Working for Free

Sometimes there are good reasons to work free of charge.  If you support a charitable organisation that uses photographic work in its fundraising, this may be an example of where you might provide your services or work product at no charge.  In the vast majority of cases; however, you want to get paid for your efforts.  We all do.  I know I’m not alone when I say that I receive numerous requests to provide work at no cost for some purpose or other.  Often times the end use is a commercial venture for the party asking for the free work.

There’s a new initiative that’s been started by Tony Wu, whose underwater photography is simply spectacular, to try and help both photographers get paid and photo buyers understand why it’s important that work they wish to use be paid for.  And that the price paid be a fair market rate for the work being used.  Tony’s put together a letter outlining a good number of the reasons why photographers need to be paid.  At the time this article is being written, 115 photographers have signed on to the letter.  This number will continue to grow as word of the initiative spreads.

If you’re a photographer and you make any part of your living from photography, I’d urge you to sign on to the letter.  If you’re a buyer of photography, I’d urge you to read the letter and consider what’s in it before asking another photographer to provide work free of charge.

Thank you.



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