Do You Work For Free?

 Posted on August 24, 2011      by adrienne


Hi everybody!  Hope you all have been enjoying the past couple days of amazing weather!  I’ve been able to catch up on some editing and sorting out business deals here and there. I’m preparing a new blog post with sneak peeks from Friday’s Philly engagement shoot with Hillary and Blake!  I’m also really excited to go away this weekend and spend some much needed time with a fun bunch of girl friends…and probably take some wild pictures of them!  (Stay tuned for those in future blogs!)

Now to the topic at hand.  As I was surfing the web, I found this amazing, funny and painfully true chart about working for free by Jessica Hische via another photographer’s blog (Stephen Cardinale).  I have friends who do taxes, I don’t dare boggle them with mine.  I have family who do general home repairs, they get a check and a coffee before leaving my house.  My personal trainer is also a friend,  AS WELL AS,  business partner at the gym. I still pay him to train me.  Guess what?  He pays me for photos! Isn’t it great how that works? (By the way, he was just awarded Mr. New Jersey as the overall champion this past Saturday at  the 2011 NPC NJ State Championship- Go Chris Lentino, I’m so proud! )

Many people get confused between people who have cameras and those who are professional photographers.  Yes we love it. Yes it’s a passion (there would be more happy people in the world if they actually had jobs in areas they were passionate about).  However, we do it for compensation… it’s our job!  Sometimes the world of barter comes into play.  Wherein, equivalent value traded, can make for a very pleasant and appreciated exchange.   Keywords being equivalent and value.  While having this very conversation with my mentor, Jeff Tisman, he recalled a story of a 2 year old’s birthday party.  I believe it was a family friend, or someone of that nature, who was “hoping” Jeff would bring his camera and just “take a few shots” of her kid playing.  Yeah, and just maybe he has his lighting kit and reflector, and would rather set that up then enjoy a slice of cake at the party with his beautiful family on his off time. There are many times where I take it on myself. I just love shooting!  So yes, sometimes I do show up with some gear and take shots, but that’s when I want to…and you may have to wait 6-9 months before I even get to posting those pics anywhere!

Photographers are not money hungry.  We spend THOUSANDS of dollars on equipment and insurance, countless hours editing, having spiders crawl into our hair trying to “get the shot” on location, and if that’s not enough on it’s own, we have a talent that you connect with and we create art for you.   There’s a lot more to it then showing up with a camera and snapping away.  Ever wonder why your pictures don’t come out the same as ours?  It’s not just a $6,000 camera.  It’s thought, it’s feeling, it’s an eye, it’s composition, it’s knowing the technical in’s out out’s, it’s lighting, it’s personality,  it’s a skill.  If you like my work, want to have a good time while getting some really great images, and are willing to treat me as a contracted artist, then lets talk.  Next time you ask someone to do a service for free just because they have a skill, ask yourself, “Do I work for free?”


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