People asking you to work for free - should you do it?


JasonB

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I note with a mix of cynicism and sadness an observation I made on some recent threads of people asking for free services yet still can be picky to choose and vet portfolio.

Because so many photographers eager to do free.

So after that 'selection' many of those free photographers would be rejected, it must had been real insulting for them that even they do free people also don't want.

Where is one's dignity?

:thumbsd: for these situations.

You photographers can make a difference for yourself. Prostitute also charge money.
 

Musical

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#5
Respect your profession and don't degrade yourself.
 

Agetan

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#9
My take is, you can't do it for free if someone ask for it.

But if you have next to no portfolio or no experience, shooting for free is a good way to get the portfolio but you need to limit to maybe 2-3 shoots not for a long time.

It's different if you shoot for your personal development. Never accept credit alone as payment as they hardly bringing any exposure.

I do offer my free shoot but it isn't exactly free...

Regards,

Hart
 

JasonB

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#10
Indeed, that's why got to be extremely selective on who you shoot free for. That's why the articles are good read.

If it's a advertisement on Services Wanted section asking for free shoot, it is usually a bad deal.



My take is, you can't do it for free if someone ask for it.

But if you have next to no portfolio or no experience, shooting for free is a good way to get the portfolio but you need to limit to maybe 2-3 shoots not for a long time.

It's different if you shoot for your personal development. Never accept credit alone as payment as they hardly bringing any exposure.

I do offer my free shoot but it isn't exactly free...

Regards,

Hart
 

JasonB

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#11
Again, reiterating my point on the situation, if someone wants photographers to shoot free yet still got the cheek demand to choose and vet portfolio; what does it make you if you are not chosen?

Doesn't it appear that you are so cheap that even when you do free people STILL don't want you? Definitely not! Put a price to your time your talent your craft and get some self respect. Don't let these cheapo hunters insult you and photographers!
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#12
Again, reiterating my point on the situation, if someone wants photographers to shoot free yet still got the cheek demand to choose and vet portfolio; what does it make you if you are not chosen?

Doesn't it appear that you are so cheap that even when you do free people STILL don't want you? Definitely not! Put a price to your time your talent your craft and get some self respect. Don't let these cheapo hunters insult you and photographers!
Hi Jason, there are some exceptions to every rule.

For example, if a non-profit (as in, genuinely non-profit, e.g. run by volunteers) organization needs photographers for an event, and the photos are used to raise awareness/profile afterwards, and it is for a cause that you can believe in, why not? Cheers.
 

kentwong81

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Jun 18, 2010
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#13
I'm hungry now but I don't wish to pay a single cent for the meal. Is there any chef-wanna-be would like to practise your cooking skill for portfolio or gaining more exposure? I'll give you credits or recommend your service to others if your food is good but sorry I don't have budget to pay you.
 

coolthought

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Jun 23, 2008
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#14
just reply with "Can you help to free me from my loans and liabilities? I will return the favour by working free for you".
 

JasonB

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#15
Indeed there is but be careful about the word charity, sometimes used to guise.

For the record in the past we had offered to shoot free for a good and known NGO with high repute and was surprised they insisted to pay us full rates when they do have the budget.

Reason being their sponsors are big cooperations and they don't want to shortchange hard working class photgs earning mundane incomes. Indeed, at $800 to $1000 per dinner seat - whole ballroom filled and fully sold plus lotsa other proceeds from auctions, donations, many 'big' costs sponsored, it is graceful to pay common people for their sweat. Just like you don't ask a waiter to serve for free just becoz it's a charity event.

Other times for smaller projects with less budget, no problem go ahead.

Point is don't do it blindly. Remember Durai, Mingyi, Kong, etc, all in name of charity or something noble...

Hi Jason, there are some exceptions to every rule.

For example, if a non-profit (as in, genuinely non-profit, e.g. run by volunteers) organization needs photographers for an event, and the photos are used to raise awareness/profile afterwards, and it is for a cause that you can believe in, why not? Cheers.
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#16
Indeed there is but be careful about the word charity, sometimes used to guise.

For the record in the past we had offered to shoot free for a good and known NGO with high repute and was surprised they insisted to pay us full rates when they do have the budget.

Reason being their sponsors are big cooperations and they don't want to shortchange hard working class photgs earning mundane incomes. Indeed, at $800 to $1000 per dinner seat - whole ballroom filled and fully sold plus lotsa other proceeds from auctions, donations, many 'big' costs sponsored, it is graceful to pay common people for their sweat. Just like you don't ask a waiter to serve for free just becoz it's a charity event.

Other times for smaller projects with less budget, no problem go ahead.

Point is don't do it blindly. Remember Durai, Mingyi, Kong, etc, all in name of charity or something noble...
Yes, I agree.
 

ellery

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#17
Working for free for charities - that is a whoppa. Most established charities have money, some have more money than you, me and alot of us put together have. In the past most charities pay maybe not full rate but full less a discount that a photographer gives - after all we are not souless *******s nor vampric afflicted like bankers.

If you want to give to a charitable causes - it's okay just make sure you give an invoice with the your market rate for the job less a discount that makes it a $0 collectable job. It must be clear that the discount is your contribution to that charity. It makes it clear to that charity that you are not stupid and that you do have a value. You need to preserve the respect that is yours, you are a working professional not a shoot junkie who'd do anything to shoot. Most of these work ie shooting for charity a low profile events so the so called portfolio value is on par with that - zero equals to zero. Plus fact that you need to shoot for portfolio also means you probably may have some problems knowing and being able to do what is needed at a professional level - I do not mean direct flash capture an eight year old or younger child could do that. So its likely that what ever you get is like if you cooked french fries at home and then compared it to say wat you get a Mac's. Not going to be impressive. Actually with so many events happening daily if you really need to shoot for portfolio (which is shoot for practice ) just go earlier and run a shoot as if you were on job. What you cannot spare the time or the effort to do this for yourself ? but was willing it do for free for portfolio ?

If you do free shoots like this, you are reducing yourself to the level of slut - you know some who gives it away for free, in this context it is better to be a prositute - ie a shooter who shoots for the money again in that context it is better to be a high class pros - ie one who charges more and gives better service. The worse you could do in this context is be a junkie - one just wanna to shoot will do anything (even pay out ) to do it. Your "client" will also call you "sucker" and see how much lower you will go. Hey may be next time they call you it will go like this "Ahhh we have a high profile event, but have no budget can you be a sponsor for $XXX and also come and do the coverage ?"
 

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