Advice on Working with Party Planner

I started working with a party planner that creates mock parties for photo shoots a few months ago. She actually ordered cookies for her son's birthday and paid, but said she had a photo shoot coming up and would like a donation. I donate cookies in exchange for professional photos and exposure. But I can see now on her personal Instagram that she is actually using them for her other son's birthday! I guess as long as I get pictures I shouldn't complain? But that seems a bit unethical. Thoughts? 

Original Post

Hm, I always try to think best of other people unless proven otherwise. So maybe for her it was just a lucky coincidence that her other son's birthday was right around the time of the photo shoot you donated the cookies for? She used them for the photo shoot and instead of throwing them away afterwards, she gave them to her son for his b-day.

As long as this professional photo shoot did actually happen and you will receive the promised pictures, why not go down that road? Though I admit I would watch her a bit closer after that and check what becomes of my donated cookies

If you struck an advance agreement, and you've gotten or are getting what you agreed she'd give you in exchange for the cookies, then I personally wouldn't worry about how she used them after the photo shoot (or if the photo shoot was, in fact, her son's party). It's probably more exposure for you to have others see/taste your cookies too. But if she doesn't do the photo shoot or send you photos, then that's another story.

It was definitely planned around her son, but hopefully I get pictures. If she hadn't gone through so much effort to refer to her son as "the model" when talking to me, I don't think I would have been as bothered. I just wish she was honest about the situation! But I guess as long as I get my pictures, it's fine. I just feel deceived. 

Lisa Marie Loosier posted:

It was definitely planned around her son, but hopefully I get pictures. If she hadn't gone through so much effort to refer to her son as "the model" when talking to me, I don't think I would have been as bothered. I just wish she was honest about the situation! But I guess as long as I get my pictures, it's fine. I just feel deceived. 

I agree - it was a little deceptive. She could have just been upfront about it, though perhaps she feared she wouldn't get the free cookies. I'd probably find some way to let her know you know that her son was the model, and then get more details about the next party in advance before committing to it. And make sure you get what she promised out of this shoot!

I don't think cookie donations for exposure would ever pay off. Most of the time they attract more new donation requests than new business. If you needed some professional photos for your business and you get them then it might still be a good deal. I would feel deceived as well.

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