Over the last few years, some clients have requested whether there are ways to reduce their cost for a shoot. Realizing that not every company has a limitless budget, I see no problems with working with any client to keep shoots affordable to them, while being profitable for me. I strive to be fair with my clients, while also being fair to myself.
Sometimes I might suggest ways to reduce expenses, like changing props, using different talent, or picking a location that might lower permit or crew expenses … everyone might want the supermodel and the Ferrari, but if the concept can be accomplished within budget using an aspiring actress (waitress?) and a Corvette, then I don’t see any problem with that.
Photographers are chosen for our abilities to visually interpret ideas and concepts, and few of us will wind up with clients for whom money is no object. When a client has less to work with (less than the budget of the Federal Reserve, for example), then I would prefer to work with them, rather than tell them to hit the road. Obviously I have a lower limit under which I will not take on a project, but beyond that I feel that negotiation is part of the process.