Do you work for free?

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Do you work for free?

Post by frankstyburski » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:57 pm

Here's an issue that we all address.
You are starting to get a reputation for taking good photographs.
You want to think of yourself as a professional, and you want to develop a portfolio and add some high-profile names to the list of clients that you have worked for.

The local non-profit asks you to shoot some pictures for them. Oh, and can you do the job for free? They say it will give you experience, publicity, and the posibility of paid work in the future.

Do you take the bait, or politely decline?
My personal opinion is to never work for free.
What do you think?

Here is a link to a video by Dallas based photographer, Ted Forbes, - who addresses the issue.

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Re: Do you work for free?

Post by tomoswald » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:00 pm

If it's a non profit, or a friend i never charge. To be honest for me the payment is often the art of capturing someones beauty at a particular time and place.

If someone approaches me whom i don;t know i will most likely charge them some fee

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Re: Do you work for free?

Post by ButchReinhart » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:16 pm

I don't make my living at photography. However, when opportunities for paid work come up I do charge. The people or groups that I never charge are: events for the church I attend; groups such as non-profits who do not have the funds to hire and what I do might help in some way; and family when I knew it was something I could do successfully.

I do enjoy giving nature 4x6 photos away to people who can't get out and about or to facilities where there are people with Alzheimer's being cared for. I do that as I can for two reasons. First, they can't get out and see these things for themselves. Second, they can be used to calm people with Alzheimer's when they get upset. I have seen the effects of photos on patients such as my mother and know it is worthwhile to people. I watch for sales I can every so often get 100 4x6 photos for $10.00. So, it is a small thing that can do some good.

Even if I did count on photography for my living I do believe I would still do those things.

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Re: Do you work for free?

Post by gjesdal » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:04 am

Rarely shoot for free.
Apart from a little FTP shooting with some local models, mainly to test new gear and ideas, I don't shoot for free.
I often say "I don't shoot for fun, but I have fun when I shoot", so unless it's someone in the family or close friends I generally don't shoot for free.

If anyone asked if I'd go on trip somewhere and they'd need a photographer and that trip didn't involve very cold or extreme heat I'm all ears :-)

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Re: Do you work for free?

Post by petermillar » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:24 am

Ted's description of "trading" works for me.

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