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Author Topic: Dilemna  (Read 1340 times)

Offline jinky

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« on: February 10, 2017, 07:41:59 AM »
Last June I shot what I thought was my last wedding. Easy decision - it was in southern Spain for a friends daughter who wanted it nice and light shot as it went along. Embarrassing as I didn`t want to charge a friend as I had retired. We wouldn`t have been invited if not shooting as it was a restricted guest list with the happy couple coming over from Australia and close friends and family flying to Spain for the event. Instead of a fee I got hotel for 2 nights for me and my wife as an assistant, car hire for a week and the use of their aprtment in a beautiful area for a week afterwards + flights / meals / drinks. Of course the low level coverage turned into  a normal preps / last dance shoot and a long day with my friend saying I never knew you worked so hard but all were happy. The request then followed to do an album later which I did at cost as i felt too guilty to charge for but my friend sent a case of wine unasked for in payment when she saw the results. Job done and all parties happy.
Move on 6 months and I trade in my back up Nikon for a Fuji travel camera set up but keep my first line D700 and have my old D80 and all other gear. the D700 started misfiring on occasional flashes in that last wedding but a pinch of the hotshoe with pliers seemed to do the trick and I`d only need it now for my own use.

Last night my friend messages my wife saying has Paul really retired. Could he shoot my sons wedding in the UK in December, my son says he hates cameras and only felt comfortable with Paul at other wedding and a couple of family events he did some pictures for fun at.
My immediate thoughts -
I`ve been out of it too long (not really an issue though is it?)
The groom is very pale white skin and his wife to be very dark skinned Ghanian in a white dress - what will the metering issues be like?
Hell what would I trade for to spare the embarrassment of charging as I don`t want to use the apartment in Spain again?
Will my gear be up to it in December ?
It`s in a very nice 5 star hotel on the Brighton Road - how dark is it?

My wife dearly wants me to do it I know and says she will help as she has done before. She wants to be at the wedding but knows that as another small affair in the day with family from Ghana and UK only + handful of closest friends we won`t be invited otherwise. To complicate it further the same friends had invited me down later this month as their guest to go to the Brighton - Newcastle game i some very nice seats before their son came home and declared they had decided on a date.

Added difficulty is our friend has plenty of money to hire whoever they want. When I did the last wedding for a trade that did us well she even offered me my usual fee on top of the things she gave us that came to more than £2k at cost price. I know that if I said a figure she`d pay it but just don`t want to charge a friend even with a discount on what I might have charged as a job. It`s flattering to know she rates me so highly that she`d ask again but....
Last night I`d decided to do it, this morning on waking I`m thinking of saying let me test my gear and Fuji camera hard over the next 2 weeks before I commit and i`ll let you know when I come down for the match and now i`m thinking do i want it?

Real dilemna - what do you random internet friends think I should do? What would you do?

Offline SimonW

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Re: Dilemna
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 08:57:25 AM »
If I was confident that my health, my equipment and my ability/skill were still fully up to the task so that I could do a really good job for them, then I would without question do it.
Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline Alfonso_Frisk

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Re: Dilemna
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 09:15:00 AM »
IMHO say no
It sounds very much to me that you dont want to do it so dont.
Its not about letting people down etc, its about you.
Do you need the stress ? the money ? they buying of more kit if your not happy with the gear you have ?
Only you can decide.

Wine improves with age, The older I get the more I like it.

Offline Oldboy

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Re: Dilemna
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 11:01:04 AM »
If you don't want to do it then don't.

As for a spare camera borrow one from a friend or hire one.  8)

Offline Simple

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Re: Dilemna
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 02:14:23 PM »
"snap" Oh, How I Sympathise with you. Happens to me on a regular basis. I do not like weddings, As a business you do them for the revenue, but if you could be a profitable photographer without doing weddings I would still be one. I have not been a "Pro" for a couple of years now and have done 3 weddings. Every time it is friends that invite my wife and then say: ask Simon to take some pictures, will you???
I have just last week been talked into a wedding for July 2018. People have no idea how much work goes into photographing a wedding. The last official wedding I did not wanted to do, I asked for 2K upfront, thinking that will scare them away and ended up with the money and a commitment to do the work, so that did not work out. I now go for the honesty option and that worked out well. I ask if I was going to get invited to the wedding if I was not a photographer, if they say no, it is quite easy to tell them to get a pro wedding photographer and I give them some contacts. They cannot be that close a friend if they do not have you on the invite list. If they say yes, it is quite easy I will thank them and say I would really enjoy it, but if I take my camera I can not enjoy the wedding so I give them some contacts.
If your wife wants to go you are snookered and you best charge your batteries. You do not need the best latest equipment. Capturing the moment and the mood can be done on most cameras.

Offline jinky

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Re: Dilemna
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 09:30:35 AM »
Thanks for the views. Playing for time I emailed them saying I`d need to do a rigorous test of my D700 hotshoe as sit has an intermittent fault / Fuji to check if outputs match close enough to be consistent and then thought about it all day. I`ve pretty much decided I won`t be doing it. We wouldn`t be invited if I wasn`t shooting as it is very close family and friends anyway but as last time when I shot  her daughter`s in Spain we would have been wined and dined and paid whatever I asked for doing it.Given that I`d have been too embarrassed to ask full fee and my reservations I`ve decided that I`ll offer to help them sift through local photographers needing jobs for their daily bread. Makes me wonder why I`ve kept my D700 and Nikon lenses now although I still have the notion of shooting some of my 2nd daughter`s wedding as much as I can as I did with her older sister.
 It`s funny that when you write out your thoughts you can usually see more clearly what it is you should do.