Pacific Northwest Photographer |


Encouraging others and exploring oneself

Giving till your scrooged


Starting any business will attract the moochers. How do you control the people that want your shit free? You don't give it to them. Dealing with people that expect things for free can be the hardest thing especially if you are the type of person that has to be friends with everyone. The more popular you are; the more letting down you have to do.  You are a business owner now, and you have to make money.


People don't realize the hours of editing it takes to complete their portfolios. Your clients get to play dress up, smile for a camera, and then go home at night and wait for their finished product. The finished product requires us to sit at coffee shops and drink multiple rounds of espresso to stare at a computer screen for hours; this makes for a long day. We do it because we love the end results, but we can't give away everything for free. If you do please get your paying customers portfolios done first no matter what and let your non paying clients know that pictures will be edited when you have extra time. Customer service is key!


Let us look at a breakdown of a photographers day in the works:

Driving: 30 minutes
Shooting time: 2 hours start to finish
Drive home: 30 minutes
Upload: 15 Minutes
Weave out good/bad photos: 45 minutes
Editing 5 hours
Upload to online portfolio/USB: 15 min.

That's 9 hours and 15 minutes just for one session. 

You may be asking, " what if my mom and dad wants pictures taken?" Jesus, they deserve your work for free. Your mom ruined her lady parts while pushing you out. She deserves your services for free. It is the least you could do for her. My immediate family receives everything free; they are my family. Drawing a line is where it gets tough. Now your aunt, uncles, grandma, cousins, step cousins, 2nd cousins all want pictures. Giving away sessions could go on forever, and you will soon find yourself denting in your couch and never unplugging again all for free work.

The family will understand. The great thing about friends and relatives is that they want to support you and help you with your new adventures. One thing that I do for my family is that I do give them a hefty discount and I end up editing more pictures than required. Giving away more edited photos is like receiving an extra ice cream scoop for free at Salt and Straw. 

If your feeling guilty and just can't handle charging friends and family you can offer quick mini sessions in the month where you have zero clients. These are great opportunities to experiment with backgrounds, lenses, lighting, poses, etc. Make them your test dummies for new creative ideas. Keeping social media updated with fresh imagery is important, and these mini sessions with your family can help keep your images rolling in.

Thank you for reading the SamiAnna  Blog. These quick and short tips are suggestions that can help you sort out the in and outs of starting a photography business. Do you have any topics you want to read about? Submit your suggestions through out contact page. 

Sami Costelow