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Unpaid work: when is it okay?

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  #11  
Old 08-07-2011, 08:03 AM
women'sdesk women'sdesk is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Even models ranked in the top ten photographed by Steven Meisel and Mario Testino have to test for unknown photographers, it's part of the job.

Last edited by women'sdesk; 08-08-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2011, 09:59 AM
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iDad iDad is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Sometimes it seems a no win scenario with Graphics work
To sum it up in 10 words
You're Damned if you do,
You're Damned if you don't.

Last edited by iDad; 08-07-2011 at 11:26 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2011, 11:23 AM
women'sdesk women'sdesk is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Quote:
Sometimes it seems a no win scenario with Graphics work
To sum it up in 10 words
You're Damned if you do,
Your Damned if you don't.
You just have to make your own opportunities.. & if you can't beat them join them lol
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  #14  
Old 08-10-2011, 08:27 AM
ftp-Jeff ftp-Jeff is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Never!

I remember the first time I was called to probably one of the worlds most famous photographers... He had work for me, I done it, fine job it was too... He seemed to think he did not have to pay for it, he thought I was doing it for the prestige. Soon knocked that out of him. He then gave me more work!

If people do not pay you, they do not respect you, or your work.
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  #15  
Old 08-11-2011, 10:01 PM
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Pari Retouch Pari Retouch is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Well I agree with Natalia.
One have to test for creating art out of it. If the photographer is asking to retouch crappy images for free don't do it but he is offering something that will help you for your portfolio I would say do it!
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2012, 05:21 PM
Don Fenucci Don Fenucci is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Almost never. The only time that I do ANY free work is for bereavement photos. I would do a freebie for my mother if she asked. And don't fall for the "extended" family freebies because you end up doing an image for free and then they ask for you to restore all of their old photos. Then you're left with either spending hours pleasing your family or upsetting them when you refuse to restore dozens of boxes full of images.

If you are applying for a job somewhere then you will probably have to retouch a few photos for the lab/studio so they can see your work even if you've shown them a portfolio. At that point it's not necessarily free work as much as completing a job interview. I applied for a job once and the owner asked me if I would retouch a few of his images to see what I could do. The next thing that I knew I had been sitting there for about 3 hours. The guy was nice and gave me a half a day's pay for it.

Other than that if you were to choose to barter your services that would be on a case-by-case basis. Buy me a steak dinner and I'll think about it. Other than that why be a slave for anyone?? My time is very valuable to me and the rent is due!
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:00 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

I agree with Natalia and with the others here who properly qualify "work for no direct cash". I'm a photographer and I've done (monetarily) unpaid work in four circumstances:
  1. Building my portfolio. In this case I specifically do work that will actually enhance my portfolio in ways that will win me business that I don't have currently. One example is photographing enough people to give me a range of demographics to diversify my portfolio. Once I start reliably selling work in the new target market I stop doing free work.
  2. Barter / Trade for valuable services. I do this with my accountant At his request
  3. Charity: Doing work that I honestly don't mind doing for no charge for whomever and for whatever purpose.
  4. Reasonable expectation of getting something valuable back in return. For example, when I have good indication that someone will buy something from me if I do the work without payment up front. Or if someone can and has referred me to people who became or will become valuable customers.
Category 4 is the category I do least and the one I'm most careful about.

Part of the reality of business is investment. You simply cannot expect money for literally everything you do. You give away extras, you do work on spec sometimes, that's just the way it works. You just have to make as sure as possible that it's worth the effort. If you don't want to do it and it's not likely to win you something valuable (e.g. retouching sub-standard images for free when the end result won't impress customers enough to win business or provide other compelling value for you) then be careful or just don't do it.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2012, 05:08 PM
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hawkeye60 hawkeye60 is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Working for free is saying your work has absolutely no value.
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2012, 05:20 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

And we probably shouldn't even say "work", we should label this "unprofitable activity".
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2012, 02:28 AM
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JamesCamron JamesCamron is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Ofcourse NOT! You shouldn't take any pro-bono gigs unless they are family.. When you work, make sure that you will be paid for the effort, energy, time and brain activity you have invested in it. From the moment they make contact, you have the right to ask for payment.
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