I am hoping to receive a few opinions that can help me in handling a delicate situation. A little over a year ago I was a bride myself and married my price charming. Now a year later I am facing a rather sticky situation with my in-laws.
My sister-in-law (husband's older and only sister, not to mention only sibling) is getting married in a year's time. Both my husband and I are not very close with his sister and we live somewhat separate lives. My in-laws (husband's parents) have always favored my husband's sister to such an extreme that it is absolutely no surprise who their favorite child is, consequently also resulting in a rather distant relationship with my in-laws as well. Now with all that said, my mother-in-law said the other weekend when getting together "Can you do the photography for ****'s wedding?". I was tongue-tied as there was no follow up regarding payment or anything of the sort.
A bit more background... my in-laws and sister-in-law didn't do a thing except for show up to our wedding. My parents paid for every penny or our special day and worked hard for months. My in-laws never offered to help with a single task (not even to tie a bow) and invited 150 of their own guests for my parents to feed and treat to alcohol all evening. My sister-in-law complained about having to come to bridal showers and ended up leaving around 10pm from our wedding reception (not even staying until the end of the wedding).
The reason I am in a sticky situation is because as many of you I'm sure understand, shooting an entire wedding is both very tedious, editing the photos is incredibly time consuming and that is why I charge thousands of dollars to shoot a wedding as a professional. With all that said, when my mother-in-law brought up the photography I quickly changed the subject until I could figure out how to answer at another time. My in-laws think that the sun rises and sets in my sister-in-law and they are very bold people. They would not think twice about insisting I shoot this wedding and never pay me a penny, they just aren't considerate like that.
With that said, please help... what should I do when it comes up again next, because I know it will. Should I say something like, "well how much do you want to spend on photography?" -Or- should I be doing this for free? I feel like to offer to do this free is a bit much considering we aren't close to any of them and they are so bold to ask.
Thoughts? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
You are indeed in a difficult position. If it were me, when the subject comes up again, I would say something like "My fee to shoot a wedding is xxxx. I would be happy to offer her a discount." Then see what response you get. If your MIL doesn't object to paying, then follow up with the question of who should you expect payment from. Then tell them your terms are that you get x amount as a deposit. If she comes through with payment, you will know they are serious. If she doesn't, you will know they are trying to take advantage of you.