For those that want me to work / provide images for free

 

You want me to work for you, you want me to contribute to your business/charity/cause, you want me to supply you with my "content" (my photography), and you're sorry (or maybe you're not) but there is no budget, or there was no budget planned for it, or you simply can't afford it.

You are willing however, to afford me, or grant me, or bestow the opportunity on me, the ability to freely perform my work for you, or freely give you my product/service in exchange for exposure, or for experience, or because you know I love doing what I do.

After all, since I've chosen what I do and it happens to be one of the creative arts, it must be fun, or easy. It can't be anything more than a hobby that I do in my spare time.

Therefore, you must reason, it can't be work, it can't be of value, it can be nothing more than a labour of love.

Well, if you feel that way.... DO IT YOURSELF!

I ask you, point blank, what you would do without MY product/service?

Who would read your newspaper without my content?

Who would buy your publication without my journalistic work or my photographs?

Who would utilise your streaming media service without my music?

Who would attend your movie without my visual arts?

How would you sell your own product without my web expertise?

HOW WOULD YOU ATTRACT YOUR ADVERTISERS WITH AN EMPTY PLATFORM OF DELIVERY?

HOW WOULD YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY?

That list goes on and on, and on and on, and on and on….

The fact of the matter is that I supply what you utilise to make your money!

Without what you are asking me to supply to you for free, what would you have?

NOTHING!

No way to attract paying customers.

No way to attract advertisers.

No way to entice people to view and/or purchase your product/service.

Why then do you place no value on what you are asking me to give you for free?

Because you either are simply greedy, or, you believe that what I do is either fun, easy, or some sort of a hobby that I love doing.

Here is the truth:

I've spent as much money, time and energy in honing my skills, learning my craft, buying my equipment and tools, investing in myself, my craft, and my business (yes, It IS a business!), paying for overheads and marketing, in sweat, blood, pain, money, and personal sacrifice as you have, IF NOT MORE!

Further, what value system do you employ that makes you think that your "exposure", your "experience", your less than a pittance of an offer, is something that will be of value to me?

Can you PROVE to me, in actual monetary value, that any of those will be equitable?

Have you statistics, based on real world practically applied experience that you can show me the value therein?

I have statistics that can prove the opposite to you.

As well, how do you think I'll be able to support myself on your empty offers?

How will I pay my business or personal bills?

Do you think I can walk into any retail outlet with a pocket full of "exposure" and ask to pay for the goods I need with it?

Can I buy food with “exposure”?

Can I buy clothes for myself with "experience?"

Will the electric company accept my offer of paying them with the “exposure” you wish me to accept?

Can I run a vehicle on “experience”?

Will the camera shop allow me to fund the purchase of my equipment with what you are offering me?

I certainly won't be able to pay for any future health care with what you are offering me.

Putting it bluntly.... you are delusional.

Your mindset is not seated in reality.

You have lost your business ethos and are ignoring your morality.

You want something of value to you, something that your business would not be able to survive without, FOR FREE!

Do I like what I do?

Do I LOVE what I do?

Did I choose what I am doing because it appealed to me immensely?

YES!

But guess what! I suspect that you DID THE SAME!

You chose your profession because you liked it.

You made the choice to start what you are doing because you thought it would be fun, interesting, lucrative.

It appealed to you.

Is what I do easy?

NO. No, no, no, and NO!

It may come naturally to me and I may love doing it, but easy?

If you believe that, then again you are deluding yourself.

It took me years, and a lot of money and time invested in education and gathering knowledge for me to get to the point of expertise wherein I can perform the work necessary to create my work, with the quality that you are seeking.

So, no.

NOT easy.

Is what I do fun?

It has its moments.

Rather, I would call it satisfying, fulfilling.

But it took years of hard work to get to the fun part.

I'm willing to bet that you can say the same for your profession.

People may choose to enter professions which may be seen as being fun, but they still work, and work hard at what they do.

Is what I do a hobby?

NO!

Not any less than what you do is a hobby.

It requires and contains the exact same elements necessary to do any other job or form any other business: education, time spent in growth, knowledge gained through experience, an investment of money for equipment and overheads, energy, learned business acumen, skills gained over time, family time lost to business endeavour, and on and on, just like a "real" job.

Just like your profession!

So again, NO!

What I do is NOT a hobby.

It is my profession, exactly like yours is to you.

So, here is the deal:

When you approach me, or advertise for my service/product, as soon as I see/hear the phrase "don't have a budget" or see/hear the words "exposure", "experience", or "hobby" (or "fun", "easy" and the like) in your pitch to me, I will politely decline your "offer".

Simple as that.

What you have, without what you are asking me to supply to you, is an empty platform of delivery, with which you can do nothing and will make no money.

I suggest that from this point on, you consider actually budgeting for your expenses (ALL of them!), actually budgeting for the products/services that you wish creative artists to supply to you.

It is called "a fair trade in equity." I will be more than willing to make a TRULY equitable exchange.

The photographer