I've read articles and posts in the past about why photographers charge the amount that they do. I agree that a lot more goes into it than what most people consider. (When I have been on the other side of the camera I'll admit that I didn't think about all the factors involved.) However since I'm not as experienced I don't feel I've earned the right to charge what my time is really worth. If I offer to do a session with no session fee I am giving you 1-2 hours of my time (and you are too) for free. It doesn't end there though. Once I get home I spend hours going through your photos, choosing the best ones and editing them and burning them to a disc. This entire process can take anywhere from 5-12 hours depending on how many photos I took and how much editing I do. At a minimum we're looking at 6-14 hours of time out of my schedule and away from my family. I'm not even going to talk about equipment or gas or any other charges. JUST time. I donate 6-14 hours of my time nearly every weekend. Sometimes twice in a weekend. I often annoy my husband by scheduling a session or two on a long weekend when we could be travelling and enjoying our last few months in Europe. So if I make time for you, please have the courtesy to not ditch me to go with another photographer at the last minute. It's an insult to my generosity, my creativity and my skill.
What if the chance to photograph a fun interesting session came along so I cancelled my session with you at the last minute? That would be unprofessional at the very least.
As a customer or client of course you have the option to choose any photographer you want. I'd like to think people choose me because they like my work, not because I offered them a discount or a free session. Once you've chosen me, I put everything aside to accommodate your needs. If you need to change a time or date I'd much rather you ask me than just cancel. All I'm asking is that you be respectful of your photographers time. Especially if you not even paying them for it.