"Looking for Photographer to work for free"

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Alleh Lindquist, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    These days there are a lot of companies and people blatantly asking for photographers to work for free. On craigslist in my city it seems almost every day that this is happening. Last week the professional lacrosse team in my city was looking for a photographer to cover all 8 local games for free and for all the images rights to be signed over to them. A while back I started listing reply postings basically stating it is wrong to ask photographers to work for free and asking if they themselves would mind doing their job if they weren’t getting paid (In a rude sort of way sense it’s anonymous anyway) I have started to notice that when as ad goes up now it is getting multiple replies bashing them for asking for free work. Maybe if more people started doing this all over to people and businesses, asking for photographers to work for free would start to be frowned upon again and people would stop asking thus increasing the amount of paid jobs available.

    Maybe you have thought on the idea?
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I think it is an excellent idea to school the public especially the folks on Craig's list that free photography is not ok. A lot of people on the Orange County Craigslist have already started doing this. I also posted a similar thread hear on TPF citing some examples.

    Free photography is just the icing on the cake so to speak. People have asked for gender and age in some cases, which is basically discrimination. Fact of the matter is Craig's list is not the place for serious photography buyers and should be avoided at all costs.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. theshortwhiteguy

    theshortwhiteguy TPF Noob!

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    My thoughts exactly!

    Most of the problem stems from "so called" photographers who are BAD business people. When I learned photography, I learned it from a photographer who impressed upon me that it was "90% business and 10% taking pictures". Then again, he also said it was the "#2 most failed business". At age 16 it didn't make much sense, but, at age 40, watching IBM'rs/computer types with a "real job" standing on sidelines or at weddings with the same equipment as I do, makes me concerned. These photo geniuses have their ego stroked by family members and co-workers when they show off their latest capture, and then they are told that they should quit their high 5-figure job to take pictures. This is not too much different than the same family members/co-workers who might be impressed with their dramatic flair for cuisine, recommending that they quit said job to open a restaurant (which happens to be the #1 most failed business). How are these hobbyists expected to sell themselves and their product when they have never sold anything in their lives? I'll tell you how - they give it away for practically nothing or nothing at all just to get the business. Then, when the a. they screw up the photos or b. figure they can't make anything or c. tire of it, an organization like the lacrosse team figures they can find another patsy. Of course that organization will sell the next johnny-come-lately on the benefits of "free" advertising.

    I like your approach to this topic - I will start to do the same thing. The more assertiveness by us "Professionals" should go a long way.
     
  4. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I think it should be done outside of craigslist as well. One of the modeling agencies here in town knows that I do testing to get new images once in awhile for my portfolio and so now rather than telling their new talent to go out and pay for a portfolio they tell them to ask if I will do TFP for them even though I have asked multiple times for them to direct only paying clients my way. When I want to do a TFP shoot I will contact whoever I want to be involved and it probably won’t be someone who as previously asked me. Getting paid to shoot a model portfolio seems to be a thing of the past.
     
  5. Harmony

    Harmony TPF Noob!

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    The National Press Photographer's Website is a great resource.

    They have a code of ethics, business practices, and lots of other great stuff.

    Go here and check out 4(e).
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, it is TOTALLY wrong to ask for a photographer to work for free and give all rights over to them. No one likes working for free, and I have NO idea why anyone would be STUPID enough to do just that.

    Having said that, being at an event surrounded by people with equal and/or superior equipment, I am just not worried at all, not one small whit.

    I spent last night hanging with a fellow group of strobists... people that have some greater understanding of photography above that of the average "Uncle Bob" that you will meet at these events.

    One guy came in with literally over $10,000 in camera equipment, backdrops and what not and this morning I saw his work... shockingly poor! The star of the evening was a very humble older gentleman who literally blew my socks off with his understanding of light, originality and creativity... and his results I saw this morning were very impressive.

    I also met a woman who without even taking many pictures, immediately demonstrated to me that her gift was being able to make the person standing in front of her, instantly comfortable and easy to work with. What a mind that woman had!

    This is not something that comes without concerted effort, practice and a dedication to the art. What a learning experience! Just goes to show... we all want the best cameras, but its not the cameras that get you the REALLY special pictures, its the person behind the lens! :lmao: :lmao:
     
  7. dklod

    dklod TPF Noob!

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    I dont know what you are so uptight about. No one is asking YOU personally to do something for free. They did not say "hey, Alleh, can do us a favour and cover our games for us, oh, and we arent paying you"? They are asking if there is someone who would like to do it. Maybe there is a highschool student in the area who has been studying photography for the past year and this is a perfect opportunity for them to get out in the field and get some real experience under thier belts. They are not willing to pay anyone to do it so they can not be expected to get Sports Illustrated results. Experienced people want beginners to learn and grow but the minute they might be stepping on someone toes, its like "hey, you cant do that". You cant have it both ways. Every week my boss gets a call about someone wanting my job for less money. Do I care, no. I do my job damn well, and my boss knows it. So unless you are a little insecure about your abilities, then I dont know why you are so worried about this stuff.
     
  8. Harmony

    Harmony TPF Noob!

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    Hey, dklod, did you check out my link?
     
  9. dklod

    dklod TPF Noob!

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    Hey Harmony, yeah I checked it out. Its good advice for any business. All Im trying to say is no one is making you do anything. If dont want to do something and wave your rights and not get paid, then dont do it. Just look at the construction industry. It runs on trades people undercutting one another but no one is making them take less money then they are worth. If you sell yourself short, you cant play the blame game. I was trying to take an objective view that they were looking for someone wanting to gain some experience whilst giving them what they need. The minute you say youre not paying someone, you must let go of any expectations and Im sure they were aware of that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  10. confused_in_the_darkroom

    confused_in_the_darkroom TPF Noob!

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    While dklod makes a point about the highschool (or college student such as myself) getting the opportunity to work these free events it is not right that the photographer forfeits the rights of the picture over to the lacross team. I might be young and stupid but I'm not that stupid. As far as them wanting free, thats just poor judgement on their part since they will get absolute crap for results.

    I feel conflicted because I am coming into the business. I understand people have to come in at a lower price in order to establish themselves. Anyone stupid enough to work for free however is just asking to be made into a joke, and thats my opinion of the people who do take the 'free' bait.
     
  11. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    I don't care about a high school student looking for experience. Go do an internship. The problem is so many wannabes offer up services for free that people have lost all shame in asking for a photographer to work for free and when we come back saying your kidding right they act like we are the ones with a problem.
     
  12. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    You don't ask a plumber if they will fix your sink for the experience. Is it because you wouldn't rather have them do it for free? or because that's just not how business is done when it comes to getting a sink fixed. Why has photography become so different than other trades?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008

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