Doing freebies for your kid`s school?


Reportage

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Nov 24, 2008
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#1
Supposing your kid`s school find out you are a photographer of good repute and requests that you volunteer your services for school related activities which can include class/school photos, sports day and etc which could take a lot of your free time. Would you do it for free or are there any specific requests you would make of the school or instead use the opportunity to offer them educational prices for your services?
 

David

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Mar 21, 2002
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#3
What Reportage is saying is:

The kid's school discovers that his or her parent can take good pictures. Now, there are school events or class photos to photograph. What should the parent do?

1. Do it for free.
2. Request something specific in return, maybe pay for petrol or taxi fares.
3. Charge them for a discounted fee since they are a school.

My take would be Number 3 above. If you have a strong affinity for the school, or if it's a one off event, I don't see any harm with volunteering your time and effort.

My only doubt is that if you do it for free too often, will you be taken advantage of? It's not just about profits you are thinking of. You have to ask yourself if you mind offering your time often for nothing in return. But in the professional photographers' world, you'll be seen as spoiling the market if you don't charge.
 

fotoudavid

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Mar 11, 2005
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#4
you do free, every year you will be tasked. also, the school may end up selling the class photos, do not do free.

as some company doing class photos for a living.

if do free, tell the school u only do events at ur own time own target, free time go and do, not free sorry not shooting. but class photos better not, as a lot of work to do, some more not nice kena complain.....
 

ed9119

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#5
.... I will share my story ..... been there done that ..... it is just too painful ...... i did it 2 years before and swore never again....

My child is Pri 5 this year and this happened in 2006 and 2007

Being the enthusiastic parent with a kid going into Pri 1 of course I happily volunteered to be a Parent Volunteer taking on the seemingly brainless task of event photographer that year for their fun fair, Moon Cake Festival and what not events. By end of 2006 I was automatically 'expected' to cover end of year, after exams , before-December Holidays celebrations. No asking no requests ..... suddenly something I volunteered for became MY JOB

Wah be prepared for complaints NO MATTER WHAT
- why so few pics of the Principal ? (oh i did not realize principal is the STAR of the event)
- how come a few of the teachers are not in the group photos (oh now I have to be the shephard of teachers)
- why I didnt use Flash
- why I use Flash
- why I shoot in medium res JPEG
- can I convert 80 of the 400 images into Black and White ?
- Parents complaining that I did not take photos of THEIR children during the fun fair (yeah, I am expected to shoot EVERYONE of the 1000 plus fun fair attendees NO MATTER WHAT TIME THEY ARRIVED at the event)
- Parents coming up to me directly to get prints instead of from the teachers in-charge of events
- Classic: "Why you take my son/daughter eating Mee Siam... so ugly.... please delete"
- Classic: "Why you take a photo of my son/daughter with a cream pie splattered on his/her face? Its published in the school annual Year Book and now everyone is making fun of my child" (oops sorry for causing the permanent emotional scar)
- Classic: "Can you come help shoot at little Dorothy's birthday party ? YOUR child has been invited too" (yeah my child gets invited to EVERY darned birthday celebration .... even from students from other classes my child does not know !! )
- Because of this my child now has not only new friends in schools but lost a few friends as well because of what I shot or DID NOT SHOOT ("Papa, Tommy said his mother told him not to be my friend anymore because you took a photo of him with a cream pie on his face that was in the Highlights of the Year in the School Yearbook")


When one newbie Pri 1 parent showed up with a 50D and L lenses, I pointed out the superior gear and asked to be relieved of my tour of duty ..... I never heard from them again ..... God help that new replacement newbie Pri 1 parent photographer

And the teachers are not stupid either .......... they always go for the Pri 1 parents ......

AND ONE LAST REASON I will not do it again (will only shoot FOR myself and family ) is because IF you go to ANY school function , there are more parents and grandparents toting DSLRS, compacts, iphones, ipad cameras and video cameras than at a United Nations press conference ...... AND NOBODY IS CONTRIBUTING/SHARING THEIR IMAGES .......

THE SMART parents..... these are the ones who dont bring a camera ..... they just ask for copies from OTHER parents who bring cameras ..... free CDs or even the cheek to ask for free PRINTs ..... at EVERY EVENT

.... and the next morning when I am late sending my kid to school , they still use their car to block my car from getting into the dropoff queue .......
 

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yqt

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Sep 8, 2004
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#6
.... I will share my story ..... been there done that ..... it is just too painful ...... i did it 2 years before and swore never again....

My child is Pri 5 this year and this happened in 2006 and 2007

Being the enthusiastic parent with a kid going into Pri 1 of course I happily volunteered to be a Parent Volunteer taking on the seemingly brainless task of event photographer that year for their fun fair, Moon Cake Festival and what not events. By end of 2006 I was automatically 'expected' to cover end of year, after exams , before-December Holidays celebrations. No asking no requests ..... suddenly something I volunteered for became MY JOB

Wah be prepared for complaints NO MATTER WHAT
- why so few pics of the Principal ? (oh i did not realize principal is the STAR of the event)
- how come a few of the teachers are not in the group photos (oh now I have to be the shephard of teachers)
- why I didnt use Flash
- why I use Flash
- why I shoot in medium res JPEG
- can I convert 80 of the 400 images into Black and White ?
- Parents complaining that I did not take photos of THEIR children during the fun fair (yeah, I am expected to shoot EVERYONE of the 1000 plus fun fair attendees NO MATTER WHAT TIME THEY ARRIVED at the event)
- Parents coming up to me directly to get prints instead of from the teachers in-charge of events
- Classic: "Why you take my son/daughter eating Mee Siam... so ugly.... please delete"
- Classic: "Why you take a photo of my son/daughter with a cream pie splattered on his/her face? Its published in the school annual Year Book and now everyone is making fun of my child" (oops sorry for causing the permanent emotional scar)
- Classic: "Can you come help shoot at little Dorothy's birthday party ? YOUR child has been invited too" (yeah my child gets invited to EVERY darned birthday celebration .... even from students from other classes my child does not know !! )
- Because of this my child now has not only new friends in schools but lost a few friends as well because of what I shot or DID NOT SHOOT ("Papa, Tommy said his mother told him not to be my friend anymore because you took a photo of him with a cream pie on his face that was in the Highlights of the Year in the School Yearbook")


When one newbie Pri 1 parent showed up with a 50D and L lenses, I pointed out the superior gear and asked to be relieved of my tour of duty ..... I never heard from them again ..... God help that new replacement newbie Pri 1 parent photographer

And the teachers are not stupid either .......... they always go for the Pri 1 parents ......

AND ONE LAST REASON I will not do it again (will only shoot FOR myself and family ) is because IF you go to ANY school function , there are more parents and grandparents toting DSLRS, compacts, iphones, ipad cameras and video cameras than at a United Nations press conference ...... AND NOBODY IS CONTRIBUTING/SHARING THEIR IMAGES .......

THE SMART parents..... these are the ones who dont bring a camera ..... they just ask for copies from OTHER parents who bring cameras ..... free CDs or even the cheek to ask for free PRINTs ..... at EVERY EVENT

.... and the next morning when I am late sending my kid to school , they still use their car to block my car from getting into the dropoff queue .......
Well said !!!

That's why I always tell them that I'm busy ( "I'm sorry but I'm not sure if I'll be free that day" ) but if happen to be at the event and did some shots, will give them a CD of what I shot.
 

David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#7
ed9119 said:
.... I will share my story ..... been there done that ..... it is just too painful ...... i did it 2 years before and swore never again....

My child is Pri 5 this year and this happened in 2006 and 2007

Being the enthusiastic parent with a kid going into Pri 1 of course I happily volunteered to be a Parent Volunteer taking on the seemingly brainless task of event photographer that year for their fun fair, Moon Cake Festival and what not events. By end of 2006 I was automatically 'expected' to cover end of year, after exams , before-December Holidays celebrations. No asking no requests ..... suddenly something I volunteered for became MY JOB

Wah be prepared for complaints NO MATTER WHAT
- why so few pics of the Principal ? (oh i did not realize principal is the STAR of the event)
- how come a few of the teachers are not in the group photos (oh now I have to be the shephard of teachers)
- why I didnt use Flash
- why I use Flash
- why I shoot in medium res JPEG
- can I convert 80 of the 400 images into Black and White ?
- Parents complaining that I did not take photos of THEIR children during the fun fair (yeah, I am expected to shoot EVERYONE of the 1000 plus fun fair attendees NO MATTER WHAT TIME THEY ARRIVED at the event)
- Parents coming up to me directly to get prints instead of from the teachers in-charge of events
- Classic: "Why you take my son/daughter eating Mee Siam... so ugly.... please delete"
- Classic: "Why you take a photo of my son/daughter with a cream pie splattered on his/her face? Its published in the school annual Year Book and now everyone is making fun of my child" (oops sorry for causing the permanent emotional scar)
- Classic: "Can you come help shoot at little Dorothy's birthday party ? YOUR child has been invited too" (yeah my child gets invited to EVERY darned birthday celebration .... even from students from other classes my child does not know !! )
- Because of this my child now has not only new friends in schools but lost a few friends as well because of what I shot or DID NOT SHOOT ("Papa, Tommy said his mother told him not to be my friend anymore because you took a photo of him with a cream pie on his face that was in the Highlights of the Year in the School Yearbook")

When one newbie Pri 1 parent showed up with a 50D and L lenses, I pointed out the superior gear and asked to be relieved of my tour of duty ..... I never heard from them again ..... God help that new replacement newbie Pri 1 parent photographer

And the teachers are not stupid either .......... they always go for the Pri 1 parents ......

AND ONE LAST REASON I will not do it again (will only shoot FOR myself and family ) is because IF you go to ANY school function , there are more parents and grandparents toting DSLRS, compacts, iphones, ipad cameras and video cameras than at a United Nations press conference ...... AND NOBODY IS CONTRIBUTING/SHARING THEIR IMAGES .......

THE SMART parents..... these are the ones who dont bring a camera ..... they just ask for copies from OTHER parents who bring cameras ..... free CDs or even the cheek to ask for free PRINTs ..... at EVERY EVENT

.... and the next morning when I am late sending my kid to school , they still use their car to block my car from getting into the dropoff queue .......
I can't help to feel sorry for what you have went thro, but indeed is enlightening.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#8
no no,

every schools has their own photography clubs or multi-media clubs, they are task to take up all the photography and video assignments in their schools.
even the primary school of my children also have photography club.

event photos, they can do in-house, since so many students owned cameras and they have club's cameras as well.



as for class group photos, or staff group photos, it is better to leave it to the professionals,

if you are a professionals, you should know this is a very tough job if you are going taking up, and defiantly is not an one man show, you wouldn't want to fork out any expenses or shoot for free, let along you will incur the cost of opportunity for not taking up other paid assignments during that period. btw, class photos usually take 3 months to close, from initial contact to the photos deliver and payment clear.

if you are not a professionals, you have no ideal of how to shoot, with inadequate equipments, inexperience assistants and don't know who are the suppliers/vendors you can count on, do you think you can deliver results with your half baked skills?

even the professionals also received countless complaints each year for the class photos, what's make you think you can be spared from any complaints?
 

ed9119

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#9
sadly my child's primary school got no photography club .... mostly at secondary schools
 

catchlights

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#10
sadly my child's primary school got no photography club .... mostly at secondary schools
I feel you about your encounter in school,
tho some time I show up with my camera, but no one ask me to volunteer. hehe..

anyway, if any parents willing to volunteer his/her services to the school for a cause, without expecting any return, by all means,
but surely will be disappointed if you expecting any perk from your services rendered.
 

aryanto

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Feb 16, 2005
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#11
it is always like that:
-Lawyers will always be asked for free advice about issue related to law.
-Doctors will always be asked for free consultation about health issue.
-IT people will be asked for free advice on computer issue (heck it is hardware issue, I am doing software!)
-If only they ask insurance agents about insurance ... LOL

So, tell them that you will charge them. They will ask another guy.
 

spree86

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2009
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#12
aryanto said:
it is always like that:
-Lawyers will always be asked for free advice about issue related to law.
-Doctors will always be asked for free consultation about health issue.
-IT people will be asked for free advice on computer issue (heck it is hardware issue, I am doing software!)
-If only they ask insurance agents about insurance ... LOL

So, tell them that you will charge them. They will ask another guy.
It's a little different for this case. For people who are not professional photographers, it would most likely be a hobby. You can still shoot events if you are a hobbyist but the same does not apply to the examples you listed. No one is a doctor or lawyer just like that:bsmilie:
 

Yutaka Go

Senior Member
May 22, 2010
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#13
If you are a professional photographer.
You can tell the teachers that Photographers also need to EAT and put food on the table :bsmilie:
Our Government is rich enough to hire photographers to cover the events so they don't need to save money for MOE :bsmilie:
 

alux0417

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Mar 21, 2010
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#14
Thanks for the advice. When my child enters primary, I won't flaunt my camera.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#15
.... I will share my story ..... been there done that ..... it is just too painful ...... i did it 2 years before and swore never again....
...................
...............
........
THE SMART parents..... these are the ones who dont bring a camera ..... they just ask for copies from OTHER parents who bring cameras ..... free CDs or even the cheek to ask for free PRINTs ..... at EVERY EVENT

.... and the next morning when I am late sending my kid to school , they still use their car to block my car from getting into the dropoff queue .......

Thanks for sharing.

I was actually thinking of approaching the school I intend to place my daughter in and offering photography services as school volunteer work.....
But from what you have written, its sounds kinda scary.
 

TheoDR

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Oct 19, 2006
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#16
If I have to pay for my kids' school fees in that school, then no, I won't. If I don't have to pay for their fees, then maybe I'll consider. ;p
 

ed9119

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#17
Thanks for sharing.

I was actually thinking of approaching the school I intend to place my daughter in and offering photography services as school volunteer work.....
But from what you have written, its sounds kinda scary.
lolzzz dont let my story discourage you ...... but just know what the possible things that can happen to you like it did to me..... who knows, you might actually enjoy it

Just remember....... do it 1 time 2 times or 3 times its VERY FUN and in fact ENJOYABLE ..... you get to meet alot of other parents too.... but for me after the 4th or 6th time ...... it really stopped being fun anymore ...... in the beginning it feels good to be the default choice ..... but after a while I became the EXPECTED choice ... I dont need thanks or letter of appreciation .... but I sure dont need to be taken for granted and ordered around..... and often on 2-3 days short notice some more (they always seem to be preparing all the "Important" things like transport, meals, costumes, props, rehersals, consent forms, itinerary, programs blah blah blah .........and THEN last minute suddenly remember to tell the photog die die have to be there (some times The NExt Day)

But to be fair, its not the school's fault if the HEAD Parent Volunteer turns out to be a disorganized, keep-everything-to-myself domineering biatch who enjoys ordering other PVs around
 

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TheoDR

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Oct 19, 2006
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#18
lolzzz dont let my story discourage you ...... but just know what the possible things that can happen to you like it did to me..... who knows, you might actually enjoy it

Just remember....... do it 1 time 2 times or 3 times its VERY FUN and in fact ENJOYABLE ..... you get to meet alot of other parents too.... but for me after the 4th or 6th time ...... it really stopped being fun anymore ...... in the beginning it feels good to be the default choice ..... but after a while I became the EXPECTED choice ... I dont need thanks or letter of appreciation .... but I sure dont need to be taken for granted and ordered around..... and often on 2-3 days short notice some more (they always seem to be preparing all the "Important" things like transport, meals, costumes, props, rehersals, consent forms, itinerary, programs blah blah blah .........and THEN last minute suddenly remember to tell the photog die die have to be there (some times The NExt Day)

But to be fair, its not the school's fault if the HEAD Parent Volunteer turns out to be a disorganized, keep-everything-to-myself domineering biatch who enjoys ordering other PVs around
I'd have lots of pleasure dialing in some negative clarity on photos of people like that... ;p
 

soeypixels

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Jun 24, 2007
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#19
if the kid is already in the sch .. u can turn down the request

is not like your kid is gg to enroll into this reputable sch and need some "services"
so your kid will be entitle to a place in the sch ..
i remember my aunt/uncle actually volunteer to do some community services for the sch and is a one time thing


another thing from what i know regarding sch photography services, taking group photos on classes (year book)
photographers are not paid at all .. they actually volunteer in this services to the school. they earn the $$ when the student purchase the prints
and also the company also need to provide afew events shoot for free so the school will let then hand this group photos provide
 

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