How to tactfully turn someone down?
/forum/topic/1157604/0

1
       2       end

mackstine
Registered: Apr 18, 2012
Total Posts: 18
Country: Canada

I don't normally do this, however I've got an interesting situation on my hands, and I'd like some advice.

A friend has asked me to cover her wedding, however I'm reluctant to accept the job because: (reasons are in no particular order of importance)
1. She wants a "friend discount"
2. She's asked for us to imitate the "style" of about 3 other photographers who are extremely talented
3. Her family is FULL of uncle Bobs.... the last wedding in her family was disastrous. I ache for that photographer who actually was hired for that one....

Anyways, I know a lot of these reasons will push the wrong buttons for most of us, but she is a friend, so I'd like to know how one might turn her away without offending her.... or if i'm just a tool, then feel free to call me on it.



Scott Mosher
Registered: Oct 23, 2006
Total Posts: 2348
Country: United States

Tell her you would rather go to her wedding and enjoy the day. If you are busy "working" you won't be able to do really enjoy spending time with them.

Not knowing if you've shot any weddings before or any other history, show her what you can do and let her know that is what she can expect from you. And get it all in writing



Marcus Watts
Registered: Oct 05, 2007
Total Posts: 3087
Country: United States

I would offer her no discount for a start.

Then tell her that you have another gig booked on that day and you don't do weddings plus other work on the same day as it creates too much stress and you lose creativity.

By gig i don't mean a wedding, a family session in the morning would suffice if you still need to be able to attend the wedding itself.

Sorry that's the best i have right now. Hopefully others might have better.



ricardovaste
Registered: Jan 25, 2010
Total Posts: 3571
Country: United Kingdom

Those three points would be enough to send me running to the hills (although I am easily scared).

What does she know at this point? How much have you talked about? If you're not really that close, just say you've had a booking for that day. If she is a good friend and you think you'd likely go to the wedding if they weren't after your camera, perhaps try saying you've had a looong wedding booked for the day before ;-)

Marcus's suggestion of there being another non wedding type job that day is also a good one.



jmraso
Registered: May 26, 2004
Total Posts: 2365
Country: Spain

Tell her you also have bills to pay so no discount and that your style is what you can do in a natural way so trying to imitate someone´s style will probably deliver bad images (not here not there if you know what I mean) and that
the huge amount of Uncle Bob around doesnt make you happy.

Yeah, everything in a contract.

Jaime



time2clmb
Registered: Jun 21, 2010
Total Posts: 351
Country: Canada

You people that are suggesting he should LIE to a friend should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. What kind of a friend lies to another friend? Just say you don't want to do it as you don't like to mix business with personal...simple as that. Short and too the point. Good god every one is so worried about offending people these days it's gotten out of hand.



davenfl
Registered: Jun 29, 2008
Total Posts: 4076
Country: United States

Why not try something novel. Just be honest with her and tell her it's your person preference not to do wedding assignments for family or close friends. If she is your friend she will most certainly respect that. I don't know why people always seem to find a need to invent silly lies when the true isn't that difficult.

Dave



cineski
Registered: Oct 22, 2004
Total Posts: 4222
Country: United States

When you shoot for family, you don't change, but your family magically does. Doesn't equate to a pretty change.



maxwell1295
Registered: Jun 04, 2008
Total Posts: 6338
Country: United States

"I wish I could, but...."



DannyBostwick
Registered: Jan 24, 2009
Total Posts: 591
Country: United States

Tell her to hire the photographers she wants you to imitate.



blueirisarts
Registered: Feb 24, 2008
Total Posts: 412
Country: United States

mackstine wrote:
2. She's asked for us to imitate the "style" of about 3 other photographers who are extremely talented


"I'm not comfortable doing this because I would not want you to look back on your photos 20-30 years from now and regret not hiring someone that could fulfill your vision for your wedding better than myself."



Marcus Watts
Registered: Oct 05, 2007
Total Posts: 3087
Country: United States

time2clmb wrote:
You people that are suggesting he should LIE to a friend should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. What kind of a friend lies to another friend? Just say you don't want to do it as you don't like to mix business with personal...simple as that. Short and too the point. Good god every one is so worried about offending people these days it's gotten out of hand.


No one suggested lying to anyone. Get off of your high horse.



Cincy Bruce
Registered: Oct 23, 2008
Total Posts: 2202
Country: United States

maxwell1295 wrote:
"I wish I could, but...."


.....but my Uncle Bob recently passed, and I'm expected to give a farewell speech.



Bruce



Juliewhitlock
Registered: Oct 03, 2012
Total Posts: 30
Country: Canada

Tell her the truth. That business and friendships don't mix well. Then perhaps offer to help her find a photographer she'll love. You don't have to shoot the wedding in order to give her the benefit of your expertise.



TheGE
Registered: Apr 18, 2011
Total Posts: 968
Country: United States

1. She wants a "friend discount"
2. She's asked for us to imitate the "style" of about 3 other photographers who are extremely talented
3. Her family is FULL of uncle Bobs


It's good to weigh the benefits of working with friends, though it can be done successfully and is done in many fields. Maybe here I'd think instead about the criteria, because #1 (She wants a friend discount) isn't much different than someone generally asking for a discount which by itself isn't the red flag so many make it out to be. It's how the prospect responds to you saying "no" that may constitute a flag.

#2 is something that means she thinks you're good with a camera but wants something other than what's in your muscle memory, so she sees you as a qualified camera operator more so than for your style. And THAT could be a red flag in my book if not only because you may not be able to deliver the same results as the other photographers, let alone because you want to propagate your style.

#3 What family isn't nowadays? Can't turn down weddings because other people bring cameras.



D. Diggler
Registered: Dec 27, 2011
Total Posts: 5527
Country: United States

Scott Mosher wrote:
Tell her you would rather go to her wedding and enjoy the day. If you are busy "working" you won't be able to do really enjoy spending time with them.


He's not close enough that he would be invited as a guest.



TTLKurtis
Registered: Jan 31, 2006
Total Posts: 9795
Country: United States

Friend discount = sure I'll bring my x100 and take like 5 drunken photos while I enjoy your wedding.



time2clmb
Registered: Jun 21, 2010
Total Posts: 351
Country: Canada

Marcus Watts wrote:
time2clmb wrote:
You people that are suggesting he should LIE to a friend should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. What kind of a friend lies to another friend? Just say you don't want to do it as you don't like to mix business with personal...simple as that. Short and too the point. Good god every one is so worried about offending people these days it's gotten out of hand.


No one suggested lying to anyone. Get off of your high horse.



Really? Do you really have your head buried up...err...in the "sand" that deep? You suggested saying that he had another gig booked that same day. If there is no other shoot booked, then how the hell is that not a lie? Please tell me, I really enjoy how people can believe in their own lies.

Then tell her that you have another gig booked on that day and you don't do weddings plus other work on the same day

...and now you lied about not suggesting the person lie. Lier.



mackstine
Registered: Apr 18, 2012
Total Posts: 18
Country: Canada

Thanks for all your helpful advice guys! I really appreciate it.
I think as far as being asked to imitate the other photogs is a bit of a sleight on my own capabilities - is my own style not good enough for her? but whatever. I try not to let things like that get into my head.
as for the uncle bob thing, it truly has to be seen to be believed. Picture about 5-6 old asian guys with cameras swarming the pulpit, shoving aside the poor hired gun who looks like he's about to cry. If I do manage to turn down the job and manage to get myself an invite, I'll post a of the spectacle

anyways, once again, thanks a ton to all



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

time2clmb wrote:
Marcus Watts wrote:
time2clmb wrote:
You people that are suggesting he should LIE to a friend should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. What kind of a friend lies to another friend? Just say you don't want to do it as you don't like to mix business with personal...simple as that. Short and too the point. Good god every one is so worried about offending people these days it's gotten out of hand.


No one suggested lying to anyone. Get off of your high horse.



Really? Do you really have your head buried up...err...in the "sand" that deep? You suggested saying that he had another gig booked that same day. If there is no other shoot booked, then how the hell is that not a lie? Please tell me, I really enjoy how people can believe in their own lies.

Then tell her that you have another gig booked on that day and you don't do weddings plus other work on the same day

...and now you lied about not suggesting the person lie. Lier.


I agree with time2clmb Marcus. You indeed suggest a lie in which there is no need to.

Op, don't be afraid of the truth.

The style she wants isn't the style you shoot. She should hire someone with the style she wants. No discounts. Too many people with cameras getting in the way. What is there to be afraid of?



1
       2       end