I believe every artist has heard the words "We can't pay you, but it will be very good exposure" or... something along those lines.
It is the year 2015, I have now been creating in the area of photography for around 4 years. I know that's nothing in comparison to some - but where is the line between working for free and being paid for jobs? When do you suddenly have the confidence to not need to work for exposure?
I absolutely love working on creative projects, and I intend to shoot some projects I have already started working on, and no I cannot pay the people who will be involved.
TFP* shooting is okay (in my opinion) when everyone involved on the shoot is in it for the same purpose, weather it be to be published or just to create new work and fulfill creative need.
An instance where TFP work is not acceptable is when, for example a charity posts on a photographers/creatives forum asking for someone to work for free when the charity had a budget for the venue/other workers/alcohol/food/anything else... I do have to say I am guilty of significantly cutting my prices for charities that I care about, but in the end after promised exposure and promises of continued paid work... Someone is never going to want to pay you for something they got for free (or less.)
*(For non-creatives the term TFP means to work for free, people have different translations but that is the essence)
I guess this is just a 'thinking out loud' blog post due to a few too many messages lately asking to work for free. I feel this will most likely result in myself taking on significantly less free projects this year in order to give myself more time on bigger projects. There is also a bit of an issue when you end up taking on a project and then the other model/designer/person starts treating you as if they're a paying client... just saying.
This post doesn't really have much of a point, but if you're an artist, particularly a photographer in this case, and someone is asking you to work for free... Go to this lovely flow chart
and if you're someone looking for a photographer to work for free, please reference the flow chart from their perspective, artists need to eat too (Oh and pay for the expencive equipment...)
A great little article on this topic, probably better written than a grumpy artist sitting at her computer...
Grumpy Artist Writer: Jessica Kirby @ Jessica K Photography
Editor: Ash Dorman @ Jessica K Photography
No copyright intended on images.