It’s been almost 10 years since it happened, and thinking about it still annoys me.
I was talking with a potential client from the large cable company in the Maryland/DC area. She tells me she likes my work and wants to hire me.
“Excellent,” I respond. “I’ll send over a proposal.”
“Well...,” she continues. “We were wondering if you could do this one for free. As you might imagine, we have lots of photography jobs, and we hire photographers all the time. If this shoot works out well, you’ll likely get lots of future work from us.”
“Are you flipping kidding me? Can I watch cable for a month for free and pay you next month if I like it?”
As I said, it still annoys me.
But not all the time.
There are other occasions when someone will ask for the exact same thing -- free photography -- and I am happy to provide it.
What about an enthusiast? You have a day job. You don’t need this to pay your bills. Should you ever shoot for free?
I hear from many of you who tell me that you don’t mind working for free. Photography isn’t your main source of income, so it’s not a big deal. Some of you say that you don’t think your photography is at the level where you’d feel comfortable charging for it.
In this episode, I explore both sides of the debate.
I have five reasons why you wouldn’t shoot for free and five reasons why you would consider it.
Listen to the podcast episode. See the show notes at bit.ly/shutterbuglife017.
Here's today's Ask Lyn question from Geysah:
I’ve been asked to be the photographer for a fundraising event where I volunteer and, of course, I said yes. The archbishop will be bestowing awards on volunteers. I want to do a good job. Do you have any suggestion? I would welcome as much input as possible.
Thanking you in advance."
How many of you have found yourself agreeing to photograph an event only to wonder later, 'what have I gotten myself into?'
I understand Geysah's question as well as her dilemma. In this Ask Lyn, I run through the planning questions I ask before photographing an event.
Don't let your best pictures wither away in the dark solitude of your hard drive. They need air, sunshine and the admiration of your friends. They need constructive criticism from trusted advisors and encouragement from a community of kindred spirits. They need a platform where you can determine which ones are most popular and offer them for sale.
They need -- to be online.
Your goal here is to create a website or blog format where you can showcase your photos or galleries.
Today we begin a four-part series called "What to do with your photos" and we focus on creating a photo blog.
Listen to the podcast and read the show notes at bit.ly/shutterbuglife016.
Dangling from the top of a ladder creating photos isn't where you'd expect your next big photo business idea to hit you, but that's exactly what happened to one of today's guests. In fact, his story reminded me of one my favorite reality TV shows, Shark Tank.
On Shark Tank, "budding entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their dreams to fruition. They present their ideas to the sharks in the tank - five titans of industry, who made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires. The contestants try to convince any one of the sharks to invest money in their idea.
At the last Photo Plus Expo, I met a couple photographers who could likely fit the show's format. They took an idea or problem they had as photographers and created a solution that became a business.
As we will learn from these two photographers, you don't have to sell pictures to launch your dream photography-related business. Xume Adaptors and Cecelia Galleries show us how a frustration, or just a simple observation, can pay off for you.
Listen to the podcast
They were all strangers at some point — Mickey who makes a good living impersonating Ben Franklin; Rocky who was part of a 24-hour vigil outside the White House; Andrew who was on a coffee bike crawl around the city; and about 30 random people I encountered.
I’m one-third of the way through my 100 Strangers project, which seemed like a good time to talk about the whole street portrait genre.
If you’ve ever wondered about street portraits, I’ll share what I’ve learned so far. You’ll learn:
Listen to the podcast now and read the show notes at http://bit.ly/shutterbuglife014.