Friends & family or just clients? Where does the line separate the two?

As a photographer, there is always one question that we ask ourselves that almost always ends up in a nightmare- what should we charge family and friends or should be give them a free service?

This is a forever occurring hurdle that we face in the career that we chose. There is a very fine, blurry line that separates friends & family obligations from the ‘business’ aspect of what we do.

I’m not going to lie, it’s unreal the amount of times a friend or family member invites us to come to their wedding or event with the subtle underlying invitation that “your camera will also have a seat at the table”.

Andrew and I are giving people and we love to offer our friends and family a discount, but where does the line between friends end and the line of not friends begin? With our clients we strive get to know everyone and we’ve become friends with A LOT of our clients, so we cannot in good heart treat one different than the other.

Don’t get me wrong, we would love to offer more discounts and free sessions, but where does the work end for us and we get to be a ‘normal’ person for a few hours? Where do we make our income that pays for our bills, rent and grocery bills?

Andrew and I have set boundaries for times such as these so that everyone feels like they are treated equally and there is no favoritism. Granted, we do have friends that are closer than others- but in business, either everyone is your friend/family OR everyone is your client. Being our career, everyone needs to be treated as a client when it comes to rules and protocols, but also as a friend/family when spoken to and conversation and emotional level.

As professionals, we have certain protocol that we need to follow that protocol so that no one gets hurt feelings or special treatment.

Please remember this when booking any professional, whether it be a photographer, a hairstylist, an electrician, anyone- this is the career, their livelihood, and they may LOVE what they do but that doesn’t mean that they are going to or are required to put their family’s well-being or business’ well-being for a discount or free services.

BOOKING:
When contacted about a session or event, we make sure we have the date available, then obtain a deposit and have a contract signed. This creates a safe environment for everyone so there are no misunderstandings.

EQUIPMENT:
During the session, we only ‘produce’ quality images, using top of line equipment that cost a lot that we worked hard to acquire. Just one event can take months off the lifetime of that piece of equipment. Yes, we have insurance, but if just one of our cameras break, we have months of grief to claim a replacement and paperwork.

SESSION:
Andrew and I have a strong artistic vision for all the images we take. If we tell you that something won’t work or that we cannot do that image, please respect that. Please respect that if a photo isn’t top quality, and we do not feel comfortable releasing it, that we won’t- no matter how many times it is asked.

POST SESSION:
We take pride editing the images. This takes many hours of our personal time such as date nights, time with friends, taking care of the household and making a simple grocery shopping trip. Please respect that this part takes time and we cannot produce the images overnight.

UPLOADING & SHARING:
Yes, we may be your friend or family- or you may be someone we just met; either way, please give us credit. If you painted a beautiful canvas or built an outstanding statue or building, you would want credit- we want credit too.
When we push you to have prints made through our site, rather than just printing them on your printer- there is a slight hint of business mindedness there, but we also want you to get the quality of images that last a lifetime. Home printer ink fades over time, slowly erasing your memories. (but this is for another blog post).

RETURNING & SUPPORT:
In the end, if we do discount you, please make a small effort of thank you.
PLEASE

DO NOT:
-Ask for free sessions or discounts
-Ask for more discounts
-Do something out of protocol
-Don’t complain about the outcome of the images or ask to have them re-edited
-Post un-watermarked images without permission

DO:
-Offer to pay or at least give a tip
-Offer to buy us a coffee or offer a bottle of water (on hot days, you have no idea how much we appreciate water)
-Give a sincere “thank you, we really appreciate it, how can we thank you?”.

As a business, we wish we could offer a lifetime of free service to friends, but it’s honestly emotionally and physically exhausting, not not financially possible for us.

We do want to thank everyone who has been our support team and helping us through our tough patches and there to praise us through our accomplishments. We would love to name who these particular individuals are, but we do not want to single them out.

I hope this gives a better understanding into the saying ‘never do business with friends or family’ and gives a different point of view for you.

THANK YOU ALL!! ❤

Our Big Change

We are very excited to announce that we are finally changing our business name! We have been waiting a very long time to finally decide to change the name of our business!

In 2011, my senior year of highschool, I dreamt up my idea to start a photography business and named it “Victoria’s Photography”.

A few months later, I decided to make a change and call it “Victoria Lynn Photography”, incorporating my middle name.

Early 2012, I became best friends with a male friend of mine and mid 2012 we changed the name once more to “Victoria Lynn Photography & Wisor Editing”.

Originally, I was the only photographer and Andrew did a lot of my editing.

A lot of assumptions were made that I, Victoria, was the only person in the business. Or that we took the photos are the edits were done by another company.

When we were married, we started talking about the business and making it “ours” instead of “mine” and giving it a fresh look from my 18 year old self.

We hope that with the new name, Wisor Photography, it will reflect our business as a husband and wife team, and give a whole new outlook on what we do.

With that being said, our social media names are being changed as of now, but links will stay the same. I am listing social media links below based on dates they will be changed and such.

Please continue to tag “Wisor Photography” (the page), Victoria Lynn Andrew Wisor (the profile) and now the hashtag: #wisorphotography 🙂

If you have any questions about this change, please ask!
We thank everyone for their support over this whole transition! 😀

LINKS:

As of 7-27-16
(All will be named “Wisor Photography” but VLPWE links will remain the same.)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vlynnphotography
Twitter:  @wisorphotos
Instagram: @wisorphotography #vlynnwisorediting
Regular Website: http://www.victorialynnphotography.weebly.com
Wedding Website: http://www.victorialynnweddings.weebly.com
Family Website: http://www.victorialynnfamily.weebly.com
SmugMug Website: http://www.victorialynnphotography.smugmug.com

As of 10-2016 / 11-2016
(All will be named “Wisor Photography” but VLPWE links will be changed.)
Facebook: TBA
Twitter: TBA
Instagram: TBA
Regular Website: TBA
Wedding Website: TBA
Family Website: TBA
SmugMug Website: TBA

Contest Policy Violations :(

REGARDING FUTURE CONTESTS:

While undergoing this lengthy change currently happening to our business and to our page, I was looking over some Facebook policies.

I found something that I was not aware of; it is against Facebook policy for a Business Page to conduct a contest using the condition of “share this to enter”. Only liking the page’s post, posting on the page’s wall, or sending a message to the page can be used as entries.

Because of this, we will no longer be conducting such contests on our page. We will be looking for other ways to hold a contest. We ask for your forgiveness for this mistake as we were not aware of this policy before now and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for the future.

We ask that you also practice extreme caution when entering said contests on other pages- being this action is against policy, Facebook may take action and may harm your profile’s reputation and could you could either be blocked or on probation (Facebook Jail) or deactivated against your permission.
(you agree to these terms when creating a Facebook profile)

For more information:

The exact wording from the policy is:

“3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).”
 
Full policy can be found at:

Why is the price so high??

Hello again, everyone! I apologize for being so absent these last few weeks!

This blog post is titled “Why is the price so high??” because that is the most popular question I am asked when we quote a price.

It is a common misconception that a photographer just schedules a date, shows up, takes some photos, toss them onto a disc and toss them into the mail. This assumption could never be more wrong.

With your one regular session you are paying for the service of us corresponding with you, scheduling your date, talking about what you expect from your session, travel time to your session, the time of your session, traveling home from the session, editing of said session, uploading images to Facebook and SmugMug, burning images to disc, getting the print release printed and filled out, packaged and a trip to the post office to mail your shipment.

But that is not all.

Let me start with this. Why do you or your significant other have a job? To pay for rent or house payments? To pay for utilities? To support your children’s sporting or dance activities? Saving back for that new car?
Let’s say you/your significant other had to work the same job for half or no pay. Are you still able to pay your rent? Your bills? Save for the future?

So when you ask, “Why is the price so high?”, just remember you are not only paying for the time and our services day of, but also making an investment in our education and purchasing of new equipment- so that your future sessions are better than the first session you had.

But that’s not all-just like your employer, you’re ensuring that we will have an electric service to edit your photos; internet service to have conversations with you and upload your images; food and running water to stay energized and healthy to lead your session or event photography; car insurance and gas money to travel to and from your session; investment in our education as mentioned above; investment in new equipment and props; keeping up to date with legal notices and insurance for your safety; and much more.

We also take a percentage from our earnings and donate to local causes, charities & events that we care strongly about.

With the little we have left over in our profit after taking out expenses and bills, we save that money (just like you do) to take a small, almost impossible vacation. We treat ourselves to a leisure activity like purchasing a new dress or a video game.

When you think a photographer is charging you too much, please remember that time you may have complained about your job not paying you enough to cover your bills. Needing to sell a personal item that you hold dear to you, whether an heirloom or gaming console to support your family. To pick up a night shift on top of your regular job just to take your family on vacation.

Photography is a service by passionate artists who want to provide quality images of your memories for a lifetime and create a relationship with you, all while sacrificing what we could have if we did not run our own business, because it’s what we love to do. We are not out to take your money for no reason- this is our job. This is our living. This is our livelihood.

Thank you all for your support! It is more appreciated than you could ever imagine!