I read another photographer’s rant online today about people offering exposure for their photography instead of pay. Yes, in this industry we photographers do get bombarded with these types of offers, probably more than any other industry. People want images for their business or for promotional material and say things like “over 10,000 people will see it and we will put your name on it so they know how to find you” and we photographers tend to think, yeah so you’re paying for those 10,000 ad placements, why can’t you pay for the photos?
But instead of ranting about this I’d like to look at it from a different point of view. Sometimes exposure is good exposure and you really need to know how to leverage these things into your favor. Sometimes it is worth it to work for exposure while other times it isn’t.
I have one client who I will not do work for on the terms of exposure, they need to pay me. Most of their client base is out of state and out of the country, this exposure does nothing for me. I have another client who is a start up business and they refer me to a ton of people they know in the industry who actually do hire me so I work with them for exposure because I book other clients from them.
I’ve shot several unpaid editorials this year which have helped me book more boudoir sessions as well as more fashion work.
Being in business is not just about putting money into your bank account, of course that is the end goal, but you really need to look at the bigger picture if you want to stick around. I’ve worked deals with several clients, from commercial clients to boudoir clients to wedding clients all based on what we can do for each other. It’s not working for free when you network with someone who can actually get you paid work! Not try to get you work but actually get you work!
I guess I would rather spend my time these days focusing on the positive rather than complaining about work I’m not getting. It makes more sense to stay positive, it also tends to attract more work. Just something to think about. 😉