In the past few years, I’ve had a few challenges relating to photography jobs that I have taken on. Here are two reasons why I don’t enjoy freebies.
A few years ago, I decided that the best wedding gift I could give someone was my photography. I volunteered to donate my services and deliver an album. I visited the person’s house a few months after the wedding and decided to ask after the album I had given them.
To my surprise, 90% of the pages of the album had been raptured. Either he had creatively made the pages invisible or something was wrong with my pair of eyes. The only page left was the last page of the album that had my company’s logo and contact details.
“What happened,” I asked him. He referred me to his wife for the best answer to my billion dollar question. I would eventually discover that after an argument session with his wife, he had gotten angry and decided to fight back by destroying what was precious to his wife: the wedding album.
I was shocked, I was furious, I was surprised. I pleaded with them to be conscious of telling their guests that that wasn’t how we deliver our albums: with invisible pages. If he had paid for my services, perhaps he wouldn’t have destroyed the album. Talk of anger raised to the power 3. That was when I decided that no one was worth doing a free job for.
The second reason is more psychological. You see, the way my accounting mind works is that it doesn’t seem to place priority on working on jobs that I had shot for free. Even if I was the one that offered to do it for free (as the case was for 2 church members, my mum’s 60th birthday and my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday), it’s just hard to discipline myself to churning out the final product on time. Perhaps if they had paid even a token of just 5k or 10k, I would have convinced my Igbo mind that they paid something.
That is why I feel so guilty whenever I meet any of the 5 clients that I did a free job for but haven’t delivered the album. Call it a weakness but I’m just tired of not having a clear conscience regarding owing clients deliverables.
So I thought to myself that if I could announce to the world and confess my sins it will not only force me to work on the outstanding jobs quickly (hopefully before the end of July); it will also make anyone reading this not to ask for a freeby from me no matter what. Even if I say yes with my mouth, its just difficult for my heart to sync with that decision.
So those are the reasons why I don’t like doing jobs for free (or even at a discount). Please help me be a better person by understanding whenever I refuse or offer to do a job for free. May God help me. May the God of heavens help me.
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