The friend rate is a price tag or sometimes a favor that is done for just friends by photographers. But it applies to more than just photographers; growing up my Real Estate broker mother used to get extra house sales for the plumber who often worked at our house and in return he did services for her for free.
It's an idea that's based off of mutual benefits. There has to be some sort of connection and in my opinion, it shouldn't be through a third party. If someone wants you to shoot their wedding, that person should be a pretty darned good friend and not ask for your friend rate just because their friend referred you. . thephoblographer.com