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  1. #1
    Dorothy Blum Cooper's Avatar
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    How much information to 'give'

    Just curious how you handle friends/acquaintances who ask for help with photography.

    After recently meeting people through local functions (we've only been here in this town 7 months now), we've been asked to 'help' a couple's daughter with photography.

    Each time we see the couple, they make the same statement, "I really need to get you to work with my daughter."

    I mentioned that I had no problem giving tips, advice and information occassionally and informally. But the help has now turned into, "I'd love for you to teach 'Amy' about photography."

    In the most recent encounter with the couple, the husband mentioned to my husband that his daughter needs a darkroom set up. She could 'sure use the help.' There's that word again!

    The couple that has solicted our help owns a local computer shop and we brought our son's computer there to be repaired. We didn't ask for nor suggest a discount, nor was one given. The bill was quite high and it was paid in full. That's their business and it's how they feed their family. I simply wonder why our business seems to be viewed with less value and that our information can be given away?

    On a side note...I've gotten the 'nudge' to teach but just don't have the desire at this time. However, if this couple were to request a private lesson, I'm sure it could be arranged. I don't mind sharing and giving in the least because I've been given so much information. When the term 'teach' is thrown in the mix, it changes the dynamic completely in my opinion.

    Any thoughts? How would you respond?

  2. #2

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    I think you've answered your own question. How much do you value your work?

  3. #3
    Gay Larson's Avatar
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    Perhaps this the next time they mention it: "I have decided to teach a basic workshop on darkroom so I'll send you a brochure."
    Then make one up on your computer complete with the workshop cost and send it to them. Either they will pay the cost of a private lesson or leave you alone.
    Prints available in the APUG GAllery
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  4. #4

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    If you don't want to teach, don't. It is not something you can fake,motivation for. Just be up front and tell them you are not into teaching right now.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  5. #5
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gay Larson View Post
    Perhaps this the next time they mention it: "I have decided to teach a basic workshop on darkroom so I'll send you a brochure."
    Then make one up on your computer complete with the workshop cost and send it to them. Either they will pay the cost of a private lesson or leave you alone.
    I think that's a bit disingenuous if she really doesn't want to teach but the point is right on. I'd probably just tell them that at this time, teaching isn't part of my business plan. That should give them a whack with the clue bat.

    I think the fact that Dorothy is willing to share information is great. There is nothing about what I do, think or know that I'd hesitate to share with anyone interested...but setting up darkrooms and teaching is work and should be respected as such.

    If Dorothy wanted to mentor a young woman interested in analog photography that would be wonderful and her decision. Anyone coming to her and asking her to do it should understand that they're asking someone to do a job.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  6. #6
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    My thought is to be straightforward with them. Tell them that you'd be happy to give some pointers to their daughter, but more involved lessons like darkroom work or formal teaching are going to cost them.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  7. #7

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    If they are computer literate (maybe I'm assuming too much) and have the resources I would suggest websites for their daughter to peruse at her leisure.

    Bob

  8. #8
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorothy Blum Cooper View Post
    Just curious how you handle friends/acquaintances who ask for help with photography.

    After recently meeting people through local functions (we've only been here in this town 7 months now), we've been asked to 'help' a couple's daughter with photography.

    Each time we see the couple, they make the same statement, "I really need to get you to work with my daughter."

    I mentioned that I had no problem giving tips, advice and information occassionally and informally. But the help has now turned into, "I'd love for you to teach 'Amy' about photography."

    In the most recent encounter with the couple, the husband mentioned to my husband that his daughter needs a darkroom set up. She could 'sure use the help.' There's that word again!

    The couple that has solicted our help owns a local computer shop and we brought our son's computer there to be repaired. We didn't ask for nor suggest a discount, nor was one given. The bill was quite high and it was paid in full. That's their business and it's how they feed their family. I simply wonder why our business seems to be viewed with less value and that our information can be given away?

    On a side note...I've gotten the 'nudge' to teach but just don't have the desire at this time. However, if this couple were to request a private lesson, I'm sure it could be arranged. I don't mind sharing and giving in the least because I've been given so much information. When the term 'teach' is thrown in the mix, it changes the dynamic completely in my opinion.

    Any thoughts? How would you respond?
    On the flip side, perhaps they just want to reciprocate. You patronized tehir business, and they want to patronize yours. Why do you assume that they are looking for FREE help? Next time they ask, don't just blow them off make it plain to them that you either aren't taking aprentices at this time or, that your rates for private lessons are such and so much...and make an appointment.

  9. #9

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    Dear Dorothy,

    Photography isn't a business. It's a hobby. Everyone knows that.

    That, in a nutshell, is the fundamental problem; people don't see it as the way you make your living, but rather, as something they do for fun. I've had the same reaction about www.rogerandfrances.com.

    When I'm faced with this sort of thing, I do help as far as I can spare the time -- but more of the time, I'm too busy, or have a prior engagement, or even, "Sorry, too busy, have to earn a living, you know."

    Cheers,

    R.

  10. #10

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    They didn't ask you to take Amy's wedding photos they asked you to teach Amy how to take pictures. How about asking them to teach your son how to fix his own computer?

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