Photographers who are beginning their careers feel that they must work for low pay or no pay to prove themselves. As a photographer we prove ourselves with our work.
The only thing you prove by working for little or no pay is that you’ll work for little or no pay.
During this evening’s class the conversation turned to the postings on the “jobs” board at the school. Most of the postings are for freelance work and many of the postings have low budgets or offer “exposure” in exchange for the photographer’s work.
One of the jobs posted was nine hours of shooting for a magazine, and the magazine wanted high-res files. No mention of usage or usage fees. I think the budget was somewhere around 300 bucks.
Good thing the class did the assignments to help them determine what they should be charging for their services because the 300 bucks paid would have amounted to a LOSS of money for the photographer.
If anyone in the class took this job, they would be losing money and, in effect, they would be subsidizing the client’s project.
I asked the class what they thought of this “opportunity”.
They all thought it was a horrible deal, one person even called it “egregious”. I’m glad that the class could recognize a bad deal !
In a nutshell, as a freelancer/independent contractor, If you aren’t meeting your cost of doing business and covering your related expenses on a job you’re losing money.
If you continue to lose money because you’re working with clients who aren’t paying you what you need, you’ll need to get a job to support your expensive photography hobby.
Here are some links that I think are related to this post.