Working For Free

February 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

I found this piece on Facebook the other day and it really hit home.  I am an officer/photographer (volunteer of course) for our local Harley Davidson Chapter.  A few months back, Harley hosted a "Leather and Lace Golf Tournament" to benefit women's health for one of our local hospitals.  It was a great and fun event.

There was a vendor there with a golf ball cannon.  They charged $20 per person to shoot a golf ball out of a cannon to a hole in the golf course.

When I first arrived at the event, the owner of this cannon approached me and asked if I would take some pictures of the cannon on hole four.  I said sure, as I was going to be there all day taking photos of the event.  

After the event, I posted all the pictures both on my web site and our chapter site.  This owner of the cannon emailed me to ask if he could get a copy of one of the pictures for his website.  This particular picture was one of the golf ball leaving the barrel of the cannon.  Not an easy shot and well timed.  (Try getting that with a cell phone)  Anyway, I wrote to him and told him that I would be able to sell the picture to him for publication.  He told me that he didn't want it for publication, just his website.  I must have looked stupid that day because I couldn't believe he said this to me.  People don't generally publish in magazines too much these days, and rely on internet advertising, just like I do.  Well, I wrote back to this gentleman and told him that I would be more than happy to send him this picture for nothing if he was willing to donate his cannon, with staff to operate it, for a party I was planning.  He got insulted and told me that I was rude.

Really?  Rude?  He expected me to give him my work for free to advertise his business, but not reciprocate.  Funny but sad.

Unfortunately, this is how most people few photographers today.  Photography has lost its value today.   I can understand that portrait photography is a luxury item, just as tattoos are a luxury item.  And just like tattoos, you get what you pay for. You can either get art, or you get so-so.  I can understand that a lot of people don't have a lot of disposable income for formal portraits.  But when a business asks for a photo to promote their business and are not willing to invest in that photo, then "THAT" is insulting.  

We professional photographers go to school, train, practice, go to seminars and put all we have into our craft.  Why is this different than any other profession?

Our profession is not a hobby, it is our livelihood.  Please treat us as the professionals that we are.  We deserve it.

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