PHOTOGRAPHY AND PROFESSIONALS
“If you do it right, don’t do it for free” (Joker)
Foreword to all my non-Catalan or Spanish speaking friends:
This will be an English resume of my blog texts. Please by kind with me about my grammar skills, and never doubt in suggesting any correction for the mistakes you may find.
In a previous post I made a mention about working for free or very low fares. It’s maybe time to say something about it.
They say that if you work on what you love, it will be as if you were not working. That’s true. But the problem comes when your job is other’s people hobby.
That often means a situation based on the neo liberal concept “do whatever you want” that sounds very good but implies not considering the consequences (“I, me, myself, with me…”)
One of the reasons why people think that they can use a picture without paying for it, is that lots of people who produce pictures are not professionals and they can afford to give their images for free or, what’s worst, they can give them for a ridiculous fee, because they have another source of incomes. I want to believe that they do that without thinking about the consequences for professional photographers.
Sometimes people say that they have the right to take pictures, and that’s of no discussion, of course. What I want to talk about is the fact of giving a service to an organization (company, club or whatever) for free (or almost). And why? Usually because they can, because they don’t have the obligations (taxes, gear…) of a professional.
No photographer will say anything against competence, one of the self-defense reasons coming from working-for-free people. Competence is always good, but playing under the same rules.
Working for free – or almost – means closing the doors to the chance of becoming a professional one day: those who one day had your job for free, will never pay you in the future. That’s a fact.
Take pictures, build a book, show your job and try to get paid for it. That’s the way, but it demands time, effort and, if you aren’t good enough, you will fail.
The other side is people who get the pictures for free or fares under cost, without considering that “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.
And a professional can’t work for a price that not even cover the cost of the job.
And the fact of paying is not related to the possible toughness of the job. Is related to the effectivity, the reliability and the quality of the job.
Thinking that a job that you enjoy doesn’t deserve to be paid, is a slave mentality.
If as non-professional photographer can assume the exigence of the job, and the pictures are good enough, what must be done is getting well paid for it, as well as paying taxes in consequence.
I’m not saying not to take pictures, I’m talking about getting well paid for your job. It would be better for everybody.