Get the referrals
Get the referrals. If you genuinely need more concert or band photos, or portrait and family shots, recruit family & friends for free photos. Otherwise don’t offer your skills for free.
You and I will never pay off that degree if you do things for free.
I’ve been asked by “friends” to come to their wedding, and bring my camera, b/c it would be good experience. Or Facebook loved the photos I took, they want more, when I drop a price I never hear from them again.
Great tips from this website… https://fstoppers.com/business/how-charge-friends-and-family-your-work-photographer-51750
“First, no discount. We've got to eat, man. About a quarter of the photographers I asked agreed with this, although some did donate a few shoots to those in need each year. Second, create a friends-only price guide that you send instead of the standard one. However, keep in mind that creating two price lists every time you modify your rates is double the hassle. Third, and most popular, is to send the usual price sheet with a determined discount. This illustrates the value in your work, as well as the friendship. If you find placing a direct value on your friendship tacky or awkward, gift the session or base the percentage-off on years known (e.g. 1-5 years is 5% off, 5-10 is 10%, and so forth). I may just build a prize wheel and make my friends take their luck determining their rate for my shoots from now on. Ultimately, the choice is yours to decide which method is more valuable in each situation.”