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

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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.



I do not think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer to these questions. Different things work for different people in different types of relationships.


Yes, whenever you give your professional expertise to somebody for free, it essentially means paying for it yourself, because there is more than just time involved. That is why it is a gift. :)

Again, it is perfectly reasonable and okay for you to decide not to wish to deal with such gifts with friends and to do business as usual with them.


As for drawing the lines, I tend to include only people whom I consider de facto family already (long term childhood friends, next generation of long term family friends, and an oddball or two with whom I got really close a bit later in life). The favors and gifts extend beyond professional expertise. For example, my daughter is currently living with a family with whom our family has a history of mutual help over several generations - we pay *nothing* for room and board for her, and they would be *offended* if we tried. Likewise, one of the family appartments has been occupied for several years by another friend's daughter who uses it as a college student and only deals with utilities, no rent is charged at all. I have done professional translations in the past for 0 € for friends, paying out of my own pocket additional formal and legal stuff that had to be done (stamped by whom and where it had to be confirmed, etc.), without any mention of that. Likewise, I have eaten in restaurants in which no bills were ever given to me, I have attended theatre and opera by picking up right before the show tickets that had been discreetly put aside for me without having payed for them, etc. From little favors like that to major life favors - that is what friends are for, IMO.


But, I totally understand and respect why somebody would wish to separate business from friendship and charge their friends accordingly.

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i didn't read all of the posts but the ones i did read, i disagree with and it has to do with the title of your post. i am thinking right now of my 3 "very dearest friends". if i was in your shoes (a photographer doing a favor for one of them, especially a favor exactly like this) i would not have charged. One reason is because this woman is sick and the other because i would not want to be in the turmoil you are in now. money, any amount, is NOT worth it to me. Yes, it would have taken up my time but my friends are worth more to me than money...even if it wasn't directly for your friend...i still wouldn't have charged her one penny. FWIW.

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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.
I read the initial post yesterday and the above is what I was wondering about. I bet your friend is conflicted about what to do for this woman - how generous she should be toward this woman in this situation - and it just came out directed toward you?
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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.


:iagree: X 100.

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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:


I haven't read more than a few responses and I want to read your update so I am going to quickly agree with Jean.....b/c I agree with Jean.


I think you were placed in a tough situation and you handled it graciously and your position is above reproach.


Of course, having also been there, I can pretty much predict how this is going to come back to bite you in the you know where.:glare:

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yes....update is posted separately. This ended very, very badly.





I have read the update and I commented.


The only thing I can say (and I have SO SO SO been where you are - and was SO hurt by it -- and SO stunned by it) is to let yourself grieve the friendship - which probably wasn't even the friendship you had in reality but the friendship that you thought you had (does THAT make sense?)


And, then move on -- don't doubt yourself, not for an instant. IMO, someone has serious issues if they would say to you what this supposed friend said to you at breakfast -- it is inappropriate, out of line, not at all edifying, and you should shake the dust off your shoes and make it a point NEVER to be in her company again. She needs help.

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