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I’m not selling my services as a professional. I’m assisting my photographer friend who IS. She is well aware of my experience level, and since I’m not charging people and/or doing it as a business, I’m not down for putting business money into it. She’s paying me for assisting her, was her offer, not my demand. Would I let my friend who is learning to be a mechanic work on my car? Possibly not. However, if I did, I would hope he would at least research what he needs to do in order to assist me, which is what I’m doing.
Edited because I think you may have misunderstood what I’m asking: I am well aware that photography is about painting with light, which is why I’m seeking advice on lighting. I’m nervous about assisting my friend since I don’t want my lack of experience to reflect on her, so I’m practicing like a madwoman and actively seeking input on my progress and experiments. I don’t charge for photos, and in no shape way or form call myself a professional (I even refer to myself as a beginner hobbyist in this very thread).