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Used and abused -- I learned my lesson (a little long)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by OlliOlliOlli, May 17, 2009.

  1. OlliOlliOlli

    OlliOlliOlli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2009
    I am a HS teacher by day and an aspiring professional photographer by whenever other time. [​IMG] I did a family friend's niece's prom pictures 2 years in a row for free. I did everything from the shooting to the editing. She loved them, the family loved them, etc. They look as good as anything you would pay several hundred dollars for.

    Next I hear, "Oh, can you do her senior pictures?" A slight flip-flop of "ugh" in the stomach, I cheerfully agree because hey, it's experience!

    Keep in mind graduation is on June 4. She waited until late April/early May to hit me with "Hi I need my senior pictures." I then came down with the flu, and on a separate incident was hospitalized for a head injury and banned from driving. She nags periodically about when it's going to be done, but I brush her off...

    Last Sunday, yes, 7 days ago, I finally got down there, drove the 55 miles each way, and did a 3 HOUR photoshoot for her and her "best friend." I took over 150 pictures.

    I warn them repeatedly that the post-processing and editing photos could take days, even weeks, and that a professional photographer could take up to 4 weeks. I promised her by today, ONE WEEK LATER, that they would all be totally done.

    On Monday night into Tuesday, I start getting pelted with "Where are my pictures?" "Are WE getting anywhere on these pictures?" Texts, IMs...FACEBOOK WALL POSTS!!!! (Rude?!?!) The last straw is when texts start dropping in my box at 8am on a school day.

    I politely but firmly tell her to calm the heck down and that they will be done weeks before graduation by the date I specified. I get this nasty response back about how she offered to pay me but I refused (she offered NOTHING) and that she's perfectly within her rights to ask (within 48 hours?!?!) where her pictures were. It got to the point where friends and family were calling me going "Who is this girl on your Facebook, and why is she being so rude to you about her photos?"

    I was off this Friday for a school holiday, and spent over 7 hours editing her photos. I edited out their out-of-shape bulging stomachs, pimples, hair in their face, cleavage sticking out too far, caked-on foundation, tan-lines, bone-white legs, and here's the kicker -- yellow and white deposit-stained teeth.

    I place a small neat copyright in the corner of each image. I think after working for free, and being a respectable photographer, I legally maintain the rights of these images.

    I post them online and my friends go NUTS -- "Wow...these are incredible, these girls are lucky, these are so beautiful, etc." I don't hear a single thing from the girls. Not even a thank you.

    However, I immediately find they took all the pictures, uploaded them to THEIR Facebook and MySpaces, and they're RIPPING THEM APART. Making fun of the fact I fixed their skin and hair and yellow teeth. Whining because of the copyright. Editing text and putting it over their faces and bodies...my beautiful work.

    I was devastated and broke down hysterically crying at the computer. My boyfriend became enraged by all of this and immediately called my dad. (He knows them better than I do.)

    Needless to say, I didn't finish editing the photos. The ones I posted online are not big enough for the ladies to print...and if they try, Walmart will sure be interested about the copyright image in the corner. I immediately deleted all the photos.

    Lessons learned? 1. Her lesson -- Don't upset someone who does a photoshoot worth $500 2 weeks before your graduation. 2. My lesson -- when you work for free and act like a doormat, everything you do has no value.

    I will never, ever deal with this girl again.
     
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Vile, just vile.
     
  3. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    NM
    I would ask if you'd spoken to the parents, but with kids behaving this way it's pretty apparent where they learnt their manners [​IMG]
     
  4. OlliOlliOlli

    OlliOlliOlli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2009
    She's 18 and college bound. She lives with her grandparents. The family used to be very indulgent of her due to her bad home life...they've wisened up but too late! My silence and the fact no one is getting pictures should definitely arouse some suspicion. (Or so I hope, haha)
     
  5. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    There seems to be no appreciation left in people anymore. With this "you owe me" attitude they come across with! Unbelieveable!! Of course you are hurt, and who wouldn't be? You know that your friends said your work is incredible, and in your heart, you know that as well. It still doesn't take the sting out of what those spoiled girls have done. Shame on them! Next time, just be very selective as to who you will do photo shoots for, but I'm sure you know that. Best of luck to you. I'm sure you will find more appreciative people now that others have seen your great work. [​IMG]
     
  6. ChickyLaura

    ChickyLaura The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Mar 31, 2009
    Eastern/Central PA
    b.hromada :

    Of course you are hurt, and who wouldn't be? You know that your friends said your work is incredible, and in your heart, you know that as well. It still doesn't take the sting out of what those spoiled girls have done. Shame on them! Next time, just be very selective as to who you will do photo shoots for, but I'm sure you know that. Best of luck to you. I'm sure you will find more appreciative people now that others have seen your great work. [​IMG]

    I agree 1000%. I used to make cakes for people. Note that I said "used to". I will never do it again. Good luck to you, and SHAME ON those girls.​
     
  7. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    What a shame . . .I feel so bad for you!! What a lesson learned, and if there is one thing I always told my kids, there is no better lesson learned than a hard one. That girl and her friend needs their butts kicked up between their eyeballs if you ask me. . .what a crock!!! Don't let this one bad experience deter you from something you so obviously love and sound like you are awesome at!!! Good luck!!!
     
  8. I think that by not replying to her rants speaks for it self. You are doing the right thing, He said she said usually hurts every body. [​IMG] marrie

    But I think before I took any more photo's for anyone I would have a signed contract.Just good business and I speak from experience
     
  9. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    It WAS very nice of you to do the other pics, and even NICER(and generous) to do these. She is an ingrate and hopefully she will learn a lesson from this.....
     
  10. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    As you've done, count this as a lesson learned.

    BUT...if you want to become a professional photographer - use this to your advantage.

    Start a portfolio of your work - put in the "before" and "after" photos so others can see and appreciate the great editing and "touch ups" you are capable of. Everyone wants to look their best in their photos. Include photos of all of your work. Then take out a small add in the paper or post flyers around town or spread the word through family and friends that your photography services are available but this time remember the lesson learned - always ask for a depost up front, get a contract in writing as to your fees and the delivery date of finished work and have them sign it.
     

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