Friday, April 6, 2012

12 Excuses for Shooting Photos for Free — and Why They’re Bogus | Black Star Rising

12 Excuses for Shooting Photos for Free — and Why They’re Bogus | Black Star Rising

I can't say I ride with this or TOTALLY DISAGREE with it. Perhaps there is a line/limit that one should do this...FOR ANY PROFESSION. * I'll give you the first 5..the rest you can hit his link up...

*I took the liberty of applying it to any tangible craft where you do a service that ...faces you head up with the 'experience vs. exposure' issue. Rapping. Producing. Blogging. Cutting grass...whatever... It is akin to the person who went to college and has a Doctorate telling EVERYONE THEY ARE A FAILURE IF THEY DON'T ATTEND SCHOOL. Not realizing that everyone won't make it to the top via the same route. That said..this WAS A GOOD READ. I can see at certain points of the process where the advice he gives is ON POINT. Don't know if most can afford to be this staunch about it from the door though...

 Here are the first five of his points...

  • I’m trying to get into concert photography, so when bands have called to ask about pricing, I’ve told them, “It’s on me.” It’s a great way for me to break into that market.

  • It’s a great way to break into that market known as “free.” How many times do you think musicians have screwed themselves over and given away the farm to music labels? Too many to count. Don’t make the same mistake.

    1. I just did a free shoot for a young actress trying to make ends meet, like many starving artists. It helped her and was an opportunity for me to practice my lighting techniques.
    2. Romanticizing being a “starving artist” isn’t really a good thing. It’s nice when you’re sipping a chai tea latte with your beret in the local java house listening to beatniks recite their slam poetry, but other than that, it’s mostly a good way to remain starving. Doing a trade-for-prints/trade-for-CD deal is for C-grade models and photographers who almost never become pros. And while you may think that it helps you with your lighting techniques, it doesn’t help you grow in the area that matters most — the confidence to know that your work has value.
    3. I offered to shoot free family photos for all my neighbors for their holiday cards. It’s a good way to promote my business.
    4. It’s nice to be a good neighbor. Then again, you might soon be getting lots of invitations to weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, with the suggestion: “Hey, why don’t you bring your camera? We’d love to have some photos, and you would really be saving us some money.” So now, you’re an even better neighbor than you intended to be — and you’ve knocked some local wedding photographer out of a paying gig. Or, if you respond with, “Oh, those holiday photos were a one-time thing; I charge to shoot events,” you’ll probably get something like this: “Come on, neighbor, you’re going to be there anyway!”
    5. I got some valuable event-photography experience shooting one of my company’s employee celebrations for free. I got to shoot an event for a Fortune 500 corporation, and my pictures received excellent exposure on the company Web site, with over 25,000 hits. I was even given a free photo printer for my effort.
    6. A free photo printer? You mean one of the dozen printers your company got for free when they ordered the last batch of CPU’s from Dell or HP? As someone who has shot for over half of the Fortune 500, I can tell you that I’ve earned $1,000 or more per assignment shooting company picnics, holiday parties, and so forth. It’s not glamourous, but it helps pay the bills. That is, unless you have someone willing to do it for a free printer. By the way, who insured your personal gear against spilled sodas or any other accidents? Let me guess: no one.
    7. Every photography job I’ve ever gotten has been through word of mouth — often because I did something for free first.
    8. Right, word of mouth. As in, “Hey, I know this photographer who will shoot for free…” Congratulations! You’ve just become known all over town as the guy who doesn’t expect to be paid for his work. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll even get a client who offers to buy you lunch.