Met her through work, so we're in the same industry, obviously we're both horsey. She no longer works where I do but is still in the industry.
A few years ago when my ex drama was going on and I needed a place to stay she offered me her spare room for a week while I sorted out a lawyer. So, as a favour for this, I photographed a small horse show she organised for fun. She said I could sell the photos I took to people but I didn't manage to sell a single one. No huge drama, I did it as thanks for her helping me out. Gave her some free photos of her and her horse because they also competed. No worries at all.
Except ever since then she seems to be under the impression that I'm some kind of indentured servant who is available for all her photography needs.
We live half an hour apart, which isn't a huge distance, but we're both always so busy. She never offers to catch up with me at my place but on occasion I offer to come to hers for a drink. The last time I did this she agreed, then on the day of she texts me going "oh, bring your camera and you can get photos of the puppies I'm selling". Like straight up gave off the vibe she only wanted me there for the photos. She sells these puppies for A LOT of money apiece but wanted free photos to advertise them? Nuh-uh. I bailed and didn't even feel bad about it.
Fast forward to the end of January. She and I caught up at the horse sales and this was the first time we'd seen each other in pretty much a year. She asked if I could photograph a show for her again. I said I could if it didn't clash with work, because obviously my full-time paying job is my priority. She agreed and went off about how I could easily sell my photos. I knew I wouldn't sell a single one again, but I nodded just to go along with it.
The show was today but on Monday I discovered that, because a lot of people at work have taken leave this week, I had to cover for an entirely different farm this weekend and there was no way to change my schedule. So I texted her that day (Monday) and let her know. She was understandably disappointed but seemed okay with it.
Got home this evening after work and caring for my own horse and saw she'd made a post on Facebook. It was a poor quality phone selfie of her and a girl at the show saying crap like "best friend forever" and "#atleastwegotaphotoforonce".
There is no way that ISN'T directed at me and I'm totally over it. She never hits me up unless she wants something. It's a shame because she's actually a really fun person and we have a lot in common. She was pretty much the only friend I actually have in this country. All my other friends are overseas. But I'm so done with her trying to use me.
Next time if she asks I'll give her a list of booking prices and guarantee my appearance if she wants to pay for my work. No free crap.
She isn't the only person who has done this recently. My own cousin (who never speaks to me) messaged me one day asking me how I was etc. etc. which I thought was odd, but I engaged in small talk. About five messages in she invites me to her engagement party ... under the proviso that I take photos while I was there and heavily implied she wanted it done as a favour. I explained my equipment set up is sports-oriented and not suitable for portrait or indoor work. After insisting I couldn't do it I was mysteriously uninvited to her party *rolls eyes*
I don't think people understand how much WORK goes into getting photos. We don't just teleport there and push a button and hey presto the file is in your inbox. We have travel costs, insurance costs, we work for hours at the show getting hundreds or thousands of shots, then we come home and spend hours more sorting through images, editing, handling requests etc. I've outlayed several thousand dollars for my camera and best lens, as well as editing software, and a suitable device to edit on (an iMac). That's not even mentioning "smaller" expenses like my tripod, monopod, spare memory cards, external harddrives etc. I didn't do all that to sit in the hot sun or driving rain and benefit someone else for free.
I'd really love to make a go of doing photography full-time later this year, but incidences like this just dishearten me to the point of me wanting to retreat and just do it for myself again.
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That would really boil my blood. Well done you for standing your ground though! Some people are really good at pushing buttons. Anything for nothing...
The funny thing is - if she didn't treat me like this I would probably be likely to do her photos for free. I don't mind OFFERING free photos, I do free stuff for my family all the time like photographing the marathon my dad organised, and photographing the charity cycle race my grandparents volunteered at. I just object to people EXPECTING free photos.