Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by KmH, Jul 16, 2010.
Strobist: Four Reasons to Consider Working for Free
"But I Don't Want to be Branded as a Free Photographer.
You wouldn't be. You are not working for free because people asked you to. You are offering to collaborate on a project. And therein lies a huge difference."
Well put. Love the alternate perspective from your previous post. This line alone shows both articles are right. You can work for free and you can't work for free. If someone asks you, seeks you out, you have to charge. But if you are just doing what you want to try to learn, who are you going to charge? If it's a learning experience and you want to try something out and you need a subject, anyone who works with you is actually helping you out. Trying this out with someone's wedding and being the only photographer might not be the best idea. But offering to take some pics of the B&G dressed up another day might be a good idea they might be receptive to give something like that a shot and maybe they get some good pics, maybe not.
I love to shoot. I'm always shooting. Sometimes I get paid, sometimes I don't. I'm certainly not going to sit around waiting for a check to shoot.
Then you either don't make your living from photography, or don't mind missing meals and routine monthly bill payments.
It's all well and good stating that you shouldn't shoot for free, but how is someone supposed to get experience/portfolio without starting somewhere.
I personally stand by that you shouldn't charge less than what you're worth, either charge full price or do it for free. As long as the reason it's free is agreed to upfront then you shouldn't have any problems down the road.
Whilst you argue it isn't, it is actually a fantastic way to network and gain confidence in the field of photography you want to go into.
Only last week I shot a conference having had no experience shooting conference's at all. As there was no price involved, there was no pressure on me so I was able to fully investigate conference photography and what I should be looking out for. It's a great way to learn. It's actually now led to some paid work due to the good job I did. Would the paid work have come about if I hadn't have worked for free? No of course not. I met lots of people there, was able to network and gain contacts and I'd now be fully confident in charging for event/conference photography.
I think a one-time free shoot in whichever genre you're looking to get into is the ideal way to be able to move into chraging. You'll have encountered all the pitfalls, and it'll be clear to your client that you're doing it for free for the experience.
Everyone works for free.
We 9 to 5ers are constantly doing something outside of our scope of responsibility or picking up someone else's slack at work. I grow weary of the mentality so many "pro" photographers have who think that they need to bill clients with itemized lists the same way lawyers do.
What's next? Lens cap removal fee? Shutter press surcharges? Billing for phone calls? Just because you are a "pro" doesn't mean that every single thing you do that is related to photography should warrant additional compensation.
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