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Working for free

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  • Working for free

    I found this surfing just now. You can pretty much switch the word "designer" for "retoucher" in the post.

    Never work for free.

  • #2
    Re: Working for free

    Great article, Benny

    BTW. You can switch that word for any profession today ...


    • #3
      Re: Working for free

      I love the ads that list endless skill sets and demand "must be expert at" then at the end offer $15-$20 per hour. If I took the time effort and money to gain experience in 3D rendering, 2D retouching and illustration, web design, print experience, and animation... and be "expert level" at all or most of those things... how does that pathetic wage even cut it? In fact, being an expert in any one of those skill sets should bring in more $ than that.


      • #4
        Re: Working for free

        In general, working for free is an unavoidable part of developing your skills and proving to potential clients that you can deliver. Why should anyone expect to be fully paid for ..well.. practicing.


        • #5
          Re: Working for free

          Personally, I wouldn't work for free regardless of whether or not you're developing your skills. Whether retouching, designing, CGI, working for free only devalues our craft.

          If you're going to develop your skills, practice on stuff of your own. Don't outright say to a client "Sure I can do this for free" because word travels fast that you're the person that will do stuff on the cheap or for free...


          • #6
            Re: Working for free

            I disagree. If you are a retoucher, you don't have 'your own' work to practice on .. you work with other people's material. I started by offering free tests to photographers whose work I liked. I got my hands on some well shot images and with few of these photographers I continued working regularly for years, never again having to work for free or even low pay on jobs.
            Even now, if some of my clients do exciting portfolio work experimenting and pushing bounderies I'm prepared to get involved - yes, for free. No one gets paid directly but we all hopefully benefit from it.
            The way of buliding your profile within the industry and establishing good working relationships isn't straightforward, there is no formula and certainly no rigid rules one should stick to regardless. Principals - yes (but that's another subject).

            there are lots of people who are always fishing for some freebies and you should be smart enough to smell that from miles ahead.



            • #7
              Re: Working for free

              Amen Sinisa.


              • #8
                Re: Working for free

                Personally I wouldn't do commercial work for free. You have to get something out of the deal even if it's a skill swap with a photographer or designer for comparable goods or services. IMO, if you set your self up as a business (be it freelance or company status) you must work in a businesslike way - it's part of the skill set!


                • #9
                  Re: Working for free

                  I think the issue here is the definition of "Free". In order to be worth it, there should be something of genuine tangible value for the person doing it, something that helps that person measureably in moving towards an important goal.

                  Personally I'm 100% in Benny's camp. But for practical purposes Sinisa is quite right.

                  For instance, assisting someone - the RIGHT someone - for a time could be a wise investment. IF you get practice and practical portfolio-building skills and hopefully deliverables out of it. Assisting a major photographer, for instance, could be a LOT less expensive than paying for that person's time to teach you 1 on 1 or even in a workshop. If that person even teaches people.

                  After awhile though, it crosses the line into exploitation to use someone's work in a paid deliverable without paying that person. That's just not right.

                  And as for Craigslist, I personally don't know why anyone would waste their time rebutting Craigslist ads. If that's where people are looking for work my heart goes out to them. I personally wouldn't consider looking on Craigslist after doing one cursory search for photography engagements. What surfaced that first and only time was not worth a second visit......


                  • #10
                    Re: Working for free

                    Originally posted by Sinisa View Post
                    In general, working for free is an unavoidable part of developing your skills and proving to potential clients that you can deliver. Why should anyone expect to be fully paid for ..well.. practicing.

                    Dude, we're always practicing. Like a shark, you know? Always moving forward........


                    • #11
                      Re: Working for free

                      Benny, you hit the nail head.

                      This year, I think my work is awesome.
                      Last year, I thought my work was awesome.
                      Two years ago, I thought my work was awesome.
                      Three years ago, I thought my work was awesome.
                      Four years ago, I thought my work was awesome.

                      This year I look back at all the crap I did years before.

                      Always practicing, always improving.


                      • #12
                        Re: Working for free

                        Screw working for free. Especially if it's commercial work. I recently ditched a place because they wanted an average of 60+ hours a week for the price of 40 hours. I definitely knew I was getting taken advantage of and left. I knew other places to work that would pay for what I put into it, so what is the advantage of working for free 20 hours a week?

                        I managed to get ahead while getting paid. I rely on all the people I met in the industry to find work. You should get paid for whatever your skill level is. A little less at first and then ask for more as your skills improve. My skills improved and all the while I was getting paid some form of a wage.


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