found this blog on pro's working for free, as there has been many the rant on working for free here, not saying its right or wrong, just an interesting take on it I havent seen here yet
I'm only recently earning from photography but I have included in my site details on my work for free area.
I love music photography and understand through connections how hard it is for unsigned bands to promote themselves and the severe struggle they have supporting themselves. I enjoy music photography very much so I will do it for free. I know that if any of the bands I shoot progress, through agreement with them, I will be entitled to payment for any of my work used for profit. I also request they keep me in mind for any shoots they need and for a press pass for any big gigs they play.
None of them have gotten that far yet but one day.......
I also shoot boxing for the local club for free. I love doing this so much.
These are 2 areas that are high pressure esp boxing and have helped me develop my skills . I earn from weddings and portraits and events. I just checked my books today and after 4 months of earning and lots of equipment purchases by the book i am only around 200 in the red. I have to be paid 250 this wkend for a wedding so then I will be give or take a few euro 50 in the black so why not do some freebies doing what I love and helping someone out...
"If you are good at something, never do it for free" wise words from the Joker. Even if it is a token payment then that is better than free gratis imo
I think if you are good at it, it will come back to you. I did a
freebie for a friend who in turn handed me 200 euro as a thanks, boxing is part of the local community, new club etc, I dont mind helping but I have received an invitation to collect a gift at their christmas party. I think it is appreciated when needed yet I would not offer freebies to those who would be ungrateful.
I have never experienced it coming back to me and I did a good bit of free work when I started up, even last night I did a job for a business colleague. Only took me one hour but I still charged €50 for it, my business model operates on the everybody pays scheme and it works great. Everybody knows where they stand and what sort of quality they will get. I am full-time and as such available 24/7 for work when the clients needs it and thats part of what they will pay for. I believe that I provide a better service than somebody doing it for free and I have been up against that and still come out on top.
If you recieve gifts thats great and long may it last, most clubs/societies/charities wont do that, but my bank manager loves money, sorry if that sounds a bit harsh but thats life
to be honest i think we all did stuff for free at one point right? I thing it's a mix of enthusiasm and naievity that drives it. Alot of us wouldn't have the skill we have in certain fields if it wasnt for a bit of free shooting... in saying that, now that I earn a bit from it, I do feel its wrong to undermine the skill of photography by doing it for free, but I have taken what I can from doing it for free so I'm very much up on my pedestal.
Im kind of in between on this.
I decided a while back i was stopping doing free jobs, as i realised there was no money in it
BUT, i will be going back to shoot the Glasgow film festival this year, along with some promotional stuff in the weeks running up to it.
The Glasgow Film Theatre, who run the main parts of the festival are a charity, with only a handful of payed positions within the organisation, there is no way they could afford to pay me.
What they do however is along with free cinema tickets whenever i need them, is pass me on to organisations such as theatre groups, independant filmakers etc whenever they are on the lookout for photographers. I have gained 3 jobs through it in the last 10 months
While this wouldnt be enough on its own to live by, its a week which i enjoy highly (film being my other love) and it does have its rewards in the long term.
What would be your stance on this?
Even within structured paying jobs I have thrown stuff in for free to sweeten the deal and to guide the person into using the material creatively. Maybe I was lucky to start submitting to the Irish Field first and they pay on time and good rates compared to the competition.
I can see where Borderfox is coming from, Border your work is outstanding, you have huge equipment costs etc and I hope one day to get to that level. At the moment I reckon I may be a standard level, the difficulty of music photography is there is so much work for so little money.
I spoke with a friend recently, Evil Eye photography, he has returned from London and begged me not to get into music as it was so hard and so little money. However through his connections he moved quite far along, going on tour with Iron Maiden, I wish I could do that but being a mammy I can't. Maybe one of the bands I shoot will one day be big enough to let me do that. One is gigging in London soon and has asked me along. So music wise it is really the doine thing to attach yourself to up and coming bands to help promote yourself.
Boxing wise, the club did a few nights for charity, founder is a lad my own age and I know they dont have tonnes of money and this work perfects my skills so why not. Once every couple of months is not bad. Im quite personal and I think this is why I get the appreciation from the freebies I do but I hope to one day be too busy to do freebies.
From my point of view, I wouldnt do this as I need a certain amount of income each week to pay the bills/gear/car and so on. Something I do when I am looking for work is to survey the competition and pitch to the pr/company/customer the difference that I can bring to each job and this along with the full-time/insured aspect works for me, even though they are listed as a charity, that in my eyes doesnt mean they dont have money. Build up a strong portfolio and present this to them and try to even get a token payment from them and you will feel better about the week?
I can see the allure of the music photography and how you can get sucked in but I had a good talk with a tour manager friend and even though I have a contact in **D (the company that cant be named) I wouldnt go near it unless I was paid well for it.
Dont get me wrong, if other people want to give up their time then thats their decision and if they get ahead on good terms then fair play to them, but from my point of view before I take a job all the figures have to work out.
Thats all fair and well, at the moment i am a wee bit in limbo, and while not a full time pro my main income this year has came through photography (if you dont mind i may try bending your ear at some point if that would be ok?).
Of course them being a charity doesnt mean that they dont have money, i have charged charities for my work in the past.
In this case however i know they have very little cash, the girl who is my main liason there does more work than people on twice her wages as designers/P.R reps etc for even the most run of the mill companies.
And at the moment the benefits are good for me, i came over here last year with no contacts and comparatively little experience, the move from a small town in Donegal to a fairly major city in the UK is a tough one in these terms.
As well as the work they have put me forward for, it also meant i got to meet journalists, business people and PR folk many of whom have been of use to me at one stage or another during the last ten months, i certainly wouldnt swap it.
However i do understand your position, especially considering your in your early stages as a full time photographer a stage where it is all about making ends meet.
But something tells me i will do this as much as i can for years to come, because it has been a major help to me and if i can use the assistance they have given me to make the next step then it will all be for the better.
Dont get me wrong here guys, i am not advocating the current trend in adverts for photography work, 90% of which carry the line "Would suit student or someone wishing to build their portfolio"
To be in that position in rock photography would be a dream. The friend previously mentioned spoke similar to this, he said of how hard it was for him with so many students offering free services just to get in there but he is good and he has a passion for the music and built his name and he even declined gigs if he was offered the 3 song rule. He says if he is going to do a gig it will be a full gig or no gig. Considering how disheartened he was and how he really said please dont do it, it does not pay and it stress you out, I reckon I'll be happy enough doing the odd few here and there. I dont have the energy for the cut throatedness (I know its not a word) of that side of the business.