Are you underestimating the time it takes ?

Often I see people who hire out for exorbitant fees when they only do a few hours. I see people gripe about this often enough, though i generally try to think about it before i do, but i just wanted to point a few things out.

A photographer, comes in to take wedding photos, and he charges you $4k for what appears to be a quick easy money job.

What actually happens: That person sits down and finds out what you want (i hope!). They find what car you are in, check what room is in the car, where the bride will be dressing, where the groom is dressing, where the church is, what route the cars are taking. they will often spend a week before hand checking out driving routes and alternative routes to make sure they can get photos of all these places and not get stuck or lost.
They will spend time checking out the venues before the take, the lighting inside the church or reception area, and any potential other backdrops for official photos.

Often they find out how much family is going to be there, to arrange what photos they will have with what family members, and on the day they will usually have lists and lists of these.

For the next week or so afterwards they sift through the thousands of photos, editing, touching up, and removing the little shit in the background who was doing the finger etc.

So now we are getting an idea on where the money is going, but wait, you are not only paying for the work, but the expertise.

Knowing what positions will look good for those who are a bit chunky and missed the wedding diet. Knowing how to arrange a group of people so they look balanced and good. Knowing how to tell people who don’t want to be told where to sit or move to and how to hold their hands. Knowing body language and how that translates into photos, and most of all, knowing how to make people smile.

Knowing what light looks good, what is flattering, whats not. What gear to use and what settings to put that gear on is another whole paragraph at least just to begin with, But what a lot of it boils down to is experience and knowledge.

Whilst I’ve used wedding photography in this example, this covers a lot of other industries. You are not paying a Designer for the 5 hours he spent doing the design, but the years of knowledge he has about what is going to look good, what wont, general do’s and don’ts that your nephew may not quiet have the hang of, even if he can do some design work.

So next time you think about what somebody gets paid, check out what really goes into the job 🙂

Really annoyed at a ‘friend’ right now .. need to vent

After moving to Cambridge just over a year ago, ive not made a huge amount of friends. One of the friends i made was a cat breeder whom i bought some books off on trademe.

I bought an ex breeding cat who had not been the best of breeders, i paid a decent amount of $150 for her which was fine. We loved her so much and decided that when our older cat died we would replace her with one of my friends kittens.

In the past year my friend decided she wanted to move her website to my server for hosting. Being a friend i gave her $5 a month hosting and went out of my way to go over to her house and set up her computer to work.

I even set her up a new website using a CMS and spent a good few hours on it, she however decided that she wanted to stick with her old frames version, centered, with lots of italics and MS Comic (which is fine, i can live with that).

When she messed something up on her website that made links in her frames work, she blamed it on my server. When i rebooted the server, for 5 seconds her webpage was down (literally, its a VPS) she complained and said she wanted a refund on hosting and to move it elsewhere and made a huge deal about it … she never did.

Finally my older kitty had to be put down, and i asked about a new kitten. She said she would give me a discount because i had done the same for her. When she had kittens she said ‘oh lets stick with the $500 i charge everyone else’. I can live with that. The kitten was ready right before  i knew i was going to be away for 2 weeks in wellington so I asked as a friend could she keep it an extra couple of weeks.  I thought it was not cool to take a new kitten then leave it by itself alone only with my other cat who didn’t know it for a couple of weeks. Since my friend had reneged on ‘mates rates’ on everything else, and often offered to look after my other cat when i had gone away (though id never taken her up on it), i figured it wouldnt be a huge thing.

Today i went to her house to see the kitten. She tells me its ready tomorrow, and suddenly decided that i should pay her $2.50 per day to look after it for the next couple of weeks.  Since I wasn’t going to pick it up for a couple more weeks, I had only paid $300 of the $500. I need to either come up with $200 by tomorrow, or $2.50 per day for the next 2.5 weeks or until i can pay for it.

I’ve decided that there’s no way I’m paying $17.50 a week for a kitten to be looked after, even catteries are cheaper than that. However I am going away to Wellington for a couple of weeks, and i’m on the bones of my butt trying to pay for extras relating to that. So yeah, bit of a bombshell, and im really not happy about it all. I very much doubt at this stage ill get any money back if i decide not to go through with taking the kitten and getting another elsewhere.

I guess we will just have to extend loans or something and have my oldest son look after it whilst im away.

ps. I do not want advice or opinion much here, im just letting of steam and pissed. Friendship will be pretty much terminated in this case.

Have a Merry fucken Xmas

This xmas i planned, i wasnt gonna be caught out, i had my budget setup so i had PLENTY of money spare to cover xmas.

I was frugal with funds and only spent $50 on each kid (i have 4) and an extra $50 on the oldest whos birthday falls on Xmas day. Plans were a shared lunch with family in Rotorua, just an hours drive from where we live, not too expensive.

Then husbands car all of a sudden wouldn’t go into drive. No major deal that I can see, we have my car still and we can sort that out next year. On the weekend I drove up to auckland and just as I got there an engine light came on. I spent a fair portion of spare money on finding somebody with a computer connector to check it was going to get me home (it was still running fine) without blowing up.

So now I spent my ‘spare money’ that was set aside for emergancies. I still had the rest planned, and budgetted for.  I did my shopping 2 days ago, it was the last thing i did before i parked up my car because of the engine light. I made sure i had plenty of food to get us through till Xmas, i weedled the budget out and got only the cheapest food knowing that I wouldnt be able to get back to the shops without a car for some time.

Today i went into the garage to get meat out for dinner, i smelt a horrid stench, and realized that one of the kids helping take the food from the car 2 days ago, had left the entire bag on the floor next to the freezer and not put it in.

Great, so now we have no food, no way of getting any more, and no money to buy it if we did. As it is we’ve had to extend loans $2k just to get a single car going so we can see family at Xmas, at this point im really fucken just pissed off and gutted.

What a fucken crap week!

Update: Managed to extend one of our loans, which puts us back a year financially which really sucks, but at least we can get a car fixed . I sold my $100 Super liquor voucher to a friend to cover food.  I’m in awe of the great friends who offered help, i cant thank you enough.

to Ness: For the record, i wasn’t crying! i just had allergies! honest!