I saw a recent post on the Black Star Rising blog that has refueled my disdain for shooting for free. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for helping out someone who needs it, shooting for charity, for a good cause, etc... but when people say "It will lead to LOTS of paid work for you"... "It'll make you famous"... or "Doing this gig will get your name out there to lots of industry professionals", it's just hot air. No, putting my name at the bottom of a picture won't fill up my inbox with messages from people wanting to throw their money at me; it won't make my cell phone ring annoyingly into the night.
Don't lie to me.
Already this year, I have been asked by a couple magazines, and a number of websites if they could use a few of my images. "Of course", I replied... "but my normal rates will apply". What did that get me? Well, I'm not published in any magazines yet in 2010, nor are my photos being used on any websites (with my permission, that is; I have found a few that have had my photos up there without my consent).
It all makes me remember a quote I read on the Canon Photography Forums; "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys". You get what you pay for folks.