Sometimes I can’t give my work away. Guess what? That is a good thing.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/2.8, 1/100

Couple of my close friends have just gotten engaged. While I do not promote myself as a wedding photographer I will do them for close friends.

I offered to both of them to shoot their weddings as a gift to them.

Anytime I have done this in the past most people think about it and get back to me. One of the first decisions the couple makes together are wedding plans.

Great News!

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/200

My first friend wrote back and said:

Stanley,  

This is beyond kind and generous of you to offer your services to us!! We have already been so blessed through this process by so much outpouring of peoples love and generosity.  

We want to find the perfect fit with the perfect style to capture the most important day of our lives. Currently we are looking at all our planning options and haven’t gotten that far in the process. We will get back to you in a few weeks once we decide. 

Thank you again for this wonderful and generous offer of your talent and time!

I was pleased that they just didn’t say yes right away. This means that they are not trusting their biggest event in their lives to just anyone.

Now how can I get all my clients to be more concerned about photography for their business as this couple is about their wedding?

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 2500, ƒ/5.6, 1/60

My second friend wrote and communicated a little more about their concerns:

Stanley, 

We are very grateful with the offer. We have just a question.  Have you ever shot a wedding?   My fiance has only seen you as a sports photographer, but I thought I’d ask. 

Maybe you can send us examples for her. 

Many photographers might get upset thinking they cannot even give away their services, but what I was pleased about is my friends as the ones that do know the difference between just having anyone document their big day. They are willing to pay verses free if they think there is someone better fit.

Nikon D3, 24-120mm, ISO 200, ƒ/14, 1/80

The key is being sure you talk with your clients projects like they are as important as a wedding. In some ways they are more important because business photos need to help give a Return On Investment [ROI]. You don’t need wedding photos to get married. They are nice to have.

When people do not jump at free then you know they do care and you are not just a commodity. They will appreciate your talent more when they do say yes than those friends who even ask you to do it for free.

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