Screw You: A Three-Part Series

For my first web design project, I was asked to design a website for a fine painter who wanted to get her work online. I initially quoted her $350, and said some things would cost extra - but not much.

The painter needed simple photographs taken of 6 or 7 new paintings, so I told my photography friend about it - including how much I was charging the artist - and I get her the photography job. I thought I was doing her a favor - a paid job for which she’d thank me, at the least. If you're working with other professionals, friend or otherwise, you should expect a 10% finder's fee for referring a paid job to another party.

I met up with the artist, and asked her how much the photographer was charging. She seemed embarrassed, and explained, "I think, whether she photographs 1 painting or 20, she charges the same…$350, every time she comes up to photograph."


For driving to and from the woman’s studio 45-minutes away, photographing 6 paintings and sending them to me with no editing - the "friend" charged this naive, older woman $700.

Dumbfounded, I apologized to the painter; I was unaware the photographer was charging so much. On top of that, it makes me look bad because I recommended this photographer to my client, a person with whom I’ve already established business. It was also a slap in the face; I was charging half the photographer's price for doing five-times the work, and my 'friend' was aware of this.

If you expect to network, build relationships, gain more business and expand, you don't take advantage of people and screw them over. That's just not how professionals work - and I wouldn't be working with this unprofessional photographer, again...

Read what happened next, here.