As the years have gone by I have noticing a trend increase where companies and clients, both large to individuals have been trying to locate photographers that would work for free. What is the reason that this is becoming more common?
Are we as photographers being devalued? When I am hired on as a photographer or someone purchases one of my prints, a lot of work goes into each one, my time, equipment, knowledge and material should be compensated for.
For example my prints, while I hear from people that my prices seems expensive for a print, do not realize what goes into getting that image. First each picture has been carefully planned and scouted to know time of day and weather conditions are needed for that specific scene. Then comes the fun part when the day comes to carry my 40+ lbs of gear to the spot I have chosen to finally capture the scene I had envisioned in my head. After that the job is still not complete since there is developing, scanning, printing, matting and framing that needs to be done to get to the final product.
The same goes for when I am photographing a client. I have to carefully find locations that will convey the message that they are trying to portray. I then have to work around schedules and weather (especially up here in the Pacific Northwest). To make that image happen it takes my knowledge, thousands of dollars worth of equipment and all the other things that go along with a business.
Whether the photographer is starting out or a seasoned photographer a lot of time and money goes into their craft. This is not a rant or complaint, this is a message to all looking to hire a photographer. I know that no matter what your profession is, you will not work for free, so why is it that we should be expected to. We deserve the compensation that allows us to live and continue making the images that brought you to us in the first place.
So to all please respect our trade and livelihood and pay your photographer what they deserve. There are photographers of all budgets out there and many different choices allowing you to choose based on your needs. Thank you to all.