The Free vs. The Paid......

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by OnTheFly7, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. OnTheFly7

    OnTheFly7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My apologies now, but this is more of a rant than anything. However, for those trying to or who are making a living in this profession, this is an example of why things can be so difficult at times.

    Over the past week or so, I have been in contact with the promoter for a fairly large sporting event. This is an event with a rich history and a tremendous following. In fact, each year, the event draws on an average, over 50,000 spectators.

    So we were discussing the possibility of me shooting this event. We each liked what each other had to say and hit it off right away. Then the subject of cost came up. I presented my typical rates for an event like this. I also mentioned however, that I would be some what flexible in my rates, as there is potential for a long term partnership moving forward (according to them, which we have all heard before). However, given the fact of where the event is taking place (in relation to where I live), I said that I would need 4 nights in a hotel to cover the event and in lieu of my normal rate, I would like to have my hotel costs covered as part of the deal. Not unreasonable and usually, most never question this request (even when charging normal rates).

    A day later, I receive an email saying thank you, but we are just too far apart. Nothing new, as you can not expect to win them all.

    He then follows that up with something along the lines of, we simply can not do that. Especially when we have other "photographers" here for free, who sell prints. I put photographers in quotes because if you were to see some of the images, many are not in focus, are not sharp, etc. I get it. We all started somewhere. However, that is the exact reason we were speaking in the first place. They were not happy with what they were getting for free.

    He continues by saying that they would like someone to get the shots that they are envisioning, to cover all aspects of the event, to have a CD provided full of images and to have on site printing during the event. Which they are not currently getting. Yet, they are getting free images from these others.

    At that point, I just smirked and said thank you for the interest and the initial conversations. I'm sorry we could not come to an agreement and good luck moving forward.

    I then sat back, took a sip of my beer and shook my head. They couldn't or did not want to pay my rate, or possibly any rate for that matter but expected to have every desire full filled and on site printing (which as we all know would require and additional person on site, a booth/table set up, a printer, toner, power, etc.) as well.

    We are not happy with what we are getting, we want.......however, we do not want to pay an acceptable rate for such work.

    A no win situation right there!

    Thanks for listening (reading).


     
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  2. Fstop-

    Fstop- TPF Noob!

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    Low life people trying to get free stuff use this a lot. as soon as a I hear that I know the job is a no go.

    When I first started as a freelancer/contractor I got a lot of these types trying to get something for nothing. Then I started getting more professional and getting a lot less of them, now I have had someone try this no sense for years.

    When I fist started as a website designer around 2000 schools where encouraging students to do free sites to build portfolios. What this did was create an atmosphere where people thought they could just get free websites by finding the right inexperienced person. If you build this site "I have lots of friends" "I have lots of future work plans" blablaBS
    Giving out free stuff just devalues your services.

    When I talk to potential clients sometimes I can sense people feel me out. They will feel no free stuff here. lol
     
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  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I call this WalMarting. Quality, reliability, ability, resourcefulness, professionalism.... all are meaningless. Price alone in the driving factor. Nothing else matters.
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd let the guy know that he needs to spend some time with himself, and a horse he likes to ride in on.

    Seriously...this do it for the exposure line of BS... Argghhh.

    Do no freebies for people who are all talk, and who will never, ever do anything for you.

    Free work is not work...it's worse than charity.
     
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  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Actually in this case price was not a driving factor as there has to be something there in the first place to even exist. :biggrin-93: over the years I've encountered a few, learned to shake my head and tell them to call me when they wake up in the real world.
     
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  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    $0.00 is still a price.
     
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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've posted this story here before but it's very much the same as yours. Several years ago i was approached by a representative of Ledcor to shoot interior & exterior shots for a new high-end Lexus dealer ship they'd just completed. They wanted a wide range of images from which to choose six for which they would have perpetual and unrestricted usage rights, and one large, framed print. Because it sounded like the potential for an ongoing relationship, I quoted what I thought was a VERY reasonable $4000 for the job. I heard nothing back, and after the deadline had passed, I called to see what had happened. They told me that my price was "ridiculous" and they had hired someone who worked "much more reasonably". I often wonder how that worked out for them.

    Working free is fine, in the right circumstances. I do a LOT of free / charity work, but only when I feel it's appropriate. Working cheap in the 'real world" is a recipe for disaster!
     
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  8. OnTheFly7

    OnTheFly7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree!

    I will not say I have never done free work, but it is seldom. In fact, my most consistent and biggest contract came about from agreeing to shoot one event free. That being said, the initial conversations had a much more serious tone right from the start. The producer told me they were looking for a photographer, they had one the previous year and get this.......they were not able to use one image from this individual.

    I agreed to cover one event, which was close to home and only required 4 hours of my time. After seeing the images from that first shoot, they hired me for the rest of the season and I have been working with them ever since. Each year, they offer more without my asking. Actually, they have become friends as well.

    It is just a case by case basis.

    As maddening as the above example is, it unfortunately has become part of the game. Even more so in this instant gratification world!
     
  9. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Back in the old, dinosaur days of film-only. This rarely happened. The Darkroom separated the men from the wannabes. Sorry that happened, but digital, while making photography faster and in many way better, also made things easier. Equally important, is greed. Fstop is correct, when you hear long term as part of the deal ... welcome to the Titanic.
     
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