Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

working for free (or not..)


31 May 2012 7:28PM
"i cant pay you, but it would be great for your portfolio"

how many other people that that annoy, and whats the way around it?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

redsnappa 12 2.0k United Kingdom
31 May 2012 7:42PM
The word No should sort it.
ourdayphotos 2 229 Scotland
31 May 2012 7:49PM
It's a sometimes difficult one. To start off with the pics are helpful for your portfolio & doing free jobs helps to get you & your work known but you also get known for doing work for free. Over the last 2 years I've supported my village by being the official photographer for 2 10k races & 2 cycling championships wich both involved hours of work after the events. I thought it would be a great way of advertising by putting my watermark with website address on each pic, loads of people have looked at the photos on facebook & the website. From the hundreds of people who have viewed the pics I've not had one single offer of paid work despite all the positive comments. I had decided not to do anymore charity or free work but then I thought about getting myself better organised and adding a proofs element to my website where people could pay to download pics of themselves or order prints.

I've not done this yet but I intend to do it for weddings anyway so we'll see how it goes. The frustrating thing is that there's never any shortage of people looking for free stuff who don't even think about your outlay for equipment & time at the event & afterwards, it's even worse when you don't get a thanks!
vickyf e2
9 8 8 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 9:20PM
Sometimes it works working for free if it gets your work out there. After all, someone else might be impressed and commission you independently. I did a commission for free for a local charity last year which involved a lot of hard work & time but I hit the jackpot when they gave me a well paid commission in April. I guess it's a case of sorting out the scroungers from the genuine causes. If it's for a good cause and I have the time, I'd be inclined to go for it, but, if anyone said it would be 'good for my portfolio', I agree it's a case of 'no thanks'.
31 May 2012 9:28PM
for charity or "volunteering" with a possibility of future work and promotion isn't bad at all, i've done that as well.

i meant more so the "aspiring models" looking for free shots at the benefit of your portfolio. generally my answer is also no.
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
31 May 2012 9:30PM
there are other "payments" than money...

referrals
testimonials
free advertising

just 3 bargaining tools to consider...

1 good referral could earn thousands....
thewilliam 6 4.8k
31 May 2012 9:41PM
It'll be good for my portfolio? But I'm already an established photographer.

Ask the prospect, "does the charity/company pay you for your work?"

Does your local give you free drinks if you promise to put in a good word for them?

Does the Porsche dealer service your car for free?

Getting back to reality: digital photography doesn't involve any material costs and we have our equipment anyway. Photography is an enjoyable activity because so many people do it for a hobby. Why on earth should the snapper be paid?
User_Removed 12 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2012 7:18AM

Quote:there are other "payments" than money...

referrals
testimonials
free advertising

just 3 bargaining tools to consider...

1 good referral could earn thousands....




Very true Ade. Saved me typing that. Wink


Quote:Getting back to reality: digital photography doesn't involve any material costs and we have our equipment anyway. Photography is an enjoyable activity because so many people do it for a hobby. Why on earth should the snapper be paid?


It's not the taking of the images so much as that sitting in front of the computer for a couple of hours plus, in my own time that cost the money..................as you say, get back to reality.

I remember quite a few years ago being asked to shoot the local Cricket club end of season awards plus people at the top table etc. etc.
I gave the guy a very reasonable price and he said "WHAT.......HOW MUCH?"
So I said "OK, I'll take your photos for nothing". He smiled and said "Thanks, that's great.
After two hours of shooting and the usual abuse from idiots + drink, I handed the CF card to the customer.
"There you go, all done."
In a loud voice, he asked "What do I do with this?"

I then said,"Oh, you want me to sit at my coputer editing all the images and then supply you with a set of prints for nothing?"


.........................." How much did you say" he said!!!!!!
1 Jun 2012 10:20AM
Generally two words with the second one being 'off' works quite wellSmile
Ade_Osman e2
11 4.5k 36 England
1 Jun 2012 10:27AM
I get asked by various conservation organisations if I have images of specific things and always donate them for free. I don't have to pay to use their reserves or land, so why charge them for use of such images. They normally give me a mention of thanks for supplying said images and I'm more than happy with that.......Karma I reckon.

AdeSmile
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
1 Jun 2012 11:44AM

Quote:Karma I reckon.


one way of looking at it I guess

Another would be that you're stealing food out of the mouths of professional photographers Wink

though the reality is probably in the middle somewhere Wink

The truth is that on the few occasions when I gave photos for a "credit" or "mention" I got precisely 0 enquiries and made 0 - and no one ever mentioned the image online or in person...

These things are NOT good for your reputation because no one ever reads the credit...
They are NOT good for your portfolio.... because no one reads the credit...

If there's no budget at all, then at the very least....

You need to be getting 5 referral phone numbers with warm leads
You need to be getting a testimonial, printed on headed note paper with their signature on
You need a Linked IN recommendation
You need a proper advert if it's a magazine

Make them "value" the images, and work for you in return for them...

I had some woman asking for 4 cover photos for her "local sales rag" in exchange for 1 "1/4 page editorial feature" - on the final edition.... takes the piss! They'd probably be out of business before edition 4 for starters lol

anyway - end of rant Wink
User_Removed 12 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
1 Jun 2012 11:47AM
I shoot for both Duxford and Newmarket races and often get asked by people, mainly youngsters, if I can spare any prints. So I give them a a card and ask them top contact me and forward a print or two.
I've always worked on the principle that IF YOU DON'T ASK, YOU PROBABLY WON'T GET.
I get a few rejections but an awful lot of success.
I also give to charities and if asked by a charity to cover a event, I ask for nothing as long as they credit me with the images. Works for me. Wink
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
1 Jun 2012 11:53AM

Quote:if asked by a charity to cover a event, I ask for nothing as long as they credit me with the images


I've done this too. I regard it as a charitable contribution, so to speak. I already have the equipment and I do it in spare time - so it has cost me zilch.

Sometimes get a meal or similar out of it. Smile
Ade_Osman e2
11 4.5k 36 England
1 Jun 2012 12:02PM

Quote:Another would be that you're stealing food out of the mouths of professional photographers


True enough, but some of the charities I've donated too have been asked exorbitant prices for images and then there's the problem of whether the stock agency/photographer have a shot of the particular thing they're after?.......Remember I specialise somewhat in bugs, insects and especially moths.

If I were a pro, then I'd probably agree with everything you say Ade
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
1 Jun 2012 12:10PM
lateral thinking....

I support a local charity too

when I've been to shoot stuff for their brochures, I've also set up a mini studio and shot the people there, one by one, then put the shots on sale for them to buy.... the charity gets free brochure photos (and some really useful referrals, and a testimonial - which they are DELIGHTED to supply Smile ) and I make some cash from the print sales...

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.