a day. Not to mention the fact that I have 10-15 hours of my time invested in this.

 

Anyway....I'm justifying...and I don't need to do that here, I know. I'm off to my weekly breakfast in about an hour. I'm very nervous. I'll update when I get back.

 

I think you are right to charge, and would not feel guilty about it.

 

I bet that your friend is on an emotional roller coaster with Nut Job, and unfortunately as her friend you are on that roller coaster also. :grouphug:

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