Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Worth of a Photographer

I really think people don't value a photographer's worth. Good photography takes a tremendous amount of skill, effort, and investment. A good photographer has invested a lot of time in studying the craft, investing in equipment, etc... However, when people ask for a photographer's service, they tend to not want to pay or pay very little for high quality work.

I got a message from a model/TV personality the other day, asking to do a shoot for free. Her statement to me was that I would get exposure, free advertising, etc...

"Ms. X from TV's "XXXXX" is looking for a photographer who would be interested in a TFCD (non-compensatory service). If you are interested please leave a message in the inbox and we can discuss concepts/themes. We are looking for specific images. Your work will be seen on her autograph cards which will give your images credit. This is a great chance to advertise your photography. Also if you are chosen she will have your business card out to display as well as a picture advertising your business. "

I wonder what her reaction would be if the producers of her TV show told her to work for free and it would be great exposure and free advertising. She would probably walk her out of the room. So, if you going to use my photography for a business, why would you not pay for it. Again, people don't value a photographer's worth.

Photographers are not innocent in this matter. A photographer friend of mine put it quiet well:

"it seems to me, it is that willingness among so many photogs to task on work without compensation that is driving the demand for TF (non-compensatory service). Its a vicious cycle. The result is a cheapening of the profession among clients. The Craigslist "no pay" ads are the norm, instead of the exceptions. We photographers (pros, amateurs and hobbyists alike) love to shoot so much that we are willing to be exploited for the opportunity to create work that we are proud of -- whether we get paid for it or not, more than we should. We all have done it. But we all need to be aware of the negative impact it has. All of this know. And you're right, one has to be creative just to make the work at least pay for itself. I still haven't gotten to that point. Oh well. :-)"

1 comment:

Shanti G said...

"Everybody else may be an asshole but I'm not" Lol, I'm not either. This is an excellent article and a wonderful clip, good find Robin.