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Unpaid work: when is it okay?

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  #1  
Old 04-24-2011, 12:35 AM
ElementalSiren ElementalSiren is offline
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Question Unpaid work: when is it okay?

I get a few job offers now and then from people who claim up front that they can't pay for a professional-level retouch (and some who even go further and think it's 'enough' that you're getting something for your portfolio in return). I'm curious how others deal with this blatant request for pro bono work. Do you decline them right at the get-go, or do you ever make a decision to go ahead and sacrifice your valuable time for a 'charity' job? If so, what do you base that decision on? Have you ever tried a payment schedule or bartering system with those kinds of clients, or is it a lost cause from the beginning?
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:05 AM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Unpaid rent: when is it okay?
Unpaid groceries: when is it okay?
!!

Frankly, you can do self-assignments to populate your portfolio, no need to have someone else tell you what to do (and expect more and more and more as you go along).

And perhaps you shouldn't call these "job offers", as no traditional job expectations (payment for work) is included. Call it a "work for me for free" offer.

When a charity is involved it can get dicey, depending on its legitimacy. But you have to be realistic about your capability to "work" for free, lest you become a charity case yourself.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:18 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Plugsnpixels has it right Siren. Look at it another way. "Hey photographer, I need some nice pix but can't afford your prices. Do them for free and you can use them in your bag." See what they say! I would and have done job swaps over the years with photographers, designers and marketers which has worked well for both parties but if you're in this to make a living don't even consider doing stuff for free. It also sends out the wrong messages!
R.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:49 AM
zganie zganie is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

IT IS NEVER OK!!!!!!
what other line of work do people "WORK FOR FREE"
And people ask me why I keep asking about people making a living
or a DUH what exactly do you mean
this is absolute Bullsxxt Work for free
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:31 AM
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Godmother Godmother is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Honestly I couldn't answer your question without having seen your portfolio.

I still work on images for no monetary compensation. I'd never call it "free work" tho.

If you feel you're working for free, then don't do it.

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:36 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godmother View Post
I still work on images for no monetary compensation. I'd never call it "free work" tho.
Godmother, please clarify. With that explanation it seems you have the potential for a career in politics! ;-)

PS: You're the one with the retouching DVD ads everywhere, yes? I think I wrote you once about being listed here.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:25 PM
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Godmother Godmother is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plugsnpixels View Post
Godmother, please clarify. With that explanation it seems you have the potential for a career in politics! ;-)
Well... not everything is about money.

I'm going to Germany in my Europe "tour", the organizer of my workshop there is a photographer I like and respect a lot, very talented.

He suggested that while I'm there we could do a story together. To come up with a few ideas and help him produce it. I accepted right away, the idea of working with him was motivation enough. I'm not getting money, he is not getting money, the agency models won't be getting money... it's call a test.
Professional Test.

We all participate in the creation of beautiful images - I wouldn't call that free work. Free work is an oxymoron. A contradiction.

You do something because you get something out of it: Money, publication, name, recognition, a good contact, pleasure

Quote:
Originally Posted by plugsnpixels View Post
PS: You're the one with the retouching DVD ads everywhere, yes? I think I wrote you once about being listed here.
I don't know about the ads everywhere... I haven't seen one, but then again, google knows I'm not target :P

Beauty & Hair Retouching High End Techniques - is the DVD I did, the producer is Vitaly, I never got any email, note or message from you, so maybe you're confusing me with someone else?



x
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:11 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

That sounds like a decent arrangement. So who's buying lunch? ;-)

I looked at the DVDs on your site and recognized the cover photos and ad font from the banners I used to see (they were here on RP and elsewhere on the web).
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:48 PM
TopiToo TopiToo is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

Hello ElementalSiren

From my experience on this very website I took up an offer to do a few retouches for free,
and I with a photographic member here with mutual understanding we could possibly work
together. I spent 6+ hours on one image in my free time which I knew from the outset would
be the case as that’s me.
The feedback was informative in respect I had an opinion, but the request was to provide
my working PSD file which I was very reluctant to do so and ultimately decided this was not
something I was confortable with for oblivious reasons.
Hence ironically nothing more transpired.

I am now of the opinion and I hope I am wrong but there are many members myself included
who need good Hi-Res pictures to work on to build a portfolio and visa versa for photographers ,
but ultimately the decision must be yours if you are willing to commit for free.

The way I look at "mates rates" "freebies" work now if you are doing it for free is not putting
food on the table do you not need to eat? I know I do.

I appreciate it is very difficult, but you will gain more respect in your profession if you value
yourself/time accordingly.

good luck

TopiToo

Last edited by TopiToo; 04-24-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:51 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Unpaid work: when is it okay?

I do loads of unpaid stuff. I only do it because I want to do it though. If someone comes up to me with a question "I need retouching, but I have no money, you wanna?" I wont say yes. If someone comes up to me and tells me about an awesome project or great idea he/she has and if I would be interested to work together, you'll get a much nicer answer.

Only if it's something that I can be proud of at the end of the day. Would I want this person's work in my portfolio is also a good question to ask yourself.
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