Every photographer hears it. Mostly from friends and family. Could you shoot my kids? Will you shoot my event? Please come to my wedding - and bring your camera!
Now, we are not talking about cousin Freddie and his new IPhone. Or Uncle Ted, who just bought an expensive camera and is confident he can use it to give you some pretty good snapshots.
We are talking about professional photographers. Those of us who do it for a living.
*We have probably went to school of some sort, we read every magazine and book printed on photography, we take seminars and courses to keep up on our education. All of which costs money.
*Not only did we pay for all our equipment (and in some cases, rented for that special need) including lights, backdrops, meters, lenses, reflectors, cases, the van, and quite a few cameras.
*All this gear needs insured. I, for one, will not take my main cameras out of the house unless I have a contract with a client. Insurance companies won't pay if I was using it for fun.
*A normal shoots includes travel to the event (say, half hour), set up (hour) shooting (6 hours) clean up (half), return travel (half), then - editing (at least as long as the shoot). A full day taken away from us, a day which could have been spent earning a living and feeding our kids.
So - no, it is NOT a freebie - it costs us quite a bit of time and money.
Imagine your work. Whatever you do. Imagine me coming to you and asking if you would put in a full days work - just for me 'cause we are palls - with no pay.
Yeah, thought so.