“I’d like to surprise my wife with a family portrait for Mother’s Day. Do you offer gift certificates?”
“My friend is having a baby and a few of us want to chip in for newborn photos. Can we do a gift certificate for her session fee?”
“My friend loves the photos you did for my family last year! I’d like to get her a $100 gift certificate -- do you offer those?”
If someone asks for a gift certificate, you say yes -- obviously, right? After all, they’re handing you money and helping you lock in a new client. But it’s actually not that easy. (If you’ve ever sold one, you may be nodding your head in agreement right about now.) Gift certificates can cause unnecessary stress and even damage your reputation.
Here’s what you need to know before you decide to offer them.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of gift certificates causing problems.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.