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Win a Copy of Our Friends and Family Guide

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Congratulations to Danielle Z., winner of the Friends and Family Guide. She shared that she would likely take a hybrid approach of #1 and #3. We look forward to hearing out well this is received, and more importantly, how much peace of mind and respect you gain with this clear communication.

Combining business and friendship isn’t easy, but with this clear, consistent communication you can avoid confusion and hurt feelings. Our popular Friends and Family Guide can help you step into 2014 on the right foot.

We include four options from which to choose. Each option is professionally, yet warmly worded so that you can feel comfortable spelling out your boundaries.


1) Complimentary Session Offer: This option allows you to continue gifting your photography to friends and family but puts in place important boundaries that protect your paying clients and your own personal sanity.

2) Complimentary Mini Session Offer: This option allows you to offer special free mini sessions to your friends and family list. Other photography commissions by friends and family are priced at regular rates.

3) Discounted Rates: This option allows you to clarify your special discounts in place for friends and family only.

4) Full-Priced Sessions: With warmth and clarity, this option communicates to your friends and family that you will no longer offer discounts to anyone, including friends and family.

What option would you choose for your friends and family program? Share your thoughts below in a comment by 5 pm EST TODAY and you could be the lucky winner of our Friends and Family Guide.


  • Raquita - we do discounted rates and I would LOVE a clear way to communicate that!! LURVE THIS IDEAReplyCancel

  • Amy - I’m still thrown up in the air with what/how to handle this… would love to see what is in this guide. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I love the idea of having something as ‘official’ looking as this to share with family and friends… after a stint of not charging at all… to charging full price… to charging ‘cost’… I am finally in a place where I’m valuing my TIME! Even at that, I would probably pick the discounted version, only because I’m still incurring costs to produce the product, but love having my family as clients and want them to indulge in what I have to offer 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Mandy Burns - I like the discounted rates rule. I think if your family and friends know the original price of the session and products and see what they are paying instead, it helps respect your business but still understand that they are not paying what other clients would be paying.

    Or maybe having two different options they can choose from such as a mini session or a discounted rate, then they can feel like they are not restricted and can choose what is best for their situation.ReplyCancel

  • Denise Lovelace - I’m liking #3… I so need direction in this. I am a hairdresser also, so everyone I know claims to be my “friend” UGHHHH! It is so frustrating and hard to communicate without offending those that truly are my friends….ReplyCancel

  • Amber M. Freeman - I would probably choose the Complimentary Session Offer, since I just can’t charge my friends or family without feeling guilty. Granted, that “Discounted Rates” option looks awfully tempting! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Natalie Hathaway - I am currently doing two things, full price for “friends” and then gifting them things after they order and since my family is very small and there are really only 3-4 families that I even do pictures for on a regular basis with kids I’m related to, they get a free session and 50% off my listed prices. I think there is definitely a need for this out there!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Daudelin - Oh would love to read more about this. I adore photography so much and it really gives me joy to gift it to others. I want EVERYONE to love it as much as I do and have a few treasures of their own. So if I can give them that I find it so hard to say no. BUT I have to remember that it’s not just MY time any more. Every minute I’m giving to friends&family photos (shoot, uploading, post processing, etc) are minutes that my daughters and husband don’t have me. So I desperately need balance in this area. *It’s great when I do a freebie and someone knows enough of the value to give me a gift card or insist on paying something. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jane Sondberg - Number three sounds just perfect!! It would be so fantastic to show family and friends that I’m running a professional buiseness and that they no longer can get it done for free but at a lower price though. And no confusion about what the price would be. Love it 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Hodges - I SOOO need this… like 5 years ago!ReplyCancel

  • Christine b - Love this idea…this is such a complicated area for me.ReplyCancel

  • deanna - It would be great to have a clear way to communicate with family and friends that I am trying to run a professional business without hurting anyone’s feelings. This is such a great idea! I would probably go with 2 and 3 depending on what season it is! lol 🙂ReplyCancel

  • crystal - For the friends and family who have followed me from the start I offer discounted rates. For friends and family that are contacting me now I generally charge my usual rate, but sometimes waive extra fees like travel.ReplyCancel

  • Daria - I offer my family a flat session rate and discounted prices for prints and products. It’s about a 20% discount all around.ReplyCancel

  • Don Hawkins - I need this so bad! I love doing things for the people I care about but I don’t want to feel resentful when I’m spending time on free work instead of paid work. It’s never been easy for me to handle these situations.ReplyCancel

  • Arianne - I like to do spontaneous mini complimentary sessions with friends and family.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen Petru - Tough call, but I think I am most inclined to go with option #2. Very awesome idea to come up with these guides!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - We just offer a discounted rate.ReplyCancel

  • Karthika Gupta - I have done the complimentary sessions when I was starting out and now give a discount. I would love to see more options in this guide…love your work!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Helmka - I also like #3. Having the correct written words to convey wanting to still gift your photography, but with boundaries, is very important. This would be a great tool to have.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Kreations - This is a great idea! #3 is already my policy… it’d be nice to have it spelled out in a classy presentable manner.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - I am leaning more toward: Discounted Rates: This option allows you to clarify your special discounts in place for friends and family only.ReplyCancel

  • Cori Nations - This is amazing! I am a sucker for clean ways to get information across! I could totally use this! Makes it easier for me, I just always want to say “sure!” With this, instead of giving friends and family sessions, I can almost hide behind the paper!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - I would LOVE to win these! It is much needed!!!! Then my f&f won’t take advantage of me anymore! LOLReplyCancel

  • Lisa McPherson - I hadn’t thought of offering complimentary mini-sessions. I currently only have 1 family member who I shoot for and I shoot free, the massively discount their prints. It’s a no money maker.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy - At the minute I’m probably doing #4, a lot of my friends and family don’t see photography as a ‘proper job’ so charging them full price is best way to get across that photography is a serious career. I’d love to know how to communicate things better and eventually offer them discounts!ReplyCancel

  • Monda Goette - #4. With this being my full time job now, I want all clients, including friends and family, to understand and value my work and the timeless memories I bring to the table for them. We are a luxury not a necessity in life, and hopefully people who want that luxury are willing to pay a good price for someone who is passionate about what they do. Thanks again for the opportunity in this drawing! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - I would love to win this, I think I would blend idea 1 and 3 together…Just to have a policy in place and to stick to it, would alleviate confusion and all the free, undervalued work done.ReplyCancel

  • David Cox - I am just starting out and have tried to price my work fairly for the experience I have. As I start to gain experience and clients outside of family and friends I may offer a discount, but for now I just charge what I charge.ReplyCancel

  • Marcel - I would choose option 3ReplyCancel

  • Helen Alderton - I would def go for discount rates, I use this to a degree now but it seems to vary and nothing is properly in place. I always seem to have to explain why i am charging them at all and how much things cost. This is such a great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle G - I currently do the discounted friends and family pricing and would love to read about different ways to approach it!ReplyCancel

  • Shellie Mooney - I think I would offer the free mini sessions but with discounted products. Love the idea of having something to present to them 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Angi - I always have family and friends pay full price for their session and products, but then gift them with either a surprise discount on products during their ordering session, or give them a free gift like a canvas or folio of their favorite image. So, #4 would be my choice!ReplyCancel

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